A day before he was scheduled to surrender to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office on corruption charges, Opa-locka Commissioner Terence Pinder drove his car into a tree near Opa-locka Executive Airport. The crash proved fatal, and by all indications, it appears Pinder planned to commit suicide.
According to the Miami Herald, police believe Pinder's car reached speeds of more than 100 mph before he hit the tree early this morning. Little else is known about the crash at this time.
Pinder was elected to the Opa-locka City Commission in 2004 and rose to the position of vice mayor. His original stint in office was filled with controversy. He was found to have lied about being employed by local rap label Slip-n-Slide Records and racked up more than $5,000 on his city-issued credit card on expenses meant to entertain his then-girlfriend. He was removed from office in 2006 and later hit with more corruption charges, including taking bribes and steering city contracts to shady businessmen.
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Eventually, he took a plea deal and was given two years of probation and ordered to pay $2,500 in fines.
Opa-locka residents reelected Pinder to the commission in 2014.
He was scheduled to turn himself tomorrow on a new set of corruption charges. The latest investigation into Pinder's activities are separate from the FBI's investigation into Opa-locka's recent financial meltdown.