Fort Lauderdale police chief responds to questions about fired auditor’s investigation

Fort Lauderdale’s police chief responded to questions regarding an auditor’s investigation that resulted in that auditor being fired.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale’s police chief responded to questions regarding an auditor’s investigation that resulted in that auditor being fired.

The fallout from the abrupt decision by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioners Steve Glassman and Ben Sorenson has been ongoing.

Commissioner Robert McKenzie was the sole no vote during the February meeting in which auditor John Herbst was fired.

“The blood was in the water, we were circling,” McKenzie said. “We needed to put that dagger in the back that night”

The vote to fire auditor Herbst happened after the mayor grilled him for launching an investigation into a complaint Police Chief Larry Scriotto may be misusing city funds by working a second job as an NCAA referee on days his time sheet indicates he was on the clock as chief.

After cancelling a scheduled interview with Local 10 News on Monday, reporter Christina Vazquez caught up with the chief Tuesday night outside City Hall.

“Were you working a second job on city time?” Vazquez asked.

“No I was not, thank you,” Scriotto replied.

“Any thoughts about the discrepancies the auditor mentioned with the time sheets and then officiating of games?” Vazquez asked.

“No, we will just wait until the investigation is complete,” Scriotto said.

During a meeting Tuesday night, Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Heather Moraitis, who was not in chambers during the Feb. 15 vote to terminate Herbst, tried to enter a motion to reconsider the motion to fire him.

“I would like to make a motion to reconsider the motion to terminate the city auditor at our next commission meeting,” she said during the meeting.

That didn’t happen because It turns out one of the three who voted to terminate Herbst’s contract would have to make the motion.

McKenzie pointed out to the mayor that he could make the motion if he gave up his chair, but ultimately they did not step up to make that happen.


About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."