Miami city commissioner Joe Carollo is one step closer to being thrown out into the street as a result of the $63.5 million judgment against him.
On Friday afternoon, a U.S. Marshals deputy posted a notice on the front gate of Carollo’s multimillion-dollar, six-bedroom house at 3230 Morris Lane that the property is being seized by order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. A phalanx of television crews and reporters were on hand to observe the federal law enforcement officer perform his duties, but it is unclear if Carollo was home.
Last summer, a Broward federal jury found Carollo guilty of violating the rights of Little Havana developers Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla. The two business partners were awarded the eight-figure sum as damages. In 2018, they sued Carollo, alleging he abused his official position to orchestrate an illegal code enforcement campaign against their businesses and properties.
This month, the U.S. Marshals Office was ordered to seize Carollo’s cash, goods and property to satisfy the judgment. The city of Miami was also ordered to garnish a portion of the embattled politician’s wages.
Carollo bought his house for $574,700 in 2001, records show. Today, the house has a market value of $3.1 million, according to Zillow.
Benedict Kuehne, Carollo’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a text message and email seeking comment. The commissioner and his wife, Marjorie Carollo, are fighting to keep their home from being seized, court filings show.
In a motion filed on Wednesday, Carollo argues that he and his wife have not been afforded due process and that an inventory of their assets hasn’t been conducted.
“Should this Court permit the U.S. Marshals Service to invade the sanctity of the Carollos’ marital home prior to an inventory and determination of the nature of the personal property within the home, the Carollos will suffer irreparable harm,” the motion states. “Due process mandates that Commissioner Carollo’s pending post-trial motions be ruled upon prior to advancing the judgment execution process.”
The court’s asset seizure order “entirely fails to account for the existence of marital assets,” the motion states.
Also this month, Fuller and Pinilla filed a new lawsuit against Carollo and the city of Miami that seeks to remove him from office. The duo allege the city charter mandates Carollo be removed from office for violating their civil rights, the complaint states.
– Katherine Kallergis contributed to this report