“Recently it came to our attention that one employee, Mr. Jerry Ramos, was prosecuted, convicted and sent to jail by my office a number of years ago,” the statement added. “Once that came to our attention, any connection between the campaign and Mr. Ramos was immediately terminated.”
Lorenzo said Ramos handled administrative activities for Quantum Results and, during campaigns, placed signs, organized logistics for early voting and Election Day, and coordinated candidate visits to senior centers in predominantly Hispanic areas.
“I am and was aware of Mr. Ramos’ past problems, but I wanted to give him an opportunity because I knew his parents, who are now deceased, and [they] had worked for me also,” Lorenzo said.
He and his firm have also been paid by more than a dozen judicial candidates and an aspiring Miami-Dade School Board member this election cycle.
Quantum Results paid for a phone bank at Gimenez’s Hialeah office, according to François Illas, another consultant who was in charge of the office. Illas has his own firm, Metropolitan Strategic Consulting, though he has also worked as an independent contractor for Lorenzo. Illas also works on Fernández Rundle’s campaign.
Illas said he does not organize absentee-ballot programs but instead focuses on media buys, advertising and logistics. He hired six people to run the Hialeah phone bank, he said, adding that Cabrera was not one of them. He added that he does not know Cabrera, nor was he in the office when she apparently dropped by.
“I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup,” he said.
And he reiterated previous statements by Gimenez, who has noted that supporters and volunteers were welcome to visit the office, often to pick up signs.
“People came in and out every day,” Illas said. “We gave them free lunch.”
Miami Herald staff writers Marc Caputo and Mary Ellen Klas and El Nuevo Herald writer Enrique Flor contributed to this report.