Kudos to The Miami Herald for exposing the worst kind of abuse of people who need help the most. Looking at the sad photograph of Velma Bailey's four children, all of them sleeping in one bed in a bug-infested apartment, it occurred to me that a fair sentence would be for Oscar Rivero to spend the rest of his days in jail with this photograph as the wallpaper in his cell. Of course, this should be after he repays what he stole in full and apologizes to all the children whose lives he could have helped improve.
I moved here many years ago from a Third World country in which this kind of abuse and thievery were common.
I had hoped it would be different in Miami. I'm sad and disappointed to see that it isn't.
Monica Harvey, Miami Beach
This is exactly the type of journalism I expect from my local newspaper. I hope that The Miami Herald follows up on County Mayor Carlos Alvarez's promises.
May I suggest that important issues, such as this one, be tracked. I'm still wondering what happened to the airport scandal, the jet-fuel scandal and others that I since have forgotten.
Please continue to publish this type of investigative reports. I would like to help the paper in its endeavor to rid the county and city of all types of corruption.
Donald MacDonald, Miami
As a longtime resident of Liberty City, I am appalled at County Manager George Burgess' comments. If he were aware of the problems in the Housing Agency two years ago, then why did he appoint Al Brewster, former deputy housing director and board member, to succeed Rene Rodriguez as director?
Furthermore, why didn't he direct county auditors to review the department two years ago?
Where is the accountability? I guess affordable housing is not on the radar when you make a $390,000 a year.
C.D. Colson, Miami
The state attorney's office should empanel a grand jury to investigate The Miami Herald's findings. Miami-Dade County will never be a first-class community no matter how many performing arts centers or art museums we add unless we take care of our most vulnerable residents.
The homeless, poor, mentally ill and elderly deserve much better than we have been providing.
Robert S. Steinberg, South Miami
We are constantly creating public-assistance programs, and then years later exposing corruption and fraud.
This proves the saying that continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
It is clear that a different approach is needed.
Douglas Demars, Kendall
Unfortunately, corruption is once again synonymous with County Hall.
Raul O. Perez, Hialeah
It is time to approve a true mayor-manager form of county government with the right balance of power and duties between the mayor and commission, along with a powerful, independent auditing of public funds.
Stephen E. McGaughey, Coral Gables
I'm beginning to think that one of the requirements to become a politician in Miami-Dade County is to be a sociopath. They have no regard for the people whom they are supposed to serve.
If Miami-Dade Housing Agency officials and commissioners lived with the people who endure rat- and trash-ridden neighborhoods maybe they would acquire enough empathy to do something to alleviate the frustration and fears of low-income families looking for relief.
Why not let Habitat for Humanity take over these responsibilities?
Paul Steszewski, West Kendall
Kudos to The Miami Herald and Debbie Cenziper for her diligence in ferreting out the details of how, once again, Miami-Dade County government is sticking it to the people, especially to poor families and the elderly. Perhaps there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.
Eleanor Miller, Redland
I thank Miami Herald writer Debbie Cenziper for taking the time to research, walk the neighborhoods and speak to people. She and the investigative team have exposed the heartbreak and travesty of the housing situation in Miami for the poor and the needy.
I would never have driven through these poor neighborhoods or met the families that live there had I not been a guardian ad litem and teacher for the homebound.
Cenziper has the rats running to hide in their holes. Keep the pressure up. The Miami Herald is becoming what it was once known for: having no-nonsense reporters who go for the jugular to defend of the poor and helpless.
Theodore R. Liberti, Miami
No one should be surprised that county commissioners give our money to their developer friends. We deserve it -- as taxpayers we continue to vote these people into office.
They will continue to do this until we step forward en masse and demand accountability.
Faye Davis, Miami
I never thought I'd be praising The Miami Herald for being a champion of poor people in Miami-Dade. Staff writer Debbie Cenziper has blown the cover off a vipers' pit, revealing the vulgar greed and incompetence of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency.
Keep on huffing and puffing, and you will find cronyism, nepotism and ethnocentrism in practically every nook and cranny.
From the Miami-Dade School Board to the County Commission, you'll find an abysmal track record of a lack of progressive development in the black community in particular and the entire county in general. Blow it down!
John Laird, Miami
In anticipation of seeing the new movie Miami Vice, I have enjoyed strolling down memory lane, taking a look at the Miami of the 1980s featured in the television show: the changes in the skyline and along Ocean Drive; the fashion, music and cars.
However, House of Lies reminded me of all the fraud and corruption scandals prevalent in the '80s. I guess it's true: the more things change, the more they stay the same. The characters in the starring roles have changed, and there may be variations in the subplots and scenery but, sadly, the theme is the same: Miami and vice go together like Crockett and Tubbs.
Marguerite Digaetano, North Miami Beach