PBSO civilian employee accused of running house of prostitution

An employee of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office faces an array of charges including running a house of prostitution.

The suspect, Joseph Thomas Maira, 58, was arrested Thursday.

Maira bonded out of jail Friday afternoon. He was escorted home by deputies. That's where NewsChannel5's Alyssa Hyman asked him, “Are you sorry for what you did?" Maira responded saying, "I didnt do it.”

Maira is a civilian employee and on paid administrative leave, according to PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera.

He is accused of living off the earnings of a prostitute, displaying a gun during a felony and cocaine possession.

Investigators discovered the operation through a woman they say was actively advertising as a prostitute online, charging 250 dollars an hour.

An undercover deputy arranged a meeting, and the woman directed him to the Ixora Circle address,

PBSO says Maira was assigned to the agency's fleet management division and worked as a general services aide before his arrest this week.

Maira's bond was set at $13,000 during a Friday morning court appearance. His lawyer, Orlando Gonzalez, disputes the charges.

"Joseph vehemently denies any allegations that have been brought forth by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, and he just wants his day in court to let everyone know of his innocence," Gonzalez said. "He has absolutely no priors, at all, and he's, I believe, 59 years old, sure waited a long time, huh?"

PBSO records indicate that Maira will turn 59-years-old in December.

Maira was hired by PBSO on March 12, 2003.

Barbera released the following statement Friday regarding the arrest: 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public's trust.  Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges. The Sheriff's Office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect. 

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