Sunday, August 10, 2014

Miranda To Plea Guilty For Making False Statements To Get City Matching Art Funding

Robert F. Miranda

Miranda is expected to enter a guilty plea for making false statements and obstructing an officer during an art funding investigation looking into allegations of taking city funds without having a matching fund as required.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 10, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - Robert F. Miranda, 52, the former executive director of Esperanza Unida, Inc. and current editor of the Milwaukee Spanish Journal is expected to enter a guilty plea in November after an adjournment of his case on August 7. Court records indicate that Miranda will enter a guilty plea in return for a plea agreement deal on November 5, his next scheduled plea and sentencing hearing.
In April, Miranda was charged with a misdemeanor for resisting or obstructing an officer during an investigation. He posted a signature bond of $250. If convicted, Miranda is facing up to nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines. 
Miranda is accused of making false statements concerning a matching fund from the CMAC, which agreed to grant $4,500 geared for a mural repair in 2011, if Miranda would provide another $5,000. Miranda claimed he had a matching fund and the CMAC released their funding. It was later discovered that Miranda didn't have a matching fund until months later, according to the criminal complaint.
Miranda says, that Reynaldo Hernández, the artist that painted the Esperanza Unida mural was paid $2,500 from the city art funding and never returned the money for work never done. Miranda told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that Hernández should return that money to the organization.
Manuel "Manny" Pérez, the current executive director of Esperanza Unida, Inc. also confirmed that Hernández was paid $2,500 and to this date hasn't seen anything that the artist has done to the building outdoor mural to keep the funding. Hernández should as an ethical stand strongly consider returning the money, according to Pérez.
HNNUSA has attempted to reach Hernández for comment. If Hernández does response, an update will be added to the article.
Pérez previously confirmed, that a $4,500 check was sent to the City Attorney's Office to resolve the issue concerning Miranda's prior request to get city art funds to recondition a mural without actually having a matching fund.
Pérez also stated, that Esperanza Unida could not account for $700,000 of loans that were granted by several banks to prior administrations. There is no record of what happened to the funds and the feds had been notified of the discrepancy of funds, according to Pérez.

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