February 5, 2013
The City of Shoreacres held a public hearing on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. as requested by Officer Daniel Vela to address his unjust and abrupt termination. Shoreacres City Hall was overflowing with citizens and peace officers in support of Officer Vela.
Shoreacres city attorney, Dick Gregg, was present representing the city as well as the newly appointed chief of police, David Newman. Attorney Greg Cagle was present to represent Officer Vela.
I will summarize as follows. Officer Vela was terminated after a complaint was filed by the chief of police, stemming from a citation for theft of service issued by Office Vela on Monday, November 26, 2012. Officer Vela noticed that city water was being stolen on a non-permitted location at 1005 South Country Club in Shoreacres. The two "gentlemen" accused of stealing water have combined outstanding warrants, and a recent in city drug possession charge against them. Officer Vela was terminated on the grounds of damage to property and official oppression.
As the facts were addressed over the course of two hours; public works damaged (broke the illegal pipe from the meter); and Officer Vela invited one responsible party to accompany him to city hall for a citation. Neither the cited, nor the property owner filed a complaint; solely, the new police chief, David Newman. That will and did not pass muster, as that is not legal.
The lack of proper documentation was laughable! When one of the reasons cited by a police chief is, "I felt that it was intentional damage". Well I feel like I should make $100.00 per hour, yet it is not so.
Shoreacres City council did the right thing and overturned the termination of a man that has had no disciplinary action against him in twenty plus years of law enforcement service. Alderman Steve Jones abstained.
And the standing room only crowd went wild!
I have renewed faith in our system. There is nothing like an outpouring of public support. Yet, there is still much work to be done to cleanse our city of ineptitude and corruption. To quote my dad, "There is nothing that ugly hates more than the light of day to shine upon it." I agree.
Shoreacres City Council