Coral Gables police chief says officer should be fired for spying on resident

After an eight-month investigation, the Coral Gables police chief is calling for the firing of a police officer who is accused of spying on a resident.

Maj. Theresa "Terri" Molina is a career officer with 23 years of service, but now she's at risk of losing her badge.

The allegations against her stem from a commission meeting last September when Coral Gables resident Maria Cruz said her constitutional rights were violated when Molina took photos of her on her phone while she was texting commissioners.

"I looked around and I found a police major was keeping track of what I was texting. Are we under surveillance here?" Cruz asked.

Molina's attorney said his client admits to taking the photos, but claims that she did it because she suspected that "something improper was going on."

But that claim isn't sitting well with Cruz.

"She should have known better, and this should be the end of her career," Cruz said.

City Commissioner Vince Lago said there’s nothing illegal about residents texting commissioners and said he agrees with the chief’s recommendation.

"In my opinion, it was an assault on a public speech and a person's ability to speak their mind," Lago said.

Molina has been suspended with pay for eight months, essentially sitting at home collecting her more than $140,000 salary.

The police chief's recommendation will be discussed at the commission meeting on May 30. 

Ultimately, the city manager will make the decision, but it is possible for commissioners to overturn it.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.