By: Mark Fitzgerald
In a lawsuit filed Sept. 22, The Miami Herald contends Miami’s police chief and city personnel director are doing the wrong thing by refusing to turn over the records of Do the Right Thing. Do the Right Thing is an organization, funded by the city and run out of police headquarters, that encourages children to be good citizens.
The Herald said it became interested in the group after learning that it once was operated by a former police chief who used the organization’s office as the billing address for his credit card ? and by an accountant who committed suicide this summer after allegations surfaced that he had embezzled $500,000 from a police pension fund.
On Sept. 8, the Herald directed a Public Records Act request to Do the Right Thing’s current president, city Personnel Director Angela Bellamy, and one of the group’s directors, Police Chief William O’Brien.
A week later, O’Brien turned the records over not to the newspaper but to a U.S. attorney’s office. The police chief contended he wanted an “independent” investigation of the organization.
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(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 25, 1999) [Caption]