Friday, April 6, 2018

Marlen Martell Paid Her Price Yesterday.

Marlen Martell
Yesterday afternoon, April 5, 2018, a day after responding that she would be evaluating all departments when asked in a Town Hall meeting about keeping the police chief and after several residents had expressed their deep satisfaction with the progress in the North Bay Village PD, Marlen Martell fired the police chief, saying "We want to go in a different direction." and then leaving the room.  

Village Attorney, Norman C. Powell, who knows Ms. Martell from their collaboration on strip club promotions in North Miami Beach where Powell, in addition to being a North Bay Village Magistrate and later Village Attorney, was also a registered lobbyist for SMG Entertainment, the Black Diamond Strip Club in North Miami Beach, was left alone with the Chief and offered a severance package in exchange not suing.  The Chief refused.   So he was fired.   

There was no reason given, other than "we are going in a different direction" which is the usual line given an actor who has failed an audition, and like the other firing, Village Attorney Robert Switkes, no offer of an explanation.   

But there are several interesting things to note.  

In a public letter to the residents of North Bay Village, available here, the chief refers to his having filed a whistleblower complaint.  Now the chief is far too discreet to have written about the specifics of the complaint or to have shared the details with me, but I have learned from other sources what is the probable basis of the complaint.  

Two employees of the village have told me that Norman Powell in January brought in a 3rd party company called Xact Data Discovery to extract all the data from the North Bay Village servers.  Everything.   

Then Village Manager Frank Rollason and Deputy Village Manager Jenice Rosado, along with the police chief, pointed out to Powell that the police servers contain Homeland Security information and FDLE information, and that without approval of those agencies or a court order clearing the release of the data to a third party, which by the way is also the definition of a contract attorney such as Norman Powell, this would be in violation of federal law.  Powell pushed the matter through anyway.   Rollason and Rosado resigned on the spot.  

A complaint has been made to Homeland Security and a source who does not want herself named, has told me that there is a very serious federal investigation into this data security breech.    

I am guessing this is the whistle blower complaint to which Noriega refers.   

There is a second part of this issue.   The data servers also contain all the evidence of the open extortion investigation in which our mayor and the wife of commissioner Alvarez have been publicly named as "subjects of interest", every police report filed, including presumably the noise complaints that commissioner Alvarez is routinely served with, and most importantly, HIPPA and FMLA information on every employee in the village.  There is a rumor that the FOP-A, the union representing the employees, is planning to take legal action on this issue.   

I have little doubt that the Chief's firing was in retaliation for his bringing the extortion investigation to the State Attorney and the Federal authorities, and in retaliation for his attempts to protect classified Homeland Security Information.   My experience with HSA is that they don't take this lightly and I believe we are going to be on the hook for massive violations of security, and breech of privacy for protected data.   

Marlen Martell and I spoke some weeks before her contract offer and I told her point blank that the police were the main pride point for North Bay Village and that the residents in general think very highly of the work they were doing.   I also told her that I believed that the mayor was making the job offer conditional on firing the chief and that it was due to the extortion investigation.  Ms. Martell claimed unbelievably that she knew nothing of the extortion investigation but she had read some things on the anonymous troll site, LEOAFFAIRS, about the police chief and she was worried.  Also that she had major doubts about Bert Wrains.   I figured the fix was in and this time, I hate being right.   

So now we have at least 5 active lawsuits against the village based on Norman Powell's bad legal advice, I am reliably informed that there are at least 3 separate criminal investigations involving the dais and the lawyer, and we're going to be stuck holding the bill.   

In the meantime, nothing is getting done and we are spiraling down.  

Anybody need a cute kittens video?   I need one.  


Kevin Vericker
April 6, 2018

1 comment:

  1. Strangely enough Ms Martell checked out LEO Affairs, a forum where disgruntled cops post vile messages anonymously, but she failed to check out sources such as the News Media and the FB page “North Bay Village Residents Speak” where residents actually post their concerns and sign their name to their posts, Very odd.
    When I get a job offer, I check out my prospective employer. I utilize all sources to get a feel of what it would be like to work there and what this employer stands for. I would think that any professional would do this. IF it is true that Martell only consulted LEO Affairs, she wasn't very diligent and it leads me to believe that she is not just bought and paid for, but also incompetent.
    I met Chief Noriega a couple of times. From my experience he wasn't easily persuaded to act on gossip or suspicions, he was a hard evidence kind a guy. For Chief Noriega to use the language and make statements like the ones that he made yesterday, this is more than smoke y’all, there is a fire in North Bay Village.
    How do we have a mayor in office that slapped a commissioner?How do we have a mayor and commissioners in office who they don't have to answer to their constituents? How do we have commissioner Jackson, who does not answer residents questions during a Village meeting,and verbally attacks residents when they ask questions? What is the point of a Village meeting if all they ever say is “thank you” when you ask a question? How do we have a mayor in office who aligns herself with someone how was arrested for defrauding their condo association? How do we have Village Manager without experience and pay her more than the previous Village Manager? How do we have a Village Attorney without any experience and pay him more than the previous Village Attorney?
    Yesterday I had a visitor from abroad who was enchanted by North Bay Village and North Bay Island. They asked me for my opinion on buying a second home here...and sadly enough, I responded “I think that it is better to look around on the Beach”

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