Columns

Golden Beach Corruption Gets A Flyover

​With all the negative publicity that has engulfed the affluent oceanfront town of Golden Beach, you would think its officials might want to act with a little more caution.

First, CBS4 exposed the town's decision to allow Lt. Robert Barrio to remain on the Golden Beach police force even though he is facing criminal felony charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and battery on his wife in Gainesville.

Then came town manager Alexander Diaz's embarrassing arrest for a DUI in Miami Beach this past December 25. This past Friday, we spoke with a town police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, who told us the scandalous shenanigans haven't stopped.

The cop alleges Diaz, who has obtained permission to drive to work while he awaits trial, is driving around in a town-issued unmarked Ford Explorer that is equipped with police lights. And Barrio, who has a history of being accused of being violent, has been put in charge of the police department's firearms training course, held at Broward Community College's main campus on University Drive.


"This guy has a restraining order against him that prohibits him from having a firearm," the officer grumbles. "Yet the town is letting him carry one."

Instead of trying to repair the town's image, the source explains, Mayor Glenn Singer and Diaz -- both of whom declined comment -- are more interested in tracking down the person who is responsible for flying a banner criticizing Golden Beach's administration this past February 12. It read: "Corruption, intimidation are practices of GB admin."

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.