Political change: Mayor forced to count pennies to pay fine

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami-area mayor won his bid to pay a $4,000 ethics fine with pennies and nickels, but only after he agreed to count and box the coins himself.

El Nuevo Herald (http://goo.gl/N8pJQw) reports that Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez on Wednesday deposited 140 boxes of pennies, totaling $3,500, and five boxes of nickels, totaling $500, at a South Florida bank where the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust has an account.

Hernandez tried to pay the fine in November with 28 buckets full of unsorted coins, but the board rejected the payment and sued Hernandez. Wednesday’s deposit closes the case.

The ethics commission ruled last July that Hernandez lied about interest rates he received from a $180,000 loan to a jewelry salesman convicted in a $40 million Ponzi scheme.

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