Hollywood's Dirty Brotherhood Exposed
The Sun-Sentinel's John Holland revealed the depths of Hollywood Police Chief James Scarberry's delusions in this morning's newspaper. Scarberry swears the leak of the FBI investigation into his department didn't come from his men even though he squealed about it to six members of his command.
Apparently Big Go0mbah-wannabe Kevin Companion -- the leader of a quartet of crooked cops who were suckered into an FBI mafia sting -- said that if he got in any trouble Asst. Chief Louis Granteed and Capt. Tony Rode would bail him out. But Scarberry tells Holland what a couple of great guys "Louie" and "Tony" are and says they would never protect Companion or anyone other wrong-doers in the Hollywood PD.
What garbage. First off, Rode is a guy who is so deep in the department's long history of misdeeds that he should have been fired a long time ago. Oh wait, Rode was fired a long time ago. Former Chief Richard Witt fired him for his leading role in hiring 40 or so derelicts with criminal records onto the force. Witt also fired Rode's
buddy, Angel DeLaRossa. And one of those sleazoids hired in the hiring scandal was none other than Jeff Courtney, one of the recently arrested officers who apparently was the recipient of the leak. Courtney had been arrested twice for writing bad checks and once for a DUI before he was hired by Hollywood in 1991. In other words, he was a disaster waiting to happen.
After Witt fired DeLaRossa and Rode, the city political machine kicked into action. Witt, who was trying to rid the force of the cancer created by the corrupt department leadership, was canned and both DelaRossa and Rode were rehired the next day. (Incidentally, DeLaRossa resigned after the FBI scandal broke. The official line is that he was so disgusted by the officers' behavior that he had to quit. The smart money says he wanted to get out before the four indicted officers spilled the beans on other crimes in the department. Regardless, I hope you're getting the picture of how much absolute B.S. the guys in blue are throwing against the wall, hoping it will somehow stick).
And Granteed? [IMPORTANT: Granteed answers the allegations in this post here]. Well, he's sort of the eminence grise of the department. A weaseley fellow who climbed the ranks, Granteed told Holland of the recent scandal and his buddy Companion: "I had no idea they were doing anything like this and wouldn't put up with it. Kevin is a friend, but I've come this far in my career by being honest and having the trust of the chief and my fellow officers.''
Oh yeah, Kevin Companion and Louis Granteed are real close, with a tight friendship dating back to 1994. That was when a female cop accused them both of sexually harrassing her on the job. Companion threw her down on a couch and tried to kiss her, according to the lawsuit. Granteed opened the garage door of her home and walked inside without permission. This was in between all kinds of sexual innuendo and leg-grabbing. The officer explained that she put up with it because in the Hollywood PD "atmosphere" it was impossible to "complain."
"It was somewhat like a brotherhood, you had to fit in," she said.
But this was one bad frat and Granteed has been its unofficial president for years. And he has always been tied to the political higher-ups on the dais. Granteed broke departmental rules in 1996 by trying to get two Hollywood commissioners to help him get a promotion. A year after that, a Sentinel report found that he'd worked lucrative off-duty details while he was supposed to be on patrol (the department later claimed Granteed did nothing wrong, that it was all caused by clerical errors).
Yeah, Granteed is not to be trusted and several of my sources say he's the leading candidate as the leaker, namely because it's known that Scarberry told him about the FBI sting and his known ties into the sleazy subculture in the department, including being tied by marriage to the notorious Jeff Marano, a Hollywood cop who has been tied to so many misdeeds that it's a modern-day miracle that he's still got a badge (man, New Times has been drumming up strong reports -- here's a bunch from Trevor Aaronson -- on the Hollywood PD for a long time).
Okay, so there's a primer for you, dear reader, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. Now go back and re-read Holland's piece to see what a joke Chief Scarberry has really become. How could he tell Granteed about the investigation when he must have known his relationship to Companion? Ah, but don't put the blame on Scarberry. He's just another weak and ethically dubious law enforcement schmuck trying to "fit in." Remember who else he ran to when he heard about the FBI investigation? Yeah, Mayor Mara Giulianti. Don't make any mistake, this is all about political power. Mayor Mara and other hardwired pols have relied on this dirty brotherhood for years to help get her re-elected -- it's a base of her power and these guys have campaigned vociferously for her. In return, Mara et al protected the ring. That's why Witt was fired when he was trying to change the culture. It was a threat to the machine.
But now, with the police scandal and Keith Wasserstrom's arrest on corruption charges, the machine is sputtering. And now that the four indicted officers are spilling to the feds about all kinds of departmental secrets, it looks like it's about to blow.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.