Miami Beach Police Salaries Some of the Highest in the City

In 2010, a Miami New Times investigation revealed that more than half the cops in Miami Beach made six figures a year, and some racked up more than $200,000. What's more, some of the highest-paid officers had some of the worst records.

Two years later, not much has changed. Riptide obtained a list of the 25 highest-paid city employees on the Beach for the past year, and more than half are police officers.

Worse, three of the cops on the list have recently been suspended or demoted — one for recklessly speeding over the sand on South Beach past shocked tourists, and the other two for neglecting duties while their subordinates went on a drunken ATV joyride.

"There is no leadership in this police department," city Commissioner Ed Tobin says. "These huge overtime payouts have been encouraged and condoned by this department for years."

Chief Ray Martinez, though, points out that Beach cops deal with more large-scale events than any other department, from Art Basel to Memorial Day weekend, which means more overtime hours.

"I'd rather not see any officers on this list, but it's the nature of the beast," he says. "Miami Beach is different than a lot of other communities."

The records show that between August 2011 and last month, 13 cops were among the 25 highest-paid City of Miami Beach employees. Two made more than Martinez or City Manager Kathie Brooks, with Sgt. Hyok Chong topping out at $190,836.20 in salary, overtime, and off-duty work.

Also on the list are Sgt. Jerome Berrian at 16th (with $172,208.62) and Sgt. Michael Muley at 25th (with $161,882.17). Berrian and Muley were both demoted last October after a Miami Beach cop ran over a tourist during a drunken on-duty ATV ride.

Berrian was supposed to be supervising that cop but showed up late for his shift after saying he was "at a party," spent hours in the bathroom, and then falsified his time sheets. Muley, another supervisor, also showed up late and lied on his time sheets.

Dominguez, meanwhile, ranked 22nd (with $163,031.84). The cop, who had been reprimanded in years past after nearly killing four motocyclists on the highway, was suspended in March after a video uploaded to YouTube showed his cruiser catching air as it flew down the sand along Ocean Drive.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink