Thursday, October 29, 2015

Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin becomes a Miami Police officer at 10:30 Friday morning

Miami Beach Commissioner Ed "Mad Dog" Tobin and City Manager
Jorge Gonzalez are seen on May 9, 2012 after Gonzalez announced
he was resigning effective July 8. (Click on all images to enlarge.)

Ed "Mad Dog" Tobin
Termed-out Miami Beach commissioner Ed Tobin has resigned effective at 5 p.m. today, reports the Miami Herald's David Smiley.

And that means future city commission meetings won't be nearly as interesting without "Mad Dog Ed" on the dais.

Consider these three sentences from a September 2013 Miami Herald story:
As Miami Beach's commission meeting last week dragged on for the 14th hour, things got a little testy.

It was 11:20 p.m. Commissioner Jonah Wolfson began to mock Mayor Matti Herrera Bower's high-pitched voice, and, for the second time that night, threatened to throw himself off the third floor of City Hall.

Commissioner Ed Tobin offered: "I'll carry you there, if you promise to do it."
And in 2012, when the ACLU expressed concerns over Miami Beach's plans to handle Memorial Day crowds, the Miami Herald's David Smiley quoted Tobin as saying "There were people defecating on people’s dining room tables [during the first Urban Beach Week in 2001]. So on the events where people are defecating on the tables, we’re going to have a different approach than the events where they aren’t.”

Today, Smiley broke the news that Tobin will be sworn in as rookie Miami police officer at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning.

From Smiley's report:
Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin will finally realize his childhood dream of becoming a cop. It just won't be in the city where he grew up.

Tobin, a former prosecutor, officially becomes a Miami police officer Friday. He will be sworn in during a 10:30 a.m. He had about three weeks left on his final term on the Miami Beach Commission, but resigned at 5 p.m. Thursday due to a Florida law that prohibits holding two sworn positions at one time.

“Once he hits the streets he's no longer a commissioner. He's a rookie,” said Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes. “He's Officer Tobin.”
One Miami cop says his department is a natural fit for Tobin: "We pay less and have lower standards than the Beach," he told me.

Tobin, 53, has dreamed of wearing a badge and a gun since his days as a Miami Beach police explorer scout some 40 years ago.

Tobin originally applied for a job with the Miami Beach Police Department in 2014, but withdrew his application after flubbing an answer to an important ethics question during an oral examination.

During his time as commissioner, Tobin made quite a few enemies within the MBPD when he lobbied unsuccessfully in 2012 for the selection of controversial Bal Harbour police chief Tom Hunker to be Miami Beach's new police chief.

In a letter to colleagues and constituents, Tobin wrote:
I have known one of the candidates for Chief for 30 years, Tom Hunker. Tom retired from Miami Beach as a Lieutenant after 26 years of outstanding service. He ran the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking task force here in South Florida and then spent several years as the Asst Chief for North Miami Beach. He has spent the last 8 years as Chief of Bal Harbour. He has won countless Local, State and National awards. He is an expert in money laundering and currently brings in about 20 million of forfeiture money from seizures in other states and countries, annually, to Bal Harbour. These funds would be coming to Miami Beach if Tom is chosen. [emphasis added] Currently Miami Beach earns about 1.5 million from our drug forfeiture efforts.

Tom earns a larger salary in Bal Harbour and has 3 years left on his contract there. His city Manager has confirmed he does an outstanding job there. Tom does not need this job but is willing to come back to the City that gave him his start.

The safety of my family and my community is my primary concern.

Tom Hunker is my choice for Chief.
Tobin was absolutely correct when he said Hunker was "an expert in money laundering."

This week, the Miami Herald reported, "After years of rampant abuses by undercover Bal Harbour police [under Police Chief Tom Hunker], the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the millions taken in by the officers who turned a money-laundering sting into a major cash enterprise, spending lavishly on travel and luxury hotels without making a single arrest."

Yes, by the time the next Miami Beach city commission meeting rolls around, "Mad Dog" will be pounding a beat on Miami's mean streets.

Which means Miami Beach residents will no longer be able to relish moments of comedy gold like this....

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