Bal Harbour, Fl., Police Chief Thomas Hunker has been suspended with pay over a U.S. Justice Department report that slams the small police agency for allegedly misspending millions in drug money seized from criminals. The report also fingers Hunker for professional misconduct, reports the Miami Herald. Hunker, 61, was sidelined while an outside law enforcement agency investigates the allegations.
The Justice Department is looking into Bal Harbour's handling of millions earned from laundering the money of drug dealers as part of ongoing, undercover investigations of criminal networks around the U.S. Hunker, who has been chief since 2003, is about to complete the third year of a four-year employment contract that pays him a base salary of $141,959.80 a year. Hunker’s attorney, Richard Sharpstein, said, “It's shocking and extremely disappointing to think that the Justice Department would release these allegations, which are nothing more than the misdirected and misguided ranting of some obviously disgruntled individuals. They're going to have egg on their face.''