Donald Richard Has To Pay Miami-Dade County For Tools He Took Home

A Miami-Dade Water & Sewer employee who purchased more than $1,700 in tools on the taxpayer's dime and then took the instruments to his house has cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid any jail time.

Last July, after the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office found the tools at Donald Richard's residence, the electrical shop supervisor was arrested on four felony charges of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft.

>On Wednesday, Richard reached a settlement agreement with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office that requires him to forfeit $73,000 in accrued sick time. He is also banned from ever working for the county again.

Due to his position, Richard had the authority to make purchases under $1,000 when he was still employed by the Water & Sewer Department. He abused the privilege when he bought, among other items, a $70 ten-piece Irwin vise set, a $1,000 432-piece Craftsman professional mechanics tool set, and two Craftsman chests valued at $725.

Last June, the day after investigators came by his house, Richard returned the tools and the chests. Another 46 tools began to mysteriously appear at the shop the supervisor ran as well.

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Our system of laws are in place for a reason.  Its one of the things that makes us a great country.  Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  If you really get the concept of innocent until proven guilty then why do you assume that he cut a deal with the State because its the most expedient way to resolve the case.   Is Mr. Richard really geting the benefit of the doubt he is entiltled to?  Are people assuming that he is guilty simply because he was arrested?  Today its Mr. Richard, tomorow it could be anyone.  Doesn't everyone deserve to be treated fairly?  If someone says you did it, you must have.   A deal was cut where he clearly stated in open court that he was not admitting to any crimes, in fact he stood by his innocence.  He forfeited his leave time to get on with his life.  The state agreed to drop all charges.  Now he is being tried outside of the courtroom.  Doesnt seem fair to me. 


The State Attorney's Office agreed to drop all charges against Donald Richard.  In exchange, Donald signed an agreement that he would forfeit his leave time.   At no time did he admit guilt!  He agreed to sign the deal because it was in his best interest and because he wanted to get on with his life.  He voluntarily agreed that he would not seek employment with the county again.  Your article informs the public that he actually stole those tools.  However, he was only accused this. He stands by his plea of not guilty. 


Admitting guilt is one thing. Being guilty is another. Taking something that does not belong to you is stealing. And that is what your friend apparently did. When what is stolen belongs to the County, it is stolen from you and me. That makes me unhappy, and unsympathetic. An innocent man doesn't forfeit $70K+ and their good name to "get on with your life". An innocent man would fight to keep both. 


@ Margieverde - Of course he does, and I get the concept of innocent until proven guilty. But anyone who is actually familiar with the details of this case knows the truth. And anyone who is familiar with how the SAO works knows that these kinds of plea deals get cut all the time, not because the accused is “not guilty”, but because it is the most expedient way to resolve a case in an overburdened court system. This was no witch hunt.

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