BSO Commander at Center of Dolphin Case
|Merling's mug shot.|
|Pollock with Jenne.|
The investigation appears to be centering on BSO Commander Alvin Pollock, who oversees the Broward County Courthouse. Pollock confirmed this morning in a phone call with the Pulp that he works for the Dolphins, conducting security for games and performing other duties. Thickening the plot is the fact that Pollock, according to an internal BSO publication, is the brother-in-law of BSO Maj. Keith Neely, who supervises jail operations.
"I didn't help anybody," said Pollock, a veteran deputy who is popular among judges and once served as a personal assistant to former Sheriff Nick Navarro. "I would love to talk to you about this, but I
can't get into it right now. There will be an appropriate time to comment, and I will definitely talk with you then."
Merling was back at practice Friday after he posted $15,000 bond on a charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. His girlfriend called 911 from their Weston home to report that Merling was hitting her. "His name is Phillip Merling," the girlfriend said on the 911 tape. "He hit me about five times in my face. What is the address? Please come... Stop!"
It's not known when Cmdr. Pollock began working for the Dolphins or if his extracurricular work for the team was cleared by BSO brass. Pollock has a long and interesting career at BSO, beginning in the 1980s when he was an assistant for Navarro and organized the "Super Pig Bowl" -- a full-pad tackle football game between deputies and Fort Lauderdale police.
His only real trouble came in 1997, when he was one of four law enforcement officers removed from a DEA task force after allegations that drug money had been stolen. He was apparently cleared of any wrongdoing and has since gone to win awards and distinctions. Disgraced former Sheriff Ken Jenne promoted him to commander and put him in charge of the courthouse, where sources described him a "go-to guy" for judges.
Did Pollock pull strings with his brother-in-law Maj. Neely to help Merling avoid the cameras and get a ride home? The investigation will have to answer those questions -- and it's one that clearly has the sheriff's personal interest. Lamberti, who has made domestic violence a priority at his agency, is furious that his agency "enabled" an accused domestic offender.
"We're not in the business of giving people we arrest for felonies a ride home," Lamberti said yesterday during his news conference.