General has the authority to appoint all staff members, and all OIG
staff serves at the will of the Inspector General.The OIG
strives to reflect the diversity of our great community. The OIG
staff is 50% female, 23% black, 18% Hispanic and 9% Asian. The
Inspector General is committed to recruiting qualified employees who
reflect the makeup of Miami-Dade County.
MEET OUR KEY
Christopher R. Mazzella, Esq.,
was appointed as Miami-Dade’s first Inspector General in September
1998, upon retiring from a distinguished thirty-four year career
with the FBI. He leads the Office of the Inspector General in its
investigation of fraud, waste, mismanagement and corruption within
Miami-Dade County government. Since its inception in the fall of
1998, the OIG has prosecuted officials involved in bribery, official
misconduct, fraud, and election law violations. Mr. Mazzella
recently earned the designation of Certified Inspector General by
the National Association of Inspectors General (visit LINKS to learn more
about the National Association).
County’s Inspector General, Mr. Mazzella has also participated on a
number of task forces aimed at restoring the integrity and ethics of
County government. For instance, his participation on the Debarment
Task Force played an important role in the adoption of legislation
strengthening the County’s debarment policy on excluding dishonest
contractors. He also participated on committees studying procurement
and lobbying reforms, and participated in the Ethics in Business and
Government Committee of the Miami Chamber of Commerce. This group
drafted a model business code of conduct. Mr. Mazzella often
lectures to various professional organizations regarding the types
of fraud cases investigated by his Office.
career with the FBI, Mr. Mazzella investigated and supervised
complex organized crime and public corruption cases. In a famous
organized crime investigation code-named “Operation Gangplank”, the
leadership of the Philadelphia organized crime family was
dismantled. Mr. Mazzella was also responsible for a number of
prominent public corruption prosecutions in South Florida.
also held a number of executive level positions at the FBI. He was
Legal Counsel for several field offices. While assigned to the
Office of Legal Counsel in Washington, D.C., Mr. Mazzella conducted
liaison activities with Congress and was instrumental in drafting
legislation expanding the jurisdiction of the FBI. He served as the
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator for the
Florida Caribbean Region. In that capacity, he coordinated the FBI’s
drug programs and investigations in the Florida Caribbean region,
involving over 200 Federal, State and local law enforcement
earned a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Missouri at
Kansas City, where he graduated with honors and was inducted into
the Bench and Robe Honor Society. He also received a Bachelor of
Arts and a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science from St.
John’s University in New York. He is a member of the Florida, New
Jersey and Missouri Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice
before the Supreme Court of the United States and Federal District
Courts in Missouri, New Jersey and Florida.
Certified Inspector General,
Certified Fraud Examiner
Inspector General, Mr. Solowitz, is primarily charged with heading
the Investigations Unit. The Investigations Unit is responsible for
investigations that may arise out of any of the more than twenty five distinct County departments.
joining the OIG, Mr. Solowitz was a Law Enforcement Investigator
with the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, a Senior Investigator
with the State of Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and was a
police officer with the City of Miami Beach Police Department for 28
years. There he held the positions of Assistant Chief of Police,
Chief of Investigations and SWAT Commander.
investigative background includes organized insurance fraud, health
care fraud, corporate fraud, organized crime, money laundering,
narcotics, violent criminal and racketeering investigations. Mr.
Solowitz is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Institute
on Organized Crime. He is a member of the American Institute for
Industrial Security and is also a Certified Fraud Examiner.
received his Bachelor of Public Administration degree from Barry
University. In January 2000, Mr. Solowitz became a Certified
Patra Liu, Esq., C.I.G.
Patra Liu manages
and supervises the legal, audit and administrative units of the
Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General (OIG). She is the chief
legal advisor to the Inspector General, providing independent legal
advice on both procedural and substantive matters. She monitors
proposed legislation and advises the Inspector General of any
potential implications for the office. As Legal Counsel, Ms. Liu is
responsible for all the OIG’s legal matters, including the filing of
administrative debarment actions, ethics complaints, enforcing
subpoenas, and defending the OIG in civil actions. She is
responsible for reviewing all subpoenas and reports issued by the
Office. Additionally, Ms. Liu coordinates the activities of the
Audit Unit and actively coordinates contract and project oversight
assignments. She also oversees all the administrative operations of
the office, including the Office’s finances and its annual budget.
Ms. Liu joined the Miami-Dade OIG in March 2000. She took on the
additional responsibilities of Assistant Inspector General in
Ms. Liu began her legal career as a criminal
prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. Her focus
was on the investigation and prosecution of economic crimes. As an
Assistant State Attorney assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit, Ms.
Liu prosecuted numerous cases involving health care fraud, insurance
fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and various schemes to
Directly before joining the OIG, Ms. Liu served as
a Florida Assistant Attorney General (AAG) to the State’s Medicaid
Fraud Control Unit. There she served as the Miami Bureau’s in-house
legal advisor, coordinated legal action with federal prosecutors,
and prepared and negotiated civil settlements. Ms. Liu handled civil
cases involving the False Claims Act, the State’s civil theft
statute, applications for other injunctive relief involving the
proceeds of Medicaid fraud, and forfeiture actions. During her
tenure as an AAG, Ms. Liu was cross-designated to prosecute criminal
cases by both the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Office
of Statewide Prosecution.
Ms. Liu received her Juris Doctor
degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She
has a Bachelor of Arts History degree from the same institution. She
is a member of the Florida and Washington State Bar Associations.
Ms. Liu became a Certified Inspector General in March