Miami mayor: Acevedo’s status up to city manager

Suarez has little to say about controversy involving new police chief and commissioners

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he has "full faith and confidence" in the city's manager to handle the brewing situation involving newly hired police chief Art Acevedo, who has publicly clashed with three city commissioners.

MIAMI – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made his first on-camera comments Wednesday about the city’s embattled police chief Art Acevedo following the top cop’s bitter back and forth with some city commissioners.

The mayor was asked point-blank if he still supports the chief whose hiring he praised in March.

“Like I said yesterday in a statement I released, I have full faith and confidence in my city manager’s ability to manage this situation,” Suarez said.

It comes just a day after Acevedo delivered a 24-page report to City Manager Art Noriega on how to reduce gun violence, boost morale and improve relationships with city commissioners.

“That action report is exactly what we need to do in the city of Miami,” Suarez said.

In the report, the police chief admitted some mistakes, writing: “I probably moved too quickly to affect change and engage publicly. ... I have since adjusted my approach. While there have been some bumps in the road, I have hit the reset button.”

Acevedo was ordered to compile that report after two drama-filled meetings last week in which three city commissioners made it clear — they want the new chief out following a series of recent missteps.

“I’ll be darned if I’m going to let a new transplant come here and think that he could do whatever the heck he wants to do or say,” Commissioner Joe Carollo said of Acevedo, who came to Miami after running Houston’s police force.

Commissioners Manolo Reyes and Alex Diaz de la Portilla have also been critical of Acevedo.

The chief in his own memo last week alleged that those same commissioners interfered with his police work.

Under the city’s charter, Acevedo’s status is in the hands of the city manager, Noriega, who released a statement Wednesday saying: “While the recent issues surrounding Chief Acevedo’s tenure with the City have played out very publicly, this is now a personnel matter between an individual employee and the City. As such, I will not be making any further comment regarding the matter.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.