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Florida Whistleblower Lawyers > Blog > IRS Whistleblower > Two Miami Police Officers Seek Whistleblower Protection Under Federal Law

Two Miami Police Officers Seek Whistleblower Protection Under Federal Law

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According to a report from NBC 6 South Florida, two officers from the Miami Police Department are accusing the city’s lead cop—Police Chief Manuel A. Morales—of corruption. The officers are now seeking whistleblower protection. Chief Morales has thus far denied any allegations of wrongdoing by himself or the department. Indeed, he called the accusation from the two officers “baseless and meritless”. Here, our Florida whistleblower right attorneys provide a more comprehensive overview of the case.

Allegations: Corruption, Retaliation in the Miami Police Department 

The allegations of misconduct within the Miami Police Department are not new. In the fall of 2021, then Miami Police Department Chief Art Acevedo was fired from his position after clashing with city officials. In January of 2022, Mr. Acevedo filed his own federal whistleblower complaint against the City of Miami and several of its top officials. Within his whistleblower complaint, former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo alleges that he was fired in retaliation for reporting corruption. Notably, the city’s current head of the department—Police Chief Manuel A. Morales—took over after Mr. Acevedo was removed from the position. 

New Whistleblower Claim Likely From Two Miami Police Officers 

In the most recent complaint filed by two Miami police officers, there are allegations that retaliation occurred immediately following the termination of former Police Chief Art Acevedo. The officers in question were both employees of internal affairs. They now want outside, independent authorities to investigate the Miami Police Department. According to their allegations, the two officers state that:

  • Police Chief Morales quickly used his new position to open investigations targeted at employees that previously flagged corruption; and
  • He attempted to apply undue pressure to influence the outcome of those investigations.

During a recent hearing, the two officers sought whistleblower protection. Legal counsel for the City of Miami declined to object to their request to start the whistleblower process. As a consequence, the employees are now a step closer to getting whistleblower protection under federal law. 

Retaliation Against a Protected Whistleblower is Unlawful

 Corruption—both within public entities and private companies—if often brought to light by employees and other knowledgeable insiders. An employer may try to take adverse action against a worker to stop and/or disincentivize them from engaging in whistleblower activity. Doing so can constitute unlawful whistleblower retaliation under a federal statute and/or a Florida state statute. Whistleblower retaliation occurs when an employer improperly takes unfavorable action—harassment, suspension, demotion, termination, etc—against an employee because that employee participated in protected whistleblower activity. A whistleblower who is subject to illegal retaliation has a right to bring a legal claim for justice and compensation against their employer. 

Speak to a Whistleblower Rights Attorney in Miami-Dade County

At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, we have the skills and experience to protect the legal rights and financial interests of whistleblowers. If you have any questions about your options, our attorneys can help you determine the best course of action. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. From our office in Miami, we provide statewide and nationwide whistleblower support.

Source:

nbcmiami.com/news/local/miami-pd-officers-closer-to-whistleblower-protection-after-corruption-allegations-against-chief/2793921/

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