Gimenez-era of Corruption Exposed at Airport; Garcia-Toledo next?

Miami International Airport Official Arrested on Bribery Charges

Miami-Dade County Aviation Department Division Director and Four Others Charged in $5,000,000 Fraud and Kickback Scheme

Miami-Dade County Attorney General Kathy Fernandez-Rundle, center, discusses the charges against Ivan Valdes, a senior manager in the maintenance division at Miami International Airport, during a news conference Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Valdes, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which allege he was part of a $5 million scam at the county-owned airport. Roberto Koltun rkoltun@miamiherald.com

BY DOUGLAS HANKS

An administrator at Miami International Airport was arrested Thursday on bribery charges in what prosecutors said was part of a $5 million scam at the county-owned airport.

Who is next?
Ivan Valdes, a senior manager who is the director of the airport’s terminal maintenance division, was charged with bribery, bid tampering and money laundering. The 46-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges early Friday, according to court records. 

Valdes came up through the ranks of MIA’s landscaping division, according to his biography on the airport’s website, joining the facility in 1989. He earned $98,000 last year, making him the 147th best-paid official at the airport, , a sprawling county agency with a $1 billion budget.

Valdes supervised a department of more than 100 workers responsible for maintenance of the airport’s six terminals.


A call to the office of Valdes’ attorney was not immediately returned Friday.

“We’ve been an integral part of this investigation for a very long time,” said MIA director Emilio Gonz├ílez. “We will never ever tolerate this type of behavior.” He said the charges are part of a larger investigation at MIA, but that no other MIA officials are facing charges.

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