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Coral Gables Police Chief Reprimanded For Actions Stemming From Pool Party Photo

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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A photo of Coral Gables Police officers at a pool party has landed the city's top cop in hot water.

In a photo being distributed online, Chief Ed Hudak is posing with 14 bikini-clad officers.

Gables Police Chief
Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak. (Source: City of Coral Gables)

To many the photo seems innocent, but not according to the city manager.

CBS4 has received a copy of a six-page reprimand of the chief.

In the memo, the city manager is calling out the chief saying his actions were inappropriate.

She goes on to suggest that if he doesn't shape up, he may be fired.

The photo stems from a pool party that happened last summer.

14 female Coral Gables police officers where having a good time when their boss walked in.

Chief Hudak was invited but left the swimming trunks at home.

Later, he posed for a photo with a group.

The fun turned into controversy though when the images showed up on social media with allegations that the chief had acted inappropriately.

Was their inappropriate contact or comments made between the chief and these 14 officers?

"Absolutely not," said Attorney Osi Rind.

Rind represents the Coral Gables Fraternal Order of Police and the 14 officers who were at the pool party.

"When the officers came to the union and to me for help for this matter, we made it perfectly clear to the city before they even, to my knowledge, even started an investigation that any of these allegations were true," Rind explained.

Rind says to this day they do not know who posted the photo or made the allegations.

"They have continuously refused to investigate who sent the letter to the city," she said.

Rind continued she believed it mattered. Meanwhile the city hired an outside investigator to look into the chief's actions.

Documents obtained by CBS4 show the investigation by Transparency Matters, a Pennsylvania based company, has run upwards of $50,000.

The results of the investigation came in last month.

In a six page memo Coral Gables City Manager is reprimanding the chief.

Cathy Swanson Rivenbark points out that months after this incident the chief fails to "show any remorse."

She writes that the chief has indicated he would "do it again if similar circumstances presented themselves."

She claims statements the chief made to an investigator were "untruthful" and that the Chief discovered one the officers drove her city issued vehicle to the pool party.

The next day the chief "approved it, after the fact" which is something the city manager says he didn't have the authority to do.

Swanson Rivenbark wrote, "I have significant concerns in your ability to honorably and objectively lead the Police Department." She concludes "Failure to consistently practice more professional and mature judgement moving forward will result in further disciplinary action, including termination."

The city manager and the chief did not wish to speak on camera with CBS4.

However, the issue is expected to be discussed at the city council meeting later this month.

Meanwhile Coral Gables PD has an internal investigation underway.

The city had to look into allegations of misconduct, that the chief had harassed the female officers at the party.

While the independent investigation found no evidence of that, the internal investigation continues.

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