Charges Dropped in Another of Mayor's Corruption Busts

Prosecutors drop the charges against former city employee, Alex Martinez

Mayor Tomas Regalado really had high hopes for his special public corruption task force. Too bad it's not getting off to the start he quite imagined.

Miami-Dade prosecutors announced Thursday they were dropping the charges on yet another of the city officials arrested in an anti-corruption sting earlier this year.

Alex Martinez, the city's former deputy director of the General Services Administration, was charged with grand theft and official misconduct after being accused of forcing employees to make improvements to his house.

Martinez is the fifth person arrested to have the charges dropped against them. Last month, the State Attorney's Office decided not to pursue charges on four non-profit agency employees who were arrested in the sweep. All of the cases lacked evidence, prosecutors said.

In April, the FBI and Miami police collared eight employees in a corruption sweep, including three police officers.

Federal authorities have denounced the arrests publicly, as has State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

Regalado hasn't commented on the latest arrest mishap, which could signal the beginning of the end for the handcuff-happy anti-corruption unit instead of the corruption it is designed to find.

The trumped up charges against Martinez seem trivial. He had employees paint his house, build him a cross for Easter and construct a handicap ramp for his mother. Total cost: $700.

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