Hallandale cop almost fired over 'joke that got out of hand'

Officer Thomas D'Orazio nearly lost his job after supervisors discovered he'd filled out community contact cards with fictitious names that were sexually explicit, records show.

He also filled the back of several Daily Activity Reports with swear words and childish phrases such as "stinky poo poo garbage."

Chief Dwayne Flournoy threatened to fire D'Orazio, but union officials intervened and helped arrange a 10-day unpaid suspension instead, records recently released to the Sun Sentinel show.


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"The officer understands the gravity of his mistake and was also very remorseful," Flournoy said. "It was a wakeup call to the officer and I'm glad he had an opportunity to come back to work."

D'Orazio, 30, had to sign a "Last Chance Agreement" saying that if he were caught making a similar mistake again, he would resign immediately and relinquish his right to union intervention. The agreement expires after two years.

A four-year veteran of the department, D'Orazio declined to comment through union leader Jeff Marano.

"He regrets what he did and he realizes it is very serious," Marano said. "At the end of the day, police work is a very dangerous business. To make a mockery of it over a period of time is just not conducive to good police work."

Initially, D'Orazio's supervisor was "happy to see three community contact cards" on the officer's Daily Activity Report because his productivity had been low, according to an Internal Affairs investigation into the officer's conduct.

A closer look revealed that D'Orazio had been inventing names on community contact cards. Police agencies require officers to keep the logs to record their contact with the public.

A sergeant told an I.A. investigator that he warned D'Orazio in January to "knock off the funny ones."

D'Orazio told I.A. he didn't recall the conversation or he would have stopped immediately. He admitted that it was a "joke that got out of hand," records show.

sbryan@tribune.com or 954-356-4554