Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Carmel on the Case: 2011 Recap
It's been a busy for year for investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero. Her exclusive stories have exposed everything from risky behavior outside a Broward nightclub, to an illegal slaughter farm in Hialeah. Tonight she's "on the case" with a look back at 2011.
WSVN -- It's been a year of disturbing images here in South Florida - the kind that never leave your mind.
We found underaged children - barely dressed and some barely conscious around a South Florida nightclub where police say drugs were sold.
BSO Deputy: "It was shocking even for me, a law enforcement officer."
We obtained video of a police officer cavorting with strippers while he was in uniform - and they were naked.
Ralph Hernandez: "Extremely disappointed and it was unacceptable behavior."
And we documented an on duty relationship between a police officer and a woman who was not his wife.
Nicole Yocovelli: "We have sex on duty - I told you that."
It cost the officer his career.
Frank Adderly: "It's something we just can't condone in the agency."
Careers were also damaged in connection with a million dollar fire hose for Port Everglades. As we first reported, the system did not perform well in tests.
The sheriff took action after it was learned a high ranking firefighter had a personal connection to the fire hose company.
Sheriff Lamberti: "A suspension is significant and a demotion is even more significant."
2011 has been a tough year for Opa-Locka. As we first revealed, there were allegations of sex with suspects and protection of criminals. The charges so sever the state was asked to investigate.
It was a difficult year for homeowners. Foreclosures continue to rip apart the American dream.
Judge: "We're here for the State of Florida vs. Fitzroy Ellis."
We showed you how one man tried to profit from that misery using an old law and no money to take over foreclosed properties. It didn't work.
Fitzroy Ellis: "I am an innocent man, Channel 7, look at me smiling."
Today he's behind bars and probably not smiling.
Some people lost their homes after trusting others to help them avoid foreclosure.
Carmel Cafiero: "We've talked to people who say they may be losing their homes because of doing business with your company, you have nothing to say?"
Nothing to say was a common response in 2011.
Carmel Cafiero: "Why would you risk your freedom and have a gun in the house like that?"
Carmel Cafiero: "Did you mislead people?"
Carmel Cafiero: "What do you have to say to the people who say they've been victimized by you?"
Then there were the animals. We showed you how a blind dog could get documentation through the Internet showing he is a service dog. A sneaky way to get special privileges for house pets and a serious injustice to trained service dogs and the people who rely on them.
Virginia Jacko: "Would you steal someone's wheelchair so you could be first in line at TSA at the airport?"
Grace Avila: "I heard screaming."
We also exposed disturbing video of euthanasia at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Cats were put down by being injected in the heart.
Sara Pizano: "That would not be the way we want to euthanize animals."
Carmel Cafiero: "Because you would consider it to be cruel?"
Sara Pizano: "Yes."
But the most disturbing animal news of the year came out of this slaughter farm in Hialeah. We obtained exclusive video showing what happened behind closed gates.
Kudo: "Brutal, brutal stuff going on."
And as you might expect not everyone was glad to see us this past year.
Security Guard: "I already called the cops, cut it out."
Doors were slammed...
Carmel Cafiero: "Why haven't you paid her back?"
Carmel Cafiero: "Mr. Rodriguez - where are you going - wait - Oh!"
Carmel Cafiero: "Mr. Coangelo would you wait a minute. Channel 7. We have a few questions for you."
And when we did get answers, sometimes they were a bit unsettling.
Sam Frontera: If you know anything about my background, if you do know anything about my background, then you'd leave me alone."
Carmel Cafiero: "But we can't leave things alone. And in 2012 I'll be back, on the case, like it or not."
IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE: