CITY AUDIT OF POLICE OFF-DUTY PROGRAM UNCOVERS SERIOUS PROBLEMS
WHILE THE NEWS MEDIA CONTINUES TO IGNORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN THE MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE CHIEF AND HIS CRONIES RESPONSE TO THIS LATEST ALLEGATION OF SERIOUS INTERNAL PROBLEMS WITH THE DEPARTMENT'S OFF-DUTY PROGRAM IS MET WITH A PROMISE TO RECTIFY THEM BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2017, WHEN JUST ABOUT EVERYONE INVOLVED, FROM THE CHIEF DOWN, WILL BE ATTENDING EACH OTHER'S RETIREMENT PARTIES AND TELLING PEOPLE TO KISS THEIR ASSES CAUSE THEY'RE GONE, BITCHES!
It's hard to figure out where the evidence was insufficient, given that the Miami Heat provided the information on what the face value of their ticket was, and Gomez admitted to paying less than half of that price. Even on fake TV cops shows that kind of admission passes for usable evidence of self-incrimination.
But, the Unethical Ethics Commission, as I and others continue to reveal in example after example never passes up an opportunity to provide a free pass to someone on the Family and Friend's Plan, and since Gomez was on his way out the door to retirement - he retired a month later - it was another stellar example of ethical malfeasance on the part of the Ethics Commission.
Examples of the misbehavior of senior Miami Police officials are like the litter covering the street after a hurricane passes by. This is but the first in a series of stories that I will be doing about how the department operates more like a criminal enterprise than as a law enforcement agency, and that brings us to the current audit of the Police Department's Off-Duty program.
THE MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT'S OFF-DUTY OFFICE DEMONSTRATES INCOMPETENT MANAGEMENT, AS WELL AS A WILLINGNESS TO SCREW THE POOCH, AS IF THAT SHOULD SURPRISE ANYONE
Many police officers will tell you that after the City of Miami declared Financial Urgency in 2010 freezing their pay, and reducing their benefits, the ability to make money from off-duty assignments was the only way they were able to stay on the force.
During the time that I've been doing this blog there have been periodic grumbles about the operation of the Off-Duty Office, especially in how some officers get choice off-duty jobs, and others claim to be frozen out, and so I was interested to discover that late last month, the Independent Auditor posted an audit of the Police Department's Off-Duty Office for the time period between October 2013, to June 2015, and came up with these findings:
OCTOBER 10, 2016
I don't care what anyone says about how many changes have taken place under Chief Rudy Llanes, or how much money the department bullshitted the Justice Department to give for a "Community Policing" program, because every time someone actually spends time looking at the activities of the Miami Police Department, it doesn't take much effort to discover that the department is chronically mismanaged, and that sleazy, self-dealing behavior is easier to find than a videotape of Donald Trump talking like a misogynist pig.
Take for instance the story that I broke earlier this year about the Chief and some of his senior staff taking free tickets from the ticket scalper Leon Fernandez.
In July, the Ethics Commission issued a press release about how Llanes had admitted to accepting free tickets from his "friend" Marc Anthony, and how his admission was made voluntarily during an investigation into taking free tickets from a scalper.
This self-confession was represented by the Unethical Commission as an example of a virtuous man owning up to a forgivable mistake and therefore they decided to dismiss the charges of taking free swag and instead let him walk with a letter of instruction which is the ethical equivalent of telling your child not to take all the raisins out of the Raisin Brand.
Because the Ethics Commission white-washed the whole thing, and because the Miami Herald and the rest of the local news media engages in what is called "press release journalism," nobody from the news media bothered to ask for any of the documents related to the actual ethics investigation, because if they had, they would have discovered on page 12 of the investigator's report, these revelations, starting with an acknowledgment that: (The report can be read HERE.)
The "ubiquity" of shady characters hanging out at Miami Police headquarters, and especially in Gomez's Office was something that I have been writing about for a long time, including such upstanding members of the community like accused child molester Reverend Jerome Starling, former Miami Communications Director Angel Zayon, who I alleged had benefited from some hocus-pocus by Gomez to fix a ticket and of course, Placido "Pumpkinseed" Diaz, who acquired much of his knowledge on the skills needed to be a Chief of Police from hanging out in Gomez's office before moving on to Sweetwater.
I especially loved the sentence, "Neither he nor Chief Llanes claimed to have any knowledge of Leon Fernandez's criminal priors."
Of course they didn't.
Between driving Fernandez around town in his police car and letting him play with the siren, it was obvious that Gomez was too busy to worry about whether Fernandez had a criminal past, and let's face it, why should we expect any high-ranking police officer like the Chief of Police or one of his Assistant Chief's to wonder whether a guy who hangs out in front of the AAA Arena scalping tickets, and who rides around town on a bicycle would be anything other than a pillar of the community and a dues paying member of the Chamber of Commerce?
But the best part of this so-called hard-hitting investigation was this revelation:
Of course, this was an investigation conducted by an investigator with the Unethical Ethics Commission which is self-evident because immediately after making this claim, the investigator went to work in an effort to disprove that the evidence he obtained showed that there wasn't enough evidence to support a claim that there was more than a $100 difference between the face value price of the tickets and the price that Gomez said he paid Fernandez.
To appreciate what this audit uncovered, here are a couple significant numbers. During the time period of the audit, 2,854 officers - from Captain to Patrolman - worked a total of 749,635 hours on off-duty jobs, and earned a total of $24,843,624.00 for an average of $8704 per officer..
While these represent averages, some officers worked considerably more hours, and earned a lot more than the $8704 average.
Rather than my trying to dissect and delve into what the Independent Auditor discovered, below is the report, which is pretty clear and straight forward in what it found wrong.
The question to ask yourself after reading this audit is why would making the necessary changes needed to correct the problems take until September 2017?
I believe, like I stated in my sub-head that by September of 2017, all of the people involved will be cashing out their million dollar plus DROP payments, and signing the paperwork to get their annual hundred thousand dollar plus annual pensions.
There is no incentive or desire on the part of Police Chief Rudy Llanes or anyone else to do anything other than cover their asses and hunker down counting the days and hoping they can avoid having to account for the mismanagement of the police department until they retire.
The evidence so far is that thanks to the the failure of the local news media to do their job, they're halfway home.
Here is the report.