River Cities

Miami Springs cop resigns after fraud arrest

A veteran Miami Springs police officer who once served as union representative has quietly resigned from the force after authorities accused him of fraudulently billing his city-issued medical insurance.

While on active duty, Oscar Garcia, 43, was arrested last year and charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. He submitted his resignation to the city last month.

Garcia’s case is expected to be resolved once he pays back restitution.

During a court hearing Tuesday, Garcia declined to comment. His lawyer did not return repeated calls for comment.

“I have enjoyed 17 years as an employee with this great city and will always cherish,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I will continue to have lifelong friendships with all of you, however, this time, I have goals and plans that no longer allow me to continue my journey and I must move on.”

His arrest was unusual for a department of 40 sworn officers in the the small city just north of Miami International Airport. Garcia had been a representative for the Police Benevolent Association and was particularly vocal during contract negotiations in 2012.

His legal troubles stem from paperwork he filled out in October 2010.

According to an arrest warrant, Garcia filled out an Aetna health insurance form, listing a woman named Rosario Noa as his wife, and her daughter as his stepdaughter.

“Wife kept maiden name,” he wrote on the form, according to authorities.

Noa later gave birth to Garcia's son — a pregnancy for which Aetna paid $14,313.54 in medical bills. The company also paid out several hundred dollars in other claims.

But according to North Miami police, which investigated, Garcia was actually still married to another woman: Olga Garcia, whom he had never divorced because of disagreements over child custody.

Noa, Garcia admitted the city, was his live-in girlfriend and he mistakenly believed he could list her and her daughter as dependents.

Miami Springs later determined that it had wrongfully paid over $6,500 for Noa and her daughter because they were never eligible for coverage through the city.

City Manager Ron Gorland declined to comment.

Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report.