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Suspended Miami police chief Acevedo can make his case at special meeting

3 commissioners are on record opposing Acevedo and are likely to back his termination

Suspended Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo is not expected to go quietly as a special meeting is held Thursday with city commissioners already on record saying they want him out.

MIAMI – Miami’s commission has a special meeting set for Thursday afternoon where Police Chief Art Acevedo can make his case to keep his job.

Three of the five commissioners — Joe Carollo, Manolo Reyes, and Alex Díaz de la Portilla — are already on record in their opposition of the chief, making it seem like his fate is sealed.

But Acevedo is expected to be there in person for the 3 p.m. meeting at City Hall and is not expected to go quietly.

City Manager Art Noriega suspended Acevedo on Monday with intentions of terminating his employment after just six months as the city’s top cop.

It’s now up to the commission to decide whether to back the city manager’s reasons for firing the chief.

“This now has surpassed how I feel about the chief and what he was trying to do,” Commissioner Jeffrey Watson told Local 10 News on Wednesday. “This gets into now the manager and how he’s going to dispense with issues relative to his employee.”

Watson was asked if his initial solid support for Acevedo — hired from Houston with great fanfare this past spring — has faded.

“You can’t use the same playbook in one place that you use in another, because if you do, you’re 1-9. You have a bad season,” Watson said.

It’s an old Miami slogan: The rules are different here.

The eight termination points Noriega cited in his suspension letter to Acevedo generally allege poor decisions, off-color comments and low morale.

Acevedo angered police department veterans with firings and demotions and has gone public with allegations of corruption by his three commissioner opponents.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who trumpeted Acevedo’s hire months ago, said Tuesday that “his personality and leadership style are incompatible with the structure of our city’s government.”

Some in the department and within the community, however, have said they saw positive steps toward police reform since Acevedo was installed in April.

Termination for cause means the chief gets no severance. It also means he has a path to fight — in City Hall on Thursday and in court if he wants.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."