• Beau Parrillo, vice president of United Auto Insurance Company, and a benefactor to local police causes, such as the Bal Harbour PAL and the annual LEO Awards. Hunker’s eldest son works as an attorney for UAIC;
• Lewis Nadel, an executive with the Broward security firm International Surveillance Technology, Inc.
Nadel is an example of how Hunker’s police work and charitable endeavors intertwine. Nadel is president the South Florida Crime Commission, a group that received $20,000 in donations from Bal Harbour’s forfeiture funds that by law only Hunker can request to spend.
In July 2010, Bal Harbour police bought the “mobile command” from International Surveillance Technology for $108,000. It looks like a futuristic mobile home. The department then spent an additional $119,000 over the following five months on bells and whistles, such as a retractable video scope, a camera, satellite receiver, audio equipment and a flatscreen TV.
Village police said they use the vehicle for covert surveillance, and as a command station in the event of natural disasters or large events — although there aren’t many of those in Bal Harbour, a quiet town that had 34 reported crimes over the first six months of 2012, 31 of them larcenies.
A friend of Hunker’s for about 20 years, Nadel said he received his honorary BHPD badge and identification as “an acknowledgement of good done.’’
Offending a judge
In January 2010, Hunker briefly intervened in a court fight with another South Florida power player, former banker David Paul, and in the process raised the hackles of a circuit court judge.
Judge Mark King Leban was hearing a battery complaint lodged by Paul, once a major community and civic leader until he went to prison for fraud in the mid-1990s for looting the now-defunct CenTrust Bank.
Paul had complained that he was assaulted by Yakov Telyas, a fellow resident of the Balmoral on Collins. Paul said Telyas ordered him to shut up during meetings and shoved him against a glass door.
During the hearing, Judge Leban told Paul that Hunker had tried to influence the case.
“I got a telephone call from the Chief of Police,’’ Leban said, according to the transcript. “I was a little surprised. Hunker, Tom Hunker, the other day and Mr. Hunker, Chief Hunker basically told me that there is nothing to this, that he’s been out there many times, that there have been all kinds of problems and that I’ll see that this is … he didn’t use the word garbage. The intent of his call in my opinion was an attempt to influence me to deny this petition. And I told him that I didn’t think it was appropriate...”
Sharpstein denied that the chief had tried to meddle in the court case.
“He was trying to get him the facts,’’ the lawyer said.
One of Hunker’s departmental hires was cited in the Justice Department report.
Alejandro Alvarez, Jr. joined the Bal Harbour police in 2006 despite having crashed and burned as a trainee with the Miami-Dade Police Department a year earlier. The report said Hunker is a personal friend of Alvarez’s father, a Miami-Dade officer-turned-lawyer.
Alvarez Jr. had an ignominious stint lasting less than a year with Miami-Dade: He repeatedly showed up late for work, behaved unprofessionally by dancing and playing music loudly in class at the academy, and was caught cheating while taking an exam on first aid for police officers.