Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey agreed to pay a $1,500 civil penalty for what he said was a botched donation to a charity at the end of his 2018 campaign, according to a consent decree with the Florida Elections Commission accepted Aug. 31.
Davey defeated Luis de la Cruz for Mayor in 2018. When the campaign ended, Davey said he sent a check to the Born Free Pet Shelter to dispose of the leftover campaign funds, and filed a report with the state. When he ran for re-election in 2020, he said the bank told him he could reactivate his old account, instead of opening a new account as required by law. And he found out that the earlier donation never made it to the pet shelter.
“I screwed up,” Davey said. He estimated the amount involved to be less than $1,100. The agreement to pay the penalty is not a legal admission according to the settlement, however.
The complaint was filed by Inbal Horovitz, a frequent critic of the mayor. Her attorney, David Winker, issued a statement saying, “We need to change the culture in the village to one of compliance, rather than special rules for special people.”
As for the donation, Davey made sure that when the 2020 campaign ended, the pet shelter got the donation. “It was a certified check,” he said. The Commission’s order indicated that the donation had been made in 2020.
Davey was re-elected without opposition in 2020, but Gustavo Tellez filed a complaint against the Village, saying candidates who may have wanted to challenge Davey were thwarted because of what he contended was incorrect information from the Village Clerk’s office about election deadlines.
Winker, who is representing Tellez in a separate action to invalidate a $100 million resilience bond, said Tellez’ election claim was still pending. On the resilience bond case, Tellez has asked the court for a rehearing, and that motion is also still pending.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.