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Ethics complaint against Rosado moves forward

By Staff | May 16, 2009

Former Cape Coral Councilmember Mickey Rosado will face a hearing from the state Commission on Ethics after the board determined there was probable cause to believe he used his public office for private gain.
Rosado faces $10,000 in fines, censure, or both if found guilty of the ethics complaint by an administrative judge, but he maintains his innocence and says he did not do anything unethical.
“I’ve always said that,” Rosado said.
Rosado was indicted in 2007 on a charge of acting as a real estate broker without a license, a third-degree felony, and subsequently suspended without pay by Gov. Charlie Crist.
According to state investigators, Rosado used his influence as a council member to attempt to broker a sale of Steve Westphal’s car dealership to Maria Giraldo.
Rosado eventually pleaded guilty to two lesser charges, misdemeanors, and was fined $11,000, but now says his plea deal was “predicated on a lie.”
“I pleaded guilty to something I did not do. A disappointed, so-called victim (Giraldo) utilized the State Attorney’s office as if it was a civil matter,” Rosado said.
He also stated his legal troubles were an attempt by other council members to marginalize him. Rosado was voted out of office in 2007 while under suspension.
While maintaining his innocence, Rosado did admit to receiving $20,000 over the course of six months from Giraldo for acting as a translator in her attempt to purchase the car dealership, after hearing about the possible sale in his capacity as a Cape Coral council member.
“I was a translator, I was being a communicator,” Rosado said.
He said that because others knew about the possible sale he did not benefit from his position in public office, and his work on the sale was separate from his work as a council member.
“How do I make my living? How do I pay for my rice and beans?” Rosado said.
Councilmember Tim Day said because the Commission on Ethics moves slowly, meeting only eight times per year, the situation could drag on longer.
“It could go on another year,” Day said.
He added, though, that Rosado should welcome the chance to clear his name at a hearing.
“It gives him a chance to exonerate himself,” Day said.
Rosado also was cleared of two other ethics complaints alleging his position to delay the annexation process of a property for the benefit people with whom he had a business relationship.