Aventura / Sunny Isles

Charges dropped in Golden Beach police off-duty billing case

 

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped their case against a Golden Beach police officer who had been charged with scamming money from the city’s off-duty security program.

Lyndean Peters, who is now retired and on disability, was accused in 2011 of under-reporting or not reporting off-duty security jobs he worked for local businesses or road projects to avoid paying a cut to the town. He was also accused of working off-duty when he was actually supposed to be patrolling the small Northeast Miami-Dade beach community.

But Miami-Dade prosecutors, after taking depositions with Golden Beach town officials, realized that much of how the department ran its off-duty program was off-the-books and against official policies — casting serious doubt on whether any laws were actually broken, according to a memo released Wednesday.

One example: officers routinely worked extra hours while on duty, and were allowed to informally shave the hours off another day’s shift as compensation time. That practice, prosecutors concluded, made it difficult to prove that Peters ever double billed for his time.

“The state finally saw the truth in this matter and did the right thing today,” said Peters’ attorney, Donald Oswald.

Said Peters, after a brief court hearing on Wednesday: “It’s been three long years.”

Peters, 48, had been charged with grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and official misconduct.

Two other Golden Beach police officers, Omar Paez and Yovany Diaz, are also facing similar charges; prosecutors are expected to drop the cases against them.

Read more Aventura / Sunny Isles Beach stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE--Elena Baronoff of Exclusively Baronoff Realty, is shown in this Sept. 18, 2006, file photo.

    SUNNY ISLES

    Sunny Isles community leader Elena Baronoff diagnosed with leukemia

    Elena Baronoff, a prominent community leader from Sunny Isles Beach, has leukemia.

  •  
Aventura Police Department motorcycle officers from Robert Feierstadt, left, and Aldo Alfonso at City Hall in 2006. The motorcycle patrol was later eliminated, but the department is bringing it back in October.

    Aventura

    Motorcycle cops returning to Aventura

    Aventura residents can expect to see motorcycle officers in the city again as part of several crime prevention actions approved at last week’s City Commission meeting.

  • Soapbox

    Letter: Northeast Dade city makes financial sense

    My family and I have lived and worked in Northeast Miami-Dade County for 36 years. We include the so called named areas of The Château, Coventry, Highland Lakes, Oak Forest, Oak Hammock, Ojus, Presidential Estates, Skylake, Sunswept, etc. We are 18,000 strong. Many things have changed over these years — guard gates, increased home invasions, common areas in need of repair, overcrowded roads, expanding development.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK