Flushing Out The Mole

Chemistry CatMemo to Chief Leonard Burgess:

I realize that I’m not one of your favorite people.  I know I’ve been a thorn in your side.  It’s probably driving you nuts that you can’t stifle me.  You can’t sweet talk me.  You can’t do a damn thing to stop me.

You probably wish you could make me disappear forever.

I hate to break it to you, but I’m not going away any time soon.  Deal with it.

Oh, and Chief Burgess.  What you think of me is none of my business.

Sincerely,

The Blogger

Who gives a shit

While the North Miami Police Chief can’t do a damn thing about me, it’s really despicable how he abuses his power over those whose lives he can  make miserable.

When he worked for the Miami-Dade Police Department, for example, a female Major complained to Burgess’ boss about his inappropriate sexual advances toward her.

Burgess retaliated by transferring her out of the Economic Crimes Bureau.

It seems he’s repeating the exact same pattern of behavior by punishing anyone in the department that he suspects is aiding and abetting the blogger.  Because he can’t control me, he’s lashing out at anyone he believes may be “leaking” information to me, as well as to other media outlets.

That’s freaking childish if you ask me.

Not to mention disturbing.

I first landed on the Chief’s hit list by suggesting he was complicit in former mayoral candidate Kevin Burns’ ability to drive around town with an illegal city issued temporary license tag on his Little Red Campaign Fire Truck.  It was common knowledge that Burgess and his cronies in the department supported Burns during the campaign, but he sure wasn’t happy that I pointed it out.  Burgess has been annoyed with me ever since.

When I posted a blog about radio host Rotchill Anderson’s criticism of the Chief for keeping a “bad cop” on the department, Burgess was not a happy camper.

Aw JeezWhen I asked for public records about North Miami Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine, and posted a story about this cop’s most recent Internal Affairs investigation, followed by another 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 up.

When I requested additional public records about Officer Antoine, Chief Burgess played semantics by choosing to “misinterpret” which documents I was requesting, and withheld several of them from me for over a week.

When I finally did receive the records I asked for, and then exposed Officer Antoine as a serial harasser, sources inside City Hall told me that Chief Burgess started looking for The Mole in his department.

MoleThen, thanks to some posts on two online police forums from 2008, I inadvertently discovered a formal complaint of sexual harassment previously filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement against Chief Burgess by a female subordinate.  I blogged it.  Chief Burgess lost his cool.

By that time, if he still harbored any illusions, however tenuous, that he could silence me, they were shattered once he realized there is absolutely no way to stop cops from anonymously posting comments on sites like LeoAffairs.

Trust me, bigger men have tried!

But the final straw had to be when I caught Chief Burgess in a lie.  In a public email, he claimed that he “was not involved in this SH incident,” when in fact, sexual harassment is exactly what he was accused of doing.

That’s when it all hit the fan.

Highway Signpost "Shitstorm"Chief Leonard Burgess started scrambling for solutions to his blogger problem.

Believing that The Mole was in his Public Information Office, sources told me that Burgess thought he could solve the problem by getting rid of the PIO.  So he removed the department’s professionally trained and highly respected spokesman, Major Neal Cuevas, from his post.

Ironically dumping the one person most qualified to help the Chief fend off attacks from the very media he was desperately trying to avoid.

Local media peeps are still scratching their heads over that bonehead move.

Team Irony also burst out in uncontrollable laughter.  Sides are still aching.

Burgess then replaced Major Cuevas with Internal Affairs Sergeant Rafael Estrugo as the Public Information Officer.

When that move didn’t solve his blogger problem, Burgess was beside himself.

When I subsequently poked fun at the Chief’s Fuzzy Crime Stat Math in the wake of yet another North Miami shooting, Burgess went ballistic.

Last Friday, the Chief removed Sergeant Estrugo from BOTH the Public Information Office AND Internal Affairs!

Paranoid much?

Beware of the dogCuriously, Burgess assigned the recently hired Officer Natalie Buisserith as the department’s official Public Information Officer.

Officer Buisserith’s previous gig was the PIO of the Town of Medley, Florida, a 4.3 square mile outpost located in western Miami-Dade County, populated by 838 brave souls.  It’s Motto is “The perfect place for industrial development.”  Medley’s crime stats are so infinitesimal, the Town isn’t even listed in the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics website.

Why the Medley Police Department even needs a Public Information Officer remains one of life’s greatest mysteries.

But I’m sure Officer Buisserith is totally qualified to handle the Police Department’s Public Information Office of the sixth largest city in Miami-Dade County, with a population seventy two times  larger than Medley, and one of the highest crime rates in the county.

playboyThis scenario works out just fine for Chief Burgess, who now has a better chance of controlling the narrative with an inexperienced officer as PIO than he could by having either one of two highly decorated veterans (with a combined total of fifty six years of law enforcement experience) work with the media.

That makes perfect sense … if you’re Lenny Burgess.

By removing Sergeant Estrugo from Internal Affairs, whose investigations were performed professionally, thoroughly, and with razor sharp precision, it appears that Chief Burgess would also like to “dumb down” the IA department as well.

Might it be for self-serving purposes?  You know.  In case someone else files an “SH” complaint against him?

Just saying.

North Miami Police Chief Burgess is obviously stopping at nothing in his attempts to silence the media, including playing musical chairs with his staff under the guise of “reorganization.”

He also hasn’t quite given up on recruiting people from inside City Hall to schmooze me or from outside City Hall to post negative comments on my blogs.

Neither tactic will work.

If Chief Burgess thinks he’s seen and heard the last of me, he’s sadly mistaken.

If he thinks I’m a pain in the ass, I can live with that.

hehatemeBeen there, done that, bought the tee shirt.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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34 Comments

  1. Walter Ward says:

    I would like for you to move to Hialeah and start blogging

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      That’s so sweet of you, but Hialeah has an awesome blogger! Elaine de Valle of Political Cortadito is absolutely AMAZING! She covers not only Hialeah, but the entire county, too!

      Check her out at: http://www.politicalcortadito.com/

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  2. Guest says:

    Burgess is desperate and grasping at straws. His behavior makes him appear pathetic, paranoid,and petulant. These moves are the sort of thing that will cost him in the end. Let him continue spinning his wheels, he’s sure to eventually implode.

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  3. PopcornPlease says:

    Is the City Manager away on vacation or something?

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I have no clue where he is. I do know he’s been awfully quiet about his police chief problem lately. Guess he wimped out. Or he’s been somehow snowed into reversing his decision to get rid of corruption at the PD. Maybe he wasn’t the right man for the job after all. I’ve been wrong before.

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    2. Key Largo, Montego, Baby Where'd Aleem Go? says:

      he’s somewhere with a drink in his hand and his head in the sand like an ostrich

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  4. DANGEROUS says:

    Desperate men are often considered dangerous. North Miami does not want a desperate/dangerous man in charge of the police department. The city manager must act!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      He’s desperate to silence his critics and control the media. He reminds me so much of Myron, who ended up in handcuffs after I discovered his campaign finance fraud. The difference, however, is that Myron had no power, even as a Mayor. He didn’t have a staff or run a large department of a major city. This is why people like Burgess, who are in a position of power and who can destroy someone’s career, are dangerous. Those who wield power irresponsibly, and who put their own interests above public safety are the most dangerous of all. By allowing corrupt cops to remain on the job, and removing professional officers from key positions, Burgess is proving not only how incompetent he is, but also showing how little regard he has for the residents of North Miami, who depend on a professionally run police department. It’s scary how one man’s ego and innate stupidity can destroy an entire law enforcement agency. “Dangerous” is an understate. That this man carries a badge and a gun should scare the crap out of everyone.

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  5. Public Records says:

    Who is being put in charge of internal affairs? The officer in charge of internal affairs seemed to being a great and thorough report on that cop. Can the chief just fire someone without a reason? It just dawned on me that maybe internal affairs officers should be put in place by outside people! Thank you for this reporting about what is going on inside our dept!

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    1. Public Records says:

      typo is above: … Seemed to be doing / writing a great and thorough report….

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    2. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I was advised that the individual assigned to head up Internal Affairs is an extremely professional and capable law enforcement officer. I do not know the officer personally, but only by reputation. This is indeed a bright spot in an otherwise sordid affair.

      I hesitate to say anything else lest the Chief start imagining that the officer is another one of my “sources” and retaliate against another innocent victim.

      Note to Lenny: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. Just saying.

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  6. Autopilot says:

    Is the City Manager asleep at the wheel or what? How does he allow the chief to pinpoint these officers and demote or transfer them without cause? There has to be some regulation about doing this to officers. Now these officers carry the stigma of being moles or whatever based on nothing? That seems just plain wrong. The manager needs to ensure that this targeting of employees stops. This chief got away with this before with that woman officer, is this the direction we’re headed also? It will if the manager doesn’t wake up.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Sources have told me that a couple of council members are pressuring him to keep Burgess in place, or else. If that’s the case, then this is a clear violation of the Charter. As City Manager, Aleem has the explicit right, as well as the responsibility, to hire and fire his employees as he deems necessary without interference by elected officials.

      Then again, this is North Miami, where the Charter is regularly violated without consequence, and treated as a wish list instead of the rule of law.

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      1. Public Records says:

        Now I really want to know what the procedures are for removing/transfer/demote/etc someone — especially people with long standing positive impact like the two that this was done to? Can the chief just do this does he have to provide a reason? I am confused truley about this, what the rules are ? and who is being the person to replace the Internal Affairs and hope they are competent as that is an important position.

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        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          I can’t answer your questions. But, hey! Maybe the new PIO can fill you in! Here’s her contact info:

          Natalie Buissereth
          Officer
          305.891.0294
          (786) 256-2478 Cellular
          nbuissereth@northmiamipolice.com

          Let me know what U find out, k?

          🙂 Thank U!

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          1. Public Records says:

            Ha! You are funny! Well, I have said it before, the city needs to make access to Public Records easy and helpful, it would be the helpful thing that they should add a button not only for that on their website but an “ask the PIO” contact form. The CITY OF PROGRESS we are after all. Let’s progress!

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  7. Weekend at Bernie's says:

    Hear ye, hear ye, City council members: North Miami’s residents are getting tired of the status quo. Its high time to get rid of this no good corrupt chief and consider the qualifications of a City Manager who keeps him in power. If the council doesn’t influence change in the city we will send the message that it may be time to change the council.

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  8. Notabell says:

    If this department is like departments everywhere else, it won’t matter who is put in charge. It’s too late. The damage has been done. Squealers lose the trust of the rank and file.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      In the real world, “squealers” are known as whistle blowers. Assuming your accusation is correct, would you prefer having the “blue wall of silence” cover up corruption? Or would you rather have honest individuals protect the public from the Antoines of law enforcement? The public is the first to cry foul when bad cops cover up for other bad cops. I guess you’d rather have a corrupt police department than one that’s free of fraud and corruption.

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      1. Transparency says:

        So this notabell is calling these officers “squealers” when they haven’t even been investigated or proven of any wrong doing? Notabell sounds just like the chief in so far as the chief removed these officers because of his paranoia without any reason. Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t read anything in your blogs about this chief that weren’t a matter of public record. Have you blogged any information that was top secret or part of the ongoing investigations? Everything I’ve read so far has been readily available on the internet, through public records, or was well known throughout the police department.

        This notabell person seems to be encouraging officers to keep their mouths shut about any wrong doing. What does that say about his/her character?

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        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          I may receive tips from sources, but I verify through public records. If something is unverified or merely a rumor, but I have reason to believe that it’s credible, I may mention it if it’s relevant but with a caveat that it hasn’t been verified. I’m very careful about not spreading false information.

          I’ve also received “tips” that are so outlandish, which I eventually discover have been deliberately planted by “enemy camps.” I immediately recognize red herrings when I see them. Those are the best because I get a real kick out of exposing the idiots who attempt to trip me up. I amuse myself by playing the “Guess who thinks I was born yesterday” game. I always win!

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  9. DANGEROUS says:

    Leonard Burgess is creating a dictatorship in the PD. The cops had better shut up or they will be in big trouble with this little man. North Miami has had too many of these tyrants in power. Only incompetent men act like this. Only scared people act like Burgess. Get rid of him!

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  10. KeystoneCouple says:

    This chief sounds like a real character. Sounds like he gets rid of anyone who knows too much. Maybe now those who knew too much should really turn on him. I’m sure there’s tons of dirt to air. A rookie in the public information office sounds like a great idea…if you want to hide the truth of course. This chief has to go. I saw the who I think was the city manager driving through keystone today. Next time I see him maybe I’ll flag him down and give him my opinion on this “tyrant”. Better yet maybe I’ll just let the tyrant bring him down with him since it seems like he can’t make a decsion.

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  11. Stephanie Kienzle says:

    Confidential to Lenny Burgess: Nice try, party boy, but as you can see, I didn’t fall for the ruse. Next time you have someone shill for you, make sure she has the facts. I’m cutting her some slack this time, but the next time you convince one of your syncophants to post a bogus comment here, I will publish her name and address just to embarrass the crap out of her. Don’t think I won’t do it.

    Your biggest mistake was underestimating me.

    Hope we’re clear on that, sugar.

    🙂 Thank U!

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    1. Sofonisba Anguissola says:

      Oh damn that’s hilarious!

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  12. […] organized a witch hunt because, well, there just had  to be a double spy among the […]

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  13. […] of rewarding bad behavior (See: Jodlyn Antoine and Larry Coffee), and punishing whistle blowers and cops with integrity, could Burgess have somehow influenced the PBA to endorse the most ethically challenged candidate […]

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  14. […] sexual harassment complaint filed against him, protecting bad cops, getting even with cops who won’t play his game, playing loose with crime stats, keeping violent crimes under the radar and his latest attempt at […]

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  15. […] records requests.  He flat out lied about his history of a sexual harassment accusation.  He punished employees in the police department whom he suspected of “leaking” information to […]

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  16. […] to the blogger,” or any other media for that matter.  Despite his futile attempts to “flush out the mole” in his department, the media still has more eyes and ears on the inside than Lenny realizes.  In […]

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  17. […] then there’s the time that Chief Lenny vindictively punished veteran police officers because he was paranoid that they were “leaking” information to the […]

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  18. […] then there’s the time that Chief Lenny vindictively punished veteran police officers because he was paranoid that they were “leaking” information to the […]

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  19. […] then went on a mole hunt to search for the officers in his department whom he believed was “leaking” information […]

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  20. […] a state of delusional paranoia, good ol’ Chief Lenny decided to punish the extremely competent Internal Affairs Sergeant Rafael […]

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