Former Opa-Locka Chief of Police Files Lawsuit Against City Weeks After Removal

The former Chief of Police for the city of Opa-Locka is fighting back just weeks after being removed from the job following an investigation into the city’s crime rate.

Former Chief James Dobson came out swinging against his former employer Tuesday, filing legal action against the city.

The lawsuit alleges that the city of Opa-Locka destroyed Dobson’s career by violating the provisions under the Florida Whistleblower Statute. Dobson had been allegedly trying to blow the whistle on “a city rife with corruption,” free from political interference.

Dobson’s removal was announced by Mayor Matthew Pigatt and city manager John Pate on August 14th, following an investigation into the city’s current crime rate, and the department’s “lack of progress.” The findings were issued in a report earlier this year from the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“When our residents voted for change, one of their main concerns was public safety,” Pate said in a statement. “Mr. Pate, along with the help of the Miami-Dade Police Department, conducted a thorough assessment of our police department. The results speak for themselves.”

The lawsuit claims Dobson wants his job back, along with pay.

Dobson had served in the position since October of 2014 after previously holding positions with various agencies including the Doral Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Highway Patrol.

The city of Opa-Locka announced it was conducting an extensive search to find his replacement.