The controversial politician’s most recent dust-up is rooted in the collapse of the 2017 World OutGames this past spring, which did serious damage to the credibility of the City of Miami Beach, cost taxpayers in excess of $200,000 and shattered the dreams of LGBTQ athletes who traveled from all around the world to come to our city to compete. The event's costly disintegration prompted Miami Beach Police and the State Attorney's Office to launch a fraud investigation into its organizers as well as the city to conduct an internal audit.
Gongora has made conflicting and confusing claims about his level of involvement with the failed venture. In a promotional video published in 2016, he stated without equivocation that he served on the organization’s board, proclaiming: “I’m Michael Gongora, former vice-mayor and now on the board of the World OutGames and I’m thrilled about the World OutGames 2017 coming here in May 2017. I know I’m gonna be there - hope to see you!” The group’s annual report, a legal document filed with Florida’s Division of Corporations in March of 2016, likewise lists the former commissioner as a member of the board. After the launch of an investigation, however, Gongora changed his story by claiming that he had left the board and was not involved after 2015. At a community meeting, he said: “I did serve on the board of directors for the World OutGames I think in 2015. I was there for one year. The reason that I left the board of directors when I did was because I had serious doubts about their ability to pull off the games and the financial viability.” Later in the same meeting, he blamed the Miami Beach City Commission for failure to properly vet the organizers’ expenses over fears of being labeled homophobic.
to add your name to the petition demanding Michael Gongora hold a press conference to provide a full explanation of his involvement in the collapse of the OutGames.
At this point, all we know for sure is that Gongora’s version of events shifted to significantly minimize his involvement with the OutGames after law enforcement announced a fraud investigation.