Thursday, July 31, 2014

Miami Beach homicide detective fired after testing positive for cocaine will get his job back

An arbitrator has ruled that a Miami Beach homicide detective fired after testing positive for a controlled substance should get his job back.

Detective Reinaldo Casas was fired last year after testing positive for cocaine following a random drug screening.

Casas defended himself by claiming that he never knowingly used cocaine and blamed the positive results on a "sexual aid cream ... provided to me by a friend to assist my sexual performance."

From a Nov. 2013 Miami New Times story:
Casas was flabbergasted. He then evidently picked up a thesaurus to properly annotate his state of mood in a grievance he filed shortly afterward. "I was baffled, perplexed, and confused as to how these [results] could be possible," Casas wrote March 13.

"However, over time, heavy deliberation and the insight of others, I was able to pinpoint the cause," wrote Casas, who didn't return requests for comment for this story. "[It's] a sexual aid cream/gel... The sexual aid cream was provided to me by a friend to assist my sexual performance, and he never told me it contained [redacted drug name]. My girlfriend has used/applied the gel."

In an interview with Miami Beach PD's Internal Affairs Unit, Casas' friend testified he got the cream "from an old Cuban guy."

The story was sordid enough to make it into at least one British tabloid.

But now an arbitrator has ruled that Casas should get his job back.

In a ruling dated July 29, the srbitrator wrote: "The City did not have sufficient just cause to discharge Grievant Reinaldo Casas."
[Casas] is to be returned to his position as a Detective in the Homicide Unit of the Miami Beach Police Department with unbroken seniority. [Casas] is awarded back pay at his regular rate of compensation for all regular hours he was denied by reason of his discharge. No award of overtime pay is made. To be deducted from the back pay award herein are any sums [Casas] received from Unemployment Compensation which he is not obligated to repay, and any compensation he received through employment he undertook as a result of being discharged by the City

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