The spat between former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and his ex-girlfriend — who alleged steroid abuse, haranguing text messages and domestic violence — ended Tuesday as prosecutors declined to pursue allegations that she broke into his Coral Gables condo.
The state attorney’s office dropped the case against Miami-Dade police Lt. Evelyn Fernandez a little more than a week after she refused to testify against Alvarez, which resulted in prosecutors dumping an earlier domestic-battery charge filed against him.
“Ms. Fernandez is relieved this is all over and she wants to put this behind her and move on with her life,” said her defense lawyer, Sam Rabin.
Prosecutors did not say why they declined to file charges against Fernandez, who has cancer. But Alvarez’s defense attorney acknowledged that the former mayor and police director would likely not testify against his former lover.
“I don’t think he was interested in pursuing anything against her,” said lawyer Douglas Hartman.
The months-long saga had thrust Alvarez back into the spotlight after years of keeping a low-profile following his ouster from office.
The former police director was elected the county’s mayor in 2006. He was reelected in 2009, but was ultimately undone by his controversial support to use hundreds of millions in taxpayer money to build Marlins Park.
Voters in 2011 recalled Alvarez, who was also stung by his support for a property-tax increase and for doling out hefty raises to his aides. He did get publicity in 2013 after winning a bodybuilding contest for men over 60.
Back in April, Alvarez was arrested after Fernandez, his longtime girlfriend, accused him of grabbing her, shaking her, pinning her against the wall and spitting in her face after an argument over a cat. In a newly released audio statement to police, Fernandez repeatedly blamed Alvarez’s angry moods on his use of steroids he used as part of his competitive body building. The drugs are often blamed for inducing rage in users.
“He’s very big into steroids,” Fernandez told a Coral Gables detective in April, adding later: “When he gets into his rages, I’m completely terrified of him. He’s not thinking rationally.”
Alvarez, through his defense attorney, denies any “recreational” use of steroids.
Fernandez described a relationship that has spiraled into tumult in recent years, marked by heated arguments, nasty text messages and repeated calls to the police. The two had broken up and she had come over to bring him a cat that had grown attached to him over the years.
Alvarez began to curse at her, she claimed, to which she responded by calling him “un viejo” — or an old man. “That infuriated him,” Fernandez said. “He said, ‘Well, I wasn’t an old man when I was the mayor.’ That’s when he grabbed me and started spitting in my face.”
She later called police and Alvarez was arrested. As Alvarez was awaiting trial, Fernandez herself was arrested in July after he accused her of breaking into his Gables condo. She was charged with burglary and criminal mischief.
Facing her own criminal trial, Fernandez refused to testify, saying she would invoke her right to remain silent if she were forced to testify. Without her testimony, prosecutors last week had to drop the misdemeanor charge.