Thomas Hunker, police chief of Bal Harbour, Fla., for nearly 10 years, has been fired after a months-long suspension. The dismissal stemmed from a U.S. Justice Department investigation and followed a series of Miami Herald reports about alleged misspending of millions of dollars received through a federal forfeiture program. The Justice Department also alleged that alleged Hunker abused his position for personal benefit.
Hunker will receive a payout of about $115,350, plus six months of health insurance. He is in the last year of a contract that pays him a base salary of $155,600 a year, and provides him with an SUV, health insurance and a pension. Hunker will collect a monthly pension benefit of $3,340. Hunker already receives a pension from Miami Beach, where he was a police officer for 28 years. In an unrelated case, the Herald reports that three police officers in Homestead, Fla., have been fired in connection with an assault and coverup three years ago at a bar frequented by immigrants. Sgt. Jeffrey Rome, Sgt. Lizanne Deegan and Officer Giovanni Soto were arrested in July and have cases pending with the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.