Lobbyist Jorge Forte worked for Sweetwater, North Bay Village and a county commissioner

 

crabin@miamiherald.com

Jorge Forte worked for Sweetwater as the city’s grants administrator and then chief of staff for Mayor Manny Maroño. Then he became city manager for North Bay Village in 2006.

“We always envisioned Jorge moving forward,’’ Maroño told the Miami Herald then. The mayor heartily praised Forte for his grace under pressure and for helping to find federal and state money to address Sweetwater’s flooding problems.

Maroño and Forte were both arrested by the FBI Tuesday, accused of running a kickback and bribery scheme involving purported federal grants.

North Bay Village selected Forte from more than a dozen candidates, working there from 2006 to 2008.

Later, Forte served as chief of staff for county Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo from June 2011 to March 2012. The commissioner said Forte helped set up his transition staff after Bovo won.

Forte left because “he basically decided to seek other opportunities. He offered his resignation and left in good standing as far as I’m concerned,’’ Bovo said.

Bovo said he hasn’t heard from Forte since, and that he wasn’t asked to take part in any kickback scheme.

Forte, in an online profile, is listed as president of REALM Consulting, a Hialeah government relations firm. He is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University.

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