Broward Sheriff Scott Israel says BSO Captain Ira Goldberg is under investigation by the department for a social media post that has been branded “homophobic” by a local gay Republican.
On May 6, Goldberg, head of BSO’s Community Outreach, made the comment in question on Gilbert Montalvo’s Facebook page.
“Gilbert, it’s truly sad you have to hire people to come help your protest. I hope you offered them money instead of sexual favors. Those men deserve better.” Montalvo, a gay man who is a Republican committeeman and vice president of the Broward Log Cabin Republicans, has called Goldberg’s comment “homophobic” and wants to see Goldberg fired. Asked if SFGN would be able to interview Goldberg, Israel said no.
“He should be fired. This man is in charge of community outreach. He’s obviously a homophobic person,” said Montalvo of Goldberg.
Shortly after Goldberg wrote his first comment, he told Montalvo he didn’t care who he told about it. “I won’t be deleting anything. I stand by what I say. Call the media,” wrote Goldberg.
“This man is drunk with power. It’s called narcissism,” Montalvo said. He added that Goldberg has since deleted his comments. In an interview with SFGN, Israel said he had seen the post and directed Internal Affairs to investigate. “Maybe down the road I’ll be able to speak to you more in depth,” said Israel, who declined to comment further.
Israel did say that his department was working to bring all of Broward’s communities together, including the LGBT community. “When we become a more tolerant community, we become a safer community. We respect people with dignity and that’s who I am.”
According to BSO’s social media policy, “Employees are prohibited from disseminating content that is inconsistent with the duties, conduct and responsibilities of a Broward Sheriff’s Office employee including content that could be reasonably interpreted as having an adverse affect upon department morale, discipline, operations, safety of staff, or perception of the public.”
The policy goes on to include a prohibition on unprofessional and derogatory comments, including those that are of a sexual nature. “All tend to undermine the public trust and confidence required by employees of the Broward Sheriff's Office,” reads the policy. The penalty for violating the policy includes disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.