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Miami-Dade mayor testifies in Homestead corruption case


Gimenez photoWhen Steven Bateman paid a visit to County Hall last year, he pressed officials on speeding up permits for a crucial South Miami-Dade sewage pump station.

But Bateman never disclosed that he was on the payroll of a health-care company standing to benefit from the pump station, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told jurors Wednesday.

“I assumed he was there as the mayor of Homestead,” Gimenez testified.

The county mayor’s testimony highlighted the third day of the corruption trial for Bateman, who is accused of landing an illegal gig as a consultant for Community Health of South Florida.

Gimenez’s testimony is key for prosecutors looking to prove that Bateman wielded his position as mayor to go to bat for a secret employer paying him a $125-an-hour.

Bateman, 59, is charged with two felony counts of illegal compensation, plus three misdemeanor counts.

Miami-Dade prosecutors say Bateman billed for 29 hours of consulting work on the pump station issue in February 2013, including his interactions with Gimenez as well as the city’s engineer — all done, at least outwardly, in his capacity as mayor.

More here.

Photo credit: David Ovalle, Miami Herald staff