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.
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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.
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."