Community News - Latest

Doral

Doral City Manager Joe Carollo denies making racist comment

 
 
Joe Carollo.
Joe Carollo.
ROBERTO KOLTUN / EL NUEVO HERALD STAFF

msanchez@elnuevoherald.com

A Venezuelan businessman behind a luxury development project in Doral accused City Manager Joe Carollo of attacking him verbally and physically during a meeting late Wednesday night.

Carollo denied the accusation but said he did call Juan Carlos Tovar someone who is “plugged into” the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The incident happened Wednesday night after Doral’s four council members approved a zoning change that benefits Tovar’s real-estate projects.

Until May, the project belonged in part to Alexander and Lorena Boria, the children of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria. The Boria children sold their half of the project to Tovar after ethical questions about the deal stalled its progress.

At the council meeting, Carollo warned Tovar’s lobbyists that they should behave professionally — and the “American way” — if they wanted the project to move forward.

After the council vote, Tovar said he approached Carollo outside the chambers to ask him to explain his comments.

“His comments were pretty racist,” said Tovar, who filed a complaint against Carollo with the Doral Police Department on Thursday morning. “It doesn’t matter where the investor comes from as long as he abides by all the laws.”

Tovar said Carollo pulled him by the arm to another room and called him a “Venezuelan piece of sh--” and a chavista — a supporter of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

In an interview Wednesday night, Tovar told el Nuevo Herald that a very distant relative, economist Eudomar Tovar, was recently named president of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

“In Venezuela the name Tovar is very common, and this is about someone I don’t have direct or indirect contact with,” he said. “I have nothing to do with that person. If they try to say that the money [for the development] came from that person, it’s not true either.”

But on Thursday, Tovar denied that the new bank president is a relative, saying he had been “joking” the night before when he was questioned by El Nuevo Herald.

Carollo, meanwhile, denied using offensive language or laying a finger on Tovar.

“That is a lie,” Carollo said. “I did not make any racist or discriminatory comment against Venezuelans.”

He added that Tovar threatened him saying that he could lose his job after the incident.

Doral police are investigating. Meanwhile, Boria has called for a special meeting for next week to discuss the incident between Carollo and Tovar, two councilwomen said. Boria did not return calls on Thursday.

Read more Community News - Latest stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK