Despite video evidence showing a Miami Beach cop drinking alcohol on the job to the point of vomiting, stumbling, dirty dancing with a woman and playfully drawing his gun before he was lead to a hotel room to sleep it off, his attorney is fighting to get his job back.
After all, Sergeant Mike Muley was not actually on-duty at the time, even though he was in full uniform, representing the police department.
He was working “off-duty” as a security guard for a Miami Beach nightclub, a common practice for cops in South Florida to rake in extra dollars under the pretense that they are keeping a watchful eye over the business, keeping everybody safe.
The job not only pays well, $38-an-hour as well as $76-an-hour for holidays, it apparently comes with fringe benefits, including unlimited drinks and an opportunity to mingle with drunken women on vacation.
Investigators say Muley pounded six double vodkas with cranberry that night, which is why he has been on paid administrative leave for the last eight months before Chief Daniel Oates decided to fire him last week.
But thanks to Muley, the department decided to forbid officers to work off-duty in nightclubs. Well, thanks to him and another officer named Derek Kulian who was sentenced to 18 months in prison last year for a 2011 incident in which he took a bachelorette for a joyride on the beach on an ATV, running over two people laying on the beach, leaving them with serious injuries.
So much for public safety.
But that decision to forbid officers to work off-duty lasted only a month after outcry from the union, so Miami Beach cops are still allowed to work off-duty, but are no longer allowed to enter the clubs unless police enforcement is necessary. And even then, they are not allowed to consume drinks inside the clubs.
It’s a hardship they must endure if they want to continue capitalizing on the opportunity to make more than $1,200-a-night as one officer did working a 16.5 hour shift at a nightclub on New Year’s Eve 2013. In fact, the Miami New Times investigation revealed that more than 80 officers made more than $377,000 in a single year working off-duty.
It’s no wonder Muley had reason to celebrate.
Muley was also Kulian’s supervisor the night he ran over two people lying on the beach in his ATV. And although Kulian was convicted of reckless driving, he was acquitted of driving under the influence, even though one blood test – administered five hours after the incident – showed he had a blood alcohol content of .088, which is above the legal limit.
One toxicologist estimated Kulian’s blood alcohol content to have been .155 at the time of the crash.
But Kulian, who filed a grievance against the department, claiming they obtained his blood illegally, was acquitted of DUI because another test conducted on the same blood sampling, ordered by defense attorneys two years later, showed it to be under the legal limit.
The blue gods work in mysterious ways, after all.
Kulian was also one of the several cops who fired more than 100 rounds at Raymond Herisse on Memorial Day in 2011, a little more than a month before the July 3 ATV incident, in which this week the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced no charges would be filed against any of the officers.
Although police fired more than 100 rounds that night, striking four innocent bystanders in the process, only 16 bullets ended up striking Herisse.
So perhaps they all should have been tested for possible intoxication considering their shooting inaccuracy.
Muley, who was one of the highest paid employees for the City of Miami Beach, making $161,882 in 2012, including more than $30,000 from off-duty pay, was not one of the officers involved in the 2011 shooting, but that may be because it had taken place at 4 a.m., a time when he might have been sleeping off his drunkenness, if the video evidence below is any indicator of his usual behavior.
But Muley’s attorney is vowing to get the cop reinstated, claiming he was simply suffering from a medical issue the night an anonymous tipster called police to report a drunken cop in uniform on the beat.
The Miami Beach Police Internal Affairs Unit had been investigating Sgt. Mike Muley since July 2014. Investigators said the officer was intoxicated, in uniform, while working an off-duty security job at Mango’s Tropical Cafe, located on the 900 block of Ocean Drive, July 14. According to a call to the police, Muley was vomiting.
Paramedics thought Muley was so inebriated that they transported him to Mount Sinai Medical Center for treatment. The next day, his cruiser was found parked outside of Mango’s and marked as evidence.
Last July, Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates suspended Muley with pay and opened an investigation into the incident. “We simply can’t tolerate inappropriate behavior by our officer,” he said.
But Muley’s lawyer, Eugene Gibbons, argued last year that the officer’s vomiting was provoked by intestinal blockage. “The anonymous caller misinterpreted Sergeant Muley’s biological responses to his severe medical condition,” Gibbons said.
Friday afternoon, the internal affairs investigation into the incident wrapped up, and Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates decided to terminate Muley, who had been suspended with pay since the incident. Oates released a statement which reads, “This officer terribly embarrassed the police department and all his peers, as well as the entire city of Miami Beach.”
But Muley still remains certified as a police officer in Florida, meaning he could easily find work at another police department.
Or if that doesn’t pan out, there are plenty of bartender opportunities in Miami.