HOLLYWOOD

Top Hollywood police officials suspended during investigation

 

A Hollywood police major and assistant chief were placed on paid leave Tuesday while they are being investigated by the Broward State Attorney’s Office for official misconduct.

Kenneth Haberland, appointed to assistant police chief Aug. 28 and Norris Redding, appointed to major in June 2012, learned about the State Attorney’s Office investigation earlier this month.

Both were placed on the state’s Brady List, which means they are under criminal investigation.

The investigation began after Police Chief Frank Fernandez ordered an internal review of all of departments after he took over in August.

“I needed to know what I was inheriting,” Fernandez said Tuesday.

He said an initial review showed some problems in the internal affairs division, so he called for a more thorough review, which showed case files were missing and names deleted from software. All of the discrepancies dated back to 2010.

“We are launching our own investigation into the internal affairs unit,” he said.

Haberland,who has been with the department since March 1988, was assigned to internal affairs from January 2008 through January 2011.

Redding, who has been with the department since May 25, 1994, was assigned to the internal affairs unit from March 2009 through January 2011.

Fernandez said the State Attorney’s Office found out about the review and launched its own investigation.

Both men received letters from Timothy E. Donnelly, the assistant state attorney in charge of the public corruptions unit.

After talking to the officers and the State Attorney’s Office, Fernandez said “it is in the best interest of the police department to place them on administrative leave.”

“The investigation has to run its course,” he said.

Eric Schwartzreich, the attorney representing Haberland, said Tuesday that he is “confident his client will be vindicated.”

“Everything was done in the spirit and compliance of state law,” he said.

Attorney Michael Gottlieb, representing Redding, said Tuesday “it’s unfortunate,” that both Haberland and Redding were placed on leave.

“I think the city is overreacting,” he said. “The department is sanctioning them for something that was inadvertent, if anything.”

Gottlieb said both Redding and Haberland voluntarily spoke to the State Attorney’s office Tuesday to talk about their time in Internal Affairs. He said his client “followed the letter of the law.”

“There is nothing secretive here,” he said.

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