Miami Police Chief Might Lose Job

Sources Say Move Will Be Made To Have Exposito Fired Next Week

MIAMI - Sources say a move will be made to have Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito fired as early as Tuesday.

Exposito has come under fierce attack from Mayor Tomas Regalado and at least one city commissioner but managed to hold onto his job. Now, it appears his grip is slipping.

"They say it is not supposed to be a political process, the chief of police's termination. It's got to be done for cause," said Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

"I would rather stay away from anything that has to do with the police because, anyways, I'm always going to be blamed for anything that happens or doesn't happen. So to me, it makes no difference, but it would be his decision," Regalado said.

City Manager Johnny Martinez, Exposito's boss, is away for the holiday weekend and did not return calls for comment. But sources told Local 10 that Martinez is upset with Exposito for "circumventing" his orders. If Exposito did so, it might constitute insubordination.

In July, Exposito demoted three high-ranking police officers. Martinez told Exposito to hold up on the demotions, but Exposito stripped the three of their authority and positions. To Martinez, that might constitute insubordination, a firing offense.

Exposito has never been accused of any wrongdoing in his decades with the Miami Police Department. He is scheduled to meet with the manager Tuesday. If Martinez tells the chief he is suspended, Exposito has the right under the city charter to present a defense to the commission after five days. If three of the five commissioners uphold the manager's decision, the chief is out.

Exposito told Local 10 he cannot speak to the media without the city manager's position because to do otherwise would be an act of insubordination.

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