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City of Miami employee accused of bribery for housing help

A city of Miami employee whose job was to secure housing for those in need was arrested Wednesday amid allegations he illegally took $5,000 from a woman in return for getting her a home.

Carlos Enrique Vazquez, 39, of Miami, is charged with official misconduct of a public servant, compensation for unlawful behavior and bribery.

The woman accused of helping him, Odalys Lovett Delisle, 45, of Miami-Dade County is charged with official misconduct, conspiracy to commit bribery and compensation for unlawful behavior.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a woman identified as Yakeline Monterola met a woman at her doctor’s office in 2011 and complained about her struggles to pay her rent. The woman suggested the Homeless Assistance Program.

Monterola went to the Miami office of the Homeless Assistance Network of Dade (HAND), where she met Vazquez and Delisle. Delisle wasn’t an employee, but acted like one, the affidavit said.

Vazquez said he could get her housing but needed a $5,000 fee to “process and expedite her application,” the affidavit said.

He also told her HAND would pay her rent for 12 months and afterward she could apply for the Section 8 housing program, the affidavit said.

Monterola paid them the “fee,” and she got a subsidized apartment, where she paid $250 of the $1,000 rent.

But after few months, she learned that HAND had stopped paying their part, the affidavit said. All $1,000 was due.

The owner of the apartment began the process of evicting until her until he, too, became suspicious of Vazquez and what he had promised. He contacted County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose office passed the complaint to the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, which alerted the police.