So I saw this in the Blue Paper. Key West City Manager, Jim Scholl, hired convicted felon**, Greg Veliz, as Assistant City Manager. Supposedly he’s the only one who applied for the job. Hmmm…$120,000 per year. One applicant. Sorry. Does not compute. Where did they advertise? A sticky note on Veliz’s coffee mug?
Even better, it looks like Dan Kolhage (former Key West commissioner) was instrumental in securing Veliz’s employment with the city in the first place. If that is so, it’s reasonable to suppose that Mr. Kolhage influenced this hiring decision as well.
From the article:
Back in 2006, newly-elected City Commissioner Danny Kolhage asked then-City Manager Julio Avael to find a job for Veliz. Avael, whose job was more than shaky at that time, knew that this was more than just a polite request. Kolhage and Veliz were longtime cronies and Veliz had reportedly been very active in Kolhage’s election campaign. The only job available was as a sewer line inspector, but Veliz took it and reported for work. But he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Almost immediately, he started telling fellow employees that he was not going to be there very long– that his buddy Danny was going to “take care of him.” In the meantime, Avael had recommended to the City Commission that a position of Assistant Parks and Recreation Director be created. Such a job was created and two employees applied– Jay Gewin and Greg Veliz. Jay had been on the City payroll for a number of years, had excellent personnel evaluations– and had, somehow, managed to stay out of prison. Veliz had been a City employee for six months in an entry level job. So guess which employee Avael selected for the new position. You guessed it! From inspector of sewer line connections to assistant department head in only six months! Is this a great country or what?!
Well, I guess I need to update the scandal sheet already – 2016 is already shaping up to be a busy year!
**I was able to verify on the federal Bureau of Prisons website that a Gregory Waldo Veliz (age 54) did serve time in federal prison and was released in 1994. This matches up to the Blue Paper’s report. There are several records for Gregory Waldo Veliz on the Monroe County Clerk of Court website related to traffic offenses. The birth date is listed as 1961, which would match the age of the inmate found on the Bureau of Prisons website. A Blue Paper (Key West the Newspaper) story from 2007 includes a thorough discussion of documents related to Veliz’s case.