Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Prison For The Holidays
It will not be a happy holiday season for one unlicensed contractor. He'll be behind bars even after being given an unusual second chance at freedom. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
WSVN -- Alex Rodriguez is a convicted felon. He's an unlicensed contractor who admitted he took money and did not do the work. He also has a temper.
Carmel: "Mr. Rodriguez, where are you going?"
Rodriguez slammed a swinging door on me after a court appearance this summer and now his temper has him in trouble.
Ed Griffith: "As a part of probation, you cannot violate the law in any way you risk going to jail."
As 7 News first reported Rodriguez was sentenced to probation in connection with charges of contracting without a license and grand theft. Rodriguez took jobs to build outdoor kitchens but did not pull permits or finish the work.
Judge Beth Bloom: "This is a 3rd degree felony, carries with it a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Do you understand that sir?"
But the Miami-Dade County judge gave him a break putting him on probation even though he was already on probation for unlicensed contracting in Broward County.
That was possible because his crimes in Miami-Dade took place before the Broward conviction.
Warren Eth: "You can't violate your probation for something you did before being placed on probation."
But now, authorities say Rodriguez threw away his second chance.
Ed Griffith: "He was living with his ex-wife, and his child In the course of a meal, he picked up, he threw a pizza at his wife. It may sound somewhat comical but it is a crime."
Carmel: "Rodriguez avoided prison in the Miami-Dade cases in large part because he came up with $22,000 to pay his victims back. But this time he couldn't buy his way out of trouble."
Ed Griffith: "They charge him with a domestic violence related battery. This violated his probation, and as a result of that, he was just sentenced to almost 38 months in state prison."
Carmel: "So more than three years in prison over a pizza?"
Ed Griffith: "That's what it amounts to."
Meaning, Rodriguez will not be home for the holidays this year and maybe for years to come.