|Miami-Dade Police |
Director James K. Loftus
UPDATED @ 12:30pm, July 3, 2012:An assistant legal counsel at the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General told me yesterday that her office had also received the whistle-blower email. She told me that in accordance with state law, a copy of the email was forwarded to Loftus. She also said that ended her office's involvement with the matter as they are choosing not to pursue or investigate the allegations made in the email.
UPDATED @ 10:20am, July 2, 2012: I am aware that some are asking on the LEO forum why the mainstream media hasn't picked up on this. Rest assured that I have notified reporters and editors at the Herald, New Times, and several TV stations. All have told me that this is something that needs to be looked at ... and that's as far as it goes. If anyone has any additional info that will shed more light on this issue, I'd love to hear it. The fact that POAT was founded to do good work needs to be emphasized and those who would use it to line their pockets need to be called out. A link to my email address can be found in the right-hand column right under the Miami Tour Company logo. Thanks.
A whistle-blower has sent an email [embedded below] to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Board of County Commissioners that charges Miami-Dade Police Director James K. Loftus with condoning or looking the other way as members of his department routinely work for a private police charity while on county time.
The anonymous e-mailer alleges that "several sworn [Miami-Dade Police] officers are being paid by us the citizens of Miami-Dade County to conduct business for the Police Officer Assistance Trust (P.O.A.T.) during official work hours..."
P.O.A.T.'s website describes itself as "a [non-profit] support organization for the law enforcement community of Miami-Dade County, Florida to assist officers and their families in times of need."
The writer of the June 11 email goes into specifics: "Sergeant Chuck Duncan and Officer Marilyn Butler are detached to P.O.A.T., in charge of running the day-to-day operation of this “non-profit” organization. Both “sworn” officers are assigned to Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau, and are paid by Miami-Dade County while they have been performing tasks for P.O.A.T. over the past five (5) years."
P.O.A.T.'s website identifies Butler and Duncan as "administrative staff."
The writer also charges that, "Annette McCully, the fundraising coordinator [for P.O.A.T.], [...] also happens to be [MDPD] Director James Loftus’ Executive Assistant, [and] while serving as Secretary of then Assistant Director Loftus, (who was President of P.O.A.T.), Mrs. McCully completed overtime slips for work she completed for P.O.A.T., while in an off-duty capacity. Mrs. McCully received compensation from the taxpayers’ money."
Indeed, McCully's name appears on several pages of P.O.A.T.'s website. One of the phone numbers listed for McCully on the charity's website is the number for Director Loftus' office at MDPD headquarters.
The writer also alleges that, "On April 20, 2012, P.O.A.T. held a fundraiser (car wash) at MDPD’s headquarters, to raise money for the construction of a bedroom/bathroom for Justin Haworth, son of slain Officer Amanda Haworth, which over 50 MDPD employees participated in this event. Even though this event received positive news coverage, the most glaring issue with this situation was the fact that the vast majority of the employees that participated were once again being paid by Dade County taxpayers."
The email and its charges have prompted a lively debate on a message board frequented by Miami-Dade police officers.
When contacted for a comment Monday afternoon, Miami-Dade County spokesperson Suzy Trutie told me by email, "This issue has been assigned to Deputy Mayor/Chief of Staff Genaro Iglesias, who oversees office management and the public safety portfolio of departments including Police, Fire Rescue, etc. It’s premature to comment on what actions will be taken, since he needs to review and investigate with the appropriate staff."
Email to Mayor Gimenez ref: POAT