Three days after Sean Timoney’s November 1, 2005 arrest for allegedly trying to buy 400 pounds of marijuana, his father Miami Police Chief John Timoney and his wife Noreen put up their condo at 1717 North Bayshore Drive as collateral to bond their son out. By doing so, Miami’s top cop violated the spirit, if not the letter, of a departmental rule that prohibits police officers from bailing anyone of jail, according to Timoney’s most vocal critic and Fraternal Order of Police union president Armando Aguilar.
“I understand that it is his son,” Aguilar says, “but what is good for the goose is good for the gander. The chief has fired officers for violating departmental policies he chooses to ignore.”
The accusation comes at rough time for the chief, who is still under fire for accepting a free SUV from Lexus of Kendall last year. In addition to being sanctioned and fined by the Miami-Dade and state ethics commissions, Miami’s Civilian Investigative Panel last week found Timoney violated several departmental rules including a ban on accepting gifts, department guidelines on how to deal with the news media, and a requirement for officers to be truthful.
Aguilar says Timoney’s decision to post bail for his son is just latest example of the chief’s unethical behavior. According to Miami Police rules and regulations, officers and civilian employees “shall not become surety or guarantor or furnish bail for any person arrested for a crime except upon authorization of his commanding officer.” In the case of the chief, there was no one to go to but himself for permission.
And that, Aguilar says, is not fair considering Timoney fired two black female police officers for allegedly violating a rule that prohibited them from marrying convicted felons. One of those officers, April Hardemon, appealed the chief’s decision and won her job back.
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Police spokesman Delrish Moss says the chief is not violating the department's rule on the bail ban. "For one it doesn't apply to blood relatives," Moss said. "Secondly, permission has to be granted by the commanding officer. [Timoney] is the commanding officer.”
Timoney declined comment.
To read on New Times' past coverage on Timoney, check out our feature "John Timoney, America's Worst Cop."