Fort Lauderdale cops Brian Dodge and Billy Koepke got off the hook in October after being acquitted for perjury, but couldn’t avoid the consequences from their department.
According to the Sun Sentinel, both cops lost their jobs on Saturday. Dodge resigned before he was officially booted out, while Dodge and their supervisor –Sgt. Michael Florenco – are appealing their dismissals.
Back in 2011, both Dodge and Koepke were arrested after being accused of ripping off drug dealers and addicts. Both men were making a hefty salary of nearly $76,000-a-year when they were charged.
But let’s back track.
The charges against Dodge and Koepke were filed after a 2010 incident, but those charges were dismissed that same year.
What the officers did not realize was that surveillance video and the report they gave of the incident told two completely different scenarios leading both officers to be tried for perjury and misconduct.
Now this is where it gets even more interesting.
Dodge and Koepke allegedly gave false information against Junior Jerome and Dieudson Nore- – both who were arrested on charges of possession of and intent of distributing cocaine.
The charges against Jerome and Nore were eventually dismissed once the video, provided by the defense attorneys, did not add up with the report Dodge and Koepke wrote.
According to investigators, Dodge and Koepke violated their department policies when internal affairs was investigating and they kept mum when asked what actually happened. That refusal to talk cost them their jobs.
Meanwhile, Florenco, who was present the evening of the undercover narcotics bust, got dismissed because he failed to be a good leader. Earlier, he had been exonerated by the state attorney’s office of any criminal wrongdoing.
Florenco was booted, according to the internal affairs report for “failure to perform basic responsibilities” and for showing “a gross negligence on his part as the ranking sergeant on the scene.”
The Sun Sentinel adds that Florenco was initially the first officer who detained and searched Nore but did not find drugs on him. This, says the internal affairs report, should have made him skeptical about the credibility of the report Dodge and Koepke submitted.
Florenco also knew that Mark Mayer, an informant, had been unlawfully detained by Dodge and Koepke and had to endure a takedownfor three hours while being handcuffed. He was also not aware of the false report filed and that his initials have been forged on the document.
“Had the correvt review been conducted, the false report would not have been filed and the misconduct of his detectives could have been immediately addressed,” said Gregory Salters, Acting Assistant Chief of the Internal Affairs.
Florenco says he never saw the report but the surveillance video showed him going over the documents as Dodge showed him some of the paperwork.
Florenco was also involved in a 2009 case where he was accused of falsifying reports. He was acquitted at trial.