South Miami Police Chief Fired As He Plans to Sue City Over Leaking Weight Loss Surgery Details

Categories: The Badge

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On Tuesday South Miami police chief Orlando Martinez de Castro announced that he had taken the first step toward suing the city after a commissioner publicly disclosed that the chief had undergone weight loss surgery. On Wednesday night he was fired.


During a commission meeting in January, commissioner Bob Welch asked the city attorney if the commission had to approve loans to employees of more than $5,000. The city attorney wasn't aware of any employee loans of more than $5,000, so Welch clarified he was asking about "the bariatric surgery of the police chief."

In 2012, Martinez de Castro borrowed $10,000 from the city to pay for the surgery. His suit claims that Welch's remarks were an invasion of privacy.

CBS Miami now reports that Martinez de Castro is out of a job as of last night. Major Rene Landa has been named acting chief.

Though, the city's official reason for terminating Martinez de Castro had nothing to do with the suit. Commissioners claimed that the chief was also simultaneously acting as city manager for 45 days and conducting duties that conflicted with those of his police chief job.

Just last month Martinez de Castro had settled ethics charges brought against him for steering city business to the auto tag agency owned by his wife.


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