By 1987, voters had had enough, and Carollo lost his seat. He was out of office for eight years, losing two bids to regain his seat and a third try for the County Commission before again winning election to the City Commission in 1995. When Miami Mayor Steve Clark died in office months later, Carollo won a special election to replace him.
Shortly after he assumed office, a bribery probe netted City Manager Cesar Odio and Commissioner Miller Dawkins. After the tainted 1997 election, the mastermind behind substantial electoral fraud, Commissioner Humberto Hernandez, was indicted on fraud and money-laundering charges.
Carollo, by comparison, appeared a paragon of stability, though Donald Warshaw — his disgraced city manager, ultimately jailed for plundering a children’s charity — would later allege the mayor was pressuring police to investigate and keep tabs on city commissioners and political opponents.
In the waning days of his mayoralty, Carollo began squiring Hispanic showbiz starlets to events around town. He took Sabado Gigante bikini model Sissi Fleitas to an official reception for the king and queen of Spain.
After his defeat by Manny Diaz — ironically, the attorney for Elián González’s Miami relatives — Carollo largely slipped quietly into private life. He has declined to specify what he was doing or how he was making a living, but acquaintances say he tried his hand at promoting boxing and concerts by Hispanic singers at the old Flagler Dog Track, among other business endeavors.
Since 2001, he has been living in a big Coconut Grove house assessed at $785,000. At the end of 2009, he entered into an apparently ill-advised, 83-day marriage to Republican political operative and self-described “bad girl’’ Ana Alliegro. He quickly filed for divorce, stating in filings that he was scared of her.
Alliegro disappeared last year amid a federal investigation into her involvement in alleged campaign shenanigans by then-U.S. Rep. David Rivera, who lost his reelection bid.
Carollo’s political and financial fortunes, by contrast, were unexpectedly on the rise.
At Doral, where Carollo will oversee 277 workers, he will earn $144,000 a year in salary, plus benefits.
Miami Herald staff writer Christina Veiga contributed to this report.