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Ethics Commission dismisses complaint against Miami Beach employees

The Miami Beach City Clerk’s office and Information Technology department did not violate the Citizens’ Bill of Rights by failing to respond to a public records request in a timely manner, according to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

The commission on Wednesday announced that it found no probable cause to the complaint, which was related to a records request by resident Michael Burke.

Burke had requested information about property owned by then-Mayor Matti Herrera Bower. However, the city determined that the request was regarding a nonexistent address and it didn’t include a specific date range, the ethics commission wrote in a statement. An ethics investigation also revealed that city staffers communicated with Burke through an email address that Burke “admittedly doesn’t use often,” according to the commission statement. Burke, however, had sent his request using that email address.

“While dismissing the charge, the Ethics Commission will recommend that the City establish a clearer process and procedure for handling public records requests,” the commission wrote.

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