Paul “Fredo” Caragiulo Another Corrupt Politian

FREDO-PAULIE

PART II

PAUL “FREDO” CARAGIULO ANOTHER CORRUPT POLITIAN

By Jon Susce

If any logical individual were to do investigative research on the present five Sarasota County Commissioners, there can be little question as to how inept and corrupt Sarasota County Commissioners Government has become. It is a total disgrace that these five individuals are integrally involved in making key quality of life decisions for thousands of Sarasota County citizens which involves millions of dollars in public money.

 These five Sarasota County Commissioners represent a clear indication of how corrupt the political process has become in Sarasota County.  In addition, these five commissioners are integral to a political machine headed essentially by five multi-millionaire developers, which have turned Sarasota County into an entity resembling an organized criminal enterprise.

CARAGUILO’S QUALIFICATIONS FOR MANAGING

COUNTY BUDGETS ARE LAUGHABLE

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For example, Commissioner Paul Caragiulo’s background gives absolutely no indication that he can administer a multi-million dollar county budget, and his background in making quality of life decisions is nonexistent.  Caragiulo’s assertions, referencing himself as a pivotal part of various Caragiulo family restaurant businesses as a qualification for service as a Sarasota County Commissioner, is laughable.

It is no secret that “Little Paulie,” who is a fast-talking, hot tempered political junkie,  trained opera singer and an Eagle Scout,  was encouraged by his brothers to get into politics due to being more of a problem that an asset to the family business. One individual, who knows the Caragiulo brothers, laughingly described Paul as resembling Fredo in the Godfather trilogy when Fredo tells Michael Corleone, “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!”

“LITTLE PAULIE” DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE TO BECOME OPERA SINGER

While Caragiulo’s older brothers and parents were putting together the family restaurant business in Sarasota, “Little Paulie” was out and about trying to find himself. After arriving in Sarasota with his parents and older brothers, who were involved in the family restaurant business, Paul was attending Cardinal Mooney High School. After graduating from Cardinal Mooney he proceeded to attend and eventually drop out of both Monmouth College in New Jersey and another local junior college.  Subsequently, Paulie was off to Italy to become an opera singer.

“LITTLE PAULIE” BECOMES MAITRE D’

Pauli Making Music

After coming to the realization that he was not the second coming of Mario Lanza or even Julius La Rosa, Paulie returned to Sarasota to get involved in the family restaurant business and become little  more than a maître d’ at the various restaurants his family had established.  If it wasn’t for the family connection Paulie enjoys, he would have been delivering pizza’s instead of making them.

“LITTLE PAULIE”HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH FAMILY FINANCIAL SUCCESS

It’s a well-known fact around business circles in Sarasota, that Paulie Caragiulo has had very little to do with establishing and managing the Caragiulo restaurants’ in Sarasota. For example, Sarasota’s Caragiulo’s on Palm Avenue was well established by his older brothers and late father prior to Paul’s return to Sarasota after dropping out of two colleges and spending three years in Italy attempting to become an Opera singer.

MARK CARAGIULO BEHIND SUCCESS OF OWEN’S FISH CAMP

MARK_CARAGIULOPaulie has had very little to do with creating the success of the Caragiuilo restaurant business. For example, Owen’s Fish Camp in the Burns Court area was the creation of Mark Caragiulo, who is regarded as the conceptualist and mastermind behind most of the Caragiulo restaurant themes.

MARK CARAGIULO AND KROHNGOLD BEHIND NANCY’S BAR-B-Q

In addition, according to Mark Caragiulo the inspiration for Nancy’s Bar-B-Q in Downtown Sarasota was the chef, Nancy Krohngold. “She’s a nice Jewish girl who grew up in Sarasota, loving North Carolina barbecue,” said Caragiulo. “Everything about that restaurant came directly from Nancy’s personality — even the red color and the brisket on the menu. The character of the place, the menu and way the food is presented, it’s all about Nancy. I knew exactly where we should be going with that place and we had a lot of fun pulling all the elements together.”

Mark Caragiulo’s plans to open a similar Nancy’s Bar-B-Q along the University Parkway/I-75 Corridor in partnership with Krohngold have ended. After considering a University Parkway location with Mark Caragiulo on April 2nd of last year, Krohngold bought the Caragiulos’share of the business and began converting a Main Street retail shop into the new Nancy’s. After buying out the Caragiulos’, Krohngold eventually settled on opening in Lakewood Ranch and signed a lease last October.

“FREDO” DOES ALL THE BORING STUFF AT RESTAURANTS

What does Paul Caragiulo do to enhance the family restaurant business?  According to an article in a recent Sarasota magazine, “Paul typically handles blueprints, planning and permits—the boring stuff that nobody else in the family wants to do.”

While Paulie does all the “boring stuff,”another Caragiulo brother, Robert is responsible for the general management and financial side of the family restaurant on Palm Avenue, taking over from John Caragiulo, who now spends more time working in commercial real estate with Hembree & Associates.  John still continues to be involved in the family restaurant business and often works Saturday nights at Caragiulos on Palm Avenue. John also helps the brothers with issues involving leases and locations. Anthony Caragiulo serves as an assistant day manager at the South Palm Avenue restaurant.

MARK CARAGIULO MOVING ON

By the way, Mark Caragiulo has spread his wings from the family restaurant business three years ago, partnering with Tom and Susan Leonard to open the Shore Diner, which is an open air, mid-century Florida beach café, above their retail shop on St. Armands Circle.

Mark Caragiulo and the Leonards’ will open a second location, on the water at the former site of Moore’s Stone Crab on Longboat Key, which they recently purchased for $3.2 million. In addition, Mark Caragiulo will open a new restaurant at 1830 S. Osprey Avenue in Sarasota’s Southside Village, in the location that most recently was Sam Snead’s.

“LITTLE PAULIE” BLAMES CONSULTANT FOR DEFEAT

 “Fredo” ran for the Sarasota City Commission in 2009 and lost; then proceeded to contest a bill from a political consulting firm he used during his unsuccessful 2009 campaign. The Nolan Group, a Bradenton-based political consulting firm, claimed in a lawsuit filed in April, 2010 that Caragiulo owed them for work they performed during his 2009 bid for City Commission. The firm provided direct mail services and campaign signs.

The firm billed Caragiulo, but he refused to pay. “He lost and then he just basically decided he wasn’t going to pay any more,” said Nolan Group spokeswoman Andrea Torkelson. “We just wanted to get paid for the services that we provided.” After a four-hour trial in Manatee County, Judge Mark Singer ordered Caragiulo to pay $4,177.55, the full amount Nolan Group was seeking, plus $360 in court fees.

“FREDO” WINS IN 2012 BY LANDSLIDE OF 14 VOTES

Caragiulo ran for City of Sarasota Commissioner, District 3 in 2012 and defeated incumbent Dick Clapp by 14 votes.  However, there was little doubt that Caragiulo would have been easily defeated for re-election if he had decided to run again, due to the embarrassing defeat of his Elected Mayor proposal and his support of the Robert Marbut Homeless Shelter/Jail Diversion Project.

“LITTLE PAULIE” AND BARBETTA HAVE MAJOR POLITICAL DEFEATS

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Caragiulo and his mentor, Joe Barbetta, who was at the time a Sarasota County Commissioner, made political fools out of themselves in promoting the Elected Mayor as well as Marbut’s proposal.  The Elected Mayor proposal couldn’t even get the necessary signatures to get on the ballot. Those defeats gave clear evidence that Caragiulo failed to get the pulse of the City of Sarasota community.

“FREDO’S” ALLIANCE WITH BARFIELD

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Another problem Caragiulo had with a majority of City of Sarasota neighborhood activists, which would have doomed his re-election, was his relationship with so called Sunshine Law “expert,” Michael Barfield.  Caragiulo and Barbetta had been using Barfield behind the scenes to make City Hall appear chaotic and out of control in order to position his “IT’S TIME” for an Elected Mayor referendum to get on the ballot.

“FREDO’S” OBSESSION WITH CHAPMAN

Caragiulo was actively supporting Barfield’s involvement with Sunshine Law violations against Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman, with whom Caragiulo, Barbetta and Barfield have been obsessed, and have tried to take down both politically and financially. The trio believes that Chapman is some sort of Svengali type of individual, who with evil intent, dominates, manipulates and controls neighborhood activists.

 After a joint Sarasota City and County meeting, where tens of citizens of the City of Sarasota spoke out against the Marbut Homeless Shelter, only a fool would have thought that Chapman was just another spoke in the wheel of an activist neighborhood organization, an organization which is well versed in the issues affecting their community.

ABOUT TO BE RUN OUT OF CITY HALL

“LITTLE PAULIE” GETS IN BED WITH DEVELOPERS

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With reelection as a City Commissioner unlikely to happen, Caragiulo had no problem essentially agreeing to fit nicely into the pockets of multi-million dollar developers like Randy Benderson, Pat Neal, Carlos Beruff, and James Gabbert. With Mac Stevenson running his campaign and Eric Robinson as his bag man, funneling campaign contributions into Caragiulo’s campaign coffers, Caragiulo was a great fit to succeed Barbetta as a mouthpiece for those corrupting Sarasota County Government.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR “LITTLE PAULIE”?

With Mark Caragiulo branching out from the other Caragiulo brothers, and only the restaurants on Palm Avenue and Burns Court in need of  maître d’ positions; it will be interesting to observe what “Little Paulie” will do next.  Will “Little Paulie” be heading up a consulting firm as have present and past County Commissioners Christine Robinson, Al Maio and Joe Barbetta? Will he create another “dark hole” to supplement his Sarasota County Commission gig?”

Posted in Breaking News

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