BY ROBERT SAMUELS
While a corrections officer in Medley, Curtis Coleman liked to have friendly discussions with the inmates, police say. His chats might have gotten him into trouble.
Police say Coleman bribed an inmate, then threatened to move the prisoner farther away from his girlfriend when he didn't get what he wanted. Coleman was arrested Thursday in his new Georgia home and charged with unlawful compensation.
Investigators are pointing to a phone transcript between Coleman, the prisoner and the inmate's girlfriend as proof -- the product of a Public Corruption Investigations Bureau investigation released on Friday.
Police said Coleman asked an inmate for a $250 loan in January 2006, while Coleman was working at the South Florida Reception Center. The inmate, who was not named, complied and wired $250 through Western Union to his girlfriend.
Police allege Coleman's next request was even bigger: He wanted $1,600 from the inmate. In return, police said, he would move him to a facility closer to his home in Broward County. And if he didn't get the money, the inmate would be moved to a state prison near Alabama.
Coleman's conversation with the inmate's girlfriend was recorded by investigators:
''I mean, I have the money,'' the girlfriend allegedly told Coleman. ``I have it on me.''
''If I don't have it by tonight or tomorrow. . . . I'm gonna have to ship him,'' Coleman allegedly replied. ``That's just how I'm gonna do it. Yeah, and -- I'm not gonna visit him or nothing like that cause I already told him -- I already told him what he had to do.''
In July, Coleman resigned from the corrections department and moved to Pooler, Ga. The investigators teamed with officers from the local sheriff's office there to find him.
He is currently jailed in Georgia, awaiting extradition to Miami-Dade County where he will face trial.