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Broward Sheriff Tony, his rich pals and brass donate big to Miami-Dade sheriff candidate Reyes

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Broward Col. James Reyes discusses ongoing construction at BSO’s new training with Sheriff Gregory Tony in 2022.

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, up for re-election in November, is exceedingly confident. So confident that he gave a whopping $50,000 from his political committee to the political committee of Miami-Dade sheriff candidate James Reyes.

Tony’s contribution via Broward First is the largest received by Reyes’ Miami-Dade Safe & Secure PAC, though it’s tied with another $50,000 donation to Safe & Secure from Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava’s Our Democracy PAC.

Tony’s wealthy donors – convicted felon and Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council member Lewis Stahl ($25,000), former Boston Red Sox slugger Maurice “Mo” Vaughn ($24,000), BSO vendor and Saferwatch owner Geno Roefaro ($10,000), and New Jersey-based mattress mogul Michael Fux ($10,000) – kicked in an additional $69,000 into Reyes’s PAC.

Contributions of more than $11,000 to Reyes’s PAC from BSO brass have pushed the total from Tony’s associates to more than $129,000 – or more than 25 percent of the PAC’s entire reported haul to date of $504,000.

Clockwise from lower left: Former Boston Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn, Saferwatch CEO Geno Roefaro, Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council member Lewis Stahl and mattress mogul Michael Fux

The biggest givers from that BSO group: Col. Oscar Llerena ($2,000) and Major Angelo Cedeno ($5,000).

That’s a serious play for influence south of the Broward border.

TONY, REYES AND “BLEEDING CONTROL KITS”

It comes as the ever-embattled Tony awaits a final determination from Florida’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission on whether to revoke his license to be a cop for lying and yet another hearing before an administrative judge in Tallahassee – now set for Aug. 7 – regarding a pending ethics commission complaint against the sheriff.

Sheriff Tony’s enthusiasm for James Reyes, also known as Jem Reyes, is rooted in Reyes’s four years of work as executive director in charge of Broward’s sprawling jail system. Two months after Tony took over in January 2019, Reyes was among about 100 sworn and civilian staff he promoted, making them beholden to him. Reyes’s boost was to colonel.

A few months later, while Col. Reyes served as head of BSO’s Department of Administration, he did something that no doubt made Tony happy. It involved BSO’s 2019 purchase of “Stop the Bleed” stations and bleeding control kits from North American Rescue, a company where Tony previously worked and later peddled its products out of his own company, Blue Spear Solutions. After he became sheriff, Tony aggressively promoted North American’s bleeding control products.

North American, based in South Carolina, was the lowest bidder at $599.98 per unit, or $392,386. Bids were reviewed by BSO’s Purchasing Division, where, as Florida Bulldog first reported in May 2020, things took an interesting turn.

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James Reyes and Sheriff Tony embraced when Reyes departed for Miami-Dade

The amount initially requested for approval somehow rose to $500,000. Then, on July 11, 2019, a purchasing agent sent a memo about the deal to Reyes requesting his approval “in the amount of $750,000 to cover the one-time purchase and any additional purchases within the two-year term under the same terms and conditions of the contract.”

Reyes approved the deal the next day, apparently no questions asked about how a $392,386 purchase had swelled so much.

The FBI had questions about possible bid rigging – for a while. But then Tony’s pal, Special Agent in Charge George Piro, transferred the case to South Carolina where it languished. Piro later retired – sources told Florida Bulldog he’d been pushed out following a complaint about what had happened – and the case returned to Miami. Word later got out that the investigation had ended again, for reasons unknown.

UP THROUGH THE RANKS

Reyes worked his way up through ranks from his start as a deputy sheriff in 2000. Six years later he was promoted to sergeant, climbing quickly to lieutenant and then captain in 2013. A year later, under Sheriff Scott Israel, he became assistant director of the sheriff’s Department of Corrections, then director in 2017.

His work got noticed. Miami-Dade Mayor Levine-Cava recruited him to run Miami-Dade Corrections in 2022, and he started work as director there in January 2023.

The NAACP also noticed. In January of this year, it asked the Justice Department to investigate BSO following the deaths of 21 inmates in the Broward County Jail since 2021. Calling the rate of deaths in the county’s jails “alarming,” NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson sought a probe of their “conditions and management, especially its psychiatric treatment practices.”

No investigation has been announced.

Freddy Ramirez. Photo: NBC6

Reyes’s stock rose again quickly. Six months after switching to Miami-Dade, on July 23, Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez, front-runner to become the county’s first elected sheriff since the 1960s, and his wife were attending a Florida Sheriff’s Association conference in Tampa. Police were called to their hotel following a complaint about a man with a gun and a loud fight. Ramirez, briefly handcuffed by Tampa police, later shot himself in the head. He survived but later withdrew from the sheriff’s race. Today, he remains with the department as an advisor helping prepare for the transition to an elected sheriff.

In November, Reyes was promoted to Chief of Public Safety where he oversees county police, fire rescue and the jails. In January he announced his run for sheriff as a Democrat. His three opponents in the Aug. 20 primary: Miami-Dade Maj. John Barrow, Susan Khoury, whose campaign website vaguely says only that she once worked as a “a federal agent,” and retired Miami-Dade officer and funeral home-owner Rickey Mitchell.

Eleven Republicans also qualified to run. Rosanna “Rosie” Cordero-Stutz, assistant director of investigative services for Miami-Dade Police, has the noteworthy endorsements of ex-President Donald Trump and Miami Congressman Carlos Gimenez.

The general election is Nov. 5.

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Latest comments

  • Greg Tony is a Swinger, pathological liar, lied about killing his friend, used LSD, bounced some checks, can’t keep his license valid etc etc etc. He will look you right in your eyes and lie through his teeth. BSO is in good hands. DeSantis is to blame for putting a 💩 in this position. I hope Reyes wins and keeps Tony and all his minions away from Dade.
    I wonder if the Ethics Commission gives Tony the 💩 a pass in August. 😂😂😂That so called Ethics Commission is a waste of money. Waste.

  • Tony is more of a “clever business man” than he is a Sheriff! It’s all about money and power. He came here and immediately realized the “opportunities” that existed for himself and his cohorts in the MOST CORRUPT county in Florida, so he took FULL ADVANTAGE of it! There is NO PLACE for ethics, honesty or integrity in Broward County! Crooked politicians and public officials suffer NO CONSEQUENCES…even when they get CAUGHT! Case in point, the CONVICTED FELON, Lewis Stahl, who, UNBELIEVABLY, is a member of the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council! WTF!!! Broward County is a SHITHOLE OF FRAUD AND CORRUPTION, and that INCLUDES the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, the so-called “disciplinary” branch of the Florida Bar and the Florida JQC! NOBODY plays by the rules anymore and NOBODY seems to be doing anything about it!

  • Fear not Greg Tony will be gone. He has a sealed indictment coming. Tony has a secret he holds over the governors head for now.

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