A candidate for the Doral City Council has complained that a municipal inspector turned up at her husband’s company to check on an anonymous complaint that it lacked a required occupational license.
Claudia Mariaca, seeking the seat to be vacated by Sandra Ruiz after the November elections, said Thursday that the inspector turned up July 18 at the office of Center Group Corp., which is run by her husband, Carlos Mariaca.
“I am outraged that municipal inspectors are sent to businesses of my relatives to intimidate me as I campaign for the Doral City Council,” she told El Nuevo Herald. “I guess that someone feels threatened by my candidacy. … I want only to serve on a transparent and ethical Council that serves the residents of Doral.”
Doral Mayor Luigi Boria did not reply to several calls from El Nuevo Herald.
Mariaca has been a Boria critic for several years, and was instrumental in persuading Digna Cabral, who initially sought the same seat as Mariaca, to instead challenge Deputy Mayor Christi Fraga, who is seeking reelection.
Mariaca faces five other candidates for the Ruiz seat: Venezuelans Enza Mongiovi Vera, Jackelin Guiza and Carlos Pereira, Colombian-born Adriana Moyano, and Jackeline Alers, a New York native of Puerto Rican descent.
The Center Group Corp. was founded in 1999 and has been based since June 2015 in a Doral building near the intersection of Northwest 79th Avenue and 36th Street. Carlos Mariaca said the company represents a dozen Latin American businesses and has always maintained the required permits.
The businessman said that an inspector from the Code Enforcement Department visited his office on July 18 to check into an anonymous complaint that he was doing business without an occupational license or tax receipts.
“The investigation was quick and no violation was found,” said Carlos Mariaca, who added that he decided to go public with the complaint after obtaining several municipal documents through a freedom of information request.
Mariaca added that two days after his business was inspected, he filed an anonymous complaint against businesses owned by council members. The Code Enforcement Department confirmed it received anonymous complaints on July 20 and 21 against companies owned by Boria, Fraga and council member Pete Cabrera.
Cabrera declined to comment, but Fraga’s husband Gabriel said that an inspector visited him last month to check on the marketing company City Select, which had already moved to a new address.
“We did not receive notification to renew the occupational license, which is $60 per year,” said Gabriel Fraga. “I am surprised that a candidate would be sending inspectors to my business.”
A city of Doral spokesperson said the Fraga and Cabrera businesses were inspected the day after the complaints were received.
TSN Properties, a business registered to Boria’s wife Graciela, was inspected four days after the city received the complaint that it was operating without a license, the spokesperson added.
Carlos Mariaca said the license for TSN was issued on the same day as the inspection.
“What I think is extremely grave is that the mayor benefited from a grace period that was not given to anyone else,” said Norberto Spangaro, the father of Claudia Mariaca. “I also find it strange that a license is issued just minutes or hours before an inspection. … I imagine that because of the power involved, the mayor’s family benefited.”
Follow Enrique Flor on Twitter: @kikeflor