Clarance Patterson, Opa-locka Manager, Resigns in Wake of Police Corruption Probe

Just days after announcing that state authorities were investigating massive police corruption in his city, Opa-locka city manager Clarance Patterson has abruptly announced his resignation.

Patterson, who held the post for only 16 months, made the announcement Tuesday, one day after Channel 7 news followed a New Times story posted Friday that reported police officers allegedly had sex with arrested offenders rather than prosecute them, stole property from the station, transported liquor in police vehicles for private parties and horsed around with Tasers on the job, among other possible offenses.

"I regret to inform you that I must tender my resignation effective Friday, September 2, 2011 at the close of business due to personal reasons," Patterson wrote in a May 24 memo to city leaders.

Last March, city commissioners urged Patterson to get the police department "back on track" by reinstating Chief Cheryl Cason, who had been suspended by Patterson for failing to report a minor incident.

But the train quickly derailed after Patterson called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which agreed to probe findings stemming from his investigation last January into police misdeeds.

"He [Patterson] was taking it from both sides and the pressure finally got to him," said a police officer who spoke to New Times on condition of anonymity.

Patterson's resignation -- which was not included in Wednesday's commission meeting agenda -- will be effective September 2.

Patterson wrote that date should give city leaders "time to recruit a replacement."

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Freelancer Theo Karantsalis is a San Francisco native who lovingly served Miami’s Black community for many years as an offbeat librarian. He speaks softly and carries a big pen.
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