Supervisor of officer accused of partying dismissed

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A sixth and final Miami Beach police supervisor has been blamed in the July 4 weekend incident that involved two officers drinking and partying on duty and an ATV crash.

Sgt. Manuel Moraga was the direct supervisor that midnight shift for Officer Rolando Gutierrez, who was one of two officers photographed partying on duty at The Clevelander bar on Ocean Drive. Gutierrez was supposed to be patrolling a Miami Beach district several miles to the north.

In the dismissal papers served Tuesday evening, Moraga is accused of "gross negligence, gross inefficiency and blatant disregard" for his supervisory duties.

The paperwork details how Moraga never checked why Gutierrez wasn't answering dispatch or why calls for police in the Middle District were stacking up. It outlines how his inattention left Miami Beach residents and his own colleagues unprotected for several overnight and morning hours on July 3.

Records show Moraga was hired at the Miami Beach Police Department in 1997 and promoted to sergeant in April 2009. The same day as the promotion ceremony, he was suspended for violating the department's conflict of interest policy. It's one of three past marks on his record.

Moraga is the last of six police supervisors on duty that night to be served the intent to discipline, and for reasons the city won't say, the only one to be fired.

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