Saturday, January 27, 2018

Firing the Chief - Next Up On The Mayor's Agenda


People ask me, "Don't you have anything positive to say?" and they're right.  I often only point up the negative when I am posting about North Bay Village and do not give enough credit to the good things that are happening.   And here's the big one.  


Our Police Department is back, big and strong.  They are the police of old that I remember, involved in the community, making our traffic safer, talking to the residents and rebuilding the trust that had been shattered under the previous chief.   

And the credit belongs squarely with Chief Carlos Noriega.  He's not one of those warm and fuzzy guys with great PR, but he's solid, open and professional.  He's has slowly and steadily reestablished the community trust through visible policing, traffic patrols, supporting crime watch, and initiating community events.   Here's how good it's become.  A cop can actually be seen talking to a resident without worrying if his job on the line.   That's some great stuff.  

I wish I could stop the post right here with a tip of the hat and a jaunty sign off.  

But I can't.  

The mayor is trying desperately to fire the Chief.  After the firing of Robert Switkes, who stated he believed his firing to be retaliation for Switkes filing the reports of extortion, Switkes said clearly that "the mayor is a subject of interest" in that same investigation. 

The Police Chief has been pursuing that investigation.  In the meantime, the mayor, along with Jose Alvarez (whose wife was also named a "subject of interest" by Switkes) and Andreana Jackson, have joined in an unholy alliance to get rid of the police chief as soon as they can. 

Seem like they think if the Chief goes away, the extortion investigation goes away.  

News flash - it doesn't.   The feds take violations of the Hobbes Act very seriously and even if the State Attorney General, who is not known for her work ethic, lazes this one by, the feds are coming.  

Now only the Village Manager can fire the police chief, and for cause, but with an interim Village Manager and the active participation of the new Village Attorney, the pressure on the Chief continues to mount.   

There was an utterly insane email chain last Thursday about the Chief's supposed failure to keep the attorney informed on an internal investigation, a chain that involved misaddressed emails, the mayor and Commissioner Jackson throwing aside Sunshine, and a fundamental complaint of the Chief withholding information that the Chief had shared and that was already known to the attorney.   It's the documentation phase of the firing plan and if it's any indication, we have some very sloppy people running our village.  

But Noriega is not one of them.  I believe  most residents who have been here a few years see exactly what a great job the police are doing, even when they are giving you a ticket, and want this chief to keep it going.   If I'm right, then people have to show up at the commission meetings and speak their minds.  

The next commission meeting is February 13 and there is a special meeting on Monday (which will probably be cancelled as it's not kosher).   One way or the other, you have to be there to speak your mind and let the dais know that the police work for us.   

Kevin Vericker
January 27, 2018


5 comments:

  1. Just a question, how do you have access to emails between the Chief, attorney and/or elected officials?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most of them are public record. And if they're not, I don't publish them. The one in question is public record.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did you make a public records request for the emails?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh c'mon, Anonymous, now you're just being cute. Got a real question or point?

      Delete
  4. Anonymous must be used to the way things are done in typical banana republic style. Thankfully we have public information requests and the laws that enable us to do so in this country.

    ReplyDelete

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