Thursday, April 12, 2018

It's The Extortion. Don't You Get It?

There was a commission meeting on Tuesday night.   I wasn't there.  I have received a diagnosis from a well trained medical professional as having a case of whatever the hell is going around and the thought of vomiting in public was appealing but counterproductive.   Nevertheless, through the magic of the Internet I was able to watch the proceedings on my Facebook device.   

The meeting was nonsense.  At Good & Welfare, I counted 12 local residents who got up and asked the new village manager the very straightforward question, "Why did you fire our police chief?"   

Now there  were variations on the question.   A remarkable number of them were close supporters of the mayor and worked actively on her campaigns.  These people find themselves utterly baffled as to how someone they called a friend could have turned into the stonewalling, dishonest creep leading the commission.   Others wondered if new Village Manager Marlen Martell would share her reasoning on the different direction she believed law enforcement needed to take.   

But the question was the same:  "Why did you fire the chief?  We thought he was good for us."   

And the Village Manager, along with the commission, refused to answer.  Straight up stonewalled.  

As I mentioned, I participated by watching and it's probably just as well because I don't know that I could have held myself back from shouting, "It's the extortion, stupid."   (* Note to self:  That's how I lose friends.)

It's pretty simple.  It's the extortion, stupid.  

For years, anonymous threats, bullying, and extortion have been used by the ruling cabal of North Bay Village to silence questions and critics.  This was done with the tacit collaboration of the police department and resulted in people just walking away.   

So when Doug Hornsby refused to fire Frank Rollason over the odd issues that bugged the mayor, the old school extortion methods were rolled out, anonymous emails routed through a Bulgarian address readily available on the internet, printed mails sent through the post office and verbal threats were made.  But this time it backfired.   Hornsby didn't back down and brought matter public.  To quote him, "Millions for defense, not a penny for ransom."  

It worked.  The new police chief, Carlos Noriega, has no tolerance for lawbreaking, and he took the evidence to the Federal authorities and the State authorities.  Now one of the people of interest has some juice with State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle and the rumor is that through mutual favors, the state won't be in on it, but the feds are in so the danger is there.  

When Marlen Martell was recruited to be Village Manager, she was instructed to fire the police chief and she delivered.  

See, it's simple.  It's the extortion.  

The expectation was the police chief would take a nice settlement package and go away quietly.  

Because the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting a different result, the administration was shocked when Carlos Noriega told them to stick it where the sun don't shine  (*not an actual quote) and they fired him.  

Now we go all North Bay Village Crazy.  Marlen Martell, Village Manager, and Norman Powell, Village Attorney, took to the press to deny knowing about the whistleblower complaint filed by Noriega.  

They lied.  I've seen the mail and the emails.  They saw the mails and the emails.  The commission saw the mails and the emails.   

They fired the chief because he was investigating the extortion attempts.  

Now as the meeting wore on, Marlen Martell, who comes from North Miami Beach, thanked the chief for his service but never explained either his firing or the new direction she wants for the police department.   She did however mention that she had put together a search committee for a new police chief.  The members are Larry Juriga, the police chief from North Miami Beach who spends most of his time managing the various police corruption scandals there.  (Click here for more info), Krishan Manners from Biscayne Park, who spends  most of his time defending police department incompetency.  (Click here for more info).  Also Norman Powell.  

I guess the direction Ms. Martell wants to take us in is the one that Biscayne Park and North Miami Beach have gone?   

Actually, it's all irrelevant.  The fix for the next police chief is in.  Norman Powell, Marlen Martell and four of the commissioners have already agreed that it will be John Buhrmaster, who will quash the detectives working on the extortion case.

So you see, Good and Welfare speakers, Mayor Kreps and the commissioners were never going to answer your questions because they have to do what they have to do to stop the extortion investigations.  And the new police chief, John Buhrmaster, will presumably cooperate like Martell like Powell.   

Kevin Vericker
April 12, 2018


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