Collier deputy transferred after making disparaging comments on Web site

A 20-year member of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office was transferred out of the agency’s traffic unit recently, after it came to light that he had posted “malicious” comments about a fellow deputy on an online message board.

Cpl. Paul Boliek, 41, was verbally cautioned about the online postings and transferred to patrol in Golden Gate Estates, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Karie Partington said. The transfer, which occurred on June 17, was not a demotion.

“No, it’s lateral, and it’s not a disciplinary thing,” Partington said. “To stay where he was had the potential to be disruptive in the short term.”

On May 29, Boliek posted a comment on the online law enforcement message board LEOAffairs.com regarding the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into a deadly crash involving the son of Dr. Ricardo Rivas.

Rivas is a local psychologist who has worked as a contract vendor with the agency for about 15 years. The headline on the entire thread of posts was “Conflict of Interest?”

Boliek identified himself by his agency identifier, t311, according to a memo from Lt. Harold Minch, who oversees the traffic unit.

“I do think that we should not be primary on the Rivas crash,” Boliek wrote. “Too many deputies have been to him either during their hiring process or later when they have problems at home and can’t figure things out on their own, that alone should preclude the agency from being number one.”

Boliek also made comments about the lead traffic homicide investigator on the case, Cpl. Karen Hebebrand, identifying her as KH.

“KH has some issues that she needs to work out,” Boliek wrote. “Maybe that’s why she is doing the Rivas crash, she might have a debt to pay. ... My crash knowledge is weak at best but shortly after I went to my one and only crash class I saw KH work a crash. That’s (sic) put it this way. One of my instructors spit coffee on me when I told him she was one of our thi’s (traffic homicide investigator).”

According to his memo, Minch learned about the comments when someone copied them and left them in his office.

Minch called Boliek’s comments “insulting, defaming, and ... malicious.” When Minch confronted him about the comments, Boliek admitted to writing them.

Minch requested that Boliek be transferred out of the unit, calling his comments “a public embarrassment for the entire agency.”

In a separate memo, Commander Bob Lewis recommended that Boliek be transferred to corrections, but also questioned whether termination was appropriate.

“To terminate his employment may seem retaliatory and corrective measures are not retaliatory, although termination is certainly within the realm of possibility based on the infractions listed,” Lewis wrote.

Boliek earns $76,985.74 a year, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

“They just reviewed all the circumstances and the (discipline and) appeals committee felt this was the appropriate action to take,” Partington said.

In his memo, Minch also called out another poster on the thread, identified only as “guestus,” who said he or she is in the traffic unit, made disparaging comments about Hebebrand and said the Rivas investigation is “a monster and our unit can not weather this approaching storm.”

“I have not identified the other individual involved,” Minch wrote, “and will not be conducting any type of witch hunt to find them.”

On June 5, the Sheriff’s Office released a new non-agency Web site policy that prohibits agency employees from posting “references to or about” the Sheriff’s Office, agency staff or agency information obtained in a member’s official capacity. Chief Greg Smith said at the time that the new policy was in the works at least three months before Boliek’s posts.

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Follow Collier cops reporter Ryan Mills on twitter.com/ndn_rmills.

© 2009 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 60

floridagirl4ever writes:

It's ABOUT TIME THESE COLLIER COPS start paying for breaking the rules like they do to everybody else that lives in Collier County.

swfl_ff writes:

Looks like Rambosk and company are serious about this new policy. This should serve as a warning shot for all the employees if nothing else.

Well I think I will sit back and enjoy the sure to come posts. This should be fun.

Lucifer writes:

I believe what Boliek said is true, there has to be some type of conflict being no charges have been filed yet. The truth hurts.

ireadu writes:

If the public sees the conflict with the CCSO investigating the Rivas and the deputies see the conflict to the point of voicing their concerns on a public site, why can't Rambosk?
That's the real question.

USDfender writes:

What a waste of trees and tax-payer funding to reprimand and transfer a deputy. Based on these memos, both LT and commander aged while writing and rehearsing their opinions. Notice that both agree of the deputy's freedom of speech.

coonpaw writes:

No doubt a conflict of interest!!!! The kid was definately at fault and is obviously receiving special treatment because of his father's affiliation with the Sheriff's department. Any idiot can see this. If it had been you or me we would have been given multiple tickets on the spot and probably taken to jail then harsh charges would have been filed very soon after. This just makes me sick. My heart felt feelings and prayers go out to the woman who was killed and her family. I hope real justice will prevail in the end.

FDNYEngine298 writes:

There is an old saying that" THE TRUTH IS BETTER THEN FICTION" Could it be that the CCSO's upper echelon and the LT from Traffic Unit are trying to do damage control because Deputy Boliek was stating the"TRUTH"
I am unclear why he would have to be moved to GG because he posted a comment on a PUBLIC web site that is specifically there for LEO's to discuss , air or debate there feelings. Whatever happened to someone's 1st Amendment rights ? ... Could it be that the LT was about to be caught in a less then favorable light and must push the blame onto someone else since it is obvious that NO one thinks that KH is able or competent enough to work a traffic fatality?
How sad for the young girls family that CCSO needs to save face instead of assigning this case to someone who would work it as it should be with dignity , respect and with swift justice for the guilty.

straighttalker writes:

Excuse me.....since when can't an employee (deputy) make a comment? Are we saying everyone needs to just shut up and talk the talk? Is this Iran?

UR_Oblivious writes:

Your message is losing its effectiveness Mama please stop. Your embarassing yourself and doing more harm than good. Everyone hates a troll and your are the worst I've ever seen.
Stick to the subject...

UR_Oblivious writes:

Oh and Ryan, please use "Collier Law Enforcement Officers" Collier cops reporter makes you sound more even more unprofessional than your writing. Have some class.

thelordofwar writes:

So this deputy was speaking what he saw as the truth and he got punished for it? It looks like he saw something the powers that be failed to recognize and now are beginning to cover up. This is the second time in recent days that i've seen this deputies name in the "paper". I'd like to know the whole story mr mills.

Shaawe writes:

YerMama, don't give it up. Not at all! UR, do you have a personal interest in this being swept under the rug? I hope not because anyone who thinks about this being kept a secret and maybe we'll forget all about it is sadly mistaken. What if it was YOUR daughter who was slaughtered by this irresponsible punk kid?

Shaawe writes:

This really does deserve NATIONAL attention. If CCSO, FDLE or the states attorney cannot step up to the bat then perhaps NATIONAL exposuere will do the trick!

seventensplit writes:

So the whistle blower gets booted out of the traffic unit when the sheriff should see him as someone who will be honest and truthful and see things for what they are and handle such accordingly.

Boliek for traffic Lt!!

floridagirl4ever writes:

I just read some of the comments left on the website thanks to Mama. I especially like the one that wrote, "Ladies and Gentleman, you will respect my authority". Boy, would I like to meet you face to face, buddy!!!!!!!!!

lycanthropes writes:

I bet ole chief Willy is beside himself. Now that he has lost the PRB Division. The one thing he lived for. First in the military, then in law enforcement. I have been told he stated every soldier/leo is crooked and he can prove it. I feel sorry for who ever has to embalm his carcass one day. Good luck Cpl. Boliek, and remember your job is a source of income not a defining entity.

tried_n_true writes:

Keep up the good work YerMama! I'm with Shaawe (#16), national attention is needed if charges aren't brought up soon.

lycanthropes writes:

If one could compile Rambo's and Chief Willy's skeletal sytems together, they may have enough backbone to fill a trilobite. I should be carefull, Willy walks on the threadmill at golds gym everyday before work. I think at about 5:00am when they open. I also heard he can bench press 110 lbs(with a spot). I would hate to have him "bow up on me".

lycanthropes writes:

During the Neanderthal period 100,000-35,000 years ago. Chief Willy would have been the little one gathering firewood and picking ticks from the larger males areas.

lycanthropes writes:

Willy's morning ritual. Put on ornated uniform, try to cover the age spots, dont forget the aqua velva, trim nose hairs from over-night, head to the gym, and try to railroad somebody.

thelordofwar writes:

A different point of view. From LEOAFFAIRS

He admitted to the accusation without hesitation understanding that he could be hit hard but did so while in direct eye contact with his Lieutenant. THAT IS BALLS. Would anyone else in similar circumstances have done that? Maybe, but we will not ever know that now will we. That deputy now has what is considered to be the essence of integrity. He is stronger now for what he has done and that cannot ever be taken from him. If you talk to him you will discover that he has the weight of 'Olympus' taken from his shoulders and he seems to be happier now then ever. Is that because he was unhappy before or because he saw something wrong that couldn't be fixed and was frustrated. Only he knows that and now will not say.
He has been completely and absolutely positive and supportive of the Sheriff. He has said that the Sheriff has exceeded his expectations and he has been firm but supportive and forgiving . PB said that the Chain of Command has been professional and that his reassignment was amicable and for the betterment of the agency, with no negative feelings on his part. Knowing PB that will be a positive for his new district. I have not heard PB say one negative thing about the traffic LT or this administration. That is impressive considering what has happened.

Trojanz33 writes:

"Colliers Finest" would never even think of breaking a law. We need to investigate who set him up. All this great police officer was doing is keeping us safe. Anyone who thinks "Colliers Finest" can do wrong should never call them for help.

Patton writes:

Since when is the truth disparaging?

chiefusn writes:

Cpl Boliek should have used his COC to voice his concerns but, he probably felt his opinions would have fallen on deaf/dumb ears.

mothernature writes:

Hey Boliek. Did you ever hear of the state's Human Relations Commission? They investigate whistle blower complaints.

eaglebeak (Inactive) writes:

Was Boliek 'no secret'?

nativeone (Inactive) writes:

Quief, my guess is good old factteller was reprimanded for his postings and got grounded.

amuser writes:

Why haven't charges been filed against Riva kid? I don't get it.

lionfishhunter writes:

I didn't know a Cpl. made that much money!!!!!!!!

chasefamily85 writes:

Looked at the documents attached to this news article. What a bunch of wussy whiners!!!!!!!! This was definitely a "throw Boliek under the bus" moment. Wonder how often that happens to people Mr. Minch does not like. Maybe he needs the move and the retraining if his unit is so messed up. Anyone think of that?

coolkraft writes:

nothing changes same old good old boy network

fatiguedelavie writes:

When rodents are under stress some at thier young. What are we doing to our young?
A young women is dead, and a young boy who probably shouldn't have been driving will have to live with that the rest of his life. Keep in mind bloggers; this kids worst prior offence is traffic, and yet you all seem willing "to eat him". Take a look at your own kids first and see how you feel.

Mr. Rivas is a good man, who has helped many, yet you want to "eat" him too. Has the rat race stress taken away all your humanity. I suggest the conspiracy theorist file a charge, petition our government, and demand a forum. BUT, stop eating our children.

I say take away the cell phones, ipods, blackberries, CD, DVD, and GPS instead. I would bet this was a basically good kid that couldn't handle all the distractions adults heap on them. Rather than call him names and ruin his life too: Consider all the electronic gadgets we tell our kids they need, mix in: blue hair stiff neck luxuries, redneck ride highs, rubbernecking rental cars, and the simply insane on our roads and we've doomed our kids to just more rat food. Be nice people.

eaglebeak (Inactive) writes:

I stated once, awhile back, that I had read an article..(on NDN) on the salaries of the Deputy's, that with over-time, some were making over $100,000/year. This $77,000 salary is no surprise.
The article is long gone and un-available to substanciate my claim.
I have no problem with paying them $ to keep us crime-free. I have a problem with paying them to sit and read the NDN and place comments on their salary.
If they were off duty, then they should have not given out info, to which only they were privy to.

bmwdriver writes:

Rambosk is such a bad manager. He needs retraining.

You get what you vote for. It would probably have made some sense to move people around like Minch from traffic and Lewis from special ops. He moved NO ONE, except the weak E. Naples sub lt. Gibbons and Williams out of IA. Thank GOD.

People get comfortable and build kingdoms. Think that's what you got, Rambosk? Wake up and quit worrying about hurting people's feelings or trying to corner the market on deniability. Man up!!!

realnative writes:

rambo can't man up...he too busy hiding in the shadows....no one knows where he is.

naplesnative21 writes:

It's sickening to see the lack of support for the CCSO, the men and women that keeps us safe. Police officers are not corrupt by nature, a few bad cops give the entire profession a bad name. I don't see the rest of you risking your lives in your professions but you are the first to critcize those that do. There is no reason to cover up the Rivas accident, Dr. Rivas benefits more from the partnership than the CCSO does.

And as for saying that Boliek has balls? I think Boliek is a coward for speaking ill of his fellow officers on an internet message board instead of bringing his concerns to a superior, the appropriate and professional way.

dkg1960 writes:

Forget about Boliek - what about the Rivas kid? I suppose he will be "off the hook" b/c of daddy connections.

thelordofwar writes:

#44 are you sure Bolik is a coward? Do you know for sure that his concerns were not heard and addressed by those supervisors?
To say he is a coward for posting on a message board while you are doing the same doesn't lend much credibility to you or your statement. It sounds like you are one of the people he criticized. Go look in a mirror tool bag. That's not a booger hanging out of your nose.

naplesnative21 writes:

I'd tell him to his face if I had the chance, but we aren't posting these comments on a professional message board are we? He did, in the business world, that's just disrespectful, I don't care what profession you are in.

And how old are you? Making petty comments like you did are un-called for and immature. Grow up.

thelordofwar writes:

#47 again I will ask you. Are you sure that he neglected to go thru his supervisors? No you are not because that is exactly what he did.
This paper only prints what sells remember that. I have known this man since 9 th grade and I know for sure that what did was out of frustration and not cowardice. I asked him. Did you? If you really knew anything about what you are commenting on then you are either a co-worker of his or family. Otherwise you are making decisions based on a little bit of information.
Read what he posted. It wasn't that bad and very minor compared to the other posts.
Oh, one more thing. Since you made an uncalled for and petty comment about someone you don't know, I made an petty comment to you. Coward.

Lucifer writes:

facteller1 is conspicuous by his/her absence. CCSO obviously has some serious issues with a case that is pretty much cut and dried.

intellectuallarceny writes:

Speak your mind and you are reassigned. Get involved in the middle of a DUI stop while off duty(LT. Minch). Keep your job, keep your unit. Hmmmmmmm.... Does no one else remember this.

Sheriff's lieutenant in charge of traffic unit accused of interfering in drunken driving arrest

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2004/s...

Shaawe writes:

Post #44 Naples. What you are stating is much like saying that Americans who were sick and tired of the B.S. of the previous president of the USA were blaming it all on our troops. Not so pal. For the most part, the majority of deputies are dedicated, hard working and sincere and they deserve our utmost support. BUT....when a few decide not to uphold the law and overlook what they were hired for in the first place, then it becoms the responsibility of us, ( those who pay their salaries ) to hold them accountable for their actions. You also stated, "I don't see the rest of you risking your lives in your professions". How in the hell would YOU know what the rest of us do anyway? Are YOU a law enforcement officer? A firefighter? Did YOU serve in the military? If not shut the duck up! All we are asking for is for the Rivas case to be professionally investigated and have justice served. If you are so bold as to calling Deputy Boliek a coward, why not try saying that to his face? Any man worth his salt and with any integrity at all will do and say what is right despite what his peers may think. That is what makes him a man which is more than I can say about you. Maybe you can learn a little about courage and what it really takes to stand tall from this man!

echobay writes:

Eaglebeak:
nosecrets is YerMama who used to be Hold_For_Ice or whatever. NDN seems to like to boot him not for profanity, but maybe for giving too much info. YerMama: You're determined to get your point across. Good for you.

But_why writes:

YerMama....Thank you for keeping the Rivas's kid story alive. I'm right there with you.

Opinionated writes:

UlettaPile, I agree on Fox News.

However, Dr. Rivas should not be held accountable for the actions of his 16 year old son.

You can lead a horse to water....

hadenuf writes:

Yes, Dr. Rivas should be held accountable for his son. The kid is only 16. Had 2 tickets in the previous 2 weeks before the accident. The father should have taken keys, and had his son's license suspended (yes, a parent can do that) after the first ticket.

Opinionated writes:

hadenuf,

Have you had a 16 year old that was going to school and you were working 16 hours a day?

I have met Dr. Rivas and he works constantly.

You would post differently if that was the case.

Opinionated writes:

YerMama,

I'm not posting pro Rivas. And, I am not putting blame on Riva's wife or him. It happens. Nuff said.

Yes, let us not forget he is married.... what say you.

BlueTonguedVole (Inactive) writes:

Wow, heated exchanges above. I also feel that it would look better for all concerned if an outside agency investigated the Rivas crash.

While YerMama seems to have an ax to grind with CCSO and Lt. Minch, he/she has a good point in reference to a parent who abdicates parental oversight to a career. Working "constantly" is a lame excuse and very ironic for someone who works as a mental health professional. Having a partner/wife to help does provide better supervision, but it takes more than a 50% commitment on the part of both parents in this too permissive world to assure their offspring are doing the right thing, especially at the age of 16 when they are looking to separate and grow up. They simply are not mature enough to be on their own with very few exceptions.

Hate to see all the back and forth about CCSO in NDN. I have met any number of deputies and their superiors and found most to be exemplary individuals. NDN loves to spur on a scandal and there are plenty who like to add to the gossip. Too bad for those who do the right thing...they get hurt in the crossfire.

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