Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes and Latin crooner extraordinaire Marc Anthony are apparently pretty tight pals. Anthony recently gave $25,000 to the Police Athletic League and came to speak at a dinner for the group, where he met the top dog at MPD.
The two hit it off, so Llanes said he didn't think twice when Anthony invited him to catch his show at the American Airlines Arena last fall. And he didn't bother telling anyone in the county that he accepted four free tickets with a face value of upwards of $800 to the concert.
That was a no-no. The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust found today that Llanes had violated city codes on ethics and conflicts of interest by not reporting the gifts from Anthony.
"I should have disclosed the gift," Llanes says in a statement. "Marc is a personal friend, however because of my position I should have followed procedure."
Llanes, a Little Havana native and 27-year veteran who took over at police chief in 2014, is technically set to retire from the force, but has agreed to keep working through next year.
His trouble with Anthony came about when an anonymous tipster wrote a letter to city hall claiming the chief had intervened in the arrest of a scalper named Luis Leon Fernandez who was booked in front of the AA Arena in January. (A case first written about by Al Crespo.)
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Ethics looked into the complaint, but the chief said he had actually instructed his staff to avoid Fernandez. During the interview, though, the chief admitted he had taken four tickets last October to Marc Anthony's "UNIDO2 TOUR 2015" tour. Llanes told the commission he took four tickets, but didn't report them because they were printed with a face value of "zero."
But ethics investigators found that in fact, that "that four seats to that show would cost between $256 and $820 for anyone else."
Llanes accepted a letter of instruction from the ethics committee and has now reported the tickets as a gift.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly suggested that an investigation was ongoing into Luis Leon Fernandez's links to Llanes. That case was closed in the chief's favor.