Seven years ago, an ex-Miami-Dade cop named Gandhi Lora was convicted of producing and possessing dozens of kiddie porn images, sent to prison, and forced to register as a sex offender. Today he's not only free but also still earning a $7,200-per-month pension from the MDPD.
Lora is just one of hundreds of ex-officers statewide who still receive pensions despite serious criminal convictions, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported in an investigation this morning. In all, MDPD has paid more than a half-million bucks to Lora since his conviction.
The problem, the Herald-Tribune reports, is that pension laws are so strong for Florida cops that it's often almost impossible to cut off their postcareer payouts -- even if they're convicted of serious felonies.
Take Lora. The veteran cop was arrested in 2003 after nearly three decades on the force when Ohio investigators caught him sending pornographic photos of a 12-year-old through an AOL chat site. Lora's computer was found to have dozens of such images.
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Lora is now a free man living in Fort Lauderdale -- though he's required to register in the state's sex offender list. And MDPD is paying him $86,000 a year.
"It's mind-boggling," state Sen. Mike Bennett, a Bradenton Republican, tells the paper regarding Lora's pension payouts. "It's something that we have to get fixed."