MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Gerardo Reyes works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. But at 12:43pm on Tuesday, August 19th he sent an email about alleged “… fire violations…” to a property management company and signed it Gerardo Reyes, City of Miami Fire Prevention Division Miami, Fl.
Just one problem, according to an email, sent Wednesday, August 20, 2014, from Assistant Miami Fire Chief Eloy Garcia, “… Mr. Gerardo Reyes has no affiliation to the City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue.”
On Thursday, Mr. Reyes admitted to CBSMiami.com that he is not an employee of the City of Miami, but is an employee with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and works at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.
He said he was not trying to impersonate anybody, but did not provide an explanation for why he signed his letter as a City of Miami Fire Prevention employee.
In the email Reyes sent to Pazos, Robaina & Zapata property management company, on Tuesday, it was titled “Courtesy Notice of Violation.” In it, Reyes requested that fire hydrants and fire extinguishers be fixed “… on the property of the Courts of Birdwood, located at 3869 SW 99th Ave., Miami, Fl. 33165.
He wrote that, “This email serves as an official “NOV” (Notice of Violation)…” and followed up with this statement: “If at that time (September, 30, 2014), it is determined that no repairs or response to the violations have taken place, a Citation will be issued.”
Reyes then signed the email, Gerardo Reyes, CESCO, Safety Compliance Specialist, City of Miami Fire Prevention Division and gave his federal work phone number and his Bureau of Prisons email address as his contact information.
Reyes told CBSMiami.com on Thursday, that he is in fact a CESCO and Safety Compliance Specialist with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and serves as a member of the South Florida Emergency Planning Commission, none of which was stated in his letter to the property management company.
Reyes said he was contacted by a third party about the fire safety issues following a grease fire in an elderly person’s apartment in the complex. He also admitted the individuals did not call any fire department to respond to the fire.
Furthermore, CBSMiami.com has learned that the property in question is not even located in the city limits of Miami, but in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Roy Rutland told CBSMiami.com that, “The department has just learned about it and is investigating. It remains an active and open investigation.”
In the email, Mr. Reyes cited a recent inspection of the property by City of Miami Fire Lt. Roberto Hernandez in which the alleged violations were discovered. However, Lt. Hernandez could not inspect the property because it is not in his jurisdiction.
When asked why he misrepresented Lt. Hernandez’s inspection, there was a very long pause on the phone before Mr. Reyes said, “I don’t know.”
Jose Pazos, who received the Reyes email, told CBSMiami. com, “I don’t know what Mr. Reyes wanted. But our company will always report potential fraud to the proper authorities. In addition to contacting the Miami FBI duty agent, I also reported the alleged impersonation of a city employee to the Bureau of Prisons Internal Affairs Dept. in Washington D.C., along with the Mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, and the City of Miami Police and Fire Chiefs.”
The FBI does not comment on investigations, and at press time, the Federal Bureau of Prisons had yet to return our request seeking information.
However, Mr. Reyes is still on the job, as he answered CBSMiami.com’s call to his work desk at the Federal Detention Center.
As Mr. Pazos pointed out in an email reporting the alleged impersonation, fire hydrants are the sole responsibility of the county water and sewer and local fire departments.