MIAMI - A Miami police officer caught driving 120 mph by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper in October, 2011, was fired.
Miami police confirmed Officer Fausto Lopez was fired on Thursday after he was charged with reckless driving in the October 11 incident.
A FHP trooper pulled Lopez over in the southbound lanes of Florida's Turnpike near Hollywood Boulevard after following him for 12 miles in seven minutes at speeds reaching 120 mph, police said. The incident was caught on dash cam.
In a letter detailing Lopez's reprimand, Miami police stated they began investigating officers speeding on highways in January. The investigation showed that Lopez, who lives in Coconut Creek, averaged speeds between 90 and 120 mph more than a dozen times while driving in his police cruiser on some South Florida toll ways. He was off-duty at the time.
According to the termination letter written by Manuel Orosa, the Chief of Police, the reasoning for firing Lopez was for violating several department orders, including: members to conform, adhere to traffic laws, operator accountable, driving practice, breach of proper discipline, loss/injury to the city, disgraceful conduct, and careless/negligent.
In April, Lopez entered a plea of no contest to reckless driving, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. In exchange for his plea, he was fined $3,300 and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service, but he will not have to serve any jail time or probation.
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