'Financial emergency' declared in Opa-locka

Posted at 9:16 PM, Jun 01, 2016

State officials are taking over the Miami suburb of Opa-locka in an effort to save it from financial collapse.

Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order declaring the suburb in a financial emergency Wednesday after commissioners asked the state to do so. A board appointed by the governor will oversee the city's operations indefinitely.

State law allows the governor to step in when cities face financial emergencies, including a takeover of services. Opa-locka officials said at a meeting last month that the city faces a $1.4 million shortfall plus millions in prior debts.

The FBI continues to investigate corruption allegations against Opa-locka's mayor and several other top officials. Earlier this year, agents raided city hall looking for evidence. One city commissioner died in a suspicious single-vehicle crash last month a day before he was scheduled to surrender on bribery charges.