Two Miami commissioners yesterday called for Police Chief John Timoney to resign, the Miami Herald reports. The embattled police chief shrugged off such talk in the wake of a report that an auto dealer let him drive a Lexus SUV for free for more than a year. ”It’s clear to me now, in retrospect, that I kept that vehicle for too long,” Timoney said. Mayor Manny Diaz said he intends to stand by Timoney. Miami’s police union, which has scheduled a no-confidence vote on Timoney Sept. 4, now is accusing Timoney’s administration of altering crime statistics to make the city look safer than it really is. ”It’s massive,” said Armando Aguilar, president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police.
Timoney insisted Thursday that the city’s crime figures are accurate and said he would welcome an outside audit of the numbers. In an effort to defuse the vehicle scandal, Timoney this week opted to buy the SUV. The chief said he paid full sticker price — $54,000. One commissioner said the deal ran afoul of department guidelines that ban accepting such gifts. ”He violated his own rules, he cannot enforce the rules,” said Tomas Regalado. “How can he preach morality anymore with the rank and file?”