Thursday, January 18, 2007

Second MVB "Worthy Award" Goes To Detective Nicky Echezabal


The MVB Worthy Award was inspired by "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," a 1963 movie starring Phil Silvers, Spencer Tracy, and Jonathan Winters among others. The parallels between the film and life in Miami-Dade County were eerily similar starting with the title of the picture which resonated with local relevance. In the movie, the characters will stop at nothing to get rich, just like many of our public "servants." When Jonathan Winters yells, "It's the Big 'W,' I tell ya, the Big 'W'!", they are led to believe that four palm trees resembling a "Big W" mark the spot where a recently deceased old guy's (Jimmy Durante) riches are buried. MVB liked the idea of taking a negative symbol that served as a beacon for cutthroat opportunists and transforming it into a positive one used in an award that recognizes the efforts of those men and women fighting corruption in a public sector palm covered world gone mad by greed and bone-headed stupidity.

With that in mind, our second MVB "Worthy Award" was given to schools Detective Nicky Echezabal for just doing her job-- and getting heat from those above her for doing it. As it turned out, Detective Echezabal got transferred and her pay slashed when it was discovered by Northwestern High administrators that a report she had given to the Miami police department showed the school had failed to report to police-- more than six weeks after it happened-- the alleged sexual encounter in a school bathroom between a 14-year-old girl and the school's 19-year-old star football player Antwain Easterling. The report shows that most of the top administrators at the school-- including principal Dwight Bernard-- knew of the allegations midway through their championship season. The police finally found out when the mother of the 14-year-old girl cornered a surprised cop assigned to the school at the local (we're not making this up) Dunkin' Donuts and told him she was "tired of the runaround." This was the first time he had heard anything about the alleged crime. He filed his own reports and two days later on December 7th, the police sent in its special victims unit and arrested Easterling on charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor, a crime that took place way back on September 16th. Now, at most schools, getting arrested and thrown into jail would mean at least a ten-day suspension and no play time and, at most, expulsion. Not at Northwestern. They needed Easterling to play in the state championship game. Within days of bonding out of jail, Easterling rushed for 157 yards and scored a touchdown in leading Northwestern to the state title. Now that the shit is hitting the fan as more and more information becomes available to the public, Detective Echezabal was "abruptly transferred" last week and her pay slashed for only doing her job. Officially, the school district's draconian reaction is because Detective Echezabal "didn't follow proper protocol"-- she shouldn't have given a copy of her report to Miami police detectives before her report was reviewed and approved by her superiors.

Whoe, it looks like the school district relegates tougher and swifter punishment for their school cops than for a star student athlete arrested and thrown into jail for a sex crime. Afterall, the kid got to play anyway after doing jail time and is back attending regular classes while Detective Echezabal got the shaft.

We think this stinks to high heaven and believe C. "Boss" Poop will have a whole slew of new members joining Club Poop from Northwestern. We think there was a conspiracy at the highest levels at the school to keep this alleged sex crime under wraps at least until the end of the football season. That they thought they could actually get away with this "cover up" is truly amazing. Haven't they ever heard of something called "Watergate"? According to the last two days of Miami Herald reporting, there are way too many players in this sordid little drama called denial to keep it from unraveling. Right now, no one at the school knows nothing and the blame game is starting. All for what? A winning football season? A chance at the state championship? Talk about a misguided set a values from a group of adults impressionable kids look up to for guidance.

So, because we think this is so outrageous and unfair, it was a no-brainer for us to give the MVB "Worthy Award" to Detective Nicky Echezabal. Hopefully she will consider bitch slapping the school district with a well-deserved law suit.

UpDate (1/19): Sex charges may be dropped against Easterling if he completes a special program for youthful offenders. If he completes the program, he will not have a conviction on his record that "could hamper his football career" as reported in the Herald. The Miami Dade Schools police union has filed grievances on behalf of Detective Echezabal. New allegations by the union include Echezabal being denied a scheduled promotion.

UpDate (2/8): Easterling signs with Ol' Miss.

UpDate (March): Easterling is busted and later fined for marijuana possession.

UpDate (6/4): Because of a grand jury investigation, principal Dwight Bernard is booked into Miami-Dade county jail on two third-degree felony counts of official misconduct. The Miami Herald also notes that Echezabal was promoted to sergeant after the police union complained of retaliation. To see an amazing video of Bernard getting arrested and led to jail plus a look at the state attorney's palatable discuss with school administrators, click here.

UpDate (7/11): Superintendent Rudy Crew fires the head coach and the entire football staff.

UpDate (9/14): Miami Northwestern becomes national champions by beating Texas high school football team Southlake Carroll in front of a national TV audience at SMU's Ford Stadium.

UpDate (2/24/08): Southern Miss suspends Easterling for violation of team rules. It is the second punishment for Easterling who was placed on indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules in November.

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