Did North Miami, Fla., Mayor Andre Pierre do anything wrong by having surveillance cameras installed in his office?
Pierre says no. He thought someone was stealing items in his office, so he had “one security camera” installed in plain view, he told Miami’s NBC affiliate.
But the TV station is reporting that invoices show the mayor had two hidden cameras concealed in smoke detectors installed last July, at a cost of more than $8,000. Carol Keys, who is running against Pierre in the city’s mayoral election next week, said she believes the purchasing of the cameras lacked transparency.
The Miami Herald reported this week that the purchases of the cameras appear to circumvent the city’s purchasing rules, which call for a bid process for expenditures of more than $5,000. The newspaper also reported that a company owned by a North Miami police officer was initially contracted to install the cameras.
E-mails among city officials expressed concern that the cameras purchases lacked proper documentation and didn’t go through the proper channels.
Pierre has denied any wrongdoing.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reportedly is investigating, although Pierre told Miami’s NBC affiliate he hasn’t been contacted by law enforcement.