Protesters want Miami Beach manager's ouster

Corruption investigation prompts demonstration

Published On: Apr 26 2012 01:04:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 26 2012 07:03:51 PM EDT
Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

Some Miami Beach residents demonstrate in front of City Hall on Thursday, angry about a recent corruption investigation by the FBI.

The investigation led to the arrests of five Miami Beach code enforcement officers, two Miami Beach firefighters and a Miami-Dade police officer.

The protesters demanded reform in Miami Beach city government and demanded that City Manager Jorge Gonzalez be fired. He has held the position for nearly 12 years.

Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower tried to talk to the protesters, but it turned into a shouting match. They blame Bower and Gonzalez for the recent wave of arrests.

"Mr. Manager, there seem to be three, maybe four city commissioners who have said, 'Look, Jorge Gonzalez has been here nearly 12 years. He's done some good things, but maybe it's time for him to go.' Is it time for you to go?" Local 10's Michael Putney asked Gonzalez.  

"I believe no. Actually, I believe quite the opposite. If there's anybody who's going to be able to really root this out and make sure that we do this right and we get to the bottom of it, wherever it may go, to whatever level it may be, I'm the man for it, as I've done in the past," Gonzalez said.

The next regular Miami Beach Commission meeting is set for May 9. At least four of the six commissioners, plus the mayor, will vote on whether Gonzalez remains city manager.