Officer Trouble

Golden Beach's problem cop struggles to make a career


It's a tough stigma for a police officer to be constantly accused of lying. And it has Golden Beach councilmember Stanley Feinman, an ardent critic of Vardalis, flummoxed. "It still concerns me as a councilman that the residents of Golden Beach may be in jeopardy," he says. "She should willingly go through a psychiatric examination to show she is a competent police officer. Then we'll be fine."

But Chief Hudson says he's not interested in opening up any new inquiry into Santinello's background. She was cleared for employment, including the psychological evaluation, before he got there, and that's it. Besides, it might mess up his plans to "professionalize" the department.

Santinello as a Golden Beach cop
Santinello as a Golden Beach cop

One step in that plan took place on October 31, 2002, when he promoted Santinello to corporal, along with colleague Ray Bruzos, the position left open when Ray Clark resigned. The blurb in the town's Golden Beach News notes that they are "the first officers ever promoted to this rank after undergoing a professional and thorough multi-agency promotional process."

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