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Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police: Political image not pressing issue right now

6:34 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville's Fraternal Order of Police has a history of providing political muscle and influence in city elections, but its image is now being tested.

"I have always told my candidates if you can get it (FOP endorsement), get it. The value it has today is not the same had for a candidate five, 10 years ago," said John Daigle a local political consultant who has advised numerous candidates in recent years.

This week the union's top two executives, Nelson Cuba and Robbie Freitas, were arrested in a statewide gaming crackdown because of their alleged dealings with Allied Veterans of the World.

The bust across the state followed raids that closed scores of internet cafes on the First Coast and across the state. The FOP has not been named as a party in anything criminal.

Former mayoral candidate Rick Mullaney, who heads Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute, said the impact of unions has changed because of the economy and union positions on pensions.

Mullaney never sought the backing of the FOP when he ran for mayor in 2011, which was won by Alvin Brown, who also did not have the support of the FOP.

When asked if the arrest of leadership at the FOP will have much impact, Mullaney had an opinion.

"Too early to tell, not going to help," he said.

An FOP spokesperson said the political clout of the organization at this time is not a pressing issue.

First Coast News

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