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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

SEPTEMBER 10, 2012

THE JANICE AND STEVE FINANCIAL SHOW
RELAX MIAMI, WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR FINANCES, THE CITY HIRED THE BEST QUALIFIED FOLKS THEY COULD FIND - OR MAYBE THEY DIDN’T

In late June, I got a tip that Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Janice Larned, and Stephen Petty, the Finance Director might be connected through Petty’s brother John, who I was told then was Larned’s boyfriend.


I immediately sent my pal, City Manager, Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez an email asking him if this was true.  On July 3rd, I got this response from Human Resources.

The response was bureaucratic double-speak, but I took it to mean that there was no relationship between the two, and so I moved on to other stories.


Shortly after I posted my story a couple weeks ago about the folks retiring from the City on August 25th, I got a SecretSender message - folks need to appreciate how great that message source is, because it’s like Mission Impossible, as soon as I open the message and read it, it self-destructs - that informed me that Janice Larned and Stephen Petty’s brother were in business together, and even gave me the name of the company - which helped me to track this lead down.


Sure enough, they were partners in a Florida corporation called District Offices, LLC, that even had a nice website

Since John Petty’s phone number was listed, I called him up and after introducing myself, he admitted that Stephen Petty was his brother, and that no, he and Janice were not romantically linked, because he was married and had a couple kids.


He did admit however that he and Janice had been in business together but that the company was in the midst of being “phased out,” and that Janice was at this point an “unpaid consultant.”


Since I had gotten a tip from another source that Stephen Petty might not be a licensed CPA, I sent another public records request to Human Resources, and last Friday, on my return from America,  I went to the MRC to pick up the documents.


Sure enough, Petty isn’t a licensed CPA, and it should come as no surprise that, like Angel Zayon, Richard LaBelle, and other special folks he got one of those Regaladoland waivers that family and friends get as part of the Regalado administration’s efforts to circumvent the provisions that call for the City to hire the best qualified candidates for high-level managerial jobs.

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As I left Angel Zayon’s office where I had picked up the documents, I got on the elevator, who did I find standing there but Stephen Petty. Talk about your cosmic convergences.


Anyway, I introduced myself and asked him directly if he was a licensed CPA.  His answer was that he had been a CPA, but had let his license expire.


Before I could ask him anymore questions, the elevator stopped, and he got off.


Had I had the opportunity, my next question would have been, Why would you let your license expire?


Folks like doctors, lawyers and CPA’s, don’t as a general rule, just let their licenses expires.  It takes too much time, energy and often money to get these licenses to begin with, and the only way these folks find themselves without a license is because they screwed up somehow and it was taken away by a licensing board.


So, it was revealing to learn that the City of Miami hired as it’s Finance Director someone who supposedly let his CPA license expire.


Equally interesting was the revelation in his personnel file that the City of Miami chose not to obtain Petty’s job skils, his resume, or any references as part of the process that led to his being hired.

Why not?


How does a city the size of Miami decide to hire its 2nd most important financial officer without asking for ALL of this information, and more importantly, by hiring someone who claims to have allowed his CPA license to expire? Was there no one better qualified who applied for the job?


Given the relationship between Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Janice Larned and Stephen Petty’s brother, it pretty obvious that the only reason that Stephen Petty works for the City of Miami is because of that connection.


And what about Janice Larned? Three weeks ago she was walking into her office with cardboard boxes to pack up her stuff and tap dance out the door.


Then all of a sudden she had a change of heart.  Just exactly what prompted that change of heart?


What did Regalado and Johnny Martinez offer her as an inducement to stay?


We know that the Regalado administration was ready and willing to bribe former Chief Exposito with $400,000 out of a special settlement account controlled by the City Attorney to leave, so was she offered a similar deal to stay?


As we’ve learned over the last two years, very little is beyond the scheming of the Regalado administration as they either try to screw the taxpayers, or engage in acts to cover up their scheming.


So, given what I’ve uncovered to date, I think that there are more than enough unanswered questions for the news media, the bonding agencies and perhaps law enforcement agencies to start looking for answers; starting with how Stephen Petty was hired, and followed by the relationship between Ms. Larned, John and Stephen Petty, and whether Ms. Larned and Mr. Petty’s company, District Offices, LLC. have directly, or indirectly benefited in any way from Ms. Larned being the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Miami.


Then there is this question of why Stephen Petty supposedly let his CPA license expire, and why the City of Miami, with a track record of bimbos and bamboozlers cooking the City’s books, would hire someone who wasn’t a licensed CPA to be it’s Finance Director. That’s like hiring someone whose not licensed by the Florida Bar being hired as the City Attorney.


The job description that the City has for the position of Finance Director clearly stipulates that that person needs to be a licensed CPA!


Lastly, what inducements were offered to convince Ms. Larned to stay on as the City’s Chief Financial Officer, after she had personally determined that doing so would NOT be in her best interests.


Ms. Larned doesn’t strike me as a woman who would change her mind about a decision so serious in response to sweet words from either Regalado or Martinez.


So if there was a Quid Pro Quo deal made, what was it?


When you consider that at the last City Commission meeting in July, the City’s outside auditor informed the City Commission that 8 of the 13 Financial Integrity Principles had not been complied with during the time period that Ms. Larned has been the City’s Chief Financial Officer - she was hired in December of 2011 - you got to wonder whether she’s capable of overseeing what is obviously a grossly dysfunctional finance department.


And this story is far from over. In recent days I have been provided with new information about continued friction within the Finance Department that could lead to further departures.


It’s Miami, Bitches!