The political scene in Miami Lakes has long been heated -- the Mayor's office was purposefully set on fire last year, so pun totally intended -- but Vice Mayor Nick Perdomo is taking nasty to the smoking section.
Perdomo is suing former Civic Association president Angela Garrison for, when asked by local news, having expressed her displeasure with seemingly racist and sexist remarks he made at a City Commission meeting.
"I think we need to show a little more class than that," she opined on camera.
And she was right. It was in September that Perdomo told town manager Frank Bocanegra, a former Miami-Dade police officer who worked the Liberty City race riots in the '80s, that he needed to lose one of his assistants.
"Frank I know you're going to be fine, too," Perdomo said at the public meeting. "I mean, you were in Liberty City fighting the animals over there when you were younger, okay? You're going to be fine, and we're going to save the town's folks $50,000 a year."
As if referring to Liberty City residents as "animals" wasn't enough, Perdomo then offered to loan Bocanegra "one of my hot girls from Nicaragua to come and assist you."
Perdomo's comments caused a small furor in Miami Lakes, and reporter Roger Lohse went to Garrison after the meeting for comment. She followed up her call for class by pointing out that "the employees that [he] was degrading were sitting right in the audience."
And shortly after that: lawsuit.
"[I felt] shock [when served]," she said. "I thought I had a right to speak publicly and give an opinion and I lived in the United States of America.
"People to have a right to discuss his decisions and the way he conducts himself on the dais."
But Perdomo, who owns a cigar manufacturing company in Miami Lakes, claims in his suit that Garrison's comments are part of a "personal vendetta" and amount to libel and slander. He says some customers have stopped buying his cigars because they believe he is a racist.