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South Miami Chief Settles Ethics Violation Claims

SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Miami Police Chief Orlando Martinez De Castro faced the music Thursday after being accused of steering city business to his wife's companies.

The ethics complaint alleged that the South Miami Police Department was doing business with the tag agency, Airways Auto tag, which is owned by Martinez de Castro's wife. Records showed the department used the agency in February, June and October 2011.

De Castro was accused of ethics violation because the city bars employees from doing business with immediate family members who have a financial interest with the city. While he claimed he was unaware of the alleged violations, De Castro did not contest them in the settlement settlement.

According to the settlement agreement:

"Orlando Martinez De Casto maintains that he had no knowledge that his wife's company was transacting business with the City of South Miami during the time periods contemplated in the ethics complaint, nevertheless, he believes it to be in his best interest and in the best interest of all parties involved to avoid the expense and time of litigating this matter."

The chief was given a "Letter of Instruction" and ordered to pay the county's Ethics and Public Trust $2,000 investigative costs.

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