A four-page letter signed by former City of Miami Police Chief Kenneth Harms sharply criticizes South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard and concludes by encouraging him to “step down” from office.
Stoddard claims the chief’s letter is “another attempted smear job” by South Miami Police Chief Orlando Martinez “and his pals” Commissioners Valerie Newman and Harms.
While spending the best part of four pages explaining the reasons for writing the document, Harms charges that based on his experience, Stoddard’s conduct “may well have violated the city charter, county and state laws.”
It is at the end of Page 3, however, that Harms describes what appears as the last straw for composing the letter, referring to a burglary report of March 3, 2011 at the Stoddard home that has been reported previously in newspapers, on television and online.
The report cited by Harms includes the admission to police by Stoddard that at the time of the incident he had appeared “naked” in his home when also occupied by two young girls, one of them an exchange student and the other, his adopted daughter.
Harms writes that on Nov. 9 he first read the police report and “other documents related to you.” The ex-chief then states “as a trained law enforcement officer, investigator and manager I was appalled, and quite frankly disgusted with your admitted conduct and other aspects of the report.”
The “implications” of such behavior lead Harms to suggest Stoddard submit to a “psychosexual evaluation” in addition to resigning his office.
In answer, Mayor Stoddard has responded: “I categorically deny any wrongdoing. This is a matter in which the police were aware of all relevant facts over 20 months ago. Mr. Harms’ statements about me in writing are false and defamatory.”
Stoddard goes on to state that police interviews taken at that time were “without a hint of improper conduct on my part, or the part of my wife,” adding “the South Miami Police would have been “grossly negligent to wait 20 months to take action.”
Charging Harms with a “smear job,” Stoddard claims “police brass altered the file 16 months after the burglary,” lost original notes and added material contradicting the original report.