Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Former City of Miami Assistant Fire Chief Veldora Arthur was paid $120,000 while under federal indictment waiting for trial!

Veldora Arthur
That's right!  While federally indicted mortgage fraudster Veldora Arthur was sitting home out on bail awaiting trial, she picked another $120k from the City of Miami for doing absolutely NOTHING!  From Melissa Sanchez's excellent article from El Nuevo Herald via Google translate...

The City of Miami paid more than $ 120,000 to the Deputy Chief of the Fire Department, Veldora Arthur, waiting at home to be prosecuted for mortgage fraud, even though a rule municipal states that non-union employees should be suspended without pay or transferred when they are accused of a crime.
From February to September, Arthur had to stay home from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. I could only go out for a lunch break and had to call this office twice a day.
Sorry to hear that Melissa, I don't even get to go out for lunch...
Roberto Suarez, president of the firefighters union, said he did not understand why the City does not reassigned to Arthur while awaiting trial. Arthur was convicted of three counts of fraud on September 30. He was eventually dismissed on October 5.

"Why pay you to do anything when you can put to work"? Suarez said. "Some days? Maybe. Do some weeks? From time to time. But what months? I know of another similar case. "
Not sure what he's saying, I guess Google Translate isn't perfect...

On 3 February, the Federal Attorney's Office charged Arthur and four other people to participate in a mortgage fraud of $ 11 million. Arthur was arrested on February 11 and released the same day on bail of $ 120,000.

The rule states since 1998 municipal non-union employees accused of a crime shall be suspended without pay. Employees cleared of charges should be reinstated to their jobs with back pay. If desired, the administrator can assign these employees to other tasks while waiting for their day in court.

Unionized employees are not subject to the rule, due to different agreements between management and unions. For example, according to a 1989 agreement, firefighters may receive paid leave in such cases. However, Suarez said that in most cases these unionized firefighters are reassigned to other duties.

Arthur ceased to be syndicated by assuming a high administrative position for more than a decade. At the time of his arrest was deputy chief in charge of payroll and quality control.

According to Maurice Kemp, head of the Miami Fire Department, Arthur had been able to recover its previous position of lieutenant, which is covered by the union. If they had, would have decreased his salary of more than $ 184.000. In addition, a pension of $ 167,000.

According to Chief Mo Kemp?  Wasn't that Veldora's boyfriend?
The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, who was administrator and former Miami fire chief, said Arthur could top having lowered to its previous non-administrative position, so that was protected by the union.

After the arrest of Arthur, his superiors took no action. Kemp said he had been evaluating the charges since 12 February.

"Because Arthur had been out of the office on leave, using their personal days for all days but one February, there was an urgency to reach a decision on their status," Kemp wrote in a recent e-mail to El Nuevo Herald.

On 21 February, blogger The Straw Buyer, was the first to write about the case. The next day, the local press started asking questions to Kemp. At that time, Kemp wrote a memo to Arthur allowing you to continue in office even restricting their access to funds these days departamento.En Kemp met with city administrators to determine what to do with Arthur. Both the then manager, Tony Crapp Jr., as the then chief financial officer, Larry Spring, and others involved in the decision said they preferred not to comment on the case. Johnny Martinez, the current administrator, as the Department of the City Attorney, referred questions to Kemp.

On March 2, Spring Kemp sent an email in which Arthur ruled that separate out their duties with pay.

"This is based on our previous conversations and a review of the rule," wrote Spring.

According to Giménez, administrators can exercise their discretion in applying the rule.

"Right, wrong, indifferent, they came to a decision," he said. "Did you follow politics? Yes, because they have that discretion. "

Beverly Pruitt, Director of Employee Relations of the City, said he did not have records of employees who have been placed under license with or without pay because of an indictment.

Suarez said many firefighters believe that Arthur was treated favoritism. He said the media attention on the case determined that perhaps sent home.
 LOL!  Would that be the media attention that we caused?!

"There are many positions to which they could be assigned as being in charge of the 911 call center," said Suarez. "Apparently, someone in the administration of the City does not want to deal with the drama of her in the office."

Kemp said he was aware of the growing media interest, but felt that did not influence the decision.

That's not what I heard MO!
Arthur also took 125 hours of accrued vacation leave in excess of $ 11,000. During the trial, used three-week vacation. Mayor Tomas Regalado said he wants the Office of the City Attorney investigate the issue to see if it can recover all the money paid to Arthur.

"Having been found guilty, she should return the money," said Regalado.

Arthur remains jailed in Miami while awaiting sentencing on December 16. He has hired a new lawyer.
What?  Here we go again with the idiots from the City talking about clawing back hundreds of thousands of dollars only after the money had already been dolled out!  What a bunch of shit.  I don't know what's worse, the Mayor's bullshit reaction about Veldora picking up $120k for sitting on her fat ass at home or the fact that once again to get real news we have to turn to the Spanish language El Nuevo Herald rather than the English language Miami Herald.  FUUUUUUUK! 

1 comment:

  1. It is ridiculous that they let her off with pay . The city will never see a dime of that money back. I am curious to find out who she called to report every day and for lunch . I would be willing to bet ,it didn't happen . There should be a log somewhere in the city where it would be documented . Since she was never in attendance when she was supposed to be working .she probably didn't follow the rules while on paid leave . What about her pension ?