Lubby Navarro had other jobs. At least one of them is probing her spending after her arrest

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Lubby Navarro, the former Miami-Dade County School Board member accused of stealing more than $100,000 from taxpayers by way of her district-issued credit cards, is under investigation by the Broward hospital chain that put her on unpaid leave after she was arrested.

But Navarro also had another job — executive director at the nonprofit Jorge Mas Canosa Freedom Foundation, which provides scholarships to Cuban-American students, according to her 92-page arrest warrant, filed Jan. 10 by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Representatives from the foundation did not return phone calls from the Herald asking if they were conducting an internal investigation in the wake of Navarro’s Jan. 11 arrest.

But, a witness who used to do jobs for Navarro told state investigators he found “missing checks” from the Jorge Mas Canosa Freedom Foundation inside her South Miami-Dade County townhouse when he worked for her from December 2021 to December 2022, investigators wrote in the warrant.

The warrant did not go into further detail about the checks or about her work at the foundation, although in his sworn statement to investigators, Angel Lopez said he had accompanied Navarro on shopping trips to Walmart, Home Depot and Trader Joe’s. He also told investigators that Navarro had purchased “a new refrigerator for the kitchen in 2022,” although he didn’t recall which credit card Navarro used to pay for the refrigerator and other items.

READ MORE: Ex-School Board member Navarro accused of using $100K in district funds for travel, shopping

Navarro, 49, is facing felony fraud and grand theft charges stemming from more than $100,000 prosecutors say she rang up on her two school district cards in 2022, much of that going to equipping a former boyfriend’s struggling restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, and taking him to Las Vegas, according to investigators. Among the items she bought on her district card, the warrant stipulates: two refrigerators, including a commercial one; a wine chiller; three coffee makers, including a pro espresso machine; and two smart TVs.

Security camera footage shows Lubby Navarro walking out of Walmart with a cart full of personal items Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office prosecutors say she bought with her school district-issued credit card.
Security camera footage shows Lubby Navarro walking out of Walmart with a cart full of personal items Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office prosecutors say she bought with her school district-issued credit card.

Navarro’s attorney, Benedict Kuehne, said his client is innocent.

READ MORE: Lubby Navarro spent lavishly on ex-boyfriend’s restaurant and him, investigators say

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office would not comment Tuesday when asked if criminal investigators were looking into Navarro’s activities at other organizations.

Yanet Obarrio Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the South Broward Hospital District, where Navarro works as a registered lobbyist, said an internal investigation was launched “as a standard protocol” right after Navarro’s arrest. The day of her arrest, the district, which includes Memorial Healthcare System hospitals, put Navarro on unpaid administrative leave.

Navarro no longer has access to a credit card connected to the hospital district, Obarrio Sanchez said, noting Memorial has been in touch with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

“This remains an ongoing matter,” Obarrio Sanchez told the Herald.

READ MORE: Lubby Navarro kept asking for spending limit on district credit card to be upped. It was

Nothing about Navarro’s work with the hospital district has been forwarded to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, said Paula McMahon, public information officer with the agency.

Navarro, 49, is vice president of government affairs for the hospital district. She earned about $220,000 in 2022, the hospital district said. She earned about $47,000 as a School Board member.

Her Memorial job is why she resigned from the School Board at the end of December 2022. At that time, a new state law went into effect barring elected officials from working as lobbyists.

Navarro was one of only eight hospital district employees — out of about 17,000 staffers — issued a credit card, Obarrio Sanchez said.

“Memorial prefers to use purchase orders or the check request process to pay for purchases and expenditures,” Obarrio Sanchez said. “There are special instances in which credit cards are necessary.”

READ MORE: From refrigerators to 56 lemon pies — here’s what Lubby Navarro bought, investigators say