Say It Ain't So, Crazy Joe

Former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo might run for mayor again

By Carlos Miller
|  Saturday, Sep 12, 2009  |  Updated 5:49 PM EDT
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Say It Ain't So, Crazy Joe

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Former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo - who was dubbed "Crazy Joe" and "Loco Joe" by local journalists - might run for mayor of Miami this November.

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If the last several weeks have taught us anything, it is that nothing has changed with Miami politics.

From the pay raise scandal at the county mayor’s office to the heated exchange between the Miami mayor and commissioner, who hopes to be mayor next term, politics down here are nothing short of fiery.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo, who was dubbed “Crazy Joe” by a local columnist back in the day, is rumored to be running for mayor come November, according to the Miami New Times.

And his brother Frank is running for city commission, making us wonder about the odds of them becoming a tag team of tyrants.

Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen dubbed the former mayor “Crazy Joe” shortly after he took office in 1997 from “Mayor Loco” – Xavier Suarez – who was removed from office after it was determined he had won on fraud. The Miami New times calls Carollo "Loco Joe."

While Carollo did not appear as crazy as Suarez - who once fired three city managers in 40 days - he had a ferocious temper and a defiant protectionism over his Cuban exile constituents, which divided an already divided city.

In the wake of the Elian Gonzalez raid, Carollo wanted Miami Police Chief William O’ Brian fired for not notifying him of the impending raid.

However, only the city manager has the authority to fire the chief, so Carollo ordered city manager Donald Warshaw to fire him. When Warshaw refused, he was fired. And O’Brian resigned.

And angry citizens protested by leaving piles of bananas on the steps of city hall.

Five months after the raid, Warshaw went to prison for stealing money from a children’s fund.

And a few months after that, Carollo was arrested for domestic violence, prompting the New York Times to call Miami “the epicenter of embarrassment.”
 

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