Remember that first post on Sheriff Al Lamberti using his status as sheriff to get his teenaged son into last year's Super Bowl at Sun Life (Joe Robbie) Stadium? Well, it's kicked up a hornet's nest that was hit with a stick yesterday courtesy of South Florida Times reporter Elgin Jones.
Jones is digging into the situation and today reported that BSO falsified documents to get Nick Lamberti into the game as part of the official AFL security detail without consent of NFL or the Miami Police Department, which handled background checks on the security credentials.
The "Super Bowl XLIV Credentials Request Form for Law Enforcement," uncovered in a South Florida Times investigation, lists Nick Lamberti as the applicant, with his father the sheriff as his supervisor and BSO Captain Robert Schnakenberg as the supervisor signing off on the application.
The application was for "AFC Team Security During Pre-Event & Game Day."
The spaces for job title and date of birth for the applicant were left blank and the sheriff's office was listed as the teenager's place of employment.
A National Football League official told the South Florida Times that the NFL had not been asked and did not issue Super Bowl security credentials for Nick Lamberti.
"The NFL is not part of the decision-making process with regard to accreditation issued and approved by law enforcement," Michael Signora, the NFL's vice-president of football communications, said in an e-mail response to a query from South Florida Times.
We already knew from the document I obtained last month that BSO had given 16-year-old Nick Lamberti a bogus BSO employee number (0000) to facilitate his getting into the game. The implication here is that the sheriff and/or members of his command staff committed fraud to secure a major favor for his son.
Capt. Schnakenberg recently told the Pulp that the sheriff invited his son to the game and that the "NFL made him a pass." He also told me that Nick Lamberti's all-access attendance at the game was approved by the NFL (as well as the FBI). It now appears that the NFL had no idea that the sheriff's son was in attendance or that Nick Lamberti was a minor, that he was not employed at BSO, and that he would not be doing any security work. I have contacted Schnakenberg for comment on the latest findings and will update if and when I hear from him.
Whatever the case, BSO brass is becoming hypersensitive -- see inside to learn what sheriff's officials are telling the rank and file about supplying information to the media and what Al Lamberti recently said about the Pulp.
According to sources inside BSO, sheriff's higher-ups have been reminding deputies at roll call and other occasions that they could get in big trouble if they give information to the press. They have even said that providing tips to the media regarding an ongoing investigation could be prosecuted as a third-degree felony.
Interesting. So if the sheriff does, say, an internal investigation on the Super Bowl credentials, then any deputy who talks about them will be subject to prosecution. For that matter, the sheriff could keep a perpetual investigation going on, say, former Scott Rothstein cohort David Benjamin to keep people mum on the topic.
It looks like that's what's happening. The sheriff is sitting on his hands with the investigation of Lt. Benjamin, who was Lamberti's executive officer when he escorted the Ponzi schemer out of the country at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when Rothstein fled to Morocco. Benjamin also went into some sort of business with Rothstein and, according to sources, received at least $30,000 from the now-disbarred lawyer. The sheriff has been investigating Benjamin for about 16 months now. It's ludicrous.
But despite the attempted media and information blackout on Benjamin, the Super Bowl, and other uncomfortable issues, the sheriff is still apparently feeling the heat from the Pulp and other news-producing websites, including South Florida Times, JAABlog, and LEOAffairs. Every week, Lamberti sends out an agencywide email he calls "411-Friday" in which he addresses several topics. In the one put out this past Friday, Lamberti included this blurb:
Alternative News - I'm often approached by BSO personnel who are upset about things they read on internet blog sites or alternative "news" outlets, such as LEOaffairs, New Times, South Florida Times, JAAblog, etc. These sites are provocative by design and they're not always fair and balanced. They are more about entertainment than information and opinions usually outpace the facts. I appreciate all your expressions of support and please know that I am determined to stay focused on our mission and not to be distracted from our work.
Hey, I agree that the Pulp entertains at times and can be provocative, but I would suggest to the sheriff that he not underestimate the power of the new media. At the end of the email, Lamberti wrote in bold that his mission is "Raising Standards. Elevating Integrity. Delivering Excellence."
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Keep doing that, sheriff, and I'll try to do my part to help you get it done.
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