..."Technically, he committed a felony by taping his wife. But we can't use it because he admitted it in an administrative hearing focused on his ex-wife's allegations. Should he know better? Of course. But how far into someone's private life should this department dwell? He's a well-respected commander"...
PARTING WAS NOT PEACEFUL
News: Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast
Palm Beach Post
By Jose Lambiet
Friday, May 23, 2008
This up-and-coming star at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office must be Teflon-coated.
Lt. Reinaldo Alonso, one of the only lieutenants at the head of an entire district, has just emerged from several brushes with internal affairs unscathed.
He admitted to committing a felony - bugging his ex-wife's car.
But for administrative reasons, he wasn't prosecuted.
Alonso, 41, the de facto chief of police in Pahokee, and Realtor Gloria Alonso were divorced a year ago. Since then, allegations of wrongdoing Gloria and others made include that Reinaldo hid a voice-taping device near the steering column of Gloria's car; pretended to shoot the family's dog by firing a rifle outside their Royal Palm Beach home; and watched their teenage son destroy a security camera that Gloria installed at her house without interfering.
Alonso, according to records, told investigators he bought a tracking device that he never placed in Gloria's car but taped her because he suspected her of cheating. He denied firing a gun to scare her, and his son, a minor, wasn't prosecuted.
Alonso, however, was ordered verbally to stay away from his ex-wife.
"No," says I.A. Lt. Mark Murray. "Technically, he committed a felony by taping his wife. But we can't use it because he admitted it in an administrative hearing focused on his ex-wife's allegations.
"Should he know better? Of course. But how far into someone's private life should this department dwell? He's a well-respected commander."
Neither Alonso nor his ex commented, but his lawyer, Leo Plasencia, said all of Alonso's troubles stem from a custody battle against a "vindictive wife."
"Their son is living with Lt. Alonso, and she wants him back," Plasencia said. "She's using this stuff as leverage."
Her attorney, Matthew Nugent, described the sheriff's office's handling of the squabble as a "deliberate and calculated roadblock to prosecuting Alonso."
"He's been terrorizing her," Nugent said. "She just wants to be left alone."
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