Miami-Dade Corruption Cops Collected $58,000 in Overtime Working a Petty Case

Thumbnail image for jdpatterson.jpg
Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson
In early August, Miami-Dade Police made a big hullabaloo about busting four county employees who allegedly pocketed about $3,100 in entrance fees to Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. Well, now it turns out the bigger thieves were actually the detectives investigating Jamal Sheffield, Charles Simons, Camilo Felipe and Manuel Valdes.

Investigators from the public corruption unit involved in the probe made $58,288 by working 934 overtime hours snooping on the four park employees between February and May, according to El Nuevo Herald.

The revelation comes on the heels of widespread criticism against Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson and Mayor Carlos Gimenez that they broke up the public corruption unit to stifle ongoing high-profile investigations, like the absentee ballot fraud case against Hialeah ballot broker Deisy Cabrera, who allegedly worked on hizzoner's reelection campaign last year.

Patterson told El Nuevo Herald it was the overtime abuse during the Amelia Earhart Park investigation that led him to reassign the unit's 20 officers to other crime units. "This case has raised concerns," he told El Nuevo Herald on Tuesday. "And I say concerns because there was a significant investment of resources for such a small case."

According to the report, the public corruption unit had more overtime than the rest of the police department. The top brass initiated an internal investigation into the hours worked in the Amelia Earhart based on an anonymous complaint. Patterson and his deputy director Juan Perez forwarded their findings to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, which surprisingly concluded there was not enough evidence to criminally charge the cops who abused their overtime.

As many as 26 Miami-Dade cops investigated the four Amelia Earhart employees. Talk about building an air-tight case. The lead detective, Eduardo Torga, and his supervisor Sgt. Kely Sullivan, logged a combined 277 overtime hours. Torga spent 59 of those hours watching surveillance videos. Banana Republican can only imagine how many bags of popcorn he went through.

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29 comments
Lucy Gort
Lucy Gort

And the mayor still has the nerve to ask the rest of the county.s employees to continue giving up 5% of their paychecks for another year because the budget is still deficient

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

when the unions protect this type of thing then everyone looses and the tarnish leads to  distrust which leads to out-right pervasive lawlessness typical of a poorly managed municipality on it's way to become another DETROIT

the officers who have faced budget cutting and possible layoffs are simply grabbing at all they and others can GET AWAY WITH seeing the future as bleak ............... with those HAVEs who gamed and defrauded the system to obtain and sustain expensive lifestyles

and the cops become the same as the crooks

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

Aren't there bigger fish they should be investigating?

Michelle Scott
Michelle Scott

Hell I need to work for the state...overtime? Who gets overtime anymore?

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scaupus
scaupus

A tip? The police director runs his organization based on informant tips? How hippy-dippy is that? Cost control system requires reporting expenses. In a normal, sane business or other type of organization, this would have been automatically red-flagged for investigation...no tip required.

These people get away with murder. lol.

Policewatch
Policewatch

Hernan is clearly a PBA crony...  Maybe even that little former "Public Corruption Investigator", who actually sent an e-mail a year ago that his job was to "UNSEAT THE MAYOR."  No dude, your job is to investigate allegations of public corruption..  Simple.

Is it a coincidence that public corruptions was all over the AB issue (while Gimenez was Mayor I remind you) when there was a chance that the investigation could lead to the current Mayor, and, after the Mayor won his election, and there was absolutely no evidence tying him to the AB BS (anyone with a brain knows that the AB mess had everything to do with Hialeah and nothing to do with a Countywide race) other than a photograph..  How many photographs does the guy take with people?  Should he make everyone go through a background check?  Please....

What is coming clear is that the Public Corruption Unit, or, specific members therein, were corrupt as the day is long.  THAT IS WHY WE SHOULD ALL REJOICE THAT THE FBI IS IN CHARGE NOW!!!

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Pedro Viera
Pedro Viera

$58k investigation expense on a $3k robbery!?!?!?!3

Hernan
Hernan

How many absentee ballots did Patterson collect in his church for Mayor Gimenez? How many fundraisers did deputy director Juan Perez set up for Gimenez? How much money did Chief Organvidez collect for Gimenez? The real corruption lies with those thugs and the underlings that got promoted by helping Gimenez. And by the way, the ones that benefitted from the overtime scam and their supervisors received no demotion or discipline. Only in Miami!!

Terence R Waldron
Terence R Waldron

And all this overtime was going on at the same time the county was closing fire stations on a rolling basis across the county, because it's ot budget was used up.

Hernan
Hernan

J.D. Patterson's statement about overtime being the reason for the downsizing of the anti-corruption unit is a flat lie. The unit was decimated because it uncovered the absentee ballot fraud committed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle with the help of Commissioner Esteban Bovo. The biggest culprits involved in the overtime abuse, Sgt. Kelly Sullivan, Detective Eddy Torga and their supervisor, Lieutenant Maileen Prieto, are still assigned to the unit. Former lieutenant Andrew Glass was promoted to captain and is now assigned to the Homicide Bureau. As for Patterson and Deputy Director Juan Perez, they were promoted in rank after holding fundraisers for Gimenez. Corruption at its best at MDPD.

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

The county is not broke, they're only broke when it comes to paying employees & services.

Policewatch
Policewatch

Question: How many Miami-Dade Public Corruptions Officers does it take to screw in a light bulb???  Answer: As many as can get their little grubby hands on overtime payments.. 

I am so glad that the FBI is now heading up public corruptions investigations in this town.  The Mayor and Director made a wise decision.  Takes investigations away from the politicos.  Sound public policy that should have happened a long time ago.

Greg Ramirez
Greg Ramirez

thug cops at it again...seems like they are all bad apples

Alex Alvarez
Alex Alvarez

Miami is a microcosm of DC corruption is as rampant here as it is there..

Dicky Bobby Perez
Dicky Bobby Perez

all cops abuse their shield they hide behind. i blame chief of police and city manager. at the end of the day the city manager signs their paycheck. ppl needs to wake up

Nick Moss
Nick Moss

*face smack* at least someone uh... noticed. i guess is the word I'll use.

internetinternet
internetinternet

Police and fire union are the biggest frauds going.  They go from one scam to the next to collect outrageous overtime.  Then the union lobbyist complains about base salary and base perks at budget meetings. 

"Police cheating on overtime costs us millions" 1997, The Herald.

icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

no one sees the irony in this? and some of these guys were transferred to Internal Affairs?  you couldn't make this stuff up.  It takes 26 cops to catch 4 park employees?  How does this take more than a few guys with video cameras?  I guess the fast-forward button wasn't working?  8 hours of videotape doesn't take 8 hours to watch.

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