MIAMI (AP) — An LGBTQ organization has suspended its director while it investigates why four men charged with hate crimes in an anti-gay attack attended the Florida group's gay pride gala.
In a Sunday statement, the Miami-based nonprofit SAVE said it has placed director Tony Lima on administrative leave.
Lima said in a Facebook video the men -- Luis M. Alonso, Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo -- bought their own tickets after volunteering with the group, but he didn't consult with board members before welcoming them in his remarks.
The South Florida Gay News publication said Lima announced on stage the men had been "wrongly accused." Lima says he doesn't remember saying that, adding "if that's what I said in haste, I apologize."
The four men are accused of attacking two men, shouting anti-gay slurs following last year's Miami Beach gay pride parade.