Surfside officer who received uncomfortable comments from mayor speaks out – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports


SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) – A Surfside police officer is speaking out after receiving uncomfortable comments from the former mayor and accuses his boss of bullying.

The officer said that once she raised her concerns, she was removed from the force. Now she wants her job back.

“For me, it was a dream come true to work at Surfside and serve as an officer there,” said officer Marianne Howard.

Howard has lived in Surfside most of his life. His family has lived there since the 1950s.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” Howard said.

She’s been an officer at Surfside for six years.

“Well, I had a crush on you,” former Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said.

Then she started managing the episodes.

“She’s the most beautiful policewoman we’ve ever had,” Burkett said.

Burkett hosted Howard in 2021, when she responded to a noise complaint he filed on the beach.

“It’s become a culture in the department,” Howard said.

She called meeting Burkett “harassment,” but it’s far from the only uncomfortable thing she has to do with a superior.

She said Surfside Police Captain Antonio Marciante, her direct boss, had been sexually harassing her since 2019. That’s why she said she never went public with Burkett on the beach.

“That’s the reason I didn’t come forward at that time,” Howard said.

She feared retaliation at work, where Howard alleges she was “objectified, raped, humiliated.”

Along with her attorney Ignacio Alvarez, at the Police Benevolent Association of South Florida, she told 7News about a night in 2019 during a meeting with Marciante.

“He gave me a hug and lingered. Then his head went down into my neck, and that’s when he kissed my neck a couple of times,” Howard said. away and I went straight to my car and left.”

7News asked Howard how the incident made him feel.

“Very uncomfortable, violated,” Howard replied.

As he built mailboxes at the police station in 2021…

“Having things stuffed in my shirt was just inappropriate,” Howard said. “There is always a level of respect that you expect from a superior.”

In 2022, she said she raised her concerns with the new city leader. A few weeks ago, she was relieved of her duties, saying that they…

“I would take my gun and my badge,” Howard said.

“Violations of ministerial policy”, which were not specified, were the reasons she was told she was suspended.

“She wants to be back in uniform, back on the road, back to work for the community she loves,” Alvarez said.

They await the city’s response to a pre-trial notice, or they take Surfside to court.

“There’s a culture that we’re trying to change over there at Surfside. This needs to change,” said Steadman Stahl, president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association. “It’s time to get her back to work. Let’s do sensitivity training there and fix the problem.

Howard told 7News that when this all started, she actually confronted this police captain. She said her complaints got her nowhere.

7News contacted the town of Surfside and the police department on Tuesday evening. They said they weren’t commenting.

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