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Rosendo “Ross” Prieto was the former top building official for the town of Surfside, Florida. In 2018, he reviewed a report about the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside and told residents at the time that the building appeared to be “in very good shape.”

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Prieto, who left his post in Surfside last November, was assigned in May by C.A.P. Government Inc., to work for the city of Doral, the Miami Herald reported. His comments after reviewing the report in 2018 have resurfaced in the wake of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South. As of Tuesday night, the confirmed death toll has risen to 12, 125 people have been accounted for and 149 are still missing.

>> Rosendo Prieto, ex-Surfside building official who signed off on condo, placed on leave

Here are some things to know about Prieto, who has lived and worked in Miami-Dade County.

Early years: Prieto was born July 5, 1966, and grew up in Hialeah, Florida. Prieto attended Hialeah High School during the mid-1980s and was a catcher and outfielder for the Thoroughbreds. In 1984 he was an honorable mention selection for the Miami Herald’s Class 4A-3A team.

Construction business: Prieto, 54, has worked in several South Florida construction jobs through the years. Prieto has held eight Florida certifications, including general contractor and roofing contractor, according to a Miami Herald story in 1998. That year, he was hired as operations manager for Century Partners Group, a Miami-based real estate firm, the newspaper reported.

Licensed: According to the Florida state license database, Prieto has a building code administrator license with a rank of Building Code A since November 2006. His license is set to expire on Nov. 30, 2021. There have been no complaints filed against him, database records show. In addition to his jobs in Surfside and Doral, Prieto has also represented the city of Miami Beach.

Business owner: Prieto has registered several businesses in Florida, including a construction company, that are now inactive, according to, a state government website.

Kennel Club collapse: In May 1997, Prieto was the assistant director of building and zoning for the city of Miami Shores when the Biscayne Kennel Club dog track was undergoing demolition, according to The Associated Press and the Sun-Sentinel. Two demolition workers were killed and three were injured when the I-beam supports of the kennel club’s grandstand collapsed.

“Everything was going according to plan,” Prieto said after the incident. “From what I hear, this is just a construction accident … Accidents can happen.”

Financial problems: According to federal court documents, Prieto filed for bankruptcy In 2002 and 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported. The first filing was successful and Prieto was relieved of his debts, the newspaper reported. The 2012 case was thrown out by the bankruptcy court, according to federal court documents.