Would you believe that the chairman of Donald Trump’s law enforcement coalition in Florida has a rap sheet? And he’s a former policeman, to boot. Well, a fired ex-cop and chair now.
Vincent Caldara, the ex-New York and Florida cop who also flies Vice President Mike Pence to his rallies, was fired from Eastern Airlines the day after The Guardian reported that Caldara had been involved in two violent crimes.
“Mr. Caldara is no longer employed by Eastern Air Lines. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” chief executive Ed Wegel said in an email. “Eastern has no further comment on this to respect everyone’s privacy.”
Caldara had been charged last year with repeatedly ramming a man with his car. He’s also alleged to have clipped a woman while driving recklessly on his motorcycle in June 2014, which the victim is suing him over.
As the New York Post reported:
Last year he pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly, intentionally ramming a former colleague with his car, leaving the colleague with serious physical injuries and over $200,000 in medical bills.
Jeff Shanley, Caldara’s former business associate, said Caldara repeatedly struck him with his vehicle, forcing him to undergo two surgeries and leaving him unable to bend his right hand.
In another incident, a woman sued Caldara for driving his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into her, causing her serious physical harm.
All references to Caldara’s involvement in the Trump campaign — including a video clip that showed him opening a campaign office in Cocoa Beach this month — have been scrubbed from Trump’s Florida social media accounts.
Caldara recently appeared with Trump at a rallies in Fort Myers and Cocoa Beach, FL, where he praised the real estate mogul.
“Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence are the law-and-order candidates,” Caldara told supporters at the Cocoa Beach event. “And if that is the direction you want our country to go in, then you know who you need to vote for on Nov. 8.”
According to the New York Post:
Caldara’s business associate, Jeff Shanley, told authorities that Caldara struck him after a heated argument at their workplace in July 2015, The Guardian reported, citing police and court documents.
“Mr. Shanley stated he stood in front of Mr. Caldara’s vehicle as he attempted to leave,” according to a police report. “Mr. Shanley stated that Mr. Caldara started that vehicle, then drove forward and bumped Mr. Shanley.
“Mr. Shanley stated that he said to Mr. Caldara, ‘Come on, what are you doing?’ Mr. Caldara then drove forward again, thus striking Mr. Shanley hard, knocking him to the ground. Mr. Shanley got to his knees and was struck again by Mr. Caldara’s vehicle, knocking him down again.”
Shanley, 53, underwent two surgeries and received a spinal stimulator and a fusion of his right hand, the paper
Caldara also faced allegations of wrongdoing while serving as a cop.
He allegedly paid a $20,000 bribe to a senior NYPD official’s attorney in order to avoid losing his job for misconduct, according to “Cop Without a badge,” a 1996 nonfiction book written by Charles Kipps.
The book alleged that in 1982, the off-duty Caldara pursued a cab and pointed his gun at the driver after the driver cut in front of him and almost struck his car in Queens.
“A passenger in the back of the cab screamed at me: ‘Hey! You can’t pull your gun on him!’” the book quoted Caldara as saying. “So I pointed the gun in the backseat and said: ‘Shut the f—up!’”
The passenger, who turned out to be a former member of Congress, filed a complaint that left Caldara facing possible termination. He spent time on “modified assignment” but was reinstated after paying the alleged bribe.
Donald Trump always surrounds himself with the best people, doesn’t he?
Featured image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.
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