North Miami Mayor Linked to Bribery Case

Investigation expands as election looms May 10

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An NBC Miami investigation has found documents linking North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre with campaign donations that are part of a bribery investigation that led to the arrest of the mayor's own campaign manager and nephew. (Published Friday, Apr 8, 2011)

    A corruption case in North Miami is widening.

    An NBC Miami investigation has found documents linking North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre with campaign donations that may be part of a bribery investigation. That same investigation lead to the arrest of the mayor's own campaign manager and nephew last week.

    As the campaign for mayor of North Miami is just a month away, NBC Miami has learned FDLE agents recently met privately with the city manager, who now confirms it's part of an expanding corruption investigation that started with the arrest of Richard Brutus, nephew and campaign manager of Mayor Andre Pierre. He was charged with accepting $7,500 in bribes for political favors.

    Mayor for 22 months, Pierre is already under a cloud of suspicion after a series of controversies. But is he tied to the bribery investigation?

    "To sit still and pretend like I didn't know when I knew," said North Miami City Commissioner Scott Galvin last week, confirming he is the original police source for the corruption investigation. 

    And now two sources tell NBC Miami that Galvin's work for FDLE also included bogus campaign contributions arranged by FDLE and a cooperating witness that Galvin pretended to accept.

    NBC Miami found all six of those campaign contributions plus others with the same address on Mayor Andre Pierre's donor list. Did Mayor Pierre also know they were arranged by FDLE as part of a bribery case? Galvin confirms his were not real contributions.

    "Well, I can tell you this,” he said Thursday afternoon, “I brought the State Attorney's Office information back in October 2010 that opened this investigation. Donations that you see on my reports from earlier on are related to this investigation."

    Calls to Mayor Pierre were not returned. He's previously said he'll withhold judgment on his campaign manager until all the facts are public.

    One unanswered question: If there is another arrest, will it come before the election, having a big impact on who wins? One well-placed source with direct knowledge says prosecutors do sometimes consider that -- hoping to avoid looking as though they've intentionally made an arrest just before a big vote.