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Nearly three weeks after he first came under fire for being at an illegal party in Allapattah that violated the COVID-19 curfew and protocols, Miami City Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla sat down NBC 6 Thursday to say the party was mostly permitted.
“They were missing the certificate of occupancy, and they’re also missing the business reply tax from the city of Miami, so they have two and they’re missing two,” he said, showing us the permits that proved the venue actually could sell alcohol.
But Diaz de la Portilla said the venue just couldn’t produce those permits that night, even though they had them.
“Everybody knows the permitting process in the city of Miami takes a year and a half, so there are some people that don’t know all the rules and they failed to get a permit here,” he said. “It’s not a capital offense. It’s not a major crime.”
In response to violating the curfew, the commissioner said he was there that night until 12:05.
“Yes, there is a five min difference,” he said.
Though the time-stamped photos say it was later, and it seems the party came to a stop only after police arrived, the commissioner is standing by his original statement — that this entire story was brought forward by a political rival as the result of a political vendetta.
“The problem is that he mixes a little bit of truth with a big lie,” Diaz de la Portilla said. “There was nothing illegal going on there. What is illegal is what’s happening in his district.”
Commissioner Joe Carollo called that absurd.
“What political vendetta? I had no idea that this was going on over there,” Carollo said. “I found out from the media what was going on in Allapattah — that’s his district — it was code enforcement and police that took action on their own. This is, again, Mr. Diaz de la Portiila trying to reflect somewhere else his problems, the wrongdoings that he’s committing.”
At that same party, Diaz de la Portilla was also accused of poking and pushing a code enforcement officer. The commissioner denies this happened and body-worn camera showed no altercation or physical confrontation between him and the officer.