Bateman broke the law, but what he did seems minor compared to what others have done. Others who are not in prison anyway.
Bateman made some money off a company who was happy to pay him, for something Homestead needed. Homestead wanted to grow but couldn’t expand without means for getting rid of sewage.
In steps a company, who wanted to build a children’s hospital but couldn’t. They paid Bateman to lobby to help make it happen. Bateman lobbied the County Mayor who was under the impression Bateman was acting solely for the City of Homestead. Bateman was technically working on behalf of both.
Double billing is not an issue, the issue was Bateman hadn’t registered as a lobbyist before talking to the county and he cashed a check for $150 dollars, from a company who had never complained. That was the big no-no.
In stark contrast, let’s compare that to current Mayor Jeff Porter who came in on the heels of Bateman’s troubles and claimed he was going to fight corruption.
First, Porter was caught having the city buy office supplies from his company when he was a councilman. In this case Porter unethically profited off the taxpayers.
Porter’s father-in-law Nick Sincore and three of his neighbors were also on the board. Further, Porter’s brother-in-law Tony Sincore is being groomed to replace Chief Alexander Rolle.
Further, Porter’s nephew, Tony’s son, and Nick’s grandson is also an officer. Sonny boy even got a nice new shiny car while other senior officers drove old models, then wrecked it and didn’t get in trouble. Must be nice to have friends (read father) in high places as a supervisor.
Almost twenty if not more of their officers are related. This is in a department of 113 officers last I checked. And people make fun of West Virginia for lack of genetic diversity.
I have called them out on this nepotism violation right before I was kicked out of a council meeting and had my First Amendment right threatened, as seen in this video. Plus, this was before I knew half the extent of nepotism involved.
Not to mention Porter being busted for lying on his way into the Mayor’s Office. He settled again with the Ethics commission who stated:
[T]he COE today issued a Letter of Instruction that reminds [Porter] and all candidates that their right to free speech does not permit them to disseminate political ads that intentionally distort facts.
Third, Porter got money from MCM construction who got the bids to build City Hall, the new Police Department, refurbish the Seminole Theater. MCM was slated to get the contract for building the next monstrosity for Homestead that they are calling Homestead Station.
But, MCM’s contract got pulled after they just built a bridge at the FIU campus in Miami which collapsed.
Not sure who will be doing the building now, but the ground breaking is Friday with fireworks at Losner Park.
Fourth, Porter is now abandoning the City to run for Agricultural Commissioner of Florida.
This means he will have to withdraw from Mayor costing the City more for his personal and grandiose ambitions.
To do this he is raising money from the law firm and lawyers acting as the City Attorney. How is that not conflicted?
Maybe it is because they racked up enormous debt on the City and he needs to leave before the tab comes due.
WHERE IT REALLY MATTERS!
The biggest contrast between the two Mayors is seen in their beliefs on citizens’ speech rights, as seen in the featured video.
Bateman, when he was Mayor, moved the comment section of the Council meetings to the beginning because he wanted to provide citizens an opportunity to speak to government.
Porter on the other hand moved the comment section to the end.
BATEMAN MUST BE ASKING, MISS ME YET?
Bateman would not allow the City to spend ridiculous amounts of money. Once Bateman was out, the City started racking up a tab so far exceeding $60 million dollars, above standard operating cost, when said and done.
Since Bateman has left development has gone hog wild well surpassing infrastructure, while quality of life has decreased dramatically. The people benefiting are those in office and developers/contractors who bought them out.
Maybe Bateman was a felonious criminal, but then what does that make others who have clear intent in their abuse?
Homestead went from draining swamps to filling them.