Chief Lenny’s Resignation: The End of an Error

ResignedNow that we’ve all had time to let the good news of Chief Lenny’s resignation sink in, let’s give him the farewell tribute he so richly deserves.

For starters, did anyone notice that the still-serving Chief of the North Miami Police Department was conspicuously absent from the Police Memorial Ceremony on Tuesday morning?

Has there ever been a chief of police of any department in any city in the USA who skipped out on such an incredibly important event?

The short answer is “Yes.”

The long answer is “Yes.  Chief Lenny.”

How disrespectful to the three North Miami Police Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the community.  How disrespectful to their families.

Then again, we are not talking about an individual who has respect for what it means to be a professional law enforcement officer.  We are talking about someone who is the personification of incompetence, and who became the laughing stock of the county within months of his hiring.

It only got worse from there.

On June 4, 2014, Leonard Burgess became the chief of the police department of the sixth largest municipality in Miami-Dade County.  It wasn’t long before it became obvious that Lenny was the wrong choice.  Unfortunately, an equally incompetent city manager, Aleem Ghany, refused to admit he made a mistake, dug his heels in, and refused to fire Chief Lenny.  I’m guessing out of sheer embarrassment.  Or just plain spinelessness.

Then again, Lenny did the same exact thing when he refused to fire a serial predator cop, despite Jodlyn Antoine’s numerous violations of NMPD standard operating procedures, NMPD rules and regulations, and civil service rules, not to mention his illegally accessing the police database for the purpose of stalking women.

If Aleem had had any leadership skills, both Chief Lenny and Officer Antoine would have been fired on the spot.

The Antoine incident, however, certainly wasn’t Lenny’s only screw up.

Over here chiefDuring the 2014 city council election, he inserted himself by overtly siding with one of the mayoral candidates.  Unfortunately, he bet on the wrong horse.  When Dr. Smith Joseph handily beat his opponent, Kevin Burns, in the mayoral race, Lenny had egg on his face.  He was eventually forced to promote Gary Eugene to Assistant Chief instead of Franzia Brea, who also supported Burns.

Instead of learning his lesson, which was to STFU and stay out of politics, Lenny stepped up his game.

Let’s review some of the “highlights” of Lenny’s short career as the NMPD’s top cop.

There’s the time he flat out lied about past sexual harassment charges filed against him when it was mentioned on a police website.  I soon dug up a formal complaint filed against him by a female subordinate when he worked for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  This sergeant took offense at (among other things) his calling her “Chica Rica” in a text message.  Imagine that!   In retaliation, Lenny had her “transferred” out of a her unit, which was actually a demotion.

Yes, he’s that vindictive.

Lenny then went on a mole hunt to search for the officers in his department whom he believed was “leaking” information to the media.  In his extreme paranoia, he targeted the very people who supported his appointment as chief in the first place.  One of those individuals was a professionally trained and well respected public information officer whose skills would have been a tremendous help to Lenny’s image.  Instead, Lenny viewed the seasoned PIO as a threat and replaced him with an amateur.

Yes, he’s that hapless.

Another proud moment in NMPD history under Chief Lenny’s watch, was the time one of his dispatchers made death threats from his personal cell phone while on duty.  When questioned by the media about the incident, and the token “punishment” the dispatcher received, Lenny ducked into a council meeting to avoid the reporters.

Yes, he’s that shifty.

Speaking of Chief Lenny’s dispatch office, yet another 911 operator completely dropped the ball when a resident, believing his mother was having a heart attack, called for help.  Because of the delay in dispatching first responders, it took over half an hour for that help to arrive.  Instead of accepting responsibility for the screw up, Chief Lenny falsely blamed the county’s 911 dispatch center.

Yes, he’s that childish.

And who can forget the time his dispatchers were asleep at the wheel and left a gun unattended for five hours in the lobby of the police department?  Unable to find a scapegoat for this new disaster, but unwilling to speak to the media and take responsibility, he shoved his woefully unprepared PIO before the unforgiving cameras.  He armed her with a hastily contrived “solution,” which included an updated camera system and a gun buy-back program, neither of which would possibly prevent the same thing from happening again.  If the dispatchers had been doing their jobs, the gun would have been attended to immediately.  Instead of fixing the real problem, Chief Lenny decided to man the police department lobby 24/7 with an officer being paid overtime, to the tune of approximately $9,000.00 this year so far.  Courtesy of North Miami taxpayers, as usual.

Yes, he’s that incompetent.

And don’t forget Chief Lenny’s fudging of crime stats, failure to alert the public about dangerous suspects on the loose, and refusal to issue press releases about armed home invasions in Keystone Point and Griffing Park Estates.

And, of course, there is Chief Lenny’s penchant for rewarding sycophants and punishing those who refuse to suck up to him.

Chief Lenny gifted CIVILIAN budget dude (who was once arrested and charged with five counts of conspiracy and civil rights violations) Jorge Manresa with a $25,000.00 undercover police SUV fitted with police emergency equipment, while he still blatantly discriminates against his Haitian Assistant Chief of Police Gary Eugene, who by the way, STILL has not received the salary increase he is entitled to.

Things started coming to a head when Keystone Point residents finally spoke out after years of watching their previously safe neighborhood become a haven for burglars, robbers, car thieves and vandals.  Chief Lenny’s response?  He put up a flashing signIN AN UPSCALE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD … advising residents that they live in a high crime area.

Message Board 1Message Board 3Message Board 4Message Board 2Yes, he’s that clueless.

But the final nail in the proverbial coffin was hammered in last Thursday afternoon when, try as he might, he couldn’t figure out how to spin the bad news that HIS police department failed the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation three day on-site assessment.  By Saturday morning, he finally gave up and told City Manager Larry Spring of his decision to resign.

That’s the “official” story anyway, according to a Miami Times article posted this afternoon.

Even though the article mentioned that Chief Lenny had to “endure criticism by one blogger,” the reporter was mostly solicitous toward the outgoing chief.  She obviously took her talking points from the excessively elaborate resignation letter that was intended to sing his praises.

It’s quite obvious the letter was ghostwritten because, unlike Lenny’s typical writings, this one contains complete sentences with proper punctuation and no grammatical errors.

Plus, there’s not even one ” 🙂 … Thank u ” in the entire note!

Lenny also professed appreciation for “the command staff and all the men and women of NMPD for their continued support and friendship.”

And, yes, he’s that delusional.

Leonard Burgess had absolutely no intention of resigning at any time in the foreseeable future.  He fully expected to continue his vindictive, hapless, shifty, childish, incompetent, clueless, and delusional ways with no consequences.

However, thanks to the many residents, community leaders and police officers who spoke out at public forums to voice their displeasure with this police chief, he had to have realized that he was only fooling himself.

Chief Lenny’s failed leadership, lack of professionalism, refusal to take responsibility, and inability to address community needs, ultimately led to his own undoing.

A community’s number one priority should be public safety.  After almost two years of ill-conceived crime fighting policies, risky decision making, and petty vindictiveness exhibited by an incompetent chief, the North Miami Police Department was sorely in need of reform.

VotersOpinion and its research staff wish to congratulate the residents of North Miami for making this change a reality.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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8 Comments

  1. jay weinstein says:

    I attended Chief Lenny’s installation where his cronies in light blue blazers were present. The whole group looked like a bunch of immature system gamers who delighted in being apart of some good old boys cabal. Chief Lenny came to Keystone Home Owner’s Association meeting soon after this installation and proceeded to ignore those of us at the meeting who he knew would ask him difficult questions. That red flag was all I needed to see that we residents were in for his disappointing tenure. So I say Good Riddance to Bad Trash

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  2. Ellen says:

    That ANY police department would FAIL the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation’s on-site assessment is really scary! Not only Burgess, but his cronies should find another police department to work in. The officers in the North Miami Police Department deserve, as does the public, only those officers who are qualified to do the very best they can at all times. Nobody needs or wants any officer, of any rank, who is overtly political or who’s reputation is negative in any way. Obviously, it’s way past time for a competent, decent, unblemished Chief of Police to lead this department. Those that are below standard should be demoted and or eliminated. We don’t need any officer who has brought the department down.

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  3. No More Illuminati 2016 says:

    You’ve done a great job blogging the things that made Burgess a terrible chief but the sad fact is that this is still North Miami and even though you cut the head off of this monster another one will grow back. Now we’re all left hoping that the one we know is watching and waiting won’t slip right in. Juriga is nothing more than the other side of that same coin. I hear he drove Carol Keys, Alix Desulme and others to the airport this morning on their trip to China and you just know that he was using every minute to politic for himself. Juriga knows exactly how to play the game by flexing, flirting, smiling, and blowing smoke at the politicians. I bet he had Carol Keys eating out of his hand, oh and Alix too. He’s just that type. It’s too bad our council members and Mr. Spring don’t know the real person behind that act. Anybody who’s worked here long enough has seen Juriga run around imitating every black and Haitian in this city. Him running around the desk upstairs like a 13 year old boy. Yes, running. For real, around the secretary station. His office full of Superman dolls, cartons, toys and stuff because he thinks he’s the Superman character. The Assistant Chief.
    I could write a book about the stuff this clown has done throughout the years in our police department. It’s a damn embarrassment. Now he wants to make chief so he’s playing the “I’m a professional” act. People shouldn’t forget the days of the “Illuminati”, grown men creating a secret little club for themselves where they take care of their friends in the inner circle.
    The sad truth is that if we could walk into Spring’s office without any fear of repercussion and tell him what Juriga is really about the mob would break the doors down but we can’t. Anythign you say gets back and then you face retaliation from this group of thugs calling themselves The Illuminati. It may not be today or tomorrow but they hold grudges and they stick it to you. Nobody is going to do that when the person you have to be scared of is right there at the top.

    We can just hope and pray that Mr. Spring does some digging and he doesn’t take just the word of council people influenced by the smile, the act and the phoniness of a cut throat willing to do what it takes to get to the top. If he went to city hall to try and convince Aleem Ghany to make him Chief, stabbing Burgess in the back what does that tell you?

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      There’s a whole lot of backstabbing going on in North Miami. As you already mentioned, Juriga tried to throw Lenny under the bus when Aleem had to pick a new chief, while both of them were stabbing Gary Eugene in the back for sport.

      But the double crossing isn’t limited to the PD. Don’t think for one minute that Arthur Sorey, who thought he had the job in the bag, isn’t trying to figure out how to sabotage Larry Spring’s new position as city manager. Personnel director, Joe Roglieri, is trying to get rid of both the pension administrator and pension board attorney so he could steal the police officers’ 185 money.

      Then there’s Michael Etienne, who would sell out his own mother to get re-elected by any means necessary.

      For every North Miami employee desperately trying to hold on to his job, there’s at least one person deviously trying to undermine him and take his place.

      And all of them are clawing over one another to gain favor with the Mayor and Council.

      It’s actually quite a show. The peanut gallery is amused.

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  4. […] For a recap of NMPD EX-Chief Lenny’s brief, but calamitous, stint as North Miami’s Top Cop, please check out Chief Lenny’s Resignation: The End of an Error. […]

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  5. […] nearly two years, I wrote blog after blog about the complete incompetence of the former NMPD Chief of Police, and even warned that there would be repercussions long after […]

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  6. […] that North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess would ever face any consequences at all from his disastrous missteps as the head of the department.  In the end he did himself in.  After two years of running the department into the ground, Chief […]

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  7. […] was ecstatic when was Chief Lenny was finally forced out because of his own incompetence, and especially when Chief Gary Eugene took his place and appointed […]

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