Several aspects of the ethics opinion sought by Mayor Luigi Boria of Doral, from the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission, and of the land-use issue in Doral regarding the Grand Floridian project, should be recognized in order to gain a proper understanding of these matters.
Mayor Boria sought the opinion from the Ethics Commission in order to ensure that his actions would be proper at all times.
The Ethics Commission opinion was not a product of a complaint or a complaint-related investigation. The mayor at no time took any action in his capacity as mayor, by voting or otherwise, regarding the land use or other public issues in connection with the Grand Floridian.
Mayor Boria and his wife have given gifts to their children on several different occasions, always properly documenting the gifts in compliance with the United States Internal Revenue Service code.
Neither Mayor Boria nor his wife has ever had a financial interest in the Grand Floridian project.
Their children owned 50 percent of the project until about three months ago, so the mayor properly recused himself from any potential city action while his children had a financial interest in the project, although, in fact, no city action was taken during this period.
In order to avoid any future issues, as unfounded as such issues might be, the children fully divested themselves from all financial interest in the project more than three months ago.
The debt which the project’s owners owe to the children in connection with this buyout is not secured (collateralized) by the Grand Floridian project in any way. Mayor Boria will recuse himself from any city action involving the owner of the Grand Floridian project, even actions unrelated to the Grand Floridian, because this owner is a regular customer of Mayor Boria’s private company, which sells computers and extends routine lines of credit to purchasers.
These lines of credit are common commercial procedures (payment required within 30 or 60 days), and the terms and qualifications of buyers are controlled by the insurance company which insures the lines. There is nothing unique about this credit line, but recusal when a customer seeks city action makes sense in any event.
The Ethics Committee review confirmed each of these points. In addition, the commission staff explicitly thanked the mayor for his cooperation and full disclosure.
Dexter Lehtinen, counsel to Mayor Luigi Boria, Doral