Exposito Files Lawsuit To Stop Possible Termination

Miami City Manager Suspends Police Chief

MIAMI - Suspended Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito filed a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to stop his possible termination.

City Manager Johnny Martinez suspended Exposito on Tuesday, citing the fact that Exposito had demoted three officers despite a directive to hold off and saying that Exposito had continued to disregard requests to reduce overtime by restructuring the department.

Read: Exposito's Complaint

Exposito can present a case to the city commission, which will make the final determination whether he is fired or reinstated.

The suspended police chief's lawsuit tries to stop two of the five commissioners -- Wilfredo Gort and Francis Suarez -- from voting on the issue.

Exposito alleged bias, claiming Gort, the commission chairman, is accused of interfering with one of the chief's demotions and that Gort's staff in the past has drafted a memo to suspend the chief.

Exposito also said that Suarez was quoted in a newspaper article in February as saying that if he were the chief, he would consider resigning.

A meeting is set for Friday morning for the Miami City Commission to hear the causes of Exposito's suspension and judge whether to fire Exposito or reinstate him to office. In making its decision, the commission must consider only the city manager's evidence of insubordination and the chief's evidence in his defense.

Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones has already said publicly that she would wait for the evidence. Gort would not say because he is named in the lawsuit.

In a statement, Suarez said the lawsuit has "no basis in law or fact. Accordingly, I have asked my counsel to take all appropriate legal actions, including seeking sanctions against the Chief and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit."

Miami police Maj. Manuel Orosa, a 31-year veteran, is acting as police chief in the interim.

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