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South Miami Mayor Javier Fernandez on the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office

One-on-One with Javier Fernandez | Facing South Florida
One-on-One with Javier Fernandez | Facing South Florida 13:46

MIAMI — CBS News Miami's Jim DeFede continues scrutinizing the three-plus decades during which Katherine Fernandez Rundle has led the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. Not doing enough to prosecute public corruption cases has been — according to some — a weakness of Rundle. This week, Jim's guest is South Miami Mayor Javier Fernandez.

Here's why: During the 2020 election, Fernandez was running for state senate as a Democrat. At the time, there was a coordinated and well-financed effort to take out Democratic Senate candidates by using so-called "ghost candidates" as a way of siphoning votes away from them. The group allegedly violated campaign finance laws by injecting more than $700,000 in dark money into these ghost candidates.

Frank Artiles, a disgraced former state senator, was charged with violating campaign finance laws - charges he denies ahead of his trial later this year. Fernandez was one of the candidates whom Artiles allegedly targeted with a ghost candidate.

Guest: Mayor Javier Fernandez/City of South Miami

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