- William Shakespeare



AUGUST 8, 2016

Raquel Regalado is one of those politicians who, when confronted with adversity or beng accused of having done something wrong either starts looking around for someone else to blame, or if no one is within arm's reach, they claim ignorance, confusion or just outright denial.  

It's a family trait that I first encountered back in 2011 with her father, and it's been a consistent pattern of behavior for both her and her father when dealing with the various problems they faced, problems that for the most part were created by their own bad behavior.

In the wake of my posting the copies of the documents from the Property Appraiser's Office regarding her Homestead Exemption Fraud - and let me be clear, the use of the term Homestead Exemption Fraud is not a phrase I created just to describe Regalado's action - this is the generic term used by everyone starting with the County Appraiser himself, who in a 2015 Press Release revealed that there were "approximately 3000 pending cases that may be in violation of exemption fraud," that he was dealing with in the 3 months since he had taken office.

On Friday evening Sandra Peebles, of Univision did a story and an interview with Raquel, and on Saturday, Doug Hanks, the Miami Herald's County Hall reporter did an even larger story that explored not only the issues surrounding the Homestead Exemption Fraud problem but also other problems that I, and others have alluded to concerning Regalado's lack of experience and competence.

On Sunday morning, Nancy Lee, who uses the nom de plume Geniusofdispair on the blog Eye On Miami, and who has been a longtime and passionate supporter of Regalado weighed in to take me to task for failing to devote the same kind of effort and attention to investigating Carlos Gimenez, and along with all of the stuff she wrote - true and false - she included what appears to be Regalado's official detailed explanation of why she didn't commit Homestead Exemption Fraud.  Here it is.

"The homestead issue is really about the rights my ex-husband had to claim the property. No one called me or asked me anything. I'm going to take my divorce records and foreclosure records and clear it up I haven't done anything wrong. I got divorced and I had a foreclosure. This is really about an incumbent who is a bully and doesn't want to go into a runoff in November because he supports Donald Trump and is going to lose."

It certainly is a mouthful, including the claim that Gimenez is a Donald Trump supporter and is going to lose.

Putting that to the side, let's look at her claim that this is not her problem but rather it's her ex-husband problem because it was "really about the rights my ex-husband had to claim the property."

Those pesky ex-husbands, even after you divorce them they continue to create problems for you.

The truth of the matter is that this house was never "owned" by her ex-husband, it was "owned" by Regalado. It was HER name on the title deed, and therefore it was her responsibility as the property owner to make sure that she complied with the requirements set by the Property Appraiser to qualify for Homestead Exemption.  

No where in the above reasons that require you to cancel your Homestead Exemption is there an option that says, Unless you claim that your ex-husband has rights to claim the property.

And what about her ex-husband and those rights?

On July 15th, when I was working on my original story I sent Regalado a list of 6 questions related to the information I had uncovered about her living arrangements. On July 17th, she responded, and below is her response to Question 6.  

You can read my original email to her, and her replies to me by clicking HERE, and her answer to the question about her ex-husband's right is below  highlighted in RED.

The fact that Reglado admits in this answer that her ex-husband chose not to exercise his rights to move into the house nullifies any and all arguments she now claims that the issue of homestead exemption was really his problem.

Raquel Regalado owned the house, her ex-husband never moved back into the house, and no matter how long or how contentious the lawsuit between her, her ex-husband and Wells Fargo Bank was over the foreclosure, she was, until that lawsuit was settled, the person who owned the house and therefore she was the person liable for complying with ALL of the requirements associated with ownership.

If that were not sufficient to refute Regalado's claim that she was not responsible, then in reviewing the Investigative report issued by the Property Appraiser's Office you will see that Regalado's claim that "no one called me or asked me anything," is misleading, because whether anyone "called," the Property Appraiser's office documented a record of contact at every step of the way through the foreclosure process, starting in 2011, recording the various changes that took place - changes that would have been provided to the property owner, and none of which changed the status of Regalado's ownership or liability until the 2014 conveying of title to the new owner.

Given the statements made by Pedro Garcia, the Property Appraiser, regarding his office's intention to crack down on the approximately 3000 suspected cases of Homestead Exemption Fraud that they uncovered since he took office last year, the very fact that his investigative team not only conducted a through investigation of Regalado's case, but documented their findings before I stumbled along should disuade even the most cynical that Regalado will show up on Pedro's door on Monday trying to take advantage of his long standing friendship with her father, which has been suggested to me several times over the weekend.

This was a professional staff who actually acted like one would expect a professional staff to operate. They investigated, they documented their investigation and then they followed up with letter demanding that the unpaid taxes be paid.

What more could you ask for?


Doug Hanks in his Herald story crystalized the dilemma that faces voters when he wrote: (Paragraph 16)

          "Now she is facing an allegation of either not understanding

          how the county's property rules work, or knowingly ignoring


It's a classic definition of being caught between a rock and a hard place, especially since what Hanks was referencing was Regalado's aggressive efforts to have her School Board members appoint her to the Property Appraiser's Value Adjustment Board in 2015, where Regalado has attempted to make a name for herself as someone competent enough to assume to position of strong Mayor.

If Regalado is as clueless about how homestead exemption works as her comments would indicate, then she's pretty much a moron incapable of understanding much in the way of the intricate details of how county government really works, and certainly unqualified to sit on this board, or to be mayor.  

If on the other-hand, she does understand the rules and is just doing the usual Regalado thing of looking for someone else to shift the blame to, then what we have is just another example of a politician caught trying to pull a fast one, and now looking for anyway to avoid being punished for her behavior, and again, is unqualified to sit on this board or be mayor.

There is no third choice, either she is incompetent or crooked;  both of which at the very least require her to either resign, or be removed from the Value Adjustment Board for the betterment of the community and the expectation by those appearing before this board that the people making decisions are competent and honest in making decisions.  


This was part of the answer that Regalado gave as to why she is paying her little brother Jose, $7000 a month to be one of her campaign consultants, that supposedly involved shooting videos for her campaign.  She claims that she does this because, "it's a lot easier to go to my brother's house instead of a studio."

Yet, her July 9th - 22nd - campaign report shows her spending $6200.00 with Tamzil, Inc., a company located in Broward County for video production, there have also been other payments to this company from her ECO, which makes you wonder just how many TV commercials she produced?

In addition, campaign records show that she only pays her two other principal "consultants" Christina Cicilia and Elaine de Valle, $3500 a month each.

The issue that is raised by Regalado's willingness to pay her brother $7000 a month for what has to be considered part-time work only feeds into the allegation that has followed the Regalado family for years about how Tomas Regalado, and then Raquel syphoned off campaign donations to benefit the family.

In a document that I was provided, and which I have to assume was created by either the Gimenez campaign, or some close to it - and one that I would have created if I were working on someone's campaign and provided with this kind of information - is a itemized list of the $207,702.23 that Raquel, Jose and Martha Basallo, Tommy Jr.'s wife received from 2007 to 2013, for working on either Tomas's Commission and Mayoral campaigns, or Raquel's School Board campaigns.

This does not include the $49,931.40 that Jose received from the Regalaso ECO, Saving Miamians since January of this year, or any payments he has received from the campaign account.

Regalado Family Campaign Expenditures by al_crespo on Scribd

It would certainly appear that the Regalados have created a cottage industry in turning campaigning for public office into a cash cow that benefits the family, although to be fair, a lot of political families tend to do this in one way or another.  The difference in this case is the amount of money that they've pulled out of these campaigns for their personal benefit.


I could go on in detail about other issues related to Raquel, but that would be overkill.  

The fact of the matter is as I pointed out in PART I of this series - which still has several more stories to go - that if you don't sweat the small stuff, then the chances are you won't sweat the big stuff either, and that failure can lead to real problems of corruption and chicanery.

Contrary to the claim made by Nancy Lee in the Eye On Miami blog, I've never said that I had a "vendetta" against Tomas Regalado, but I certainly did come to the conclusion way back in 2011 when I broke the story about him and his Chief of Staff Tony Crapp Jr. and his Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring conspiring to offer a $200,000 bribe to then Chief of Police Miguel Exposito, that he was corrupt and in bed with known members of what is known as the Cuban Mafia, and that in the years since I have repeatedly been able to document examples of his incompetent and corrupt behavior that has led to serious long-term problems for the City of Miami that have yet to surface.

Yes, this is not about Tomas Regalado, but it is about his daughter, who as the saying goes, is a fruit that has not dropped far from the tree.

As Doug Hanks so succinctly wrote:

          "Now she is facing an allegation of either not understanding

          how the county's property rules work, or knowingly ignoring


In other words, is she a moron or a crook?  I believe that being ether disqualifies her to be the mayor of a major American city.

It's Miami, Bitches!