Disgraced Late Pol Art Teele Gets Publicly-Funded Memorial - NBC 6 South Florida

Disgraced Late Pol Art Teele Gets Publicly-Funded Memorial

A publicly-funded memorial for a man so accused of misusing public funds? Makes sense.

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    Disgraced Late Pol Art Teele Gets Publicly-Funded Memorial

    Let's see: drug money in Gucci bags, bribery, extortion, sex, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, Miami City Commission, and now, one giant, publicly-funded memorial to the man accused of linking all of the above.

    Cue the Montell Jordan, Miami, because this is how we do it.

    A mural tribute to Arthur Teele, Jr., the Miami and Miami-Dade commissioner who shot himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald offices in 2005 while facing myriad accusations of misconduct, was unveiled this morning at a butterfly garden at Northwest 54th Street and Sixth Avenue.

    Those who remember Teele's end may question why the Miami Mayor's Office of Film and Cultural Affairs and the Miami City Trust would choose to fund a memorial to alleged public corruption.

    Those who don't might, too.

    And both will shortly remember that this is Miami, shrug and nod, and get down to business judging the mural's artistic merit. 

    Teele's spectacular and tragic political freefall followed a conviction for assaulting a police offer and more than 20 charges of federal fraud including those related to his use of a minority business as a front to earn a contract for a larger, non-minority business with Miami International Airport.

    On the morning of the day he walked into Herald offices and calmly pulled a gun on himself, the Miami New Times printed a lurid compilation of police report tidbits and other allegations of aldulterous affairs and corruption.

    Teele was to be arrested on even newer state charges the week his body was laid to rest.

    That doesn't matter to local artist Addonis Parker, who painted Teele's memorial mural.

    "I think he tried to help a lot of people,'' Parker said of Teele, according to the Miami Herald. "The stuff he accomplished screams louder than his mistakes.''

    And screaming even louder than that: Parker's 17x30-foot painting of a chess piece falling down a chessboard between two palm trees, because "the King has fallen."