By Jim Bleyer
The Castor Disaster is no longer a pilot; it is a full-fledged series that hopefully won’t be renewed by City of Tampa voters in 2019.
Castor, the first openly racist mayoral candidate in recent memory, was hired by the City of Miami in 2016 to monitor and report on compliance of an agreement between the Miami Police Department and the US Department of Justice.
Genesis of the agreement was the killing of seven black men within an eight-month period by Miami cops. The choice of Castor to act as watchdog is more than baffling after she targeted blacks and other minorities while police chief in Tampa.
She was unrepentant, only “apologizing” two weeks before her mayoral campaign kickoff. A US Department of Justice study and report concluded Castor’s targeting had no effect on reducing crime or bike theft and did not enhance public safety.
Use “fox” and “ henhouse” in the same sentence.
Dade County Commissioner Francis Suarez told the Florida You Judge legal blog that he voted for Castor’s consultancy but was unaware of her racist history prior to the vote.
Just exactly when in 2016 she came on board is another mystery that Castor, whose public service has been totally inconsistent with the term “compliance,” cannot or will not explain. Her contract contains suspect changes. She collected fees but failed to file monitoring reports.
Florida You Judge emailed Castor noting:
—Between 2010-11, the Miami Police Department killed seven black men within a period of 8 months. The New York Times published an article about it, Race Issues Rise for Miami Police.
—As a result, the Miami Police Department entered into a policing agreement with the DOJ on Feb 25, 2016allowing the FEDS to police them to ensure no more black men unnecessarily die. You were chosen by the city of Miami to monitor this agreement at 125K (not to exceed) a year ($150 an hour) of taxpayer money.
—The monitoring contract was signed on April 7, 2016 and was notarized on April 28, 2016. The contract obligated Castor to submit quarterly reports, meaning reports were to be submitted for July and November of 2016.
—The Miami Herald learned Castor had not submitted any reports for nine months and in a December 2016 article it headlined the story, “Former Tampa chief Jane Castor ‘behind schedule’ as monitor of Miami’s federal policing pact.”
—The article referenced the excuse given for the reports not having been completed, ” She wasn’t officially under contract until this week — a fact the city of Miami acknowledged Thursday, two months after the Miami Herald requested the document.” The article was published in December two months after it had requested the initial July report.
—Castor and the City of Miami maintained the contract was not effective until December despite the April 7, 2016 date.
—Castor’s contract had a line drawn through the month of April with “December” handwritten over it.
Castor called Florida You Judge within minutes, declaring she did not know who made the crude, reckless revisions. Asked if her copy had the strikethrough, Castor replied she would have to look for the contract. She reportedly added that the start of the contract related to an insurance issue.
The former police chief admitted she billed the City if Miami prior to December despite no reports being submitted.
George Wysong, attorney for the City of Miami, confirmed that the contract date was pushed back due to the insurance issue but could not explain why Castor was permitted to “work” and get paid.
The signature of Ann-Marie Sharpe, risk management director for the City of Miami, appeared on the contract.
Neither Castor nor Wysong professed to know who changed the date of the contract. The Florida Association of Notaries states that modifying a notarized document without the parties either initialing/signing next to the change is not legal. The only other option would have been to execute a new agreement.
Here is a Florida You Judge column about the suspicious contract including a video analysis by a Miami blogger.
The hiring of a racist to monitor a police department’s relations with a minority community and the machinations of the hiring contract jibe with Castor’s history of sloppy work, non-compliance, and reluctance to explain her (in)actions.
Haydee Orapesa of Florida You Judge contributed to this article.