2 high St John cops fired after accident investigation

MIAMI (AP) – St John’s new police chief said he sacked two senior police officers – a married couple – for not being honest about an accident involving a city-issued SUV.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ronald Papier and his wife Nerly Papier, a commanding officer in Little Havana, were fired Tuesday after nearly three months of investigation, the St John Herald reported. It is one of the first big decisions by Chief Art Acevedo, who took over the St John division in April after four years in Houston.

“Every time we see people getting fired, it’s sad,” said Acevedo. “But we all have to be accountable for our actions.”

The papers’ attorney Eugene Gibbons said he would continue to fight for the couple’s employment. Calling the investigation a fraud, he claimed the papers were targeted by the Ministry’s Internal Affairs Department and Acevedo.

Nerly Paper told officials that she was on her way to work on the morning of April 2 when she crashed her SUV into a curb to avoid another vehicle that had turned into her lane. Acevedo said his final decision to fire her was made after internal affairs investigators concluded that Nerly Paper omitted important details, such as pedestrians on the sidewalk when the vehicle passed jumped the curb, and that she ran over at least two red lights while she drove the vehicle to the office using its rims.

According to an internal affairs report, Ron Papier, who served as deputy chief for two months prior to Acevedo’s inauguration, was fired for failing to back off investigating his wife or telling Acevedo of a St John-Dade prosecutor’s investigation into them no criminal misconduct was found.

On the same day as the crash, three days before Acevedo was officially sworn in, he met with the city command staff when he told them, “You lie, you die.” According to a disciplinary report, Acevedo told everyone at the meeting that his career would be at stake if one of his officers violated a sacred trust, community standard, or badge.

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