INDICTMENTS EXPECTED AGAINST LUNETTA, 2 OTHERS

INDICTMENTS EXPECTED AGAINST LUNETTA, 2 OTHERS

Former Port of Miami Director Carmen Lunetta and two associates, who have been plagued by fraud allegations, were scheduled to surrender to the U.S. Attorney late Wednesday afternoon.

Charges against the three men were expected to be unsealed in an indictment before an afternoon court hearing Wednesday.Mr. Lunetta essentially built the Port of Miami from scratch and ran the publicly owned waterfront as a private business, sharing little information and delegating little.

Popular among national colleagues for championing port issues like dredging and development on the federal level, his management style was controversial and led to rumors of malfeasance.

He resigned suddenly last year, and in an interview on his last day in office, Mr. Lunetta told The Journal of Commerce that he might have ''questions to answer.''

Ted Klien, the attorney for Mr. Lunetta, has doggedly maintained his client's innocence and vowed the longtime port chief would be cleared in a trial.

The Miami Herald, in a series of ongoing investigative reports, documented how port moneys were allegedly channeled by Mr. Lunetta to various politicians locally, and to the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Lunetta's close friend and port businessman Neal Harrington was also expected to be charged Wednesday, along with Calvin Grigsby - a California financial wizard whose bond business has led to corruption charges, and who owned the port's crane-operating company Fiscal Operations.

Miami-Dade County officials recently fired Fiscal Operations, which had a long-term contract to operate the port cranes.

That matter is tied up in litigation.

Among the reports surfacing in The Miami Herald were allegations that Mr. Lunetta helped steer a $75,000 contribution to a local politician through a Puerto Rico bank account.

Other reports included allegations that Fiscal Operations returned to the county just $1 of every $8 collected from steamship lines, and that money was used for everything from donations to local charities in politicians' districts to Super Bowl tickets and womens lingerie.