SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) – Three former Sweetwater Police Department employees plan to ask for their jobs back at a special commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday night.
One officer and two civilian workers were fired in October.
Ex-commander Mario Miranda, former police auxiliary employee Richard Brenner and the police chief’s former assistant, Jorge Oliveros want to be reinstated.
Miranda lied when applying for his job with the department, a police spokesman said.
“The background investigation revealed that he failed to disclose material facts concerning his past businesses, licenses, bank accounts and other facts about his past,” Sweetwater Police Spokesman Capt. Jorge Fernandez deLara said.
Oliveros was dismissed for a similar reason.
Brenner was suspended and then subsequently fired for “failing to meet probationary standards,” according to Capt. Fernandez de Lara.
Brenner was hired as a red light camera operator, but was acting as a police detective while being paid as a red light camera operator, CBS 4 News has learned.
CBS4 reviewed documents showing both Brenner and Miranda had access to a clandestine property room that was discovered last month.
The new police administration claims it knew nothing about the room, which was filled with uncatalogued evidence and property related to open criminal cases.
At a press conference recently, Mayor Jose M. Diaz confirmed money was missing from the city.
He said thousands of dollars was unaccounted.
Diaz said some of that money came from towing fees collected in the city.
The FBI is investigating several officers in the department, as well as the city’s connection to a towing company with ties to former Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño.
CBS4 and our partners at el Nuevo Herald have uncovered Southland the Towing Company once did all the towing for the police department under a no-bid, verbal agreement with former chief Roberto Fulgueira.
Fulgueira resigned last month and Jesus Menocal was named interim chief.
In federal court last week, Maroño changed his plea to guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
He faces up to 5 years in prison when sentenced in January.