What follows are transgressions that amount to unethical violations of law by Police Chief and former City Manager
The Miami Dade Commission on Ethics has already found 4 Counts of Probable Cause against Chief Martinez de Castro and those charges are now pending.
What follows are MORE transgressions that warrant Chief Martinez de Castro' removal from office and prosecution. What is significant here is that most of these transgressions are confirmed by public documents signed by the Chief and/or former City Manager, so the truth of the evidence is not in doubt. Many of these signatures are specified as equivalent to a sworn oath.
Below I layout this obviously unethical conduct. I reserve other transgressions that are more nuanced for later, so as to not overwhelm the reader.
When I first became Mayor we set out to clean up city government. I was a neophyte to politics drafted into service by friends and neighbors who wanted to turn our city towards a more transparent and civic direction.
To this end we mistakenly paid consultant Ken Harms, who immediately attacked the then current city Police Chief and vociferously urged the city to hire Hector Mirabile as City Manager who would bring in their mutual friend Orlando Martinez de Castro as Police Chief. Harms shamelessly continues to aggressively support his friends despite the conduct I delineate below. And he is attacking me and my family publicly and personally with false accusations.
To my regret, Martinez de Castro and Hector Mirabile were brought into our city under my watch, I feel an obligation, a responsibility, to remove them from our midst.
A little history on the State Forfeiture Fund
Laws governing the use of State Forfeiture Funds
Chief Martinez de Castro's use and misuse of State Forfeiture Funds
Here's what the fine print in the certification box reads:
"I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE MATERIAL, EQUIPMENT, OR SERVICE IS ESSENTIAL AND A PROPER REQUEST AGAINST THE CODES CHARGED."
I go through all the improper requisitions in detail below, but here's an example of one such requisition.
[click here for full sized]. Chief OMC improperly certifies a requisition against the State Forfeiture Fund to pay $1,587 for the September Dade Chief's dinner, a fine event I'm told, but not allowable under F.S. 932.7055. The request was never brought before the Commission, so the expenditure was not authorized through resolution. However, the Manager signed the form anyway to authorize payment from the State Forfeiture Fund. By my count, that's three violations of State statutes over paying for a meal.
Why misuse of state forfeiture funds is a big deal
If anyone is obligated to follow the letter of the law, it the Chief of Police. We citizens receive a ticket when we fail to produce a driver's license or Proof of Auto Insurance. For sure, we citizens would be prosecuted for making a false statement under oath, and we citizens are prosecuted for diverting money on our tax returns. No one can be above the law, ESPECIALLY THE POLICE CHIEF.
The Chief's dishonest statement about city resident Michael Davidson-Schmich
On September 21, 2012, Police Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro emailed Commissioner Valerie Newman, in response to a question she had asked him whether Michael Davidson-Schmich’s had ever filed a formal protest of his arrest. The Chief wrote to City Manager Hector Mirabile: “The answer is NO he never did, even though we made numerous appointments but he failed to show.”
Commissioner Valerie Newman forwarded this email to city residents, inserting derogatory text into the Deputy Clerk's note. Her alteration of that public document is currently under investigation by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission (a body she publicly derided last week as "a kangaroo court").
2. South Miami City Charter – Citizen's Bill of Rights, Truth in Government
Manager awarded raises contrary to the City budget
City Manager Hector Mirabile wrote in the FY10-11 City Budget:
Carpet contract: public deception and alteration of public documents
(iii) F.S. 839.13 Falsifying Records
City Manager Hector Mirabile has been terminated after losing the trust of the Commission. To restore the integrity of our Police Department, Chief Martinez de Castro must go as well.
Appendix 1: some requisitions to the State Forfeiture Fund bearing improper certification
Appendix 2: details of violations involving the State Forfeiture Fund (SFF):
Hector Mirabile conspired on above violations of F.S. 932.7055 by approving requisition when certification was not in full compliance with F.S. 932.7055-5.a and F.S. 932.7055-5.b.
“All I can say is it was an unintentional error. I have checked my records and that was the only error I found. We work hard to avoid these types of mistakes but in the end, we only human. [sic]”
Lou’s Police Distributors
Item # SFF 2011-09-09