MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For years, Miami cop Adrian Rodriguez has refused to answer questions about the robbery and murder of 20-year-old Yosbel Millares, an Iraq war vet, killed by gunmen at a Metro PCS store he managed in Miami.
Rodriguez, not yet a police officer, also worked at the store, becoming a cop the following year.
Investigators turned their sights on him in 2010 after information from jail house snitches reportedly implicated Rodriguez in helping to plan the robbery.
In interviews with homicide investigators, and in arbitration hearings seeking to get his job reinstated, Rodriguez has repeatedly cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“He pled the fifth, he lied,” said Claudia Velasquez, Millares’ fiancée and mother of their then unborn, now 9-year-old son. “He’s pleading the fifth in this murder investigation, and it just leads me to believe that he is not a trustworthy person.”
Rodriguez was fired from the police force of last year. Though he was a suspect in the robbery murder, investigators had no murder case against him. He was terminated for violation of department rules, allegedly lying in various pieces of paperwork.
On Tuesday, an arbitrator ordered Rodriguez rehired as a cop, saying that he had the right to take the fifth when asked about the murder, and his administrative violations did not warrant firing.
The arbitrator’s ruling was not greeted warmly by Miami’s chief of police.
“I am disappointed with the outcome, and will be meeting with the city attorney to look at our options,” Chief Rodolfo Llanes said in a statement.
The victims fiancée, raising their child alone, believes the system has been gamed.
“There’s been no justice. I think the police officer should have never been awarded his job back by the arbitrator,” Velazquez said. “I feel that he should not be wearing a badge, and justice has not been served.”
It’s unclear just when or in what position Rodriguez will resume his duties as a cop.
Rodriguez’s attorney, Eugene Gibbons, told CBS4’s Gary Nelson there is no evidence whatsoever linking him to the robbery and murder at the cell phone store, and he should be immediately reinstated.
Gibbons said the city would be wasting valuable time and money to appeal the arbitrators ruling. The murder of Millares remains very much under investigation.