luis-pagan_web.jpgBy ELGIN JONES


EJones@SFLTimes.com

FORT LAUDERDALE – A Fort Lauderdale police supervisor who believes he was the subject of unflattering tweets by an officer has filed a complaint with Internal Affairs.

Click Here To Read His Tweets

The complaint is directed at Officer Luis Pagan, who has already been suspended over postings on the Twitter social media website.

One of his tweets, on Oct. 6, 2011, reads: “I wonder how a supervisor feels when no one in his specialty unit respects him? Because he got there by ending good ppls career and because he is a racist (expletive deleted).”

In his tweets, Pagan did not identify the supervisor. According to sources, it was Sgt. Timothy McCarthy, a supervisor in the department’s Special Investigations Division, who filed the complaint. Pagan is not in that division and McCarthy is not his supervisor.

City officials acknowledge a complaint has been filed but are not commenting or releasing details.

“It is an open investigation being handled by the Office of Internal Affairs,” said Det. Travis Mandell, a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman.

Pagan, whose handle on Twitter is SoFlo_Diver, has been under investigation since last November after police brass learned of his tweets in which he chided supervisors and was critical of citizens he encountered while on police calls.

An Oct. 28, 2011, posting read, “Came to work just got hit with some (expletive deleted). U know what, I say (expletive deleted) the city. Instead of trying to make a name for yourself trying to hurt good officers u should be worrying about what to do to lower Crime.”

On Oct. 5, 2011 he tweeted, “Police officers are not substitute parents. If you were not ready for the responsibility of being a parent u should've used protection. So deal with your own (expletive deleted) kids and stop calling the police because u r a (expletive deleted) up as a parent.”

And yet another, on Oct 20, 2011, said, “The fact that the police did not do what u wanted then (sic) to do has nothing to do with the color of your skin. Own up to ur (expletive deleted).”

Pagen’s tweets also included off-color jokes, all of which may have violated the department’s policies on social media use while at work and off duty.

“A Greek says to an Italian "We invented sex!" The Italian replies, "That is true, but it was the Italians who introduced it to women. Lol,” he tweeted on Oct. 27, 2011.

As of Nov. 14, 2011, Pagan had tweeted some 3,576 times, had 84 followers and he was following 184 people. It is unclear how many times he tweeted while on-duty.

He deleted his tweets and closed his Twitter account following a story about the investigation published in the Nov. 24 edition of South Florida Times.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department implemented a social media policy for employees last July. The rules do not prohibit the use of social media sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook but they restrict what employees may communicate on those sites even while not at work.

The policy also states that employees may not use city equipment to access social media website or visit them unless it is part of their official duties. It also prohibits employees from detailing their work experiences and encounters on the sites.

Jack Lokiensky, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the union is reviewing the policy. He declined to comment on Pagan’s case since it is under active investigation.

Pagan was suspended with pay on Jan. 30 after giving a sworn statement to Internal Affairs investigators about his tweets. The six-year FLPD veteran has a good employment history. Some co-workers, who requested anonymity, said he was being unfairly targeted for exercising his free speech rights.

“He is effective at his job,” one fellow officer said. “But he doesn’t hold back and will express himself, and that rubs some people the wrong way.”

 

*Pictured above is Fort Lauderdale police officer Luis Pagan