Union Calls for Miami Corrections Director's Resignation

A few months ago, Riptide reported on Miami-Dade Corrections Chief Tim Ryan's habit of pissing off his black employees.

Now the union representing all 2,700 of his workers is calling for Ryan's resignation.

In a letter sent to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez this month and obtained by Riptide, the union writes that it "no longer has any confidence in Director Ryan's ability to lead the officers and appropriately guide the Department."

John Rivera, head of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, tells Riptide that Ryan routinely vetoes negotiations between the union and his top assistants and punishes legitimately sick workers who take too much leave.

"We've just reached a point with him where his word is meaningless to us," Rivera says. "We're done negotiating. We're just going to take legal action on any dispute."

Ryan has for three years led one of the nation's largest prison systems, with a $315 million budget and 7,000 inmates. He did not return a phone call seeking comment on Rivera's letter. Read an excerpt from the letter after the jump.

"We've got employees with legitimate illnesses, like cancer, who are being punished for taking too much sick leave," Rivera says. "These are people with serious illnesses. I think he's trying to impress his superiors by being a disciplinarian or something."

Here's a passage from the PBA's letter to Alvarez. Rivera says his union hasn't heard back from the mayor yet.

Director Ryan has routinely misrepresented himself to the PBA. Furthermore, he undermines any and all attempts to improve the relationship. On many occasions, the PBA will have reached an agreement with high-ranking departmental personnel on any given issue only to have Director Ryan insert himself at the very end and thwart the efforts of everyone involved. We don not expect labor and management to agree on everything, but a working relationship where trust is at the very core is essential for the success of the Department and the well-being of our members.

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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