Bad Lieutenant

In Hollywood, being a good cop doesn't seem to matter.

That's a lot of baggage to haul up the organizational ladder, but Marano's résumé contained at least one point in his favor: He was reigning secretary of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, the powerful police union.

In 2002, there were nine openings for lieutenants in Hollywood, and nine officers applied. Scarberry stated in his deposition that he narrowed the field to seven to save the department money and because he wanted to give the candidates an incentive to study for the exam. Springstun finished with the third highest score, but he was passed over. Hogan finished fifth, and he was passed over.

Marano finished eighth, and despite a department rule forbidding the promotion of officers under active investigation, Scarberry gave Marano the promotion.

Marano: Here's the trick — you gotta break more rules.
Marano: Here's the trick — you gotta break more rules.

In her pretrial filings, attorney Colleen Brannelly, who represents Hogan and Springstun, highlights Marano's ascent through the police ranks as an example of how Scarberry plays favorites. (Brannelly's documents are revealing, but she declined to be interviewed.) She has also sought to show that both Hogan and Springstun suffered retaliation for continuing to apply for promotion and also for bringing suit against the department.

For example, Hogan became the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation in December 2003 — just after he filed a complaint about being passed over for promotion with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. The matter involved the department's handling of a man threatening suicide. The investigation found fault with the first responding officers, who failed to enter the man's apartment or consult the building manager. Hogan was their patrol supervisor, but he wasn't at the scene, and he was not suspended over the incident.

Springstun kept his name out of Internal Affairs files from 1990 to 2001, but after he filed his own complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations in August 2003, Springstun rated "average" in his job evaluation for that period. This is the same period during which he received the Life Saving Award, one of the department's highest honors, for plucking a severely disabled woman out of a canal near Garfield Street. Springstun and his fellow officers even saved the woman's dog — the reason she'd jumped into the canal in the first place.

According to Springstun's court testimony, the author of that lukewarm performance evaluation apologized and explained that he'd only been following the orders of his own superior, Capt. Allen Siegel, who, when Springstun confronted him, admitted it to be true.

Springstun filed his age-discrimination suit against the department in March 2004. In April 2004, he was the subject of two complaints that, in the judgment of his leadership, warranted Internal Affairs investigations. In May 2004, there was another. In June 2004, three more, according to Brannelly's filings.

Both Hogan and Springstun have testified that since filing suit, they've been passed over for job assignments that went instead to officers who were on probation or who had less experience. They also were not called in to work overtime, which had a dramatic impact on their incomes.

The case is set for trial October 3. It already fills five file boxes in the office of City Attorney Dan Abbott, whose lawyers must defend the department. No problem, Abbott says. The case has not been a drain on his office's resources.

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