Broward Sheriff Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss went from Employee of the Year to sitting in jail on sexual assault charges.
The complaints against Broward County Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss began more than a year before he was arrested on sexual assault charges.
An Oakland Park priest sent an email to the mayor, city commissioners and sheriff officials, informing them of a deputy that was abusing the homeless people who attended his church’s soup kitchen.
Father Bob Daudill had even posted a flier inside the All Saints Catholic Mission soup kitchen with Bleiweiss’ picture on it, warning the homeless to avoid that deputy, according to The Miami Herald.
Daudill sent his email in June 2008. Apparently nothing was done about it.
Not even an investigation.
In fact, nine months later, Bleiweiss ended up receiving the BSO’s 2008 Employee of the Year award for the Oakland Park District.
It wasn’t until an attorney contacted Fort Lauderdale police in April 2009, informing them about a Broward deputy who used his authority to fondle illegal immigrants, that an investigation took place.
Five months later, Bleiweiss was arrested, accused of coercing at least eight illegal immigrant males into oral sex or risk deportation.
The openly gay deputy would allegedly drive the streets looking for Hispanic men to pull over. He would ask for proof of residency, and if they didn’t have it, ask for their “leche”, slang for semen.
He would pat them down and fondle them. He would make crude comments. He would demand their cell phone numbers and begin sending them text messages.
Meanwhile, his superiors thought he was doing an excellent job. Their only complaint about him was that he had horrible handwriting.
Other than that, he received a one-day suspension in June 2008 – the same month Father Bob sent his complaint – for improperly reporting an illness.
He was also featured in the South Florida Blade, a local gay oriented newspaper, after receiving his Employee of the Year award.
In the article, he was celebrated as a pioneer for gays and lesbians, having endured homophobic taunts from superiors early in his career.
He recalled how one sergeant even referred to him as a “sex offender.”
While that sergeant was reprimanded, he might not have been that far from the truth.