Miami (July 22, 2020) – State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE) Executive Director Jose Arrojo announce the charging of North Bay Village Commissioner Andreana Jackson with Extortion by Officers of the State, a 1st degree misdemeanor, and Exploitation of Official Position, a violation of the Miami-Dade County Ethics Code (chargeable as a 2nd degree misdemeanor).
These charges came to light after an initial investigation undertaken by the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust uncovered potentially illegal activities in connection with a November 4, 2017 event held at Treasure Island Elementary School in North Bay Village. A subsequent investigation by the Public Corruption Unit of the MiamiDade State Attorney’s Office, working in conjunction with the COE, led to the filing of these criminal charges.
Acting in her capacity as an official of North Bay Village, Commissioner Andreana Jackson solicited monetary donations from a variety of local businesses to support a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) event at the school. Based on such representations, Commissioner Jackson collected donations totaling at least $13,500.
“The prospect of a public official soliciting funds to benefit school children and pocketing a portion as a commission is both wrong and offensive,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Fortunately, MiamiDade County has committed staff and resources to ending such behaviors. I am proud to have the attorneys of my Public Corruption Unit partner with the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust to correct such conduct.”
Commissioner Jackson and event planner Melissa Frantz represented that North Bay Village was a sponsor of the event. The Village logo was used in advertising materials produced for the event including on the sponsor page of the event’s website and in online flyers that were distributed on social media. Additionally, Commissioner Jackson directed North Bay Village staff to assist her in the planning of the event. Such directions were supplied to a variety of Village staff including Ana Deleon, then the Village Special Events Coordinator, then Village Manager Frank Rollason, Assistant Village Manager Jennice Rosado, and Village Police Chief Carlos Noriega.
The investigation revealed that Melissa Frantz paid Commissioner Jackson $2,950.00 in commissions for the work she did on the STEM event, calling Jackson a consultant for the event. Frantz also indicated that Jackson did all the fundraising for the event.
Andreana Jackson has resigned her position as a North Bay Village Commissioner and has entered a plea of guilty. She was adjudicated guilty for the violation of the County Ordinance and received a withhold of adjudication on the 1st misdemeanor and was placed on 1 year of probation. While serving probation, she shall not run for public office nor shall she qualify for the North Bay Village Commission seat from which she resigned. She shall also perform 100 hours of Community Service.
Additionally, Andreana Jackson shall pay $2,950.00 (the amount she unlawfully received) with $1,000.00 of this amount paid to the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust for their investigative costs and the balance being turned over to North Bay Village.
“It is always sad when an elected official is charged with a crime involving her office,” said COE Executive Director Jose Arrojo. “However, in this case, the elected official was charged with using the prestige of office for personal gain which goes to the core of what constitutes unethical conduct. Commissioner Jackson has resigned from her position and I hope that this separation strengthens the public’s trust.”
For further information, contact Ed Griffith, Public Information Officer, at EdGriffith@MiamiSAO.com or
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