Several stories have been published concerning my current studies at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The articles reported that I used funds from Miami-Dade County for tuition payments.
Although Miami-Dade County, by practice and policy, allows for these funds to be used in such a manner, it was always my intention to pay for my own master’s program. I fully reimbursed the county for these expenses on Aug. 14. Unfortunately, some facts were omitted from the articles.
Nevertheless, I realize that as an elected official I’m held to a higher standard. In hindsight, I should have handled the matter differently and I take full responsibility for what has transpired.
My motivation to pursue studies at Harvard was to better prepare myself as an individual and as an elected leader responsible for representing one of the largest counties in our country. I believe that an education is an investment worth making and one that will yield dividends to my constituents.
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I’m aware that because of these recent events, I may have disappointed some, but I remain committed to serving my community with honesty, integrity and transparency.
Juan C. Zapata, commissioners, District 11, Miami-Dade County