Coral Gables

Penthouse to jailhouse: Former mayor busted, now it’s his ex’s turn

Evelyn Fernandez
Evelyn Fernandez

Update: This story has been updated to reflect Evelyn Fernandez’s status as a Miami-Dade Police lieutenant. According to officials, she has been suspended with pay while Coral Gables Police investigate the Sunday’s incident.

The bitter dispute between former Miami-Dade Mayor and top cop Carlos Alvarez and his ex-girlfriend got uglier Sunday, when police said she broke into his Coral Gables condo and caused more than $1,000 worth of property damage.

Evelyn Fernandez, a Miami-Dade police lieutenant, was arrested early Sunday after Coral Gables police responded to a call about a possible domestic violence incident at one of the units at 55 Merrick Way. Police say they found Fernandez in the condo even though she doesn’t have keys to get in, and she’d damaged several of Alvarez’s belongings. There was no forced entry into the unit.

Police did not identify Alvarez in a news release about the arrest, but Local 10 News reported that the condo belongs to Fernandez’s ex-boyfriend Alvarez. Property records show Alvarez and Fernandez used to own a unit at this address together until Alvarez took sole ownership last year.

Fernandez was arrested and charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

The tumultuous relationship has made headlines before.

In late April, Alvarez was charged with battery after an altercation with Fernandez over a cat. Police said he grabbed her, pinned her to the wall, swore and spat on her. Alvarez later pleaded not guilty.

The incident thrust Alvarez back into the news after lying low since his time in public office, which ended when his constituents voted to recall him in 2011. At the time, it was considered the largest recall of a mayor in U.S. history.

Alvarez had ascended through Miami-Dade police’s ranks to become police director in 1997. After being talked into running for county mayor, he was first elected in 2006. He then pushed to give the mayor’s office unprecedented power over the county’s bureaucracy.

After reelection in 2009, he supported a controversial plan to use hundreds of millions of dollars to build Marlins Park in Little Havana. The Marlins Park plan, along with his decision to give top aides hefty raises and push for a 12 percent property-tax raise in 2010, led to his downfall. Voters lashed out, led by a $1 million recall campaign by billionaire Norman Braman, and Alvarez was booted from office in 2011.

Before his recent legal trouble, Alvarez did reemerge in the media in 2013 — with bulging muscles and a tiny Speedo — when he won a bodybuilding contest in the over-60 age group.

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