Miami police chief who got free Marc Anthony tickets violated ethics code

Music icon Marc Anthony during his sold out October 2015 concert at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Music icon Marc Anthony during his sold out October 2015 concert at AmericanAirlines Arena. El Nuevo Herald

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes was scolded by the county ethics commission Wednesday for not divulging he received four free concert tickets to see salsa king Marc Anthony at AmericanAirlines Arena last fall.

Llanes said he thought they were freebies from a friend — Marc Anthony himself. Friend or not, said the ethics commission, if it was worth more than $100 and came from someone doing business with the city, Llanes should have reported it.

The chief told members of the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust that he befriended Anthony last year after the singer and local icon donated $25,000 to the Police Athletic League and was its keynote speaker at an event.

The chief said he didn’t believe he had to report the tickets because the value listed on the tickets was “0.” The four tickets to the sold out show could have been worth as much as $820.

Llanes told investigators he didn’t think the tickets were gifts since he “didn’t feel they were in any way job-related.”

Reached Wednesday, the chief said “I should have disclosed it. I didn’t think I had to because we are friends. It’s a mistake.”

The chief has since reported the gift and will be issued a Letter of Instruction by the trust. The county code of ethics ordinance demands that someone in Llanes’s position declare any gift valued at more than $100.

The finding though, came after another investigation into Llanes fizzled.

Investigators originally looked into a complaint alleging that Llanes had intervened in the arrest of a ticket scalper. Though no wrongdoing was found, Llanes voluntarily provided one of the investigators with information about the Marc Anthony concert.