Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Carmel on the Case: Corrections Parking
Tonight, a 7News investigation reveals some Miami-Dade Corrections officers are parking where they don't belong. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
WSVN -- It's early morning at the downtown Miami-Dade jail. The night shift is about to end, and every disabled spot is taken on the street between the jail and courthouse.
Carmel Cafiero: "Talk to me for a minute ... 'disabled.'"
And as we discovered, most of those cars belong to Corrections employees who do not have permits to park in those spaces.
Carmel Cafiero: "Good morning. I see that you're parked in a disabled parking spot, but I don't see a permit. Could you explain that to me? Hello?"
As one employee hid his laughter behind a towel, Corrections staffers continued to ignore my questions as they left work.
Carmel Cafiero: "Good morning. Why are you parked in a disabled spot?"
Carmel Cafiero: "Carmel Cafiero from Channel 7. I'm wondering how you're able to park in a disabled spot."
Carmel Cafiero: "Excuse me. You don't even have a permit."
Despite having no permits, and exceeding the two-hour limit, not one vehicle had a ticket.
Worker: "No, I wasn't here an hour."
Carmel Cafiero: "You can't park here, period."
Herb Cohen: "And I noticed there's never spots. If I have court at 9 o'clock, I'll go there seven in the morning, 7:30, there's never spots."
Attorney Herb Cohen has knee and hip problems, and at times needs to use his disabled permit. He's fed up.
Herb Cohen: "So not only to me was it offensive that they were using, but even more offensive because they were law enforcement people, because for them to have used those spots, they had to be breaking the law."
And as the night shift left, the day shift came in and also started parking in the disabled spots, again, with no permits. They're taking the spots away from folks who need them. And again, for the most part, my questions were ignored.
Carmel Cafiero: "Can you explain to me why you're parking here where disabled people are supposed to be parking?"
Carmel Cafiero: "I see you're parking in a disabled spot?"
However, actions can speak louder than words.
Carmel Cafiero: "You just parked in a disabled parking spot, but I don't see a permit. Could you explain that to me? Hello?"
Carmel Cafiero: "Want to give me your name and an explanation as to why you would park in a disabled spot?"
Worker: "I'm sorry, was it 45 seconds or was it longer than that?"
Carmel Cafiero: "The law doesn't say for 45 seconds."
Carmel Cafiero: "You don't have a disabled placard?"
Worker: "Oh, but I'll come right back out."
And it continued. Cohen says he complained to jail officials more than a year ago.
Carmel Cafiero: "Has anything changed?" Herb Cohen: "No, nothing has changed."
We asked for an interview with a jail official, but were turned down. A spokesperson sent this statement:
"We will review any footage you have available and take any necessary corrective actions if warranted. However, since there is a possibility of disciplinary actions being administered against employees, we will not be commenting on the matter at this time."
Cohen hopes they've just seen the footage. Carmel Cafiero, 7News.
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