MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami Manager Art Noriega said he has suspended embattled Police Chief Art Acevedo “with the intent to terminate his employment” after six months on the job.
Noriega issued the statement concerning his decision on Monday evening.
“Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style, and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization,” Noriega wrote in his statement.
The last public images of Acevedo were of him appearing to talk on the phone while walking on the second floor of Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove, last week.
On the first floor, commissioners debated the police chief’s fitness for the job during contentious special meetings.
The city manager said the relationship between Acevedo and the department has deteriorated to the point that it has become “untenable and needed to be resolved promptly.”
Acevedo sent a farewell message to the police department on Monday. It reads in part, “I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your service and for your warmth and spirit. I urge you all to keep driving forward and to give the people of Miami the best service possible.”
Two weeks ago, commissioners like Joe Carollo and Alex Diaz de la Portilla called out and challenged Acevedo about the then police chief’s scathing eight-page memo alleging improprieties within the city commission.
In the memo, Acevedo cited “interference with [Miami Police Department] internal affairs” and other issues.
Acevedo did not respond to 7News’ requests for an on-camera interview. Neither did Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who called Acevedo “the best chief in America” shortly after his hiring.
Monday night, City Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla issued a statement on the matter that reads, “The natural outcome of an arrogant and dishonest police chief was that he would be dismissed. His bad actions speak for themselves. Our city, our police officers and our residents will be better off as a result.”
Commissioner Manolo Reyes spoke to 7News about the chief’s suspension.
“The newcomer came in and said, ‘You do it my way, and I’m going to bring the Houston way into Miami,'” he said. “I want a full investigation because we have to clear the air and the residents of Miami, they deserve to know the truth.”
Noriega has appointed Assistant Police Chief Manny Morales as interim chief “as the City engages in the search for a permanent replacement.”
“Regardless of what may be going on within our agency, we’re always gonna be here for our residents, for our citizens, and that’s never gonna stop,” said a major in the department.
Sometime on Monday, Acevedo replaced a profile picture on Facebook that showed him in police uniform with a picture showing him in civilian clothes.
Suarez held a media conference on Acevedo’s suspension on Tuesday.
“This was a difficult decision, and it marks the beginning of the end of an unfortunate episode for our city,” he said. “I support the city manager for weighing all of the factors involved and doing what he believes is in the best interest of our residents and our employees.”
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