By Francisco Alvarado
By Trevor Bach
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
Jolly eventually filed a complaint with I.A. During the probe, Musco confronted a lieutenant who had witnessed the scene at Cruzan, telling him, "I hope you didn't say anything to hurt me." Three days later, that lieutenant was transferred to a less desirable post.
Musco, two ranks removed from the sheriff, was found guilty of threatening and harassing subordinates as well as tampering with an open I.A. probe. His sentence: a ten-day suspension without pay — right on time for Christmas 2006. And no demotion.
Says labor lawyer Aronson: "While it's pretty clear that PBSO will protect its own — at least when they're guys — they didn't they protect Ann Burke."
The lawsuit also names Bradshaw, and Aronson is expected to pounce on the sheriff's documented treatment of minorities when it comes to discipline. Just last year, the City of West Palm Beach was found to have discriminated against former city cop William McCray, who's black, while Bradshaw was the city's police chief in the late 1990s. McCray was fired in 2001 and is now a sheriff's deputy.
West Palm Beach spent an estimated $1 million on legal bills in the ten-year battle. Among the claims that McCray set forth were that he was more harshly punished than white officers when Internal Affairs found him guilty of violations. A judge awarded him $230,000 before the award was tossed out. Another jury is supposed to come up with another amount over the next few months.
PBSO's second in command, Chief Deputy Gauger, says there's no disparity in the disciplining of PBSO employees.
"I can promise you that gender, or race, for that matter, do not matter to me or the sheriff when we look at inappropriate actions of deputies," says Gauger.
And, he adds, it's inappropriate to bring up Burke's case alongside Musco's, Morrissey's, Carhart's, and Kletzky's. "There's no disparity, even if [Burke's] lawsuit claims that there is. At one point, the sheriff was going to fire Ann Burke outright, but we decided to keep her. There's a whole lot more about her story that'll come out in court."
A whole lot already has come out about PBSO Detective Kim Bradley, with much more to come since she too is in a legal battle with the agency. By most accounts, Bradley is one of the good guys. She'd never been disciplined in her 21 years on the job — until her transfer to the Belle Glade district.
Bradley, 43, requested in early 2009 to leave the sheriff's Gun Club Road headquarters in West Palm Beach and move to the Belle Glade detective squad because it's closer to her home in Clewiston.
By April of that year, she was working in her new post on an otherwise-all-male squad under the leadership of Det. Sgt. Trevor Cayson, according to records. A diminutive woman who handled well the paramilitary world of PBSO, Bradley had earned her stripes in murder and robbery investigations by lending a sympathetic ear to crime victims. As a detective, a former supervisor would later testify, Bradley often spent whatever time necessary "to talk to victims... about investigations that concern them."
Cayson's welcome to Bradley, according to court papers, wasn't so warm. "Hey, Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore" became a favorite line when he talked to Bradley.
Bradley, meanwhile, began questioning some of the squad's procedures, claiming that her fellow cops were regularly violating the civil rights of suspects. She says she saw one slapping handcuffs on a young would-be burglar, then "unarresting" him after he agreed to give up a codefendant. Bradley called it coercion. Her new colleagues called it routine.
She also questioned how the squad kept statistics, accusing Cayson of "stacking." That's a practice in which cops charge a defendant with several counts when just one would suffice. With stacking, statistics make it look like more arrests were made than in reality.
Cayson, who has supervised only two women in his career, deemed Bradley's work to be of inferior quality and seemed to distrust her, according to Bradley's personnel file. He once noted that, when he met her to discuss work in what should have been one-on-one sessions, he requested another sergeant be present. Why? "She's a female," Cayson would later explain during testimony. He added that Bradley cried in one of those sessions.
Within five months of her transfer, Bradley received two letters of reprimand: one for neglect of duty and the other for disrespect of a superior. Three days later, she was demoted to road patrol, at a loss of $4,000 a year, and transferred 35 miles away to the Royal Palm Beach district.
In October 2009, Bradley and the PBA triggered a contract-approved arbitration process, claiming that PBSO piled on against Bradley with the Royal Palm transfer and de facto demotion. The minitrial included evidence presented by both the PBA and Peter Sampo, PBSO's outside counsel. It didn't go PBSO's way.
Arbitrator Jeanne Charles Wood, who presided over the proceedings, concluded last year that Bradley's transfer was inappropriate and violated the labor contract. The detective, Wood concluded, was given no opportunity to correct her conduct and her transfer indeed was part of a disciplinary action.
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The reporting in the story is extraordinarily poor, lazy, and biased. I love how the writer sets the tone by adding flare with language like "smack-dab," and "fancy-equipment-driven," and one of my favorites, "icing on the cake of humiliation." Seriously, ever watch Brian Williams or Brokaw report the news, its done without spin and emotion. Then your rag will have a little more credibility.
It really is sad that you feel the need to add commentary and language the way you do. You aren't writing a novel or a piece for the 'National Examiner' or are you; how about a novel idea, report the facts about what happened. Did anyone in the story, including the deputies, ever use the phrase, "icing on the cake of humiliation?" How about investigate the truthfulness of the claims and the entire story before you give it your own little spin and flavor and flare.
All to often, these little local papers, get one or two people to comment and don't follow-up on the credibility of the witnesses or source. Kevin Green? Mottl? Amoroso? Bonan? What if someone at your "journalism" office claimed something about you that simply wasn't true? Would you want the journalist to print the story without finding out if it really happened or how credible the source is or the witness(s) is/are or if the accuser was an incompetent person with a history of complaining/claiming harassment? Please try it next time, you will gain a lot of respect and great deal of credibility from this reader and I'm guessing all your others as well. As of right now, you have lost one more reader because of your language and your failure to investigate the story properly before printing it.
How are the deputies victims or being treated like animals? If you weren't there to witness or a trained hazmat tech. please don't answer that question because you don't know. This is clearly a case of "she said, he said," and who should we believe….let's see. 1. If there was an act of wrong doing or maliciousness, why didn't these accusers follow the proper procedure and document it/report it immediately and appropriately? There is a policy and option for these issues or problems. 2. POLICY….when you don't know what a confiscated item is (b/c it can't go through security b/c it's dangerous) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT pick it up, look at it, smell it, taste it, or touch it and say "uh...what's this?" If they did their job by the rules, this even doesn't occur. 3. Hmmm….pepper spray discharges randomly...but randomly when they decide to touch it and pick it up, ever heard of operator error? How about, "don't touch it, it was confiscated because it's dangerous." In fact, it says so right on the "unknown" item, you can read the warning label without touching it, that's if you are really that concerned about it. Now, they want to accuse FF/other deputies of wrong doing…nonsense and blasphemy! These are the men AND WOMEN that risk their lives during real HAZMAT incidents, ever heard of the Bahrona's. These are good people, cops and firefighters protect us and should be treated with respect and admiration, wouldn't the deputies making accusations say the same thing about public servants or is this an attempt to get a free ride? It sounds like the only ones at fault are the deputies that failed to follow procedure on more than one occasion. What do their personnel reviews and files look like? How can anyone believe this story, if they can't' get the basics of their profession correct.THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO DEFLECT THEIR FAILURES, RULE BREAKING, AND NEGLIGENCE ONTO OTHERS, MAKING IT EVEN WORSE, ITS ONTO SWORN PUBLIC SERVANTS. THIS IS CLEARLY NOT BELIEVABLE AND SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN ANY CREDENCE!
ANN BURKE IS NOT THE PERSON THIS ARTICLE MAKES HER OUT TO BE.SHE IS A VICIOUS PERSON, MANIPULATIVE, AND A LIAR. WHEN SHE WAS IN ANY KIND OF POWER POSITION SHE RUINED MANY GOOD DEPUTIES CAREERS. SHE SHOULD OF BEEN FIRED FOR WHAT SHE DID. THE ONLY VICTIM IN THIS ARTICLE IS KIM BRADLEY. SHE IS A VERY GOOD DEPUTY SHERIFF AND SHE WAS TRULY TREATED UNFAIRLY.
So the Deputies are saying they were stripped down, hosed down, and humiliated... Isn't that what they do to Citizens they arrest? Maybe next time they are processing detainees they'll learn a little something from this incident.