Friday, March 12, 2010

More fun with the MDPD Green fund, aka the Frank Vecin fund and the conclusion of the steaming pile of $hit Detective Jorge Baluja called a case...

It's been a bad few weeks for the command staff over at the MDPD, partly because of the ruckus surrounding the misspending of the federally funded "green fund" set up to investigate environmental crimes.  We discussed how some of that money was spent earlier this month, today the Miami Herald adds more fuel to the fire, take a look at some of the new expenditures that have come to light...
440 shirts purchased in two batches in February and May 2009. The ``Bureau Cubaveras,'' which came in colors from black to khaki, cost $13,150.
Oh really?  I guess the environmental crimes investigators had to blend in to the surroundings right?  No camouflage but Cubaveras instead?  I guess the khaki ones were for investigatory work in "rural remote" locations?
Six flat screen TVs -- three Sharp 52-inch HDTV costing $1,986 apiece and three 32-inch units at $734 each. The TVs were requested to ``provide command personnel with up to date news . . . during any environmentally related emergency operations.'' The larger TVs came with motorized swing-arm mounts costing $1,117 each, allowing viewers to move the units' location by remote control.

Uh huh.  That speaks for itself, I couldn't make that $hit up.
More than 125 computers costing $173,296, including 107 Dell desktops and pricey laptops like Panasonic Toughbooks costing nearly $3,000 each. The purchases made in the past two years come after more than $95,000 was spent in 2007 on personal computers.

Miami-Dade police could not say where the computers are or who they were issued to. An internal county police investigation is under way to locate the items.
So the MDPD needs a team of investigators to figure out where the computers the environmental crimes unit had are?
More than $30,000 for 30 banquet tables and 152 chairs, two high pressure 24-inch misting fans ($2,169.93 each), two portable air conditioning units ($2,606 each) and tents. 
Never know when they'll need to pitch a tent...
A Gmax II 5900 Airless Paint Sprayer for $3,802 and a RTX900 Texture Sprayer for $790.50. Both were requested to help with ``cleaning and restoring preserves, monuments and historical sites in Miami-Dade County.''
Sure, you know, ``cleaning and restoring preserves, monuments and historical sites in Miami-Dade County'' while conducting an environmental crimes investigation.  Come on!  You don't think this paint equipment ended up getting used by Mr. Vecin's construction business now do you?

At the end of the day, from what we've learned the millions of dollars spent from this fund had nothing to do with investigating "Environmental Crimes", this fund was used as nothing more than a personal slush fund for certain members of the command staff of the MDPD.  As you know though, Mr. Vecin couldn't have pulled this off on his own, there had to be more than one person in the PD involved in this mess, we find this comment most telling...
Sadly, even Glenn Theobald, the department’s Legal Bureau chief, engaged in fine legal “wordsmithing” to accommodate Vecin’s request. A deed Theobald now surely regrets...
Let's not forget, if not for a memo authorizing the misspending of these funds, this mess may not have happened.  For those of you thinking that the investigation of this mess is going to be left to the MDPD IA and then get swept under the rug, don't fret.  Our sources tell us that the Feds are all over this mess and that if there was criminal misconduct, charges will be brought against those responsible.

So what about the new mortgage fraud case we discussed this week?  What was the conclusion?  The case was put together by the pride and joy of the MDPD Mortgage Fraud Task Force, Jorge Baluja and the subject was arrested on 6/12/2008 then the case was no actioned on 7/9/2008.  Why?  Because once the Detectives case was reviewed by a fair, unbiased, impartial prosecutor, the
prosecutor concluded that the case was either too weak to get a conviction or that the case (at least in our opinion) was nothing more than an unintelligible STEAMING PILE OF $HIT that could not be taken to trial.  After all, we all read Detective Baluja's handy work, was anyone able to understand what the hell the case was about? 

This is how things are supposed to work, unfortunately for the subject, he had to endure getting arrested but once the prosecutor reviewed the case, the charges were dropped.  That's why the prosecutor is supposed to ONLY act as an advocate and is not supposed to have role as an investigator or administrator during the course of building the case.  Makes sense, let the cops do the police work and let the lawyers do the damn lawyering!  That's not what happened in the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case though, ASA Bill Kostrzewski was intimately involved in every aspect of the investigation, writing witness statements, typing up arrests affidavits etc, basically stepping outside his role as an advocate and therefore losing the absolute immunity afforded to prosecutors in case there was any wrong doing.  Why do you ask would a veteran prosecutor do such a thing?  We'll answer that question next week.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Expect Vecin, Theobald, Vigoa etc to all retire and take their pensions in a lump sum so when they get indicted they won't lose their money.

  2. Last of the MohicansMarch 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    The complexities and legal nuance that modern day organized crime presents makes it essential that prosecutors and police have open channels of communication. As the FBI and US Attorney's Office have shown, these lines of communication can delve into hyper-technical areas of law without crossing the immunity threshold.

    Bill Kostrzewski has done good work for the people of this county, and with the abundance of frauds that infest South Florida, I hope he continues fighting the good fight for our community.

  3. Last of the Mohicans,

    We appreciate your comment, but we have to respectfully disagree with your sentiment about what ASA Kostrzewski has done for the people of this county. Keep an eye on the blog as we delve deeper into exactly what Mr. Kostrzewski has done for the people of our county. You're going to be surprised.

  4. Ask Mr. Kostrzewski when he last tried a case. He's nothing more than a tired hack of an attorney.