CBS Miami reports, April 7, 2014, that last December, Carlos López, 45, a high-ranking Florida city official concealed a meth glass pipe from police by inserting it in his rectum just before he was arrested.
López was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for using methamphetamine while driving through Hialeah’s downtown area. He was Hialeah’s purchasing director at the time of his arrest.
The arrest report, signed by an officer identified as R. Goderstad, said: “López appeared visually shaken and seating. Lopez’s face was flushed from an apparent rise in body temperature and pupils were dilated. As Lopez searched for his license I observed involuntary muscle spasms in Lopez’s face as well as slurred repetitive speech. These symptoms are consistent with being under the influence of methamphetamine.”
Officer Goderstad saw López’s 2008 Hyundai driving slowly on 4th Avenue NW when several men approached the vehicle. The men ran away when they saw the patrol car. López then accelerated the car to 50 MPH in a residential zone where the speed limit is 25. Goderstad stopped him.
Goderstad’s report says he suspected that López was under the influence of drugs and called a canine unit. A unit officer found a small metal container with methamphetamine.
During the inspection, Goderstad noticed that López had his pants unbuttoned and asked him if he was hiding something, which López initially denied. The canine unit officer “began speaking with Lopez at which time Lopez admitted to have a methamphetamine glass pipe inside his anal cavity,” the police report said. “Lopez then stated he placed it in his rectum as he was being pulled over so I wouldn’t find it if I searched his vehicle.”
The arrest report goes on to say López was taken to a hospital to have the pipe removed.
López has been in trouble while working for the City of Hialeah before:
- In 2005, he was suspended for nearly a month for drug use.
- In November 1997, López was suspended for 30 days for an unspecified reason.
- In 1998, he was suspended for two days.
- In June 2013, Edith Galloza, a City of Hialeah employee, said she was forced to retire because of her supervisor Carlos Lopez’s abusive behavior. In a June 26 resignation email to Mayor Carlos Hernandez, Galloza says Lopez intimidated her and created a hostile work environment. The day she sent the email, Galloza claims Lopez shouted “shut the fuck up” twice during a brief meeting they both had with Human Resources Director Melissa Negron to discuss why Galloza was retiring.
In spite of his arrest in December 2013 for meth use, two months later in February 2014, López was transferred from purchasing director to a leadership post as property superintendent of the City of Hialeah.
Hialeah mayor Carlos Hernández did not respond to questions by El Nuevo Herald. Arnie Alonso, Hernández’s chief of staff, said that the City of Hialeah had taken “appropriate management measures” in López’s case and that they were awaiting court procedures in the Fort Lauderdale case.
A spokesman for the Broward state attorney’s office said there is a hearing in Lopez’s case scheduled for May 7.