Miami-Dade County

Housing probe expands to Miami



The Miami-Dade state attorney's office has expanded its probe of government-financed affordable housing programs beyond the county's embattled Housing Agency.The city of Miami community development director, Barbara Gomez-Rodriguez, confirmed Wednesday that investigators showed up at her office this week. She said they have been examining the housing contracts.``Just because they're here doesn't mean that there's something wrong,'' Gomez-Rodriguez said. She doesn't know what particular files are being pulled, Gomez-Rodriguez said. She expects the probe to last at least a few more days.``They've been given direct access to the files,'' she said.Ed Griffith, spokesman for the state attorney's office, said city officials are being ``utterly cooperative'' in the investigation.``They wish to get to the bottom of any potential issues and concerns related to housing,'' he said.Griffith called the investigation a ``companion case'' with the ongoing investigation into the Miami-Dade Housing Agency.The Miami-Dade County Housing Agency has been under an intense microscope for several months, since The Miami Herald published its House of Lies series. The series chronicled rampant mismanagement and showed that developers were paid millions of dollars to build affordable housing but never delivered on the contracts. Instead of demanding refunds, Miami-Dade Housing Agency officials awarded more contracts.One developer, Oscar Rivero, has been arrested on charges he bought his $700,000 house with money meant for the poor.Gomez-Rodriguez is the wife of former Miami-Dade Housing Agency Director Rene Rodriguez, who has been at the center of the county's housing scandal. The couple is now divorcing, and Gomez-Rodriguez said they have been separated for more than a year. ``We've had different lives,'' she said.

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