A South Florida police chief found himself on the wrong side of the law last week after he was arrested on a charge of soliciting a prostitute.
Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson, 53, was fired late Friday after he was arrested at a Dania Beach motel during a sting operation conducted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Miami Herald.
He allegedly called a number on an advertisement and arranged to meet two women at a local motel at a cost of $100, the Herald writes, citing a Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit. He was arrested in the motel room after allegedly giving an undercover officer $100 for services, the report says.
Johnson, who formerly served as police chief and city manager of North Miami, arrived in Miami Gardens in May to help the city overhaul the department, which was under fire for accusations of racial profiling, the report notes.
Johnson bonded out of the Broward County Jail on Saturday and apologized to the community in a statement to the press, according to the Miami Herald. “I want to apologize to the community, and I want to apologize to my elected officials,” he told reporters, according to the Herald. “The stress overwhelmed me, and I made a very bad decision to deal with that moment I’ve never experienced before.”
The department was in the midst of dealing with the shooting death of a mentally ill man by a police officer, who claimed the man hit officers with a broomstick. Johnson said his officers “did the best they could,” the Herald writes.
Department spokesman Michael Wright said that Johnson was immediately fired by City Manager Cameron Benson, who put the city’s assistant police chief, Antonio Brooklen, in charge as the interim head, notes the report.