Officer accused of speeding could be fired
Officer Fausto Lopez involved in previous controversy
MIAMI – The future is unclear for a Miami police officer whose videotaped traffic stop by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper made national headlines.
An internal investigation of Officer Fausto Lopez led to a recommendation that he be fired for reckless speeding many times on South Florida highways.
Lopez eventually pleaded no contest to charges after the FHP trooper took him in at gunpoint in October 2011, saying he was caught driving near 120 mph.
His attorney explained it all away.
"The case is over with. It's resolved. The media's crime of the century is now going to have to go away," the attorney said at the time.
But now, 10 months later, it is not over, but instead is shifting into high gear.
Miami police said that during a three-month period, records gathered from SunPass data show Lopez was "reckless," driving at speeds of 92 mph to 105 mph to 120 mph at least 31 times.
Internal affairs investigators are recommending that Lopez be terminated.
Police also seriously looked at 38 other officers accused of speeding and said all 38 will be disciplined.
The chief of police will have the final say on whether Lopez will keep his job.
The police union said using a SunPass to determine whether Lopez was speeding is not fair and is a "media stunt." The union said that a SunPass is not accurate enough to determine the true speed at which Lopez was traveling.
Lopez began an unpaid suspension Tuesday in relation to the October incident during which he was pulled over by an FHP trooper. He will return in 16 days and will be paid while the chief decides on a possible termination.
Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.