In 2004, he was hired by Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi to look into possible absentee-ballot fraud in Hialeah after a November 2003 Hialeah election. Carrillo spent almost two years gathering information that he said proved Hialeahs Housing Authority was in cahoots with a slate of incumbents who flooded senior centers with boleteras, women who collected bundles of absentee votes.
Carrillo said he turned the evidence over to the state attorneys office, but the case went nowhere. Pizzi later sued Hialeahs canvassing board, the housing authority, and its director, Alex Morales, arguing that his client, Adriana Narvaez, one of the challengers on the ballot, had won the general vote convincingly but lost the election because of lopsided absentee-ballot returns. The costly lawsuit died when funds ran out.
In a letter to then-Gov. Jeb Bush in 2004, Fernandez Rundle explained that her office had to conflict out because it was already investigating several Hialeah officials for possible campaign-finance violations. She was concerned that targets in any new investigation would likely be witnesses in the case that was under way. The matter was passed along to Broward County, which eventually found no wrongdoing.
There was also no law at the time against collecting large numbers of ballots. That changed July 1 after county commissioners made it illegal for anyone to carry more than two ballots at once.
Pizzi says now the peek into 2004 Hialeah politics was an eye-opener.
We demonstrated that what happened now is not an aberration, its not a surprise, he said. Whats happening now is part of a well organized machine thats been around for a long time.