Johnny Be Good

Minority rep says Timoney must go

Of course, we don't know how much you, Mr. Chief, had imbibed. On the radio, you said something about vodka, but you didn't return two calls seeking details. "He has a fair complexion," Carey says. "He totally had a gin blossom going on — red nose and red cheeks. He wasn't slurring his words, but the chief likes to party. I've seen him out a lot."

One mystery is that Calzadilla contends he was with you all night, while both journalists claim the assistant — who acknowledges downing two and a half vodka-and-cranberry drinks — wasn't there when you made the statement. Calzadilla, whom I've known for years, is a stand-up guy.

So who has a motivation to lie? Well, as for Calzadilla's contradictory comment, who signs his paycheck? And you manage a police force that is substantially Cuban American in a town where folks from the island are the most powerful minority. With City Manager Joe Arriola likely on his way out, you would have been a logical candidate for the job ... that is, until your improbably colorful comment.

Fred Harper

The editors, on the other hand, had nothing to gain. "Anyone who knows my work knows city politics isn't my thing," Carey says. Ditto for Oberkreser. She was at the St. Regis to see old friends.

Comments Commissioner Tomas Regalado: "Do I believe [Timoney] said, öFuck the Cubans?' I don't know, but he does love to say bad words."

One person who doesn't believe you is Enrique Santos, the El Zol radio host who took your phone call February 17. Santos, who ran for mayor against Diaz, says you hemmed and hawed during the conversation. "He didn't convince me," Santos states. "If he didn't say it, then he would have demanded a retraction or an apology from New Times. He hasn't done that."

Adds the Hispanic Officers' Gutierrez: "If he feels this way, that's fine, but don't put it out in public.... Now I would expect the city manager to take action."

—Staff writer Francisco Alvarado reported for this column

The Rank Responds

Rolando Gutierrez, Jr., president of the Miami Police Hispanic Officers Association, penned this letter to New Times:

On Thursday, February 16, 2006, "The Bitch" reported that City of Miami Police Chief John F. Timoney was asked "whether his job is more politics than policing." He allegedly responded, "I was police chief in New York and in Philadelphia, and then I come down here, and it's all about Cuban politics.... Fuck the Cubans! I've got a job to do!"

I am a Cuban-born American citizen who has lived in Miami since 1967 and has more than 24 years in the Miami Police Department, which is composed of 83.8 percent minorities — including 54.7 percent Hispanic officers mostly of Cuban descent. I, along with many colleagues, find his statement, if in fact true, to be horribly offensive, tasteless, and nothing but mean-spirited. It is unacceptable from someone in his position. If it's true, I expect our city manager to relieve Chief Timoney and to find a suitable replacement soon thereafter. This would send a very strong message not just to the chief but also to anyone in a position of power in local government that comments such as this one will not be tolerated — whether they are directed toward the Cuban community or any other group.

As president of the Miami Police Hispanic Officers Association, I ask Chief Timoney to take the proper measures to clear his name and reputation. He has done well to publicly deny making the statement (along with his executive assistant Angel Calzadilla), but this is only the beginning.

He should leave no stone unturned. At minimum, I would expect a full and unconditional retraction of the statement from New Times along with a very strong apology to both the chief of police and the Cuban community.

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