BY BUDDY NEVINS
It’s not easy to speak up at work.
Just ask Broward Sheriff’s Deputy and Police Benevolent Association Board member Mark Trudel, who opposes both his union bosses and Sheriff Al Lamberti.
A 29-year-veteran working in Deerfield Beach, Trudel was assigned to the dreaded Midnight shift after expressing his opinions.
It disrupted his home life. His wife was upset.
Midnights is something usually covered by younger deputies. With his seniority, Trundel would traditionally have a better shift.
But he has opinions. And they aren’t the opinions of the leadership.
Trudel says he was never disobedient. He never violated an order because, “I love BSO. I wouldn’t do that.”
He just has outspoken views on the upcoming sheriff’s election and he is no fan of Lamberti.
Trundel complained about the organization’s endorsement process which he said was “slanted” in favor of Lamberti.
He should know. He is a PBA insider. He was elected by fellow cops to the governing board of the PBA.
Trundel’s complaint is that the PBA leaders are handpicking whom they endorse rather than allow the thousands of members to express their opinions in a survey.
Scott Israel Favored By Cops
Trundel says he knows the reason they don’t want a vote: “The rank and file are for Scott Israel,” Lamberti’s opponent.
Israel got the group’s endorsement in the primary.
Trundel made a motion at a recent PBA Board meeting to allow the union members a say in the endorsement.
“My motion died an untimely death,” Trundel says.
Trundel wants one thing from the PBA. He would like the membership and not a handful of leaders to decide the endorsement.
“All I ask is for a level playing field,” he says.
PBA endorsements are generally decided only after a survey of the members, Trundel says.
So what happens next? He believes the PBA Board, sick of his dissension, “may end up throwing me out.”
And if Lamberti wins?
“I’ll probably be back on Midnights,” says Trundel, who is retiring next year. “What a way to end an career!”
Trudel recently wrote an open e-mail sent to, among others, members of the media about the endorsement process. Here it is:
SUBJECT: PBA Endorsement
DATE: Sat, 22 Sep 2012 09:09:59 -0400
FROM: Mark Trudel
TO: (removed by Browardbeat.com)
I have to comment about the process that took place in which Sheriff Lamberti made a contract offer to the members in order to gain the endorsement. First off, the whole process was a sham.
My name is Mark Trudel and I’m a BSO Road Patrol deputy since 1983 and an elected BSO PBA Board member (www.bcpba.org). You can confirm my position on the Board on the website.
When the Board of Directors endorsed Scott Israel for the primary, that set in motion a series of moves that made the process slanted against Scott Israel for the general election. A meeting took place between Florida PBA President John Rivera and some of my peers on the Board. By the way, I was not invited to that meeting. In that meeting, they convinced Mr. Rivera to allow the 9 BSO Representatives to make the endorsement for the sheriff’s race. They threatened to remove BSO from the Broward PBA, and that it would basically bankrupt the organization. They requested Pat Hanrahan be removed from his position as president in the endorsement process and insert Dick Brickman, the past president. When this was allowed to happen, I knew Scott Israel had no chance at gaining the endorsement.
As you may well know, the other eight members I serve with are close to Sheriff Lamberti including Dick Brickman. As you can imagine, I am not. Sheriff Lamberti has recently punished me by placing me on midnights for six months because of my opposition to him on contractual issues involving the members I serve.
Several times, the endorsement surveys were to go out to the men and women of BSO but each time they were supposedly going out, the other Board members objected and had them held up.
I want you to know that the men and women I serve want to be part of the process and want to be surveyed on who they want as their next sheriff. Every time I would bring the subject up, Dick Brickman and the other Board members would object and basically dismiss me from the process.
Like I said at the top of this e-mail, the whole process is a sham! All I ever asked is that our members be allowed a voice in the process. Their voice will never be heard in this endorsement process.
In closing, I have to concede the PBA organization is broken and severely flawed. I wonder if the members will retaliate by quitting. Only time will tell.
Thank you for your attention.