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Florida jury awards $63.5M to businessmen harassed by Miami city commissioner

A federal jury in Florida sentenced Thursday $63.5 million to two businessmen who allege they used the mayor’s office to harass them after they backed political opponents of the mayor’s mayor.

Miami Mayor Joe Carolo Finds Civil Liability in Fort Lauderdale Federal Court for Violating First Amendment Rights of Little Havana Business Owners William Fuller and Martin Pinilla was done. A jury of six awarded fuller $8.6 million and $25.7 million in punitive damages and Pinilla $7.3 million and $21.9 million in punitive damages. .

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Former mayor of Doral, Florida, Joe Carolo, gestures and speaks to media representatives after being removed from the city council on April 28, 2014 in Doral. (AP photo, file)

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Carolo’s lawyer, Benedict Kuhne, said in a statement that Carolo and her client were disappointed by the ruling and planned to appeal. The city of Miami, although not named in the lawsuit, paid Carolo’s legal costs.

Lawyers for Fuller and Pinilla have used police and law enforcement as weapons to harass, damage their reputation, and harass speech after Carolo endorsed another candidate in Carolo’s city council elections in 2017. claimed to have violated the right to liberty.

Mr. Carolo’s lawyer said the commissioner was not specifically targeting Mr. Fuller and Mr. Pinilla but was working to improve the constituency. Carolo is also a former two-term mayor of Miami.

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