Prosecutors add two felony charges against ex-Miami Commissioner who lost re-election last week
It has been a no-good, very bad year for Alex Diaz de la Portilla, disgraced former Miami City Commissioner, and it’s getting worse.
Ex-Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla just got slapped with a pair of new felony conspiracy charges in a second amended information filed by Broward County prosecutors last week.
Prosecutors arraigned Diaz de la Portilla for the new charges on November 14th, and his lawyer, Ben Kuehne, entered a plea of not guilty, but the Broward State Attorney’s Office took from that day until November 28th to release a copy of the prosecutor’s second amended information. A copy of the new prosecutor’s information containing the charges is embedded at the bottom of this story.
Inside, the ex-Miami Commissioner, who was facing ten felonies and two misdemeanors, was hit with new felony charges, raising his total to 14, with 12 of them being felonies.
New charges alleged by the Broward SAO are for felony bribery conspiracy and felony conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation stemming from payoffs he allegedly accepted from Greenspoon Marder law firm lobbyist William Riley on behalf of the famously anti-vaccine Centnter Academy private school.
All of the allegations arise from the public official’s decision to give privileged use rights in the City of Maimi’s public park for the school’s benefit. But to do it, he had to back out of a city agency’s deal with the Miami-Dade Public School system to swap a city park valued at $100 million for the school board property to facilitate affordable housing.
The former Florida Senate Pro Tempore and, more recently, a Miami-Dade Republican state committeeman, Diaz de la Portilla, has had an unenviable last two months.
In September, he was arrested after agents sought him out at City Hall and charged in a 10-count information alongside alleged co-conspirator and lobbyist William Riley.
Despite those setbacks, Miami’s police union continued to back his re-election.
In early November, then-suspended Commissioner Diaz de la Portilla faced the voters in an election for Miami’s District 1 seat, in which he was caught racially gerrymandering to pack as many Cuban voters whom he believed would be his supporters. He referred to Cuban voters as “the sirloin” and white voters as “the bone” in meetings earlier this year that led a federal judge to find the maps were drawn along racial lines.
Failing to secure a 50% majority for re-election, Diaz de la Portilla squared off against Miguel Angel Gabela in a runoff election, which he lost by 8 points. It was a rematch of their 2019 runoff in which the now-indicted ex-Commissioner won by 20 points.
In the week between the election and the runoff, Alex Diaz de la Portilla’s family home was auctioned off to satisfy a mortgage foreclosure judgment after failing to make payments for eleven years.
Today, Alex Diaz de la Portilla is back out of office and using funds from the same political action committee he’s accused of abusing to fund his criminal defense efforts, which just got a little more difficult.
Here’s the document: