Miami Mayor Urges Unity and Healing Amidst Commissioner’s Frozen Assets

According to court documents, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. Marshal’s Office to seize assets worth $63 million from Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo.

The United States District Court issued a warrant of execution on Tuesday, directing marshals to confiscate Carollo’s property, belongings, and cash.

Two local businesspeople claimed that the commissioner had violated their First Amendment rights and was attempting to damage their firms as political vengeance. In November of last year, a federal court ordered the city to garnish the commissioner’s pay.

Because William Fuller and Martin Pinilla, owners of a number of establishments along the famous Ball & Chain nightclub’s commercial strip in Little Havana, backed a rival candidate for public office, Carollo was suspected of planning a revenge against them.

The ruling from the civil trial’s jury required Carollo to provide the men $63.5 million in total.

Carollo was ordered by a judge to pay $29.2 million to Pinilla and $34.3 million to Fuller, with interest, according to court documents.

Attorney Jeff Gutchess, who will be giving U.S. Marshals a list of Carollo’s assets, stated,

“The whole point of this is to stop the government abuse. The property should be seized by the marshals who will also replace the locks. The proceeds from the auction will be used to settle the judgment.”

These assets might comprise Carollo’s investment or rental properties, among other things, according to legal analyst David Weinstein.

This is about holdings that are in his name and that he owns, not his homestead, he explained. “It could be bank accounts in his name, it could be his personal vehicles, it could be his boats.”

“That will take a number of weeks,” said Gutchess.

“I am sure Commissioner Carollo will object and try to slow down the process, but we are communicating with the U.S. Marshals this week. We are giving them a list of assets this week and we hope they will go to the house this week or next week and start the execution process.”

The city’s insurance provider, QBE Specialty Insurance, was sued by Gutchess on Monday in an attempt to recoup the roughly $6 million in compensatory damages that the federal civil jury awarded.

Muller and Pinilla filed a new federal civil action in November, claiming that Carollo’s “weaponization of code enforcement” and other city resources to target his “perceived” opponents had a detrimental economic impact on their enterprises.

“We have also asked the court to affirmatively enter an order enjoining Commissioner Carollo and others in the city from carrying out any type of political retaliation,” Gutchess stated.

“I spoke to him (Carollo) this morning. There was no one at his house. I heard some reports on social media that there was some law enforcement action at his house, but he confirmed to me that there weren’t,” he said.

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