A former Broward deputy has filed an ethics complaint with the State of Florida against Sheriff Al Lamberti, alleging he violated state law when he engaged in a "fraudulent scheme" to bring his 15-year-old son with him on a security detail at last year's Super Bowl.
In the complaint, ex-deputy DiPerna alleges that Lamberti used his elected position for personal gain for his family and failed to report the all-access credential given to young Nick Lamberti as a gift from the NFL. The matter -- which was first revealed here -- is already under criminal investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
DiPerna was fired from BSO after Lamberti's election over opponent Scott Israel. DiPerna alleges the firing was political retaliation carried out by Lamberti's former executive assistant, Lt. David Benjamin, who remains employed with BSO despite his deep entanglement in the Scott Rothstein scandal.
The complaint was filed on February 28. Read highlights inside.
From the complaint:
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti, Capt. Robert Schnakenberg and possibly other persons unknown falsified BSO documents so that Sheriff Lamberti's son, Nick Lamberti, could have access to the game.A Super Bowl Credential Request Form for Law Enforcement was executed listing the name of Nick Lamberti of the Broward Sheriff's Office with an ID number of BSO 0000. ... [I]t state Nick Lamberti's duties were: AFC team security during pre-event and game day. This official form was signed by Schnakenberg. It should be noted that Nick Lamberti at the time was 15 years of age and in fact was not a law enforcement officer.... Sheriff Al Lamberti used his position to gain access for his son to the Super Bowl by allowing or participating in a fraudulent scheme identifying his 15 year old son as being employed by BSO. As you are aware access to a Super Bowl game can be worth thousands of dollars ...It violates ethics rules for an elected official to use their position to gain something in value for themselves or their family. ...Besides the issue of an allegedly false application for security credentials reserved for law enforcement personnel, the Super Bowl access provided to the sheriff's son could be construed as a gift that should have been reported on his state required disclosure forms submitted to the Florida Commission on Ethics.BSO officials have claimed the credentials had no dollar value and therefore the sheriff would not amend his disclosure forms. But at least one legal expert disputes that position. "I do think the law enforcement credentials that were issued have value, in as much as they grant access that most football fans would deem priceless," said Robert M. Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.Please conduct an investigation into this matter.
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