North Miami Beach cop fired for threatening blog post
(MIAMI HERALD) A North Miami Beach police officer slated to lose his job as part of the city’s recent budget cuts has indeed been fired — for sending a threatening post to a local blogger’s website.
Officer William Hobbs used a city-issued computer to compose a post that listed the addresses of two outspoken city activists who supported the budget cuts, according to an internal police investigation.
Hobbs, 50, invited criminals to “have fun” and visit the homes of Mubarak Kazan and Bert Kehren.
The post was submitted to gadfly Stephanie Kienzle’s blog votersopinion.com. Kienzle refused to publish the post on her website and sent a letter to the police department requesting an investigation last week.
The post called Kazan, who is Muslim, “Al-Jazzerri” and described Kehren, who is of German heritage, as a “Nazi”.
Tuesday, North Miami Beach officials said Hobbs was fired for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
He was placed on unpaid administrative leave during the week-long investigation.
North Miami Beach city officials passed a budget last month that eliminated 17 police officer positions.
According to the city’s union agreement, officers with the least seniority are among the first to face layoffs. Hobbs, hired in 2009, was in line to get a pink slip when he sent the note to Kienzle’s blog — although the city commission had yet to take a final vote on the budget.
Richard Weiner, Hobbs’ attorney through the International Union of Police Associations, declined to comment.
In a statement, Interim Police Chief Larry Gomer said, “As stated earlier any wrongdoing by any of our police officers will be swiftly and firmly dealt with. Our department prides itself on providing professional services to our citizens and we will not tolerate such remarks from our officers that are directed to our community.”
Kienzle said she received a personal phone call from City Manager Lyndon Bonner to tell her the officer was fired Tuesday. She said she did not know Hobbs.
“I always feel bad when someone gets fired, but according to what Mr. Bonner said, the man had to be fired,” she said. “I’m glad the city is cleaning up the cops that are not professional. This is not how we want our police officers to treat us.”
Bonner said the offensive nature of the post left him with little choice other than to fire Hobbs.
“Once you read the post and take all of that in, there were very few alternatives left,” Bonner said. “It was best for the officer and for the city that we part ways.”