MIAMI (CN) – Miami fired its budget director “because of his refusal to look the other way and provide false information during ongoing investigations” of the city’s finances, the former official claims in Miami-Dade County Court. The allegations appear to involve somewhat technical fund transfers rather than outright corruption, and an alleged “smear campaign” against the plaintiff.
Michael Boudreaux says that after he told his superiors he would tell investigators about the actions of the city’s former and current mayor, its former city manager and current finance director, “He was terminated in order to discredit him, to silence him, and to prevent him from cooperating in ongoing investigations of the city by the U.S. government.”
After the city “discovered that it had a major shortfall,” Boudreaux says, he was “directed to assist in locating funds elsewhere in the budget in order to fill the shortfall.”
Boudreaux says he found more than $26 million in unspent capital that could be transferred back to the general fund to fill the shortfall, but the mayor, city manager, CFO and finance director failed to adjust the ledgers on the capital projects from which the funds were taken, resulting in projects spending the wrong cash.
“In retaliation for his desire to cooperate in and provide truthful information to investigating authorities and his refusal to cover up the breach of fiduciary responsibility of others, plaintiff was targeted for ridicule,” the complaint states. “A smear campaign was instituted by the current mayor, CFO, finance director, and others to both punish the plaintiff for cooperating in the investigation and for telling the truth.”
Boudreaux was the city’s budget director from June 13, 2005 until March 8 this year.
He says he “was charged with maintaining the city budget, but all decisions on budget transfers and all other financial decisions were made by the mayor and Commission, the manager, assistant managers, and the CFO.”
He sued the City of Miami under the Whistleblowers’ Act. He seeks reinstatement, lost wages and costs. He is represented by Michael Pizzi.