MiamiHerald / One of Miami Beach’s former top city officials surrendered Tuesday to face allegations he accepted free stays at resorts and discounted trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico while doling out favors for a Spanish hotel chain.
But prosecutors aren’t only going after Mariano Fernandez — they’ve also filed unlawful compensation charges against executives of the RIU Hotel & Resorts, which owns more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, including a resort on South Beach. Among those charged: the company’s chairman, Luis Riu Gell Jr.
The charges were long expected for Fernandez, who was fired late last year by Miami Beach and had been suspended since August. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office will detail the case at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
The allegations stem from a major renovation of the RIU Plaza Hotel between October 2013 and June 2016. Once known as the Sans Souci, the Morris Lapidus-designed property at 3101 Collins Ave. became a RIU property in 1996.