It was near the end of summer when news of North Miami Police Chief Marc Elias being called into question about various trips he had made to his native Haiti since 2012 using public funds. Elias had said at the time his trips had been official, the last being to act as part of a security detail for North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau. While six of his 7 trips over the two-year period have been verified by the necessary documents, warranted compensation from the city, his last trip with the Mayor in August of 2013 did not follow suit. This, consequently, has led to his resignation from the post.
North Miami Police Chief Marc Elias traveled seven times in Haiti since April 2012. He charged the city each time for a total of $14,000. His travel expenses were paid from city's Law Enforcement Trust Fund which was created out of the money seized from criminals and which was meant to be spend on training, public education, equipment or crime prevention. However, as per the statement of City Manager Stephen Johnson, Elias' most recent trip in August did not have enough documents entitling him reimbursement.
While Lucie Tondreau, the Mayor of North Miami, was in Haiti on a private vacation, Marc Elias, as per his revelation, accompanied him by flying in business class to ensure the mayor's safety. The other purposes of his trips as per his disclosure were, meeting Haitian police staff in a program under strengthening the Haitian Police force, attending eighteenth anniversary celebration for Haitian police force and a swearing-in ceremony for Haiti's national police chief.
The ceremony took place on Monday, November 28, 2011 at North City Hall. Marc Elias became the First Haitian-American Chief of Police for North Miami also the first for a major city in the United States.
This proves that we can do a lot as individuals. If we unite our forces, we can do even greater things. There were several high dignitaries who were present at the ceremony for Oath of Office for Marc Elias. Jean Monestime first Haitian-American Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Daphne D. Campbell, State Representative, Former Mayor of North Miami, First Haitian-American Mayor of North Miami, Joe Celestin, Andre Pierre, Mayor of the city of North Miami, Florida, Jean R. Marcellus and Councilman of North Miami, District 3. Also present were Lucie Tondreau and Deputy Arnel Belizaire.
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