|Former Miami-Dade cop Gandhi Lora has collected more than $500,000 in state pension funds since his law enforcement career ended in 2005. (FDLE photo)|
Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporters Anthony Cormier and Matthew Doig continue their series, "Unfit for Duty," with a story on disgraced police officers who still collect hefty pensions despite being convicted of serious crimes.
One of the disgraced cops cited in the story is former Miami-Dade cop Gandhi Lora. Before his arrest in 2003 on child pornography charges, Lora worked at Miami International Airport making $56,056 a year according to a Nov. 8, 2003 Miami Herald story.
Now, according to reporters Cormier and Doig, Lora collects a $7,200 monthly pension despite his conviction on child porn charges.
Gandhi Lora is no longer a working officer, but the former Miami-Dade cop still earns a state pension, which has paid him more than $500,000 since his law enforcement career ended in 2005.Click here to see Lora's sexual offender flyer on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website.
The pension fund continues to pay him $7,200 each month - a decent wage considering that Lora is a registered sex offender convicted of possessing and promoting child pornography.
Every year, Florida's Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission takes the law enforcement certificates of hundreds of officers, ending their careers. But just because an officer loses his or her badge, it does not necessarily mean a loss of pension benefits. Existing laws protecting pensions are so strong that it is difficult to strip someone of their benefits, even if that person lost their job and their freedom after a felony conviction.
Lora, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, could not be reached for comment.
State Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said he was frustrated to learn that money from the state's pension fund was going to sex offenders.
"It's mind-boggling," Bennett said. "It's something that we have to get fixed."