"Green" Slime, Miami Police Chief Vecin's Slush Fund

Chief Frank VecinThe Miami Herald just ran a story about the questionable use of a fund intended to support environmentally green activities that the Division Chief used for all manner of other things including sun glasses and GPS units.

"Among Miami-Dade police, it was known simply as 'Vecin's trust fund.'

That fund, earmarked to fight environmental crime with a $5 million infusion of public money over the past decade, is the focus of widening investigations into whether the bounty evolved into an unchecked kitty for police.

At the center of those inquiries is Division Chief Frank Vecin, a part-time general contractor who experienced a rapid rise through the department and was point person for the Florida Environmental Task Force Trust Fund. He has long maintained ties to former police director and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

Spending from the so-called green fund skyrocketed in recent years, even as county budget woes deepened, with more than half the expenditures coming in the past three years. That was the same period in which Vecin won a highly unusual authority to spend money on non-environmental items.

The department was supposed to create a formal oversight committee to monitor purchases, but it never did, according to Miami-Dade police."

And here are some of the things bought with the slush fund:

"A Miami-Dade police environmental fund purchased high-end sunglasses, semi-automatic rifles, fancy flat screen TVs and computers, records show. Among its other purchases:

More than 100 cellphone, BlackBerry and iPhone accounts. The total cost, including monthly charges for air cards, rose to nearly $14,000 in certain months.

30 DirecTV receivers under three monthly accounts.

A Gmax II 5900 Airless Paint Sprayer for $3,802 and a RTX900 Texture Sprayer for $790.50. Both were requested to help with ``cleaning and restoring preserves, monuments and historical sites in Miami-Dade County.''

More than $30,000 for 30 banquet tables and 152 chairs, two high pressure 24-inch misting fans ($2,169.93 each), two portable air conditioning units ($2,606 each) and tents. Also, a $36,126 mobile outhouse under construction with his and her bathrooms and showers.

Nearly $14,000 for GPS devices, including 21 eTrex Venture handheld GPS, 17 Nuvi 750 Garmin GPS ($399.99 each) and 2 Nuvi 770 Garmin GPS ($699.99 each).

FROM MIAMI HERALD REVIEW OF PUBLIC RECORDS"

And if you want to get in touch with Vecin and let him know how you feel, his official contact info can be found here:

http://www.miamidade.gov/mdpd/BureausDivisions/division_CentralizedServices.asp.

 

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