A former Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Code Enforcement Officer was arrested Wednesday on charges of unlawful compensation, official misconduct and grand theft, authorities said.
An investigation revealed Jeffrey Lowman was involved in a scheme to defraud tax payers out of $40,000 in fire code violation penalty fees owed to the Fire Rescue Department, according to the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office.
In addition to his MDFR job, Lowman was running a fire inspection consulting business called Florida Fire Inspection Consultants. The company was helping to resolve violations and inspections on a warehouse complex in Medley. Lowman's business was paid about $3,000 to help resolve these violations, which ranged from "failure to provide approved handrails" to "failure to maintain fire hoses."
Lowman called the Finance Department and presented himself as a consultant "working with Fire Inspector Lowman." He maintained contact with the Finance Department as himself and as the "consultant" without revealing his identity.
Investigators discovered that in his capacity as an MDFR code enforcement officer, Lowman submitted 10 false affidavits of compliance to the Clerk of Courts saying certain properties had been brought up to compliance in the 30-day period. While the violations at those properties were corrected, investigators found out the violations were not addressed in the 30-day period.
The false affidavits removed a total of $40,000 in accrued penalties owed to the county. Lowman, who had been a Miami-Dade employee for 13 years, resigned in October 2013.
Jail records show Lowman is being held on $107,500 bond.
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