Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Reassigned, District Says

Police Chief Charles Hurley has been reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation

By Steve Litz and Edward B. Colby
|  Tuesday, May 22, 2012  |  Updated 9:19 AM EDT
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Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Charles Hurley

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The Miami-Dade County Public Schools said Monday that Police Chief Charles Hurley has been reassigned while an investigation is conducted.

The investigation began after two detectives sent letters to Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho accusing Hurley of age discrimination, corruption and manipulation of crime statistics.

Major Gerald Kitchell is serving as acting chief of the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department and district security, schools spokesman John Schuster said in a statement.

“The school district takes all allegations very seriously. As a result, an investigation was immediately initiated when an allegation was made concerning Miami-Dade Schools Police. The district’s process follows a strict protocol that protects the complainant while ensuring due process for all, and seeks to avoid any distraction from the district’s core function,” Schuster said. “For these reasons, Chief Charles Hurley has been reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation.”

In one of the letters obtained by NBC 6, a senior detective wrote, "He asked that I reduce the number of arrests I affect of all black juveniles. I told him regardless of the race of an individual; if probable cause existed for an arrest that individual would be arrested. He was not happy with my response to his request."

That detective also claims Hurley orders officers to send students for psychiatric treatment under the Baker Act as opposed to sending them to juvenile detention. The officer says it's an effort to reduce the crime statistics in the district.

"I firmly believe that the crime statistics in my department are being manipulated to show a reduction in crime," he wrote.

A second detective wrote Carvalho accusing Hurley of age discrimination, writing that "Chief Hurley has forced several senior officers in the department to essentially retire through early retirement."

That detective calls the department a "hostile work environment."

Joe Puleo, a staff representative with the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police, said last week that two sexual harassment complaints from two different officers against Hurley were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently.

Schuster said last week, “The complaints that we have received have been forwarded to the appropriate offices for handling.” Schuster said those two complaints were regarding harassment, and said he could not comment on them because of the investigation.

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