Miami PD relieves deputy police chief and his police commander wife of duty after alleged coverup

Miami police department has announced that a senior husband and wife policing team have been ‘relieved of their duty’, after a whistleblower reportedly accused the pair of a cover-up involving her crashing a police vehicle ‘under the influence of control substances’.

Deputy Chief Ronald Papier and his wife, Commander Nerly Papier, were suspended with pay on Friday afternoon.

‘Deputy Chief Ronald Papier and Commander Nerly Papier were relieved of duty, with pay, effective April 23, 2021, pending the outcome of an internal investigation,’ said Miami Police Department in a statement.

‘No further comment will be made by the department related to this matter.’

The police department did not say why they were suspended, but the action comes three weeks after an anonymous source sent an email to several city officials, alleging corruption on the part of both Papiers and several other high-ranking officers.

Nerly and Ronald Papier, two of Miami’s highest ranking officers, were suspended on Friday

Nerly Papier, born in Havana, was commander of the Little Havana Neighborhood Enhancement Team

Ronald Papier, who according to his LinkedIn has been deputy chief of the force for three years

Nerly and Ronald Papier were among the highest-ranking Miami officers

Last month, Nerly Papier was featured as a star who has ‘shattered the glass ceiling’ in a CBS special.

‘I’m able to keep a good balance between work and family time. My husband, when we’re at work it’s sir and ma’am, and Chief and Commander,’ she told the channel. 

‘It’s very personal when we’re at home, we try not to discuss work. 

‘He is my mentor, I’ve learned a lot from him, he’s helped me grow a lot.’

The couple are parents to a young son and daughter. 

Earlier this month, Art Acevedo, the chief of Miami police; Francis Suarez, mayor of Miami; and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office were all sent an encrypted email by someone calling themselves ‘Bill Schahwartzman’, Miami New Times reported.

The author of the email accused Ronald Papier of covering up a traffic crash involving his wife.

The email, sent on April 4, alleged that Nerly Papier – a 22-year veteran of the force – was driving ‘under the influence of control substances’ and crashed a police vehicle into a curb ‘at approximately 40 miles an hour’ on April 2, blowing out both tires on one side.

The paper obtained a crash report, via a Freedom of Information Request, showing that Nerly Papier was involved in a crash on the morning in question.

The report said she was only blocks away from the police headquarters, and swerved to avoid another vehicle, hitting the curb.

Ronald Papier was continuing with his police work up until his suspension on Friday

Ronald Papier was continuing with his police work up until his suspension on Friday

Nerly Papier was seen as a star of the force, celebrated for her long service

Nerly Papier was seen as a star of the force, celebrated for her long service

She then, according to the author, drove the white 2020 Ford Explorer to police headquarters before calling her husband.

‘Any reasonable person would have knowledge that after striking a curb at a high speed, with two blown tires and cracked rims, the vehicle would be unsafe to drive,’ the author wrote, according to the paper.

‘You would definitely feel the instability in the steering wheel as well as loud sounds coming from the rims grinding against the public road as well as loud sound and vibrations from the blown out tires.’

According to the email, Ronald Papier then contacted MPD Capt. Javier Ortiz to have the vehicle towed and repaired, claiming it had been vandalized.

The crash occurred at 9am, the report states, but it was not reported until 1:45pm.

Nerly Papier may have violated police rules by not reporting the crash immediately.

A police sergeant allegedly wrote a report on the crash without inspecting the vehicle or taking photographs, and the report was supposedly signed off on by a police major without proper review.

Nerly Papier was never tested for alcohol or drug use, according to the report, because none was suspected.

‘The actions of the deputy chief, police commander, police captain, and police major constitute criminal official misconduct as well as untruthfulness, completely tarnishing the image of the Miami Police Department,’ the author concluded.

Nerly Papier is a Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) commander for Little Havana

Nerly Papier is a Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) commander for Little Havana

‘Everything that’s alleged will be investigated,’ Acevedo told New Times.

‘Whatever allegations are, they’re being taken seriously.’

It is unclear if the Papiers were relieved of duty based on the investigation into the crash, or another investigation.

Neither Ronald Papier nor Nerly Papier responded to phone calls and text messages from New Times requesting comment.

Ronald Papier was previously acting as interim chief of police for the MPD after the previous chief, Jorge Colina, retired earlier this year.

Ronald Papier was one of eight finalists to replace Colina as chief during an interview process this January, but the job eventually went to Acevedo, who was hired from Houston, Texas.

Acevedo, who took over in April, has said he intends to address concerns about corrupt officers and has plans to fire ten or more problematic officers.

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