MIAMI – Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has recused herself from the probe into corruption claims against elected City of Miami officials that were made last year by ousted Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, documents obtained Tuesday by Local 10 News show.
The documents were first obtained by the Miami Herald following a public records request.
An email sent Oct. 28 to Gov. Ron DeSantis states that the state attorney “became aware that a substantial witness to potential wrongdoing who needs to be spoken with is the brother of a senior attorney in my office.”
Fernandez Rundle requested that the case be handed over to another state attorney “to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”
The governor then turned over the “executive assignment” to Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor on Dec. 17.
According to the documents, the accusations are that “a City of Miami commissioner was directing city employees (including the police and fire departments) to target specific businesses for code violations, which could be a charter violation prosecutable by the State Attorney.
“Other allegations include an assertion that elected officials were interring with (charter violation) or extorting the Chief of Police through the budget process because the Chief suspended a Sergeant at Arms (for some sort of misconduct) who was popular with the elected officials.”
Acevedo made the accusations in a scathing eight-page memo that was sent to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and City Manager Arthur Noriega in September.
The memo accuses three commissioners, Joe Carollo, Manolo Reyes, and Alex Díaz de la Portilla, of engaging in a pattern and practice of “official misconduct” and “unlawful behavior,” spanning claims they tried to interfere with an internal police investigation to accusing Carollo of being mad at him.
“… For my refusal to arrest and remove his enemies and those who were exercising their First Amendment rights,” Acevedo wrote.
That statement stemmed from a Patria y Vida event at Bayfront Park last July and a month earlier at a Calle Ocho event, where the chief said Carollo ordered him to arrest people the commissioner perceived to be “agitators” and became incensed when police did not immediately arrest people as he directed.
While Acevedo has since been terminated from his position as Chief of Police, he joined CNN last month as a law enforcement analyst.