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Head of Miami FBI office Piro retires; Bid-rigging probe of Broward Sheriff Tony returns to Miami

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Retiring Miami Special Agent in Charge George Piro. Photo: Sarah E. Kyle

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org

Miami FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro is retiring, after sources say he was shown the door by FBI headquarters in Washington following a complaint by a subordinate that Piro improperly transferred his office’s bid-rigging investigation of Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to South Carolina.

Piro’s last day in the office is said to be today, June 17, but he will officially depart June 30. The 23-year FBI veteran was named special agent in charge in November 2018. He also served as head of the Miami office from 2014-2017. In between, he was assistant director of the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters.

Phone and email messages seeking comment from Piro and FBI spokesman Mike Leverock over two days were not returned. The FBI national press office did not respond to an emailed request for comment before publication.

One source said that at a meeting with his agents last year, Piro explained transferring the Tony investigation by making two points: that he was not going to be responsible for the arrest of Broward’s first black sheriff, and that such an arrest would ruin the FBI’s relationship with the sheriff’s office, with which it frequently works.

Piro, who interrogated Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, also mentioned in the meeting that Sheriff Tony was responsible for sending $50,000 each to the families of two FBI agents who were killed while serving a search warrant at a Sunrise apartment on Feb. 2, 2021, the source said.

FBI’S INVESTIGATION OF TONY

The criminal probe of Sheriff Tony appears to be to be multi-faceted. A key segment involved suspected fraud, kickbacks and bid-rigging in BSO’s 2019 purchase of hundreds of bleeding-control stations from North American Rescue, a South Carolina company where Tony worked as director of community development before becoming sheriff. Tony concealed his job at the company, deleting it from his LinkedIn profile and not mentioning it when his job history was discussed.

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Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony

Also involved: Tony’s alleged shakedown of a corporate official with jail healthcare provider Wellpath for campaign money, a source said.

Florida Bullldog disclosed the existence of the FBI investigation in April 2021 in a story about a trio of individuals who were interviewed by FBI agents about BSO’s transactions with North American Rescue before the case was transferred. They included an unsuccessful bidder for BSO’s bleeding-control station contract and a former BSO purchasing official.

Piro had the case shipped to the FBI field office in Columbia, South Carolina, where it appeared to stall. With Piro’s departure, the case is now said to be back in the jurisdiction of the Miami FBI field office.

In May 2020, Florida Bulldog reported that between the end of July and Sept. 6, 2019, BSO paid more than $512,000 for 854 bleeding-control stations sold by North American. When Tony worked for North American in 2016-2017, and even earlier when he was a Coral Springs police officer in 2015, he ran a side business, Blue Spear Solutions, which sold North American’s products, including bleeding-control kits and stations.

TONY AND NORTH AMERICAN RESCUE

Tony’s wife, Holly, is today the company’s president, although Gregory Tony’s photograph is still on Blue Spear’s website. He’s listed as the firm’s founder. Blue Spear also remains a “proud partner” of North American and displays its products.

As sheriff, Tony aggressively promoted North American’s bleeding-control kits as critical for public safety. BSO put out press releases announcing the sheriff’s plans to distribute about 12,000 of the bright red bleeding-control kits to every public and charter school in Broward.

In September 2019, Tony held a press conference at a warehouse where he displayed the kits, emblazoned with his name and BSO’s logo, for reporters and camera crews. He said Blue Spear was not involved in the purchase, noted he had “zero involvement” with his wife’s company and said he distanced BSO by putting the contract out to bid “and they [North American] just happened to have the lowest price of roughly 10 different vendors that applied.”

BSO bid records, however, show there were nine bidders, but some of North American’s eight competitors were not actual competitors.

For example, Henry Schein Inc. is a Fortune 500 distributor of healthcare products. Its per unit bid was about $100 more than North American’s. But Henry Schein acquired North American Rescue for an undisclosed price in March 2019 – four months before BSO’s bid went out.

Both North American and Henry Schein may have violated the terms of a non-collusion certificate required to be dated and signed by bidders. The certificates include language in which bidders aver that they “are not related to any of the other parties in the competitive solicitation.”

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Latest comments

  • If George was dumb enough to make those comments to co-workers he probably shouldn’t be in charge of anything. I seriously doubt he would say those things even if that’s how he feels. Greg Tony will never be touched, he’s got Gov DeSantis looking out for him.

  • What do the men in his dept think of Greg Tony ???

  • Thank you for this important information.

  • The men and women of BSO can’t wait until he is removed. The morale is the lowest in decades, cities are leaving because deputies are scared to be unjustly fired too for doing their jobs. Feel free to contact the union for this truth!!

  • What about the sexual misconduct Piro was not punished for?

    You know… when he crashed his car while getting a blow job from a subordinate who was married to someone else who worked in the office? The car was a government car. Oops. Nothing like having the police show up with fly unzipped and your female work companion’s head in your lap in your crashed Gov ride.

    FBI gonna FBI

  • Yo snake do you know ow what car he had?

  • Gregory Tony has too many shady “coincidences” between this, his lies about the self defense shooting he was involved in that resulted in the death of another, his swinger lifestyle with his wife and finally, for the disgraceful way he verbally attacked a commission member who dared question him about the lack of dispatchers in his department.

    It’s time for him to be shown the door or for us to vote him out.

  • I work there for 35 years, and people on the inside keep calling because they know I stand up when things are wrong. tony/toney has been a has-been before he tricked a victim of the MSD shooting to ask Governor Destaints for this very honorable job as top cop in Broward. The Govenor is tired of the BS tony/toney bullying and abusing staff and political leaders in Broward. Broward is less safe now when you have LEO’s not doing their job because when you do it this bum unjustifiably fires, and publicly humiliates some of the best LEOs in the country. I pray that he steps down knowing they are coming after him for lying on his D/L as sheriff and on all his applications for LEO jobs (all felonies). his ego will not allow him to leave honorably, so Broward will go through another embarrassment in law enforcement. Even the Chief of CSPD said he would never hire him as a policeman if he told the truth. Please Governor when they strip him of his arrest powers and disgrace him, FIRER HIM>

  • Astute reporting as always from DC and the Florida Bulldog. Sad so few voters, residents, taxpayers pay attention or comprehend a civic responsibility for honest ethical, fiscally responsible leadership. Can’t fix stupid or apathy.

  • Someone here mentioned gregory tony verbally attack a commissioner who dared to question his lack of dispatchers. Idk anything about that incident but what I can say is that I worked at a hotel on Hollywood Beach and at the beginning of this year I called 911 multiple times for various different reasons, people breaking into and vandalizing a life guard tower in the middle of the night, a lady running into the hotel lobby battered and begging me to call police because she was beaten by a boyfriend or ex bf, another lady on the beach laying in the sand screaming and yelling in horror as it looked like a figure of a man standing over her either raping or hurting her while she screamed help. A guest we had at the hotel being drunk and very disorderly at 3am screaming blaring music and throwing full beer cans off the balcony at people passing on the board walk. I called 911 each of these times, no one answered the phone, no one called back, no one showed up at the hotel or beach. I repeat, I called 911 the emergency number AND NO ONE ANSWERED THE CALL, NO ONE CALLED BACK, AND NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE. I was dumbfounded. How could there be no one to answer a 911 call? People were literally being physically attacked and assaulted, could have been raped or murdered and there was no one to call, no one answered the phone, no one to help these people. Not once, not twice, but on multiple occasions over a two month period. It was odd because over the two year period I worked there, it was very quiet and calm nothing crazy like that happening, maybe two concerning incidents during the two years, until all over a sudden over about a two month period there was madness and incident after incident. Idk why the unusual spike in violence and crime but I can say it seems as if the police dispatchers not answering phone calls led to people being emboldened. Maybe that’s not why, maybe the people committing these acts had no clue that 911 wasn’t answering calls or dispatching police to the scene, maybe they hadn’t been answering calls for several months, maybe a year, idk I don’t usually have people screaming for help after or while being assaulted where I need to call for help multiple times in a couple month period but I KNOW THAT DURING THIS TIME, THE BROWARD COUNTY DISPATCHERS WERE NOT ANSWERING 911 CALLS. As I said people were being attacked, could have been rapped, murdered, could have been a building on fire with people in it, or any other atrocity and 911 broward county didn’t answer the phone. If that doesn’t enrage you more then all the profiteering mentioned in this article, or on top of the profiteering then we have a problem in our society. This man Gregory Tony as well as many others in similar positions only motives are career and profiteering from their positions, they don’t care that anything they were actually hired to do is being done, only what benefits themselves. Atleast back in the day the sheriff’s, corrupt as they may be, profiteers as they may be, pretended to care about there jobs, made sure there were dispatchers and people in place to do there jobs on top of looking out for their own political gains and monetary gains. Now they don’t even care if there’s anyone to answer 911 calls. If I had a license to carry a fire arm I would have intervened and tried to help these poor women that were being attacked, hopefully in a peaceful manor, but atleast if I were armed I would be able to defend myself from being murdered in my attempt to help others.

  • Cops afraid to do their jobs afraid of being fired….”NO” I think cops are mad because they are being held accountable for treating people poorly.

  • Welcome to the 3rd World ….. You haven’t seen anything yet….

  • Loudoun County, Virginia has a similar situation regarding a sleazy sheriff. Sheriff Mike Chapman is in bed with campaign contributors and rigs contracts in a pay for play scam. The local FBI arrested and convicted his campaign manager, but they won’t touch him because he has well placed friends in that agency.

  • Tony is for doing the right thing, that is why he is most hated he was elected by the people because of his leadership role keep up the good work and do not become distracted with the nonsense.

  • O’ wow how can you say this melvin after reading concerned citizen having NO ONE answer her 911 calls? There are multiple media articles on Broward 911 dispatch turn over rate and how poorly ran/untrained the dispatch workers. I am so sorry Concerned Citizen you experienced this – thank you so much for doing a terrific job on trying to help/assist others. I do think perps are well aware that police are scared to do their job and that state atty drops most charges. Any law enforcement reading this – thank you for your service especially in such a difficult time! No one knows all the ways are hands get tied when trying to do the “right” thing.

  • Broward county,was corrupted, before sheriff Toni took office, people always talking bad about people,no one is perfect,

  • Broward County is indeed “CORRUPT;” so let’s just put the cherry on top by allowing a MURDERER, LSD USER and PERJURER (on numerous law enforcement applications) to run the County…how apropo.

  • I’ve lived in Broward County continuously since about 1955 – long before most of you were born. I remember a time when cops were respected and trusted. They were always there to help you when you needed them. Yes, there were a few “bad cops” on the force, but even still, they didn’t go around arbitrarily beating and shooting people or arresting them without probable cause! In Hollywood, the infamous “Hollywood Street Crimes Unit” did some pretty awful and illegal things in the 80’s and 90’s, but they got caught and the Unit was ultimately disbanded. Several of its members were fired and some were prosecuted and convicted of the crimes they committed. But in all that time, I NEVER believed that law enforcement in general would DETERIORATE to the point where it is today!!! And “CONCERNED CITIZEN” is RIGHT…Broward County IS corrupt – especially when it comes to the Judges in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in both criminal and civil cases! There’s undoubtedly THOUSANDS of people out there who know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! They are the victims of prejudiced, corrupt, bought-and-paid-for Judges who Depart From the Essential Requirements of Law in their rulings, DENY some people their Constitutional Right of Due Process and generally “crap all over” the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct! This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to Pro Se litigants, those of us who CAN”T AFFORD the thousands of dollars it takes to pay for a lawyer! Judges treat us like second-class citizens despite the Rule that says they must treat EVERYBODY who appears before them with FAIRNESS and IMPARTIALITY! But NOT here in Broward County! ANYONE who reads this post and has ever been VICTIMIZED by a “rogue cop” or a “prejudiced ,corrupt Judge”, PLEASE, leave a comment! YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!!

  • You know you are a piece of shit when the democrats of Broward County attack you. Tony is the slime at the bottom of the barrel. FB reported back a year ago that a grand jury hearing was being held about Greg Tony, hopefully we hear about that very soon.

  • Many articles state that Piro of the FBI transferred the case for various reasons. The real reason is that Piro and Tony are good friends and now Piro is in forced retirement. You may want to look at their relationship and if Piro was providing Tony information. Now with Piro not involved Tony may be charged with various federal crimes.

  • I’ve heard Piro’s philandering is what led to his divorce. Not surprised about the bj in a government ride.

  • To those who are insulting George Piro, a man who spent his life serving the USA. He gave it his all and his best. I don’t understand the hypocrisy of this society. Each one of you lives his/her life freely, without morals, or principals and you call it freedom. Does This freedom appliy to yourself only. And if you are all so moral begin by correcting yourselves. Do not judge because no one knows what really happened in this man’s life.
    Enough insulting and badgering a man who is upright, just, and lawful.

  • No one is saying George isn’t law abiding. He’s a smart, good looking guy. Good looking women notice him, he notices back. He’s served his country for a long time (USAF, PD, FBI). He’s human…nothing wrong with him liking the ladies. That’s between him and his ex.

  • Florida Bulldog should do an extensive report on the history of Broward County Politics and all the criminal activity hidden behind the County Charter and carried out by public servants in charge. Broward is as corrupt as Chicago.

  • He sounds like lowlife crap.

  • You think that’s bad about Piro? Take a look at what happened to him when he was AD of the FBI’s IOD and in the Philippines “touring” when his subordinates happened upon a few ladies of the evening. Um, he was demoted and sent back to Miami to be SAC, to insulate him … just guessing … well, but I was also an employee who was there at the time …🤔

  • No, please, feel free to go ahead. It’s been an open secret for a long time hat he can’t keep his pants on. That’s the type of thing that can end up with someone in a compromised position, but as someone else said, FBI gonna FBI. Too bad, he’s a legitimately nice guy. It’s a recipe for disaster, though, if you can’t maintain at least a modicum of discretion, which he can’t.

  • Well, new crew same nothing… They changed the guard in Miami yet they will still refuse to charge this felon with what he should be prosecuted for. I had hope that this new guy had balls. Guess not…

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