Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 180054
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File Number: 180054 File Type: Ordinance Status: Deferred by the Board
Version: 0 Reference: 18-13 Control: County Commission
File Name: INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL Introduced: 1/11/2018
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 4/10/2018
Agenda Date: 4/10/2018 Agenda Item Number: 7D
Notes: RECONSIDERED AT 2-21-18 BCC. Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL; AMENDING CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IC OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; CHANGING THE NAME OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL TO THE INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY PANEL; AMENDING THE COMPOSITION, AUTHORITY, POWERS, AND STAFFING OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL; AND PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 172453]
Indexes: INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Daniella Levine Cava, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 4/10/2018 7D Adopted F
REPORT: First Assistant Geri Bonzon Keenan read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Commissioner Jordan explained the intent of the foregoing proposed ordinance, noting that the ordinance had passed at the last meeting and was subsequently vetoed by the Mayor. Commissioner Jordan explained there was no super-majority to override the Mayor’s veto; however, she did request reconsideration as the Mayor had made valid points in his recommendation. She noted that she reviewed these recommendations and came up with a different structure for the Independent Review Panel (IRP) which was to be changed to the Independent Community Panel (ICP). She pointed out one of the main issues pointed out in the Mayor’s veto memorandum was the structure of the Panel and he felt the selection process for the members of the Panel should be made by the Board County Commissioners; he also recommended 13 members amongst other recommendations. Commissioner Jordan pointed out that she had followed up and met with union representatives to explain to them what the new recommendation would be. She also noted that she understood their position, which had not changed and asked that an amendment be read into the record. Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves read the following amendment into the record: on Handwritten page 12, subsection (I) to change the paragraph to the following language “The Panel shall be empowered to subpoena witnesses and/or documents for all matters within its jurisdiction except for the Chief of Police and other County Employees who are law enforcement or Correctional Officers as defined in the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Commissioner Jordan noted that she would like to review the new proposed structures. She said that instead of continuing with 13 members, the new ICP would consist of 11 members and further explained the new structure and its details. Commissioner Jordan went on to say that upon meeting with the Police Union President he said he felt the majority of complaints would not be regarding police, but would be regarding transit. She said during her time as a commissioner, she had never received a complaint regarding a police officer. Commissioner Sosa noted that she felt it should be 13 commissioners appointing members to the Panel. She suggested leaving the police out of this proposal if they were not being targeted, otherwise she would not support this ordinance. Commissioner Sosa further suggested using the funding to save lives and bring officers closer to the needs of the community, noting the need to prioritize. Commissioner Martinez noted the amendment would be a good one if the police was left out of this ordinance. He pointed out that he was only aware of one community meeting that occurred regarding this ordinance. Commissioner Martinez noted that he respected Commissioner Jordan and her efforts but as a former police officer he was not in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Commissioner Levine Cava explained that in November of 2016 the working group was established, everyone agreed to it and the idea was to resurrect and build onto the original IRP. The recommendation was to do something more than the IRP and to cover the entire county. She noted this was about trust in government and about people having a place they could go to express concerns regarding government. Commissioner Levine Cava said the intent was not to make this all about the police and this was the reason she supported this ordinance. Commissioner Heyman noted she did not understand the subpoena portion of the ordinance and asked for clarification on this portion. Assistant County Attorney Graves explained that the amendment to the subpoena portion of the ordinance excluded the Chief of Police as well as other County Employees that were Law Enforcement or Correctional Officers as defined in the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Commissioner Heyman pointed out that she was concerned because this did not include the Director of the Department of Corrections and this needed to be explored. Commissioner Heyman inquired about the consequences after one has been brought before the IRP. She noted that she has seen this have negative consequences once the person is investigated. With regards to Commissioner Heyman’s concerns, Commissioner Jordan explained that the IRP was not able to administer consequences. She noted information is gathered, an investigation is conducted, a report is written and the findings and recommendations are forwarded to the Mayor. Commissioner Jordan said the Mayor has the authority to decide whether to take the recommended action or to ignore them. Responding to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiry whether allegations sent to the IRP were made public, Assistant County Attorney Graves replied that the meetings were public. Commissioner Heyman pointed out that a final report had to be published regarding the issue, and inquired where this report would be recorded. Assistant County Attorney Graves said the proposed ordinance states that a final report would be published, and the Board would be required to establish where this record would be kept. Commissioner Heyman expressed further concern noting that after an allegation was dismissed, it may still be published that the person was brought up on charges and this was never confidential. Assistant County Attorney Graves explained that the record would be public and would be provided to the Mayor or his designee. She noted this type of action was not personnel action by the IRP, but the allegation was public. Commissioner Heyman inquired whether the IRP was duplicitous to the Inspector General’s Office or the Commission on Ethics Departments, and expressed concern about creating a new office for handling allegations. Mayor Gimenez explained that every complaint lodged regarding a County employee was investigated by the director of the department, unless the allegation was criminal in nature, then Miami-Dade police would be brought in to investigate; otherwise any ethics issues were forwarded to the Ethics Commission and occasionally to the Inspector General. He pointed out there were many different safeguards and recourses for the public if County employees were doing wrong. Further discussion ensued between Mayor Gimenez and Commissioner Heyman regarding whether or not the IRP was needed. Commissioner Jordan noted everything that was done in County government was public record, every complaint was public and this was no different in terms of complaints. She further noted this established a process for the public, including County employees, to use as a single location to try to obtain some relief. Commissioner Jordan said this proposal was proactive not reactive. Commissioner Suarez said this could constitute creating more bureaucracy, noting there must be a simpler way of bringing accusations to an independent body to review, but creating a whole new board was not the way to accomplish this. He noted he was willing to support this ordinance if it was modified to 13 people appointed by the County Commission. Commissioner Sosa noted that Commissioner Levine Cava alleged that an IRP working group meeting was held and she inquired when this meeting was held as she was unaware of it and her district had not been represented at any working group meeting. Commissioner Jordan explained that a group of organizations met with her a few years ago and the IRP came up repeatedly. She noted the groups requested that the IRP be restored due to issues that were occurring in neighborhoods and communities. Commissioner Jordan said the working group was approved by this Board, they had approximately 12 meetings in this chamber as their method of reaching the community based on the time frame. She pointed out the only community outreach meeting held was in District 3. Commissioner Sosa expressed concern that a portion of the residents were left out. Commissioner Moss said clearly there were different socioeconomic issues in all districts and different remedies were needed. He noted that he understood why Commissioner Jordan was bringing this issue forward because a problem existed in this country. Fortunately he said, in Miami-Dade County we had different organizations that dealt with concerns and complaints, but sometimes that was not enough. Responding to Commissioner Edmonson’s inquiry whether the Mayor’s concerns were satisfied in this legislation, Mayor Gimenez said no they were not. Commissioner Edmonson concurred with Commissioner Moss’ comments noting that certain areas of the county had different beliefs regarding incidents occurring and it was only a perception in some areas. She said she knew what was occurring in her community. Commissioner Jordan noted that commissioners had different issues within their districts and there were issues within County hall with County employees that felt they were not treated fairly and had no place to go where they would be heard and a fair investigation would be conducted. She noted during the last meeting, Commissioner Sosa pointed out that the IRP was discontinued because of police; however, Commissioner Jordan noted if everyone’s mindset was that this was only about the police, they would never be able to restore this panel. She noted the Board had to move beyond allowing unjust and unfair situations from occurring and not providing an outlet for the community. Commissioner Jordan pointed out that she was aware the Mayor was not supportive of this ordinance; however, he knew that if he vetoed the ordinance she would bring it back; and if it was not approved today, she would bring the item back again. Commissioner Sosa inquired if this was not approved, could the funding dedicated for the proposed ordinance be distributed to increase police presence in those districts that had a high level of gun violence, if it was not approved. With regards to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, Mayor Gimenez acknowledged funds could be distributed to the police with the Board’s approval. The Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance as amended.

Board of County Commissioners 2/21/2018 15F1 Deferred 4/10/2018 P
REPORT: At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on February 21, 2018, Mayor Gimenez presented a veto message, Agenda Item 2A1, on Ordinance No. 18-13, related to the Indpendent Review Panel. Commissioner Jordan presented a motion to reconsider Ordinance 18-13, adopted by the Board on February 6, 2018. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 7-6 (Commissioners Diaz, Martinez, Sosa, Souto, Suarez and Chairman Bovo voted No). Following discussion, Commissioner Jordan presented a motion to defer the proposed ordinance to the Board of County Commissioner's meeting on April 10, 2018 for second reading. This motion was seconded by Vice Chairwoman Edmonson, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 13-0. NOTE: SEE LEGISLATIVE FILE NO. 180355, AGENDA ITEM 2A1, FOR DISCUSSION.

Mayor 2/16/2018 Vetoed
REPORT: Mayor Gimenez presented a Veto Message to the Clerk of the Board's Office on Friday, February 16, 2018, at 11:41 a.m.

Board of County Commissioners 2/6/2018 7G Adopted P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon Keenan read into the record the title of the foregoing proposed ordinance. (Note: The members of the Board considered related Agenda Items 7G and 11A11 simultaneously) It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the Board of County Commissioners adopt the foregoing ordinance. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Monestime, and the floor was opened for discussion. Commissioner Sosa expressed her objections to the proposed ordinance because of its funding source, noting this type of proposal should be reviewed during the budget process. Commissioner Martinez agreed with Commissioner Sosa’s comments, noting that he also had philosophical objections. Commissioner Levine Cava advised the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) had presented its objections in writing; and she stated that, she believed, the purpose of this ordinance was to offer the public an opportunity to voice their concerns. Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Chief of Police Juan Perez explained his involvement in the development of this ordinance. He noted he had expressed his personal views at the committee level. He also noted he had made several recommendations, which were never considered by the groups reviewing whether the Independent Review Panel (IRP) should be established. He advised that establishing the proposed IRP was unnecessary since MDPD was a very robust agency; and if funding was available, it should be used to combat gun violence. He stated the town hall meeting held to engage the community was held in a location within the City of Miami instead of in an unincorporated area of the County. He stated he had made the following recommendations to increase the panel’s effectiveness: 1. that the public hearings be held in unincorporated areas of the County, which were the communities where MDPD provided services; 2. that the scope of work be narrowed to focus on critical issues only like police shootings and excessive force complaints; and 3. that the members of the panel should be appointed by members of the Board of County Commissioners, one per district, to ensure proper representation of the community. Mr. Steadman Stahl, President of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), appeared before the Board to express his objections to creating the proposed IRP and funding the group from the Public Safety Trust Fund. He pointed out the police force was a very regulated profession, and there were twenty two (22) different agencies overseeing the police department. He noted that he did not believe the community had that much distrust to warrant the panel’s creation. Commissioner Levine Cava advised she had participated actively in the development of this proposed ordinance; but as she had addressed constituents’ concerns over the last three years, she realized it would be very beneficial to have discussions in an open forum on the public’s concerns on the operations of the County’s departments. She stated it would create an open opportunity to hopefully educate the public on the County's trustworthiness. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson expressed her support for the creation of the IRP. In response to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s question regarding the funding source for the proposed IRP and the number of officers that would not be hired if the item passed, Budget Director Jennifer Moon, Management and Budget Department (MBD), responded the proposed funding for the IRP was not included in the budget at this time to hire police officers. She advised reserve funds were included in the budget as emergency funds to fund an extraordinary event if it happened. She explained the General Fund included a number of reserve accounts as funding sources for extraordinary events, and Fiscal Year 2017-18 had $1,053,000 in reserve funds. Discussion ensued between Vice Chairwoman Edmonson and Budget Director Moon regarding the reserve accounts and how the item was budgeted. Commissioner Sosa reviewed the powers that would be granted to the members of the IRP, if passed; and she expressed her objections to the duplication of departmental responsibilities and tasks. Commissioner Diaz commented on his support for a strong law enforcement component in the community and in trying to have balance; and he expressed his objections to the proposed ordinance due to the County’s current budgetary constraints and the language stipulating that the officers would not be subpoenaed. In response to Commissioner Moss’s question regarding the City of Miami’s Independent Review Panel, Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp advised the City had a civilian investigative panel that performed fairly well regardless of its ups and downs; but it had also met opposition. In response to Commissioner Moss’s question regarding the exclusion of officers from subpoenas, Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves advised the City of Miami’s civilian investigative panel was limited to addressing complaints about police officers. She also advised the proposed amendment would be broader since this ordinance comprised all County employees; but the City like the County had to be in compliance with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the D’Agastino case, which expressly provided that police and corrections officers protected by the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights were excluded from subpoenas. Commissioner Moss noted the MDPD had been extremely responsive in the past and new policies had been established to address problems for events that had happened within his county commission district; consequently, from his personal perspective, budgetary issues should not be reason not to create the IRP if the Board wished to support it. He also noted this item could be funded from any of the budget funds other than the reserves. In response to Commissioner Monestime’s question regarding whether the objection prompted from using the Public Safety Reserve Fund as the funding source or the initiative was unfavorable to MDPD, Police Chief Perez expressed his objection to being the only department director being questioned when the item impacted twenty four (24) other directors. He clarified MDPD already had in place an internal review process and established measures to address complaints and investigate police officers; and in addition, the Federal Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) also investigated officers when necessary. He further clarified that he already had many established measures in place to address misconduct. He expressed his desire to have those funds utilized for a gun violence initiate that would be rolled out later during the year or another lasting initiative that would provide a positive impact on the community. He explained the identified funding source should be used for police or other public related matters. He noted that, he felt, this ordinance was about police oversight. Commissioner Moss stated there were several statements made earlier at this meeting making this issue a police department matter, but it was not. He noted this Board had strongly supported the MDPD during the past years, and the Board would not advance an item that was against the MDPD. Following a discussion between Commissioner Monestime and Chief of Police Perez regarding subpoenas and the benefit of having an open forum to hold community discussions and engagement, Chief of Police Perez clarified this ordinance proposed to establish an investigative panel to investigate complaints and provide recommendations; and it was not a community engagement type panel. Commissioner Monestime requested that Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp provide him with data on what had been the negative impact of independent review panels or other similar working groups established throughout the State of Florida including the City of Miami’s panel and the County’s past Independent Review Panel (IRP). He also asked him to review whether the operations of the proposed IRP could be funded from a different funding source other than the Public Safety Reserve Fund. Chief of Police Perez advised that, he hoped, this Board identified a different funding source to establish the proposed panel; and he asked that the funds not be taken from the MDPD since every county commission district had emphasized their need for additional police services, police officers, and victim advocates. Commissioner Monestime advised he was unsupportive of an item that would emasculate law enforcement, but he would support having law enforcement and the community engage in conversations to facilitate a better understanding of each of the parties that would ultimately save lives. Therefore, he was unable to understand the reasons for not having identified another funding source. Discussion among Chairman Bovo, Deputy Mayor Kemp, and Budget Director Moon regarding where complaints about County employees could be filed and all of the avenues currently available for that purpose. Chairman Bovo expressed his concerns for using the Public Safety Reserve Fund as the funding source, noting he would be supportive if funded from a different source. He advised that, in his opinion, there were currently multiple avenues for residents to file complaints; therefore, there was no need to add more layers of components. He stated this Board of County Commissioners was reflective of the composition of our community. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s statement relating to the County’s ability to address citizen’s complaints, Division Director Erin New, Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices, clarified her division was under the jurisdiction of the Human Resources Department (HRD); and the division was limited to addressing discrimination complaints and County employees’ employment complaints including investigations and mediations. She noted the Commission on Human Rights enforced Chapter 11A and addressed citizens’ complaints. Commissioner Jordan commented there was no entity within the County that would address community complaints and concerns, and she explained the process that was undertaken to develop the foregoing ordinance. Commissioner Jordan expressed her wish to bifurcate the vote of related Agenda Item 11A11 in order to vote on the funding source separately because she believed the recommended funding source was used to make the item fail. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson expressed her support for the creation of the IRP, noting a different funding source should have been recommended. She noted that, she believed, the Public Safety Reserve Fund was recommended as the funding source to have the ordinance fail. Commissioner Sosa voiced her opposition to the foregoing ordinance due to the lack of community public meetings within each of the county commission districts to seek approval from the residents of those districts. In response to Commissioner Martinez’s question, Mayor Gimenez explained the County had spent $3 million in body cameras for the use of police officers to be able to verify what had actually happened in incidents. Therefore, he was not convinced about the value of establishing an independent review panel to investigate events since the inception of body cameras; but in the past, there had been a need to have such investigative panel. He noted that he had implemented the use of body cameras because he believed that, in the vast majority of cases, officers had acted correctly; but there were sometimes incidents of wrong doing. Therefore, he would continue to push forward the improvement of the body camera technology. He also noted that FDLE was a professional, independent agency that conducted shooting investigations throughout the State. In response to Commissioner Martinez’s question, Mayor Gimenez advised the County Administration had not recommended the funding source. Discussion ensued regarding the funding source recommendation and the number and locations of the community meetings. Commissioner Martinez expressed his objection to the foregoing ordinance because he did not wish to be judged by individuals who had never done the job of a police officer and who had never been surrounded by circumstances where you are holding a gun while taking down a subject. He noted this ordinance was developed only for the police department because the City of Miami’s independent review panel only addressed police complaints, and there was already so much oversight. He stated that, maybe, the County should be addressing the community’s fears and/or concerns that police officers were violating the rights of people. He noted he was unsupportive of this ordinance even if a different funding source was identified. In a closing statement, Commissioner Jordan expressed her support in the past for the MDPD and firm belief that it was the best police department; but she had just realized that, in the past, the budget process was used to eliminate the IRP due to police concerns and much deeper feelings. She noted that she thought three (3) community meetings were held. She advised that the community should be given an avenue and opportunity to voice their concerns; and if the IRP ever became a concern or problem to the police department, she would introduce legislation to dissolve the panel. She asked for the Board’s support to establish the IRP. Commissioner Sosa asked that the County Attorney prepare an appropriate legislation, under her sponsorship, requiring that a monthly report be prepared by county commission district and presented before the Board of County Commissioners for their review outlining the background of each of the members of the IRP, all of the complaints reviewed and the approach taken by the panel for all ethnic groups, and how the complaints were addressed. SEE REPORT FOR RELATED AGENDA ITEM 11A11 AMENDED, LEGISLATIVE FILE NUMBER 180340 NOTE: This ordinance was reconsidered at the Board of County Commissioners' meeting held on February 21, 2018. The Board deferred this ordinance to the Board meeting scheduled for April 10, 2018.

County Attorney 1/11/2018 Assigned Shanika A. Graves 1/12/2018

Housing and Social Services Committee 12/11/2017 1G1 AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendments following public hearing P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Terrence Smith read the title of the foregoing proposed ordinance and supplement into the record, which was also related to Agenda Item 2C. Vice Chairman Suarez noted the floor was opened to the public to speak on this matter and following persons spoke in favor of this item: - Ms. Jean Baker, 1717 North Bayshore Drive, Miami representing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Miami and a coalition of entities throughout Miami and the Internal Review Panel Working Group (IRP) - Ms. Belinda Leon, 5850 NW 111 Avenue, Doral representing the Internal Review Pane(IRP) Working Group, requested there be an amendment to Section 2-11.48 to require the Administration to respond to the IRP within 30 days regarding the action taken. - Ms. Susan Khoury, 6120 SW 94th Place, Miami - Mr. Edward Shohat, 201 South Biscayne Boulevard, representing Community Relations Board Vice Chairman Suarez closed the public hearing seeing no other persons wishing to speak on this matter. Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s request, Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves advised the amended language in Section 2-11.45 of Sub-Section F read as follows… “The panel may request the County Attorney to render opinions related to the panel’s duties, jurisdiction, or power.” It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the foregoing proposed ordinance be adopted as amended. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Levine Cava, followed by a discussion. In response to Commissioner Levine Cava’s question regarding the role of the County Attorney’s Office in serving this Advisory Board, Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves advised once the name “Independent Community Panel” (ICP) was adopted, they would have additional powers from other existing boards, such as subpoena authority and the option to request approval of outside legal counsel from the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). Commissioner Jordan further explained ICP would receive legal opinions from the County Attorney’s Office unless that office determined there was a need for outside legal counsel due to a conflict in giving an opinion; therefore, that issue would come back to the BCC for approval in the same manner other issues were addressed. Commissioner Jordan noted she did not agree with the requested amendment by the working group for County staff to report back within a 30-day timeframe because reports from Administration were submitted to the County Mayor awaiting approval and direction; however, she concurred there needed to be some feedback on the actions taken by Administration. Following further discussion among the HSSC members regarding the need for accountability and feedback from the Administration, Commissioner Jordan agreed to include in the amended language with a report back timeframe of 45 days following approval from the County Mayor. It was moved Commissioner Jordan that the foregoing proposed ordinance be forwarded with a favorable recommendation to the BCC as amended with the following language…“The panel may request the County Attorney to render opinions related to the panel’s duties, jurisdiction, or power,”…. “Following approval from the County Mayor the Administration should provide feedback on actions taken within 45 days timeframe.” This motion was seconded by Commissioner Levine Cava and upon being put to a vote, the motion passed 3-1. (Commissioner Martinez voted No. Commissioner Edmonson was absent.) NOTE: Scrivener’s error: Section 2-11.42 on handwritten page 7, incorrectly references Section 4.08 (a) of the Charter. The reference should be to Section 5.08 (a) of the Charter.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL; AMENDING CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IC OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; CHANGING THE NAME OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL TO THE INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY PANEL; AMENDING THE COMPOSITION, AUTHORITY, POWERS, AND STAFFING OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL; AND PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 172453]

BODY
WHEREAS, the Independent Review Panel (“IRP”) was created in 1980 after substantial unrest in the community; and
WHEREAS, the IRP is empowered to hold public hearings, prepare reports and propose recommendations regarding serious complaints or grievances made against employees, agencies or instrumentalities of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, the IRP was last funded during the 2008-2009 fiscal year; and
WHEREAS, in 2009, the County Commission did not provide funding for the IRP because of the economic downturn, and its funding has not since been recommenced; and
WHEREAS, on November 1, 2016, this Board adopted Resolution No. R-1075-16, which created the Miami-Dade County Independent Review Panel Working Group (“Working Group”) and charged it with: 1) reviewing Article IC – Independent Review Panel - of the Code of MiamiDade County; 2) analyzing the history and effectiveness of the Independent Review Panel;


3) reviewing and analyzing similar entities from other jurisdictions; 4) obtaining input from the community; 5) reviewing relevant literature relating to citizens review panels, such as the Independent Review Panel; and 6) providing the Board with a list of recommendations for proposed amendments to IRP ordinance; and
WHEREAS, on July 6, 2017, the Working Group presented its initial report to this Board and its findings therein were adopted; and
WHEREAS, thereafter, on October 17, 2017, the Working Group presented its final report, which was, likewise, adopted by the Board; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with recommendations made by the Working Group, this Board wishes to amend the ordinance establishing the Independent Review Panel,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Chapter 2, Article IC of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
ARTICLE IC – INDEPENDENT [[REVIEW]] >>COMMUNITY<< PANEL

Sec. 2-11.41. - Legislative intent and purpose; liberal construction.

The purpose of this article is to create a mechanism for external community fact-finding and dispute resolution. It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that the impartial review panel created by this article conduct independent reviews and hold public hearings concerning [[serious]] complaints or grievances made against an employee, agency or instrumentality of Miami-Dade County. It is also the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that the Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel conduct hea[[d]]>>r<
Sec. 2-11.42. - Created, established.

There is hereby created and established an Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel (hereinafter referred to as the “Panel”) pursuant to Section 5.08(a) of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter.

Sec. 2-11.43. - Composition; appointment and terms of office; compensation; oath; attendance at meetings, vacancies.

(A) The Panel shall consist of [[nine]] >>thirteen<< ([[9]]>>13<<) members, each of whom is a qualified elector of Miami-Dade County and possesses a reputation for civic pride, integrity, responsibility and has demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and service.

(1) Members:

(a) In order to secure representative membership on the Panel, each of the following [[five]] >>eleven<< ([[5]]>>11<<) community groups or organizations shall submit a list containing the names of three (3) qualified persons >>>and<< the Board of County Commissioners shall select one (1) panel member from each of the [[five]] >>eleven<< ([[5]]>>11<<) lists:

(i) The [[Community Relations Board]] >>American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Miami<<.

(ii) The [[Community Action Agency]] >>Miami-Dade Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People<<.

(iii) The [[Miami-Dade County League of Women Voters]] >>Spanish American League Against Discrimination<<.

(iv) The [[Miami-Dade County Bar Association]] >>Florida Immigrant Coalition<<.

(v) The Miami-Dade >>County Association of Chiefs of<< Police [[Chiefs' Association]]. [[Each nominee by the Miami-Dade Police Chiefs’ Association shall be an Association member.]] In the event the Panel is investigating an incident involving the jurisdiction employing this appointee, the Miami-Dade >>County Association of Chiefs of<< Police [[Chiefs' Association]] shall submit the names of three (3) different members for an appointment as a substitute until the conclusion of the investigation. In the event that none of the three (3) nominees meets with County Commission approval, the nominating entity shall submit another and entirely different list for Commission consideration. This process shall continue until a member has been appointed.

>>(vi) National Alliance on Mental Illness.

(vii) Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews.

(viii) Miami Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations.

(ix) Equality Florida.

(x) Haitian Women of Miami.

(xi) National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.<<

(b) In addition to the [[five]] >>eleven<< ([[5]]>>11<<) Panel members selected in accordance with the preceding subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1) of this subsection, >>the remaining Panel members shall be selected as follows:<<

>>(i) One<< [[four]] ([[4]]>>1<<) member[[s]] shall be appointed by the Panel based on consensus of integrity and community representation, considering ethnocultural and gender balance.

>>(ii) The Chair of the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission.

Individuals nominated for appointment to the Panel are not required to be members of or affiliated with the entities that recommend their appointment.<<

* * *

Sec. 2-11.44. - Organization and procedures.

([[a]]>>A<<) The members of the Panel shall select a chairperson to serve at the pleasure of the Panel, together with such other officers as may be deemed necessary by the Panel.

([[b]]>>B<<) A simple majority of the constituted members of the Panel attending a Panel meeting or hearing shall constitute a quorum.

([[c]]>>C<<) All action by the Panel shall be by majority vote.

([[d]]>>D<<) All Panel proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the [Government-in-the-] Sunshine Law, Section 286.011, Florida Statutes.



([[e]]>>E<<) All Panel proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Citizens' Bill of Rights of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter.

([[f]]>>F<<) The Panel shall be deemed an “agency” for purpose of compliance with the Public Records Law, Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.

Sec. 2-11.45. - Authority and powers generally.

([[a]]>>A<<) The Panel may hold public hearings, >>conduct mediations or other forms of dispute resolution,<< make factual determinations, draw conclusions, propose recommendations, and prepare interim and final reports on matters relating to [[serious]] complaints or grievances made against an employee, agency or instrumentality of Miami-Dade County. The Panel may also hold hearings, render findings of fact and conclusions of law and issue recommendations, as provided in Chapter 2, Article LXXI of the Code. The Panel shall have the authority and responsibility to determine whether >>sufficient merit has been established for<< complaints or grievances [[sufficiently serious]] to institute a review process.

([[b]]>>B<<) The Panel may adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind such rules of procedure as may be necessary to exercise its authority; provided, however, that no rules shall conflict with the provisions of this article.

([[c]]>>C<<) The Panel may demand, examine and duplicate public records and documents in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, as may be amended from time to time.

([[d The Panel may enter and inspect any premises under the jurisdiction or control of Miami-Dade County or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.]]

([[e]]>>D<<) The Panel may request any person, including the supervisor of the Internal Review Section of the Miami-Dade Police Department, to give sworn testimony or to produce documentary or other evidence >>to the extent permitted by applicable law<<.

([[f]]>>E<<) The Panel may conduct or participate in conferences, inquiries, meetings or studies.

([[g]]>>F<<) The >>Panel may request the<<2 County Attorney >>to<< [[shall]] render opinions relating to >>the Panel’s<< [[its]] duties, jurisdiction or power [[and such opinions shall be binding upon and adhered to by the Panel]].

([[h]]>>G<<) The Panel shall not interfere with any ongoing criminal investigation of the State Attorney.

>>(H) The Panel shall not act on matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Miami-Dade County Office of Inspector General.

(I) The Panel shall be empowered to subpoena witnesses and/or documents for all matters within its jurisdiction, except for County employees who are law enforcement or correctional officers as defined in the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights, codified in sections 112.531-121.535, Florida Statutes.<<

Sec. 2-11.46. - Panel proceedings.

Panel members shall meet with staff from time to time:

([[1]]>>A<<) To consider the County's complaint review processes and investigatory activities designed to serve the public; and

([[2]]>>B<<) To consider whether >>sufficient merit has been established for<< any complaint or grievance filed with the Panel [[is sufficiently serious]] to >>warrant<< [[merit]] review by the full Panel.

Full panel meetings shall be scheduled monthly and with appropriate notice given to the public.

* * *

Sec. 2-11.48. - Final reports on matters reviewed; referral for further proceedings.

The Panel shall publish a final report with regard to each matter reviewed. Said final report shall be transmitted simultaneously to the Board of County Commissioners, the County [[Manager]] >>Mayor or County Mayor’s designee<< and the director of the concerned County department. >>Within 45 days of receipt of the Panel’s final report, the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall transmit a report to the Board of County Commissioners and the Panel, which shall provide all actions taken in response to the Panel's final report and any recommendations made therein and the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall place such report on an agenda of the Board pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65.<< If the Panel has reason to believe that any public official, employee or other person warrants criminal or disciplinary proceedings, it shall refer the matter to the appropriate governmental authorities.

* * *

Sec. 2-11.51. – Physical facilities and staff.

([[a]]>>A<<) Office space, etc.; auditorium. The County shall provide the Panel with appropriately located office space and auditorium facilities together with necessary office supplies, equipment and furnishings.

([[b]]>>B<<) Executive Director. The Board of County Commissioners shall appoint an Executive Director from 3 nominees provided by the Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel. The Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel shall utilize a competitive selection process when selecting nominees for Executive Director. The Executive Director shall only be removed by the Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel. Such removal shall be for good cause upon a majority vote. The Independent [[Review]] >>Community<< Panel shall establish the rate of remuneration of the Executive Director in conjunction, concurrence and consensus with the County [[Manager]] >>Mayor or County Mayor’s designee<<.

([[c]]>>C<<) Staff. The Executive Director may hire and administer the necessary staff [[, subject to budgetary allocation by the Board]]. >>At a minimum, subject to budgetary allocation by the Board, staff shall consist of the following positions:

(1) Senior investigator/mediator.

(2) Mediator.

(3) Office Administrator.

(4) Professional Auditor.<<

([[d]] >>D<<) Legal counsel. The County Attorney shall provide the Panel with necessary legal counsel.

([[e]]>>E<<) Research >>personnel<<, investigative personnel >>and independent counsel<<. The Panel may request the Board to provide such other fact-finding >>personnel,<< [[and]] research personnel >>and independent counsel<< as it may determine are necessary from time to time.

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.

1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.
2 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words double stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words double underlined and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.



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