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Lawsuit Expenses Against Miami Councilman Joe Carollo Paid by Insurance

Time to Read: 2 minute
Lawsuit Expenses Against Miami Councilman Joe Carollo Paid by Insurance
Lawsuit Expenses Against Miami Councilman Joe Carollo Paid by Insurance
Khushbu Kumari

A jury ordered Carollo to pay $63.5 million in damages to two well-known Miami Little Havana businessmen.

The costs of the process in which the controversial councilman Joe Carollo was ordered to pay 63.5 million dollars to two businessmen who sued him for abuse of power, are paid by an insurance available to the Mayor of Miami for these cases.

“The legal expenses derived from this litigation have been covered by the ‘excess carrier coverage’ (insurer that provides excess insurance or reinsurance to a fund) of the City of Miami. We believe that elected officials have the right to be granted a defense until the completion of the appeals process,” said a statement from the Mayor.

Entrepreneurs Bill Fuller and Martín Pinilla, owners of a popular Little Havana bar in Miami called Ball & Chain, filed a civil lawsuit against Carollo, accusing him of using his position to harass them and damage their reputation in retaliation for publicly endorsing one of their political opponents.

According to Fuller and Pinilla, who also filed a lawsuit against the Mayor's Office, which has not yet been heard in court, the rights contemplated by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects freedom of expression, were violated by Carollo, a Republican of Cuban origin who, before becoming a councilman, was mayor of Miami twice (1996-1997 and 1998-2001).

The jury ordered Carollo to pay the amount of 63.5 million dollars in damages to the businessmen, who had to close their premises for a long time due to a municipal decision that they consider was revenge by the councilor.

After the jury's pronouncement, Carollo, who has already announced that he will appeal, has been questioned by some residents in his district who demanded his resignation or his resignation before the Mayor's Office on Tuesday dismissal and accused him of corruption and harassing those who do not have the same political ideas.

Protesters wondered how much Carollo's litigation is going to cost taxpayers, since he has a lawyer paid for with public money.

“We are optimistic that the appeals process will go in the favor of District 3 Commissioner Joe Carollo. The City is aware that the final outcome of this civil litigation could have a material impact on the other active litigation involving these same plaintiffs and the City of Miami,” says a City Hall statement.

“The need to appeal this jury verdict is important, as it ensures the City's ability to enforce our code, protect our quality of life, and ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors”, adds.

Carollo maintains that the accusations of the plaintiffs are false and that, in reality, they were upset because they were ordered to stop some works that they began in their bar without a municipal permit, an allegation that the Mayor's Office supports in the statement.

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