Ed Hudak named interim Coral Gables police chief

Former Police Chief Dennis Weiner resigned amid crime controversy


CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Coral Gables commissioners unanimously voted for Maj. Ed Hudak as interim police chief Thursday afternoon. The announcement came just hours after the city manager appointed Maj. Terry Molina as temporary police chief during a morning commission meeting.

"I'm going to lay out exactly what I'm going to start doing tomorrow," said Hudak.

There wasn't even a mention of former Police Chief Dennis Weiner during the morning commission meeting.

Instead, city officials are focusing on settling the controversy over the police department's crime statistics that led to all this.

Molina, who is a 20-year veteran with the criminal investigations unit, attended the commission meeting along with hundreds from the community concerned about crime in the city – specifically burglaries.

Local 10 News later discovered that Molina is under investigating by the State Attorney's Office, although she wouldn't specify what the allegations are about.

"I'm not allowed to say at this time," said Molina.

Meanwhile, residents are focusing their attention on crime in the city, and said they believe the number of burglaries in the area is up dramatically, but Weiner previously said those numbers were down.

"Why did you come today?" Local 10 news reporter Ross Palombo asked one Coral Gables resident.

"I came out today because I feel passionate about it, because my neighbor was just robbed," said Barbara Reese. "He lives right behind me, so I feel like I've been robbed."

"Did you believe the chief then, that there wasn't a crime problem?" Palombo asked Commissioner Frank Quesada.

"I didn't know what to believe. That's why I put it on the agenda today," said Quesada. "My biggest concern is really having someone who can lead that will really make the community feel safe and comfortable, and really give us all the details we need to make well-informed decisions."

Weiner was supposed to attend Thursday's commission meeting to answer questions regarding the city's crime statistics, but he did not show up. Sources told Local 10 News his job was on the line and speculated that he was going to be fired.

Weiner beat everyone to the punch by resigning Wednesday night.

City officials said they were going over the city's crime numbers following the meeting. Meanwhile, the police department stands behind the numbers that the former chief had previously issued, saying there have been 200 burglaries this year as opposed to 392 at this point last year.

"I don't care what the crime numbers say," said Hudak. "If you live here and you tell me there's a crime problem, then there's a crime problem."

Many residents have stated that they still do not believe the crime statistics being reported.

Follow Ross Palombo on Twitter @newsdog

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

About the Author: