The drama at Doral City Hall has turned from soap opera to searing reality.
Two weeks after a tussle between a developer and City Manager Joe Carollo made headlines, an old charge of Carollos who is now the citys police chief, ordered Juan Carlos Tovar to turn himself in for allegedly faslifying a police report.
In the report, Tovar claimed that Carollo grabbed him and called him, in Spanish, a Venezuelan piece of sh--, an exchange captured on surveillance video.
Mayor Luigi Boria called it silly.
Doral Police Chief Richard Blom doesnt think its funny.
And Tovar surrendered around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday. He walked into the front door with his attorney and processed inside the police station. He was handcuffed, taken to the back of the station and driven away in a Doral police cruiser.
I trust hell be at the station at 10 a.m., said Blom, who was hired by Carollo in February after having had a long working relationship with him from their days with the city of Miami. Blom said Tuesday he contacted Tovars attorney, and they agreed to have Tovar surrender Wednesday.
Tovars attorney, Jesus Suarez, confirmed this and called the police actions an abuse of power.
The city of Doral has chosen to arrest Mr. Tovar for reporting that City Manager Joe Carollo had threatened him and denigrated his Venezuelan nationality, Suarez wrote in an email Tuesday night. This is an injustice and an abuse of Dorals police powers to serve Mr. Carollos political interests.
Tovar, a real estate developer, ex-client of Boria and former business partner of Borias adult children, Alexander and Lorena, faces a first-degree misdemeanor charge of giving false information to the police, which could result in up to a year behind bars.
The brouhaha began during a Sept. 25 meeting at which the City Council unanimously approved a zoning change that benefitted Tovars planned luxury home development. After the vote, Tovar and Carollo exchanged words behind closed doors outside the council chambers.
Tovar told police Carollo pulled him by the arm into another room and called him a Venezuelan piece of sh-- and a chavista, a follower of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, according to the police report.
Boria, who is also Venezuelan, came under scrutiny this summer because of his connection to Tovar, an ex-client of the mayors international computer component distribution business, TWC (The Wise Computer).
Facing questions from fellow council members and the community about his relationship with Tovar, Boria requested an opinion from the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. The Ethics Commission ruled the mayor had not violated any ethics code because he had recused himself from voting on matters pertaining to Tovar.
It also said Boria should continue to recuse himself from any votes or actions regarding Tovar.
Blom and other Doral police officers have longtime ties to Carollo, a former Miami mayor and city commissioner first elected in 1979, who knew Blom from his rise through the Miami Police Department, from 1975 to 2006. Carollo chose Blom to head the Doral Police Department in February, shortly after Boria recommended him to become Dorals city manager in January.
Blom dismissed any accusation of impropriety Tuesday night.