Damage Control!

pepper-spray-copIt started with a phone call.

I thought nothing of it at first.  The caller was an acquaintance I hadn’t spoken to in a few weeks.  I figured he was just calling to say hello and catch up.

I didn’t even think it was unusual that this acquaintance brought up my first blog post about North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess’ decision not to fire alleged  “bad cop” Jodlyn Antoine.  Lots of people call me to discuss local politics and what I write in my blogs.

The dude on the phone suggested that perhaps I didn’t know the whole story.  He was right about that.  At the time, all I knew about the matter was what I’d heard on radio host Rotchill Anderson’s show.

But, when this acquaintance began defending the Chief’s actions because “other cops had done worse things without getting fired,”  it hit me!

This was no friendly phone call.

Here was a wannabe political operative – a useful idiot the Chief assigned to play spin doctor.

I suppose the Chief needed a quick course of action.

Damage Control for DummiesI’ve been the target of Chief Leonard Burgess’ ire ever since I outed former (and future?) mayoral candidate Kevin Burns for his campaign fire truck sporting what appeared to be a city issued temporary license tag.  I pondered how Kevin had been driving all over North Miami with bogus plates without being cited by the NMPD for this violation.  I’m guessing the Chief was a tad miffed when I posted,

Why hasn’t anyone in the North Miami Police Department stopped this vehicle in the last three months to check for registration?

Chief Burgess, do you have an answer for that?

Yeah, I guess that would bother me, too.  If I were a Police Chief.

But public figures employed by governmental agencies often come under public scrutiny and are subject to criticism.  Especially by the taxpayers who employ them.  Even more so by the media.

A true leader will learn from the critique, adjust his behavior (and his attitude), continue to do his job, and hope for the best.

Bloggers, for example, are also public figures of a sort.  We’re often targets of harsh criticism.  It’s the nature of the beast.

Those of us who succumb to pressure to kill a story for political purposes might as well go home and make cookies for a PTA bake sale.

The rest of us deal with it.

While a select few of us take it as a challenge.

Big girl pantiesI ended the conversation with my now former acquaintance, but not before advising him that if he was spinning for Chief Burgess he was wasting his time calling me.

Needless to say, the dude hasn’t called me back.  I don’t expect to hear from him any time soon.

The second message I received was even more perplexing when the caller told me that Chief Burgess asked him to call me and say, “What’s up?”

Huh?

“What’s up?”

For realzWell, that  was interesting.

Oh, well, I guess.  Challenge accepted!

It became quite apparent that Chief Leonard Burgess was doing his best to keep me from questioning his decisions by attempting to shut me up.  As you can imagine, that only made me dig my heels in further.

Fortunately for me, I’ve had plenty of practice being a gadfly.

It appears Chief Burgess didn’t get that memo.

For example, back in 2010 North Miami Beach EX-Mayor Myron Rosner didn’t appreciate my criticism of him.  In retaliation, he reported me to Code Enforcement.  Some people would have been intimidated.  I’m not one of them.

As the Miami New Times noted:

If his goal was to silence the legal secretary and 20-year North Miami Beach resident, Rosner struck out big time. The very next day, Miami’s best gadfly was back on her computer, blogging about Rosner’s crackdown and demanding his head. What a pain in the ass! (That’s a compliment, Stephanie.)

Compliment accepted.

It took a perp walk for Myron to realize just what a pain in the ass I could be.

Chief Burgess can try his best to spin the truth, but there’s a public record for that!

I’ve always been a big fan of Internal Affairs Reports.  (Just ask L’il Frantzie P.)  But I only recently discovered that Disposition Panel recommendations are required reading!

As I noted in OMG! THIS CHIEF!, Burgess “unilaterally ignored all OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATIONS, including a directive by the City Manager,” despite the fact that the Disposition Panel recommended that Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine be dismissed.

But Chief Burgess didn’t appreciate my pointing that out.

So a couple nights ago I got yet another phone call from and old friend who admitted to being a “go-between.”  My friend left me a voicemail claiming that “the Chief wants to have a sit down” with me because I seem to “have a mis-perception of him.”  The message continued with “he wants to get to know me and wants me to get to know him.”

Getting to know youSure thing, Chief.  Let me get my crayons.

But, the final straw – and the reason I’m even writing this blog – is that a former North Miami Police Commander, retired for fifteen years, sent a comment for my approval to post on my blog in an attempt to dispute each and every fact that I uncovered in my research about Police Chief Leonard Burgess’ flawed decision to keep a “bad cop” on the force.

Based on the details in the comment, it was quite apparent that this person had been recruited to spin the truth with straw man arguments and to “school” me on such things as due process, Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, and collective bargaining.

Like WTF?

This useful idiot also tried to paint a glowing picture of Jodlyn Antoine as “Officer of the Decade,” who was just a poor, misunderstood victim of circumstances.

In other words, this individual thought I was born yesterday.

Of course, I did my research.

I discovered that this former Commander had retired in 2000, had not been involved with the Police Department since that time, had never worked with Officer Antoine, and had no working knowledge of this investigation other than what was already a public record.  It was quite obvious this individual was doing the Chief’s bidding by contacting me.

Needless to say, this person’s attempt at damage control was an Epic Fail.

tactical facepalmAlso, needless to say, I didn’t allow that ridiculous comment to be posted.  It’s bad enough Chief Burgess is attempting to bully me into silence.  But I will not allow my website to be used for propaganda purposes in order to “sell his side of the story” to my readers.

As such, I wrote back to the retired Commander explaining my position, reiterating the UNDISPUTED, VERIFIABLE FACTS of the case, and stating that if Chief Burgess wishes to to dispute my findings, he’s free to purchase ad space in the Miami Herald.

In other words, “Talk to the hand.”

I added, “Chief Burgess would do well to cease and desist his attempts at discrediting me and focus on running the Police Department as a respectable and professional law enforcement agency instead of a high school.”

I sure hope he gets that memo.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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18 Comments

  1. You go girl! Bastardum non carborundum

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I’m honored that you have such faith in my ability to stand strong. I’m honored you read my blog, too.
      🙂

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  2. Randall says:

    That’s the most pathetic thing I’ve heard in a long time. Burgess sounds like he is in panic mode like a little bitch. Was he going to bring some cookies to your meeting and ask you if you could be friends?
    Someone should tell Burgess to heed Mark Twain and not get into disputes with people who buy ink by the barrel.

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  3. Ellen says:

    It has been extremely disturbing to read that North Miami police officer Jodlyn Antoine is of sub-standard character. Obviously, this is not the quality of individual anybody in this city deserves. As a resident of North Miami and a taxpayer, I demand that our police officers be beyond reproach. It seems that Burgess is unable to handle his office properly. Obviously it’s time for his replacement.

    The people of North Miami are entitled to a Chief of Police whose judgment is unquestioned. Good by Burgess!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Ellen, you’re always asking “Where are the authorities?”

      Guess what? These are the authorities.

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  4. Kennedy Rosario says:

    Done my share of investigating members of my former profession, fortunately there truly are an overwhelming number of good LEOs, unfortunately the oft named “barrel” occasdionally holds a bad apple. It has always been the task of the other apples to expel the rooten one, for if not us then who? Assuming a correctly conducted investigation with due process,tarnishing the badge in any manner must never be allowed, period

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I completely agree with you on all counts. Anyone who protects a bad cop is just as guilty as the one he’s protecting.

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  5. Joe says:

    North Miami did not have Commanders in 2000, they had Lieutenants back then, they have only had Commanders for about 5 years.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      The individual who contacted me used an abbreviation for “Commander” in that person’s email address. Regardless of the actual rank, I did confirm that this person was a police officer and a member of the executive staff of the NMPD before retiring in 2000.

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    2. NMPO says:

      You’re wrong.

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      1. NMPO says:

        Sorry Steph, let me clarify that my comment is in response to “Joe” saying that we didn’t have Commanders in 2000. We have them now and we had them then. “Joe” is wrong, probably because Joe is actually Jodlyn Antoine (he likes to call himself Joe) and he has no clue what was going on in 2000 because he’s was off somewhere trying to become a cop. Wherever he was, it wasn’t NMPD!

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        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          Thanks for clearing that up. Obviously I had no way to know if that was the case. I was merely using the title that the writer used in her own email address. I probably shouldn’t have assumed she was a Commander just because she referred to herself as one, but I had no reason to think otherwise.

          Either way, it doesn’t matter whether she was a Commander or a janitor. She hasn’t been around for fifteen years, had nothing to do with Jodlyn Antoine, and is not involved in this case whatsoever. It was beyond obvious that she was recruited out of retirement for the sole purpose of defending the Chief.

          If Joe is the one trying to “confuse” me about whether or not NMPD had Commanders in 2000, that would make perfect sense. Both of them are serving up red herrings to take the focus off Burgess.

          It’s not working.

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  6. […] Trevor Bach called me a few weeks ago after I posted Damage Control! and wanted to know the whole story.  I was only too happy to give it to […]

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  7. […] blog about the slap-on-the-wrist disciplinary action he received, Burgess went into mad crazy spin control mode by enlisting someone – anyone – who he hoped could shut me […]

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  8. […] And, yes, it’s well known that Chief Lenny always tries to silence his critics and control the narrative. […]

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  9. […] Top Cop, Chief Lenny’s unofficial titles also include Ladies’ Man, Political Animal, Spin Doctor, Fudgemeister, and Flag Football […]

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  10. […] and more furiously he went into damage control mode.  He had various individuals contact me to spin the truth for him.  He tried to put the kibosh on my public records requests.  He flat out lied about his […]

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  11. […] this is a good time to remind Larry Juriga about that time Evan tried to run interference for Chief Lenny … and failed […]

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