Education

Photos: Dade Medical College owner Ernesto Perez and his political friends

Dade Medical College owner Ernesto Perez and former Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman. While Bateman was in office, Dade Medical paid the mayor’s wife $100,000 for real estate work. Bateman, meanwhile, lobbied city officials to approve a land deal the college wanted.
Dade Medical College owner Ernesto Perez and former Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman. While Bateman was in office, Dade Medical paid the mayor’s wife $100,000 for real estate work. Bateman, meanwhile, lobbied city officials to approve a land deal the college wanted. Miami Herald file

Before his for-profit college suddenly collapsed on Friday, and before he was arrested for allegedly illegal campaign contributions on Tuesday, Dade Medical College owner Ernesto Perez was the king of an educational empire. Perez earned $431,999 a year, put his parents and wife on the company payroll, and he contributed heavily to political campaigns.

Perez enjoyed access to local, state, and federal politicians — a U.S. Senator from Colorado, the mayors of Miami and Homestead, and lots of state lawmakers. Above are photographs of some of the many politicians who crossed paths with Dade Medical College. The photos demonstrate the enormous level of Perez’s political reach.

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