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  1. #1
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    BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    Phillip Merling got special treatment, Sheriff's Office says......

    By Rafael A. Olmeda, Sun Sentinel

    6:45 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2010

    A high-ranking Broward sheriff's deputy has been reassigned after the Sheriff's Office says he showed preferential treatment to a domestic violence suspect who is vying for a starting position with the Miami Dolphins.

    Phillip Merling was arrested last week on one count of battery after deputies said he struck his pregnant fiancee. The defensive back posted $15,000 bail and, according to the Sheriff's Office, was escorted out a side entrance of the jail building to avoid television cameras.

    That move, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said, was not authorized. The deputy who led Merling out of the jail, Cmdr. Alvin Pollock, oversees the deputies at the courthouse and works security for the Dolphins on game days. Without referring to Pollock by name, Lamberti said at a news conference Friday that the deputy drove Merling home to Weston in an unmarked Sheriff's Office vehicle.

    Pollock was on duty at the time, Lamberti said.

    Sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal confirmed that an internal affairs investigation had been opened and that reassignment in such cases is routine.

    He did not discuss any details of the investigation.

  2. #2
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    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    Lamberti the cover up king on 05/31/10 00:14:53

    I see the Judge who presided over the Bond Hearing was none other than Judge John Hurley. John Hurley is a Fraternity brother of Charlie Crist and Tom Wheeler. Hurley was appointed to the bench by Governor Crist at the recommendation of Scott Rothstien who was appointed to the Judicial nominating committee by Crist after both Rothstien and Hurley made large political contributions to Crist. Lamberti was appointed Sheriff by Crist. Lamberti then appointed Wheeler to Under- Sheriff. Rothstien played a major part in Lamberti being elected Sheriff using Ponzi money through Wheeler and Benjamin. After Rothstein's arrest, Lamberti was asked by the press about his connection to Rothstein. Lamberti responded by saying that he met Rothstien through Dan Marino who was a close friend of Rothstien. Everyone knows that BSO/Lamberti has had involvement in Miami Dolphins security. Lamberti will not do anything to Commander Pollock because he is involved. It appears that Pollock is sending a message to the Sheriff using the press. "I would love to talk to you about this, but I can't get into it right now. There will be an appropriate time to comment and I will definitely talk with you then." This investigation will end up just like the Benjamin, Santucci and Wheeler investigations. BSO will open an investigation. This will keep everyone involved from talking to the press, protecting the guilty. After enough time has passed and the press moves on to other things he will be quietly cleared or given a counseling just like Benjamin, santucci and Wheeler.Lamberti the cover up king
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    Report this postReply with quoteRe: Sheriif condones domestic violence
    by THE SANTUCCI INCIDENT on 05/31/10 02:52:33

    Fort Lauderdale attorney Michael Santucci went missing for a couple of days in April last year.



    Art Santucci
    ? ?The disappearance obviously caused great concern for his father, Arthur Santucci, the highest-ranking civilian employee at the Broward Sheriff's Office and a member of Sheriff Al Lamberti's command staff. BSO set out to find Santucci. Taking the lead in the investigation was Lamberti's chief executive officer, Lt. David Benjamin, according to multiple sources at the agency.
    Benjamin was recently transferred out of Lamberti's command staff as revelations about his relationship with Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein have surfaced. But at the time of Michael Santucci's disappearance, he was practically running the agency, acting as a proxy for the sheriff and running the internal affairs division.



    Penoyer is at far right in her tactical uniform
    Benjamin reportedly ran a check and found that Michael Santucci had used his credit card in Pompano Beach, according to sources. Santucci was believed to be in a silver Mazda owned by his wife's parents in Doral.
    That evening, April 10, several members of BSO's Regional Anti-Crime Squad, all wearing black and gold tactical uniforms, came across a silver Mazda in an empty lot in Pompano Beach, according to BSO reports.

    Among the four detectives was Andrea Penoyer, who was recently featured on the reality-TV show Police Women of Broward County. Inside the car they found Joe Kennerly, an admitted drug addict, with a crack pipe in his hand. In the back seat was a woman named Maite Polomny.

    Kennerly and Polomny led the detectives back to an apartment, where they found Michael Santucci and a fourth person who remains unidentified. Sources say there was

    drug paraphernalia in the apartment.

    Santucci was transported to the district office in Pompano, say sources. Then someone there contacted Benjamin, who responded to the district office and took Michael Santucci away, sources say. The Mazda belonging to Santucci's in-laws wasn't impounded.

    Only Kennerly was arrested. He was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Kennerly would later plead guilty to the first count and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered into drug rehabilitation.

    In arrest and incident reports, written by BSO Det. Sean Andrews, there is no mention whatsoever of Michael Santucci. The only official evidence that he was involved are mentions of the Mazda and its license plate number, V081ZG, which is easily traced to Santucci's in-laws (they have since sold the car).

    "Benjamin came in and took him out and voided everything," says former BSO Dep. Russell Di Perna. "Deputies were intimidated by Dave Benjamin."

    One problem is, there is no verification of what happened that night because it has never been investigated. To this day, BSO is mum about the entire incident. On Wednesday, I asked sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal for comment and information on the case. He said he would look into it and, on Thursday afternoon, Leljedal told me, "I can't discuss it."

    Leljedal answers to Arthur Santucci, who serves as executive director of external affairs. Calls left with Arthur and Michael Santucci and Lt. Benjamin went unreturned as of this morning.

    Di Perna says he learned of the case from fellow deputy John Bailen, a union representative. He said that Det. Meghan Brooks went to Bailen about the incident after deputies in Pompano came to her with concerns about the Santucci incident.

    I contacted Bailen, who refused to comment on the case.

    Di Perna says he tried to expose Benjamin's actions, as did Bailen. Both deputies also backed Scott Israel in the election last year, causing more friction with Benjamin, who was heavily involved in Lamberti's political efforts.

    A couple of weeks before the election, Benjamin contacted Bailen and threatened him in an expletive-laced phone message. The phone message was taped and was recently played in an arbitration case involving another deputy, making it public record. I was able to hear a copy of the recording, which Benjamin left about 12:35 a.m. on October 19, 2008, a Sunday morning. In it, Benjamin says, "You might want to keep your ****ing mouth shut," before hanging up the phone.

    Di Perna told me that Bailen took the recording to his supervisors and that nobody ever did anything about it or the allegations regarding the original Santucci incident.

    "Until this day, nothing has been done," says Di Perna. "Why is this guy [Benjamin] still active? Why is he still working?"

    Benjamin is still employed, but he's been rocked by the Rothstein implosion. First we learned that the lieutenant escorted Rothstein to his jet when he fled the country for Morocco (with about $500,000 in stolen money). Rothstein also helped Benjamin set up a consulting company that Benjamin apparently didn't report to superiors. Rothstein funded Benjamin's company with $30,000, according to a source close to the situation at the time.

    In light of those revelations, Benjamin was first taken from his role of running internal affairs at the department. BSO is also investigating his consulting business, and on Wednesday, he was transferred out of central command into youth services, a huge step down.

    But Benjamin is still, indeed, working. Di Perna was fired on September 29 after Benjamin worked an internal affairs case against him that Di Perna claims came in retaliation for speaking out about the Santucci case and for supporting Israel in the election. Bailen has also been disciplined and is currently on administrative desk duty. I'll write more about those cases later. What clearly emerges is that politics and law enforcement don't mix well. Some of the dirty and underhanded things that occurred during the last sheriff's election -- on both sides -- provide a resounding argument to move to a system wherein the sheriff is appointed rather than elected.

    In the meantime, I think it's clear that a long-belated investigation of the Santucci incident must be conducted, preferably by an agency other than BSO, which has proven itself unable or unwilling to police itself. The details are still murky, but there is possible official misconduct and obstruction involved in this case. All communications made by Benjamin and other participants from that night need to be examined. Who was contacted about the Santucci pickup? What was Arthur Santucci's role? Was Undersheriff Tom Wheeler contacted? And what did Sheriff Lamberti know, and when did he know it?THE SANTUCCI INCIDENT

  3. #3
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    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    Crist Cronies Are the Law in Broward County
    Suspicions abound as investigation drags on in case of undersheriff and Scott Rothstein
    By: Kenric Ward | Posted: May 11, 2010 12:49 AM
    Tags: Al Lamberti, Broward County Sheriff's Office, Charlie Crist, Jay Burmer, Jim Greer, Ken Jenne, News, Republican Party of Florida, Scott Rothstein, Shane Strum, Tom Wheeler, Politics|1 commentAs more political skeletons emerge from Gov. Charlie Crist's closet, one remains buried -- and fully employed -- in the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

    Nearly five months after Sheriff Al Lamberti was presented pictorial evidence of his undersheriff, Tom Wheeler, kibitzing with Ponzi king Scott Rothstein, an internal investigation has yet to reach a conclusion about misconduct.

    "When the Rothstein case surfaced last year, Sheriff Al Lamberti directed BSO’s Internal Affairs Division to do an investigation of all things Rothstein-related," said Jim Leljedal, media relations director for the Sheriff's Office.

    "Col. Tom Wheeler’s interaction with Rothstein is part of that overall investigation, but Wheeler is not the 'subject' of the investigation. The investigation is ongoing, so we cannot discuss specifics."

    Both Lamberti and Wheeler have ties to Crist. And Rothstein, a heavy contributor to Crist's campaigns, kept cropping up in their midst with free jet rides.

    Crist appointed Lamberti sheriff in 2007 after Sheriff Ken Jenne was convicted on corruption charges. Jenne was released from federal prison in 2008.
    Crist previously appointed Wheeler to two state jobs when Crist was education commissioner and attorney general.

    Eerily, Wheeler's run through the Department of Education and Attorney General's Office closely followed the path of yet another Crist crony, Jay Burmer.

    At the Department of Education, Wheeler landed a job as educational policy director for the Department of Education in South Florida.

    Wheeler, who has a criminology degree, listed no experience in education policy on his resume. He started at a salary of $75,000 -- the same amount paid to Burmer, a career advertising executive, whom Crist put into a similar education post in the St. Petersburg area.

    Two years later, newly elected Attorney General Crist made Wheeler director of law enforcement relations and elevated the position to senior management. Burmer was appointed the AG's director of fraud prevention.

    Wheeler subsequently became an administrator at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where he worked on security during Crist's gubernatorial campaign and as a security consultant on his inaugural committee.

    All three men -- Crist, Wheeler and Burmer -- attended Florida State University. Crist and Wheeler were fraternity brothers at Pi Kappa Alpha.

    While Crist considers convening a special legislative session to crack down on corruption in Florida politics, his associates keep turning up in questionable situations -- on the ground and in the air.

    Burmer's shadowy $316,000 consulting job for the Republican Party of Florida under another Crist crony, ousted Chairman Jim Greer, was the subject of a Sunshine State News article last month.

    Shane Strum, now Crist's chief of staff, took a courtesy ride aboard Rothstein's private jet to the Republican convention in Minneapolis. The 2008 jaunt was detailed by Sunshine State News last week.

    That same year, Wheeler was shuttled to at least two football games, courtesy of Rothstein -- one of the state's most notorious racketeers. The disbarred Fort Lauderdale attorney pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts of fraud in a Ponzi scheme that bilked Floridians out of an estimated $1.2 billion.

    Wheeler's plane trips with Rothstein were revealed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last January. The paper reported that Rothstein flew Wheeler to Miami Dolphin and Florida Gator football games in 2008.

    Wheeler did not disclose the flights on his financial forms, and his boss, Lamberti, initially suggested that his appointee might not fall under the reporting requirement. But after he was presented with a picture of Wheeler and Rothstein together, Lamberti agreed to open an internal investigation.

    That was back on Jan. 4. As of Monday, Lamberti would say only that the investigation is "ongoing."

    Wheeler did not respond to a request from Sunshine State News seeking comment.

    It remains unclear what, if anything, Rothstein expected from his traveling companion Wheeler. Currently in federal custody awaiting sentencing, Rothstein was not reachable.

    But federal prosecutors think they see an unsavory connection. They have accused Rothstein of working law-enforcement officials and others while bilking investors.

    "'Ponzi' scheme funds were used to provide gratuities to high-ranking members of police agencies in order to curry favor with such police personnel and to deflect law enforcement scrutiny," federal officials stated in a 34-page report relating to Rothstein's Dec. 1 arrest.

    If Crist wants to get serious about corruption, the federal case against Rothstein suggests a close look at the Broward County Sheriff's Office may be warranted.

    In January, Lamberti said he had no evidence that Wheeler's relationship with Rothstein went beyond the two jet trips or that Rothstein got anything in return.

    "I think people are being unfair to Tom Wheeler," Lamberti said.

    When confronted with a similar Rothstein connection, Lamberti was quick to discipline another top officer in the department who consorted with Rothstein. Lt. David Benjamin, who had been under scrutiny for running an outside consulting business that might have had ties to Rothstein, was immediately transferred to a different job.

    The sheriff, who said Crist did not influence his decision to hire Wheeler in December 2007, rejected the assertion that allegiance to the governor by him or by Wheeler was in any way influencing the investigatory process.

    "Nobody is bigger than the agency, not even me," Lamberti told the Sun-Sentinel.

    Wheeler listed the governor first among his references and was hired as executive director of professional standards at a salary of $158,000 a year. He now makes $166,000 as undersheriff.

    Crist's office has not commented on the Wheeler matter.

  4. #4
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    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    When will local, state and federal government realize that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is corruption at its finest? How is the general public expected to play by the rules when an accredited agency this large is allowed to flaunt criminal activity in our faces?

    It’s time for a real investigation, not the Al “Disney” Lamberti versions of investigations, or I should say non-investigations that are being allowed to decide the fate of these criminal cops.

    I predict it won’t be long now. Lamberti has allowed more bad press to befall his agency by taking absolutely no action against his cronies.

    Lamberti, give your agency a chance and resign. Show some “Integrity” and resign now. Show some intelligence and get out now while you can still collect your pension. The man before you lost his pension for much less.

  5. #5
    Guest

    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    [quote="Guest"]When will local, state and federal government realize that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is corruption at its finest? How is the general public expected to play by the rules when an accredited agency this large is allowed to flaunt criminal activity in our faces?

    It’s time for a real investigation, not the Al “Disney” Lamberti versions of investigations, or I should say non-investigations that are being allowed to decide the fate of these criminal cops.

    I predict it won’t be long now. Lamberti has allowed more bad press to befall his agency by taking absolutely no action against his cronies.

    This is the way it should be done, even with the BSO


    South Miami's police chief has been fired, but the city manager won't talk about his reasons because he has referred the case to state prosecutors.

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/03/1 ... z0psPlyS44

  6. #6
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    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    I was witness to all the lies told to the CALEA assessors. Supervisors and deputies were instructed what to say when questioned. The truth is BSO is one large fraud of an agency. It has always been what is in it for me. Nothing ever happens to the politically secured corrupt officer. The most that happens to these chosen ones is a transfer to a choice assignment. Nothing is going to change because not enough care to make it happen.

  7. #7
    Guest

    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    Quote Originally Posted by INFO-SCOOP
    Phillip Merling got special treatment, Sheriff's Office says......

    By Rafael A. Olmeda, Sun Sentinel

    6:45 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2010

    A high-ranking Broward sheriff's deputy has been reassigned after the Sheriff's Office says he showed preferential treatment to a domestic violence suspect who is vying for a starting position with the Miami Dolphins.

    Phillip Merling was arrested last week on one count of battery after deputies said he struck his pregnant fiancee. The defensive back posted $15,000 bail and, according to the Sheriff's Office, was escorted out a side entrance of the jail building to avoid television cameras.

    That move, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said, was not authorized. The deputy who led Merling out of the jail, Cmdr. Alvin Pollock, oversees the deputies at the courthouse and works security for the Dolphins on game days. Without referring to Pollock by name, Lamberti said at a news conference Friday that the deputy drove Merling home to Weston in an unmarked Sheriff's Office vehicle.

    Pollock was on duty at the time, Lamberti said.

    Sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal confirmed that an internal affairs investigation had been opened and that reassignment in such cases is routine.

    He did not discuss any details of the investigation.
    He did nothing to Benjamin or Wheeler, but of course Pollock is black!

  8. #8
    Guest

    Re: BSO reassigns deputy who drove Miami Dolphin home from jail

    I am sure that the higher brass would get the same preferential treatment so what's the big deal?

  9. #9
    Unregistered
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ;1536132
    Phillip Merling got special treatment, Sheriff's Office says......

    By Rafael A. Olmeda, Sun Sentinel

    6:45 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2010

    A high-ranking Broward sheriff's deputy has been reassigned after the Sheriff's Office says he showed preferential treatment to a domestic violence suspect who is vying for a starting position with the Miami Dolphins.

    Phillip Merling was arrested last week on one count of battery after deputies said he struck his pregnant fiancee. The defensive back posted $15,000 bail and, according to the Sheriff's Office, was escorted out a side entrance of the jail building to avoid television cameras.

    That move, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said, was not authorized. The deputy who led Merling out of the jail, Cmdr. Alvin Pollock, oversees the deputies at the courthouse and works security for the Dolphins on game days. Without referring to Pollock by name, Lamberti said at a news conference Friday that the deputy drove Merling home to Weston in an unmarked Sheriff's Office vehicle.

    Pollock was on duty at the time, Lamberti said.

    Sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal confirmed that an internal affairs investigation had been opened and that reassignment in such cases is routine.

    He did not discuss any details of the investigation.
    Disgusting and she was pregnant!!! Al political jerk wad! You hate women too i remember!

  10. #10
    Unregistered
    Guest
    Someone’s afraid that Col. Pollock will be returning soon...

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