Abdul Malik | Contributing Writer
Lubby Navarro, a former Miami-Dade School Board Vice Chair and FIU alumni, is accused of two counts of grand theft and organizational fraud.
Navarro graduated from FIU with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, as well as being a Leaders of Excellence program of the Good Government Initiative graduate at the University of Miami.
Navarro, 49, faces allegations of misusing over $100,000 on district-issued credit cards for personal expenses in 2022, just before she resigned from the board over a new state law prohibiting lobbyists from holding elected positions.
“She knew better than to have gone down this very pathetic path,” said the state attorney Fernandez Rundle in a press conference reported by CBS Miami. According to Fernandez Rundle, Navarro made about $100,000 worth of unauthorized purchases on her district credit cards for personal purposes, like buying food, groceries, appliances, vacations, and more.
While school board members usually reconcile their own credit card statements, her departure meant school board administrators were left to reconcile her cards and they became suspicious about some of her large purchases, Fernandez Rundle said in a press conference reported by CBS Miami.
According to Rundle in the press conference reported by CBS Miami ,Investigators found that she made purchases at stores like Walmart, TJ Maxx, Party City, Office Depot and more, buying items like appliances, beauty products, food, household goods, 178 gift cards and more.
According to the warrant, Navarro and her boyfriend went through a bad breakup in the fall of 2022 after he said she became “extremely possessive” and began to follow and harass him via phone calls and online.
She also sent a photo of herself to the man’s mother “showing off a pregnant belly,” authorities said. But it wasn’t her pregnant belly, or anyone’s for that matter, according to the warrant. It was fake — and the product of two peculiar purchases on her district credit card.
The case has drawn attention to Navarro’s personal life, particularly her relationship with her then-boyfriend. The breakup led to alleged dramatic events involving alleged stalking and harassment. This included the purchase of silicone pregnancy bellies and Apple AirTags, supposedly to deceive and track her ex-boyfriend.
Navarro’s professional life has also been under scrutiny. Her role as a registered lobbyist for the South Broward Hospital District and as the director of Government Affairs for the Memorial Healthcare System has raised questions about her conduct in these positions.
“We are aware of the developing situation involving our employee and expect to learn more from the State Attorney’s office,” the South Broward Hospital System said in a statement reported by local 10 news. “Our commitment to maintaining the highest standard of integrity remains unwavering as we determine the facts of the matter. All future actions will be taken in the best interest of the communities we serve.”
The school district also released the following statement about Navarro’s arrest reported by local 10 news: “Miami-Dade County Public Schools has been made aware of the recent arrest of former School Board Member Lubby Navarro. As this remains an active, open matter, we will not be commenting on this situation. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies as necessary.”
According to CBS Miami, Navarro’s bond, initially set at $2 million, was later reduced to $100,000. Her attorney Ben Kuehne argued for her release, stressing the bond’s purpose and Navarro’s commitment to defend her case.
According to Local 10 news, Despite the reduction, Navarro spent an additional night in jail before being released. Kuehne expressed confidence in Navarro’s eventual vindication, hinting at complexities in the case. Kuehne said his client would be vindicated in the end.
“Navarro could spend anywhere between three and 55 years in prison if convicted,” Fernandez Rundle said.