NMPD Chief Leonard Burgess REALLY has some ‘splainin’ to do!

Burgess CatWhile researching the history of a certain NMPD cop’s behavioral problems, on February 8, 2015 I made an additional public records request for “all of North Miami Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine’s Internal Affairs Investigations prior to 2014,” specifically any Internal Affairs Summaries, including disciplinary recommendations by the disposition panels and disciplinary actions taken.

Yesterday afternoon I was notified that my request was finally fulfilled, so I made arrangements to have the documents picked up this morning.

I wish I could say I was surprised when I received two reports for Internal Affairs Case 2011-04 and Internal Affairs Case 2012-02, both regarding citizen complaints against Officer Antoine from women for charges of harassment.

The first was a complaint made by Ms. Germine Charite who alleged that Antoine “has utilized his police computer to access her personal information for no official police business.”

The second complaint was made by Ms. Ibena Robert (Correction: Rupert), who alleged that Antoine “has made flirtatious remarks and improper advances towards her,” and that his behavior was “becoming progressively worse, and she is in fear for her safety.”

Upon completion of each of the Internal Affairs investigations, both cases were referred to disposition panels for review and subsequent recommendations for discipline.

I wish I could tell you what discipline, if any, those disposition panels recommended for North Miami Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine, but I can’t…

BECAUSE THOSE DOCUMENTS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN MY PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST PACKAGE!

Here’s the thing.

Since English is my first language, I’m pretty damn good at writing letters in English.

Since writing is my preferred method of communication, I’m also pretty damn good at clearly and succinctly expressing what documents I want when I make public records requests.

Therefore, when I requested copies of any and all Internal Affairs investigations regarding North Miami Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine “specifically any Internal Affairs Summaries, including disciplinary recommendations by the disposition panels and disciplinary actions taken,” I made myself perfectly clear about exactly what documents I expected to receive.

The fact that I DID NOT RECEIVE either the disposition panel recommendations or the disciplinary actions taken, leads me to believe that someone  at the North Miami Police Department deliberately omitted these documents from my public records request.

Needless to say, I’m not happy right now.

For one thing, it took fifteen days from the time I made my request until I actually received the documents.

Yeah, I admit it.  I’m spoiled.

Maybe it’s because I’m used to dealing with the City of North Miami Beach, where public records requests are filled within a day or two.  In fact, NMB City Clerk Pamela Latimore has been known to fulfill my requests within an hour via email if the document I’m requesting is readily available.

So, Little Old Spoiled Me isn’t used to waiting more than two weeks to get what I want.

I admit, however, that patience is not one of my virtues.

But, I’m also not used to dealing with a Chief of Police who behaves like a Spoiled Brat.

Apparently, professionalism is not one of his.

I’m not making any accusations, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess deliberately withheld from my public records request the disposition panel recommendations and the disciplinary actions taken as a result of Officer Antoine’s previous two Internal Affairs investigations.

Because then Chief Burgess would have to explain why Officer Antoine is still on active duty in the North Miami Police Department.

Chief Burgess would also have to explain why he didn’t take into account Officer Antoine’s record during his previous tenure with the Village of Biscayne Park Police Department where he was written up for bad behavior SEVEN TIMES before mysteriously being hired by North Miami on July 26, 2004.  (Note:  I got those  public records within a week of my request.)

Chief Burgess would also have to explain why he also didn’t take into account any record of bad behavior that may  turn up when I review Antoine’s records during his short tenure with the City of Lauderhill Police Department, where he was employed prior to Biscayne Park.  (Note:  I expect to receive those  public records later this week.)

Oh, yeah.  Chief Burgess has A LOT of ‘splainin’ to do!

UninsplainableI’m guessing that right about now North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess is wishing this whole thing would just go away.

He probably wishes I would just go away.

Maybe he shouldn’t have dismissed me.

Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to discredit me.

Maybe he should have been paying attention.

I don't forgive or forget

Memo to Chief Burgess:  I’m just getting started.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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16 Comments

  1. James Tracton,JD,PhD says:

    Do not stop until we are rid of a BAD Police Chief.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I have no plans to stop any time soon. Nothing would make me happier than to see Assistant Chief Gary Eugene finally be promoted to the top!

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  2. Ellen says:

    Enough already! Why are Officer Antonie and Chief of Police Burgess still employed by the City of North Miami? They should bother be terminated immediately! How much more crap are the residents of North Miami supposed to put up with?

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      As much as y’all are willing to put up with. I suggest you contact Aleem and tell him your thoughts.

      Just saying, of course.

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  3. James Tracton,JD,PhD says:

    I hope the City Manager is reading your blogs. And I hope you does somthing about the police dept.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Believe me, he reads the blogs. 🙂

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  4. Ruth says:

    I for one am very grateful for all the work and effort you do for us residents of the cities of North Miami and North Miami Beach. We would otherwise never know the kind of people who are suppose to be representing and protecting us. I just want to say, thank you.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Thanks, Ruth. I appreciate your support!

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  5. Irma says:

    I’m also grateful for what you do and I think that any public official who doesn’t like it is because they have something to hide and that includes Chief Burgess. He’s shown us he makes bad decisions, has no leadership and takes part in covering up bad behavior. Our council really needs to take note and listen to the citizens. We’re tired of the corruption, tired of lousy mayors, city managers and lousy police chiefs! We are very lucky that now we have an excellent manager and mayor now let’s make our city the type of place we can be proud of and get rid of Chief Burgess and Antoine!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Just wait until the next blog. 😉

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  6. Robert Gruenberg says:

    Steph you’ve said that the manager reads your blog, this comment it for him.

    Mr. Manager,
    I’ve lived in this city for over thirty-five years. I’ve seen many politicians and police chiefs come and go. Since the days of Kevin Burns our city was turned into a pit of corruption and mismanagement. From his tenure forward we’ve seen the likes of the Andre Pierre’s, Steve Johnson’s, Joe Celestins, and Marie Sterils. There have been kickbacks, back door deals, nepotism, bid rigging, and outright fraud.
    Those of us who have resisted the flight to Aventura or Broward want to know that our taxes dollars are being spent here for the maintenance, growth and development of North Miami. We also want to know that our elected officials and appointed department heads want what’s best for our city and not their personal agendas.
    Things are looking up and the citizens of this fair city are optimistic. We are looking to you, the mayor, and the council to bring North Miami back from the third world republic it’s become. Cleaning house is what a manager does to get a clean slate and build a solid foundation. You have the support of the community to do this and hopefully you have the support of the council.
    A police officer who uses computers to track down people, extorts money and lies to his superiors isn’t worthy of the badge he wears. A police chief who condones this behavior by giving him a slap on the wrist is promoting corruption.
    The police department needs new fresh leadership.

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  7. […] I mentioned earlier, the first IA investigation (Case 2011-04) involved a complaint made by a Ms. Germine Charite who […]

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  8. Public Records says:

    Steph, lets return to the old days of HOT if people here are old enough to recall HONEST OPEN TRANSPARENCY which was a logo on the city stationary (I think the CRA association?). Add the City Clerk to your get-it-together agenda, access to Public Records MUST improve in North Miami. Manager if you are reading this, how about making access to Public Records part of the city’s mission, like it is in other cities where even on the website there is a form. How about making it part of the city’s duty to make it easy for their citizens to receive HOT (see above.) Steph, The thing is the city clerk is ELECTED, so they are not answerable to the manager/city council, right? But I cannot believe (or maybe it is so?) that the council and mayor and manager cannot do something about making access to Public Records easy and transparent. Updating the city website with information on how to do it – and even a form – would be a good start. You should hear people complain about Public records, I have heard it once myself in council meetings some citizen got up to complain.

    So, Manager and Mayor and City Council – how about fixing this too, we have faith in you. How about updating website, letting people know how important it is to share public information and helping with that process. Thanks Stephanie.

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  9. Robert Gruenberg says:

    Stonewalling and gate keeping has been the flavor of the week in North Miami for years. Blame the chief, city attorney, and all those who block the flow of information when they don’t like what’s going to be revealed.

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  10. […] Feb 24 –> How do both these guys still have jobs? […]

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  11. […] like to think this was some sort of clerical error or oversight, but this is the second time that certain items of the public records that I requested were withheld from me.  So, excuse me […]

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