Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers executive director won't serve jail time

Richard Masten refuses to divulge anonymous tip, eats paper in court

MIAMI - There won't be any jail time for the head of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers for contempt of court over his refusal to divulge details about an anonymous tip.

Judge Victoria Brennan made that decision Thursday at a hearing for Richard Masten, the program's executive director.

Brennan had ordered Masten to provide information about the tip to a defense attorney in a cocaine possession case. When he refused, he was sentenced to 14 days in jail.

Instead of going to jail, Masten must pay a $30 court fee and write an essay.

READ: Judge's Ruling

Masten ate a piece of paper in court Friday containing what he said was the tip information rather than give it up.

The former Miami Shores police chief said the anonymous tip program's integrity is at stake.

"Whether it comes from an email, pony express, smoke signal or whatever it is, it's not public record and we're not going to give it up," Masten told reporters outside the courtroom.

Masten vowed to do it all over again if necessary.

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