DEMAND OutGames BOARDMEMBER & COMMISSION CANDIDATE GONGORA TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

Perennial candidate Michael Gongora has a lot of explaining to do. It appears that the former Miami Beach city commissioner, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013, may now be under investigation for fraud.

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.

What did Gongora know and when did he know about the OutGames?

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.

While only one of Gongora’s stories can possibly be true, both raise serious questions as to his judgment and character. Questions must be answered:

  • Why didn’t Gongora notify the city manager or the commissioners as to the massive problems he claims to have foreseen?
  • Why does his name appear on legal documents filed with the State of Florida for 2016 in connection with the OutGames?
  • Exactly when did he realize that the event was going to pieces and what did he do to protect the city?
  • Can he produce a dated letter of resignation proving his departure from the OutGames’ board of directors?

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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.

Is Gongora criminally confused or criminally corrupt?

Voters deserve to know the truth.