CRESPOGRAM REPORT
JULY 20, 2015
BARRED FROM NUMEROUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPUTER NETWORKS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH
THE PUMPKIN PATCH GANG
WHY WOULD A COUPLE OF THESE GUYS WALK AWAY FROM HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN SALARY AND BENEFITS TO BECOME MEMBERS OF THE SWEETWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT?
PART IV

When it comes to writing about guys like the Pumpkin Patch Gang, sooner or later one of the paths will lead you to money. 


In this instance, the path has led me to question why Raul Herbello and Aquiles Carmona would leave the Miami Police Department as they did, given that each of them walked away from very serious money that they would have collected in their DROP accounts, and in Herbello’s case, he left for a job that pays half of what he was being paid in Miami with significantly less benefits.


RAUL HERBELLO  - THE DOORMAN


Everyone who follows this blog is probably somewhat familiar with Raul Herbello. 


Well before I came along Herbello had become infamous within the Miami Police Department for his friendship with one of the owners of Cuban Crafters, a cigar emporium on NW 7th Street, just east of  37th Avenue, where Herbello it was repeatedly claimed, would leave his car and take the White Bentley that the owner kept there to drive around the city.  He would on occasion drive it to the Police Department and park it there for everyone to see, and gossip  about, because if you got a “friend” who has a White Bentley that he lets you drive it around, what fun is that if you can’t let people know who your friends are.


In 2010, before I even knew who he was, I happened by chance to take this photo of Herbello standing at attention waiting for Armando Guterriez, lobbyist and confidante of Mayor Tomas Regalado to get out of his police SUV at the protest organized by Gloria Estafan on behalf of the Ladies In White, on Calle Ocho.

By the time I took this photo, Herbello had taken advantage of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) that allowed him to retire and have the first 7 years of his retirement payments deposited into a DROP account while continuing to work for the Police Department  collecting his full salary as well as any pay increases or promotions he might obtain during that time. 


Here is the information that I obtained from the City of Miami FIPO Office and the City’s Payroll Department detailing Herbello’s financial information until the time that he left the MPD to join the Sweetwater Police Department. (A PDF of all of the individuals who are part of the Pumpkin Patch Gang can be found at the bottom of this story.)


RAUL HERBELLO’S  FINANCIAL INFORMATION


THE DROP


Raul Herbello:

Entered DROP 9/13/2009

Ended DROP 5/31/2015

Monthly benefit $9,309.04

Total deposited into DROP $638,600.14


The most important number when it comes to Herbello’s DROP account is that when he left the MPD he still had 15 months remaining which means that he would have collected an additional $139,635.60 making his total DROP payout $778,235.74.


PAYROLL


Raul Herbello held the rank of Major when he resigned to become the Assistant Chief of the Sweetwater Police Department. His annual salary was $151,664.44.


What this means that when Herbello decided to resign 15 months before he reached the end of his DROP in order to go to the Sweetwater Police Department he walked away from the $139,835.60 in DROP payments   and $189,580.54 in annual salary, for a total of $329,216.14.


By walking away 15 months early, Herbello traded the $329,216.14 he would have earned in salary and DROP payments as a Major in the City of Miami Police Department, for an annual salary of $75,000 as the Assistant Chief of Police for Sweetwater, and benefits pegged at his new $75,000 salary.


AQUILES CARMONA - THE  WHITE WASHER


Detective Aquiles Carmona got his 15 seconds of fame as one of the cops featured in a promo video for a reality show about the Miami Police Department  back in 2010 when he did his Bruce Willis impersonation.

I next became aware of Carmona when his name surfaced as the investigator who signed off on a series of background investigations of current or former Miami Police Officers children seeking to become members of the force who should have summarily been rejected as applicants.


Carmona cemented his relationship with Placido “Pumpkinhead” Diaz, when he signed off on Diaz’s background application to be rehired as a civilian member of the Miami Police Department as the Administrative Officer for the City’s Red Light Program.


While the full story with all of the documents can be found HERE, the following two documents reveal just how willing Carmona was to corrupt the process and lie in order to allow Diaz to be rehired.


Here is a copy of the Investigator’s Summary that Carmona prepared and signed. Notice that it says that:


“The background investigation has depicted a positive image of the applicant with no derogatory information.”

Here is a portion of the Miami Police Department’s IA Investigation Report on the incident where Diaz pulled out his gun at the Los Ranchos restaurant and threatened to kill himself.

Clearly, the above revelation, along with the other information that I included in my original story - all of it readily accessible in the files of the Miami Police Department - make a lie of Carmona’s claim that there was “no “derogatory information” on Placido Diaz.


Like Raul Herbello, Carmona “retired” in 2010 and entered the DROP   while continuing to work as a Detective assigned to Administration.


THE DROP


Aquiles Carmona:

Entered DROP 10/01/2010

Ended DROP 5/31/2015

Monthly benefit $5,107.23

Total deposited into DROP $258,491.74


Carmona when he resigned had 29 months remaining on his DROP, which means $148,109.67 in additional payments could have been deposited in his account. That would have resulted in a total DROP payment of $406,601.41.


PAYROLL


When Carmona resigned from the Miami Police Department his annual salary was $70,932.72.


In becoming the Major in charge of Internal Affairs for the Sweetwater Police Department, he received what amounted to a salary increase of $4,067.28, to an annual salary of $75,000.


In order to recoup the $148,109.67 in lost DROP payments  that he walked away from, Carmona, using the $4067.28 increase in annual salary would have to work a total of 36 years to make up for the DROP payments that he walked away from.


IN CONCLUSION


No matter how you look at it, both Herbello and Carmona took a sizable financial loss to leave the Miami Police Department for the Sweetwater Police Department.


Why? 


What was so compelling for each of these guys to make the kind of financial sacrifice that they did in order to become members of a poe-dunk  police department with a long and well deserved history of corruption and malfeasance?


Rational people don’t normally make these kinds of irrational financial decisions, especially when it comes to maximizing their retirement benefits.


Clearly, there’s more to this than meets the eye, and given that it involves a City and Police Department with a history of corruption as long and deep as Sweetwater’s, somebody needs to start digging to find out what’s going on behind the scenes that would have convinced these guys that walking away from hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and pension benefits was a smart thing to do.


It’s Sweetwater, Bitches!


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