It’s day seven of a federal civil trial in a lawsuit that took five years to get to court after numerous appeals.

Commissioner Joe Carollo spent another day in court, with his wife at his side, listening to other witnesses testify against him.

Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla, the businessmen with the most properties in Little Havana, in the heart of the Carollo neighborhood, filed a lawsuit in 2018. They allege Carollo consistently abused his power to attempt to destroy their businesses, and all because they supported their political opponent.

Plaintiffs allege that Carollo’s obsession and hatred of Fuller and his partner also impacts anyone associated with his properties.

The jury heard testimony from Alain Garcia, owner of the valet company who has worked with Ball and Chain since it opened in 2014. He claimed the commissioner showed up at one of his grounds, taking pictures at 1 a.m. in March 2018.

According to Garcia, the next day the Miami Parking Authority closed all of its lots, including one next to a church a few blocks away. Then there was only one left about two miles from Ball and Chain, which he said made his job difficult. García claimed that in a single month, inspectors visited his business 36 times, who informed them that everything was by order of the commissioner. Garcia told the jury that in Miami Carollo is the law.

The next witness was Steve Miro who was assistant commissioner. He described tours of Eighth Street arranged by Carollo, during which he showed other officers Fuller’s properties and aspects he found problematic. He said the commissioner kept a detailed list of companies in his pocket.

For all that, the city’s former police chief, Arturo Acevedo, said two vehicles followed him after he testified in court on Tuesday.

Acevedo and his attorney were on their way to La Casita restaurant on Calle Ocho and Avenida 38, when two vehicles pulled up behind them and he called the police. The Coral Gables Department report says the two people first said they worked for the state’s attorney’s office, but later changed that version to say they worked for 22 towns in southern Florida.

The report does not say whether the certified investigators admitted that they were following Acevedo or who hired them. Carollo’s lawyers have yet to present their defense. He claims he is innocent and working to protect the townspeople.

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