Boynton Beach cop fired for negotiating sex with undercover deputy posing as prostitute, officials say

Tonya Alanez Sun Sentinel

A Boynton Beach cop caught up in an undercover prostitution sting as a john willing to pay $20 for oral sex has lost his job as a police officer, agency officials announced Tuesday.

Vintyre Finney, 32, had been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 19. He was fired April 11, said Stephanie Slater, a spokeswoman for the Boynton Beach Police Department.

When Finney negotiated payment from the driver’s seat of his car for sexual favors with an alleged prostitute on Oct. 17, he was actually speaking with an undercover deputy from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, Slater said.

“Whatcha looking for tonight?” the alleged prostitute asked as she stood at the window of Finney’s car at 8:35 p.m. on a Saturday night, a video clip of the interaction showed.

The married officer’s response was muffled and inaudible on video, but according to a police report, Finney said: “If I know you had all that thickness, I would’ve said what’s between the legs but you got a good head on your shoulders and I can deal with that too.”

“Looking to have some fun then?” the woman next asked. She followed up with, “You got cash on you?”

After Finney confirmed that he had money on hand, she gave him directions from their Lake Worth location in the 1800 block of South Dixie Highway to a nearby apartment.

As a result, Finney has been charged with a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute. He pleaded not guilty on March 1 and his next court date is scheduled for May 13, Palm Beach County court records show.

Efforts to reach Finney’s defense lawyer, John Howe, on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Agency officials concluded that Finney violated two police department policies: conduct unbecoming a police officer and conformance to law. Finney was hired in August 2008.

“The decision to terminate someone’s employment is difficult for all involved but when it becomes apparent that an employee is either unwilling or incapable of maintaining agency standards, it’s a decision that must be made,” Acting Chief Kelly Harris said in an emailed statement.

“The community counts on us to manage the police department in a way that reflects our principles of civility, accountability and pride. We are committed to continuing to turn this agency around and rebuilding the community’s trust.”

Instead of cooperating and making a statement to investigators, Finney, through his lawyer, chose to exercise his right to remain silent, according to Finney’s termination letter.

“Since neither you nor your attorney presented your version of events to me, nor did you provide me with other information which would constitute a defense or mitigation, or would refute or explain the facts which gave rise to the charges or the reasons for the action, I am left with only the information … to consider,” Boynton Beach City Manager Lori LaVerriere wrote in the letter. “The video evidence in this matter is clear that you violated the city rules as alleged.”

Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello was surprised to hear about the incident.

“I didn’t realize we fired an officer,” he told the Sun Sentinel on Tuesday. “It’s shocking.”

Casello said he did not know Finney.

Steven Grant, the city’s mayor, did not respond to a request for comment. The City Manager’s office declined to comment on the incident.

Finney has been married since June 9, 2012, records show.

Tonya Alanez, April 20, 2016, Sun Sentinel, “Boynton Beach cop fired for negotiating sex with undercover deputy posing as prostitute, officials say”, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-boynton-beach-cop-fired-20160419-story.html?platform=hootsuite

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