Florida mayor owes IRS more than $200,000 in back taxes
Florida's North Bay Village has a problem. His name is Oscar Alfonso and he's the mayor of the tiny three-island community on the John F. Kennedy Causeway.
Alfonso hasn't made a mortgage payment in nearly two years; he lives in a house on which he had built an illegal second story; and he owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $200,000 in back taxes, according to the Miami New Times.
Alfonso's neighbor, James Carter told reporters the mayor of his town "is a real nightmare," and describes him as "always on the edge of the law." Carter added that Alfonso flaunts ethical standards and his financial responsibilities.
Carter is vocal, but he's not the only source of complaints. Last month, North Bay Village's vice mayor, Rey Trujillo, strongly criticized Alfonso for a vote he cast in a case from which he should have abstained. The issue was whether or not to rehire a police officer who had been fired three years earlier after an internal affairs investigation concluded that the officer had shared confidential information about criminal investigations with non-law enforcement city officials. The police officer was a friend of the mayor, according to the report.
Alfonso, who is a director for Primerica Financial Services, was elected to the North Bay Village's city commission in 2004. In 2008 he was elected mayor, in spite of his blatant and documented disregard for the city's laws, according to reports. City building officials had declared his house an "unsafe building" in April of 2002 and, a year later, it was again cited as unfit to live in.
However, time might be about up for Alfonso. "He has until March 19 to pass final inspection," City Manager Matthew Schwartz told reporters. "When it comes to code enforcement of elected officials, you have to be more stringent."
Code violations are far from Alfonso's only problems. His mortgage holder, Allied Mortgage & Financial Corp., which gave him a $550,000 home loan, is now seeking foreclosure because of his alleged failure to make a single payment since March of 2008.
What's more, the mortgage underpayments pale in comparison to the amount Alfonso reportedly owes the IRS. In February 2009, the tax agency hit him with a lien for back taxes of $223,886 due from 2000 to 2004.