Art Acevedo was ousted as the police chief of Miami just 6 months after being sworn in. A four and half hour hearing conducted by the city commissioners decided to sack Art Acevedo days after Art Noriega, the City Manager of Miami, suspended him.
The 5 member team of commissioners acted as quasi-judicial judges, hearing out 4 witnesses, and then taking the extreme step. The decision was expected, coming after several weeks of contention, acrimony, and controversy as there were heated exchanges between Art Acevedo and Alex Portilla, Joe Carollo, and Manolo Reyes, the three city commissioners.
Irreconcilable Differences Between Art Acevedo And City Commissioners
John Bryne, attorney for Art Acevedo, hit out at the commissioners in the opening statement. He said that their decision appeared to be ‘preordained.’ He alleged that the members of the commission violated the charter of Miami by not allowing sufficient time for Art Acevedo to prepare for his case.
Bryne alleged that while the charter allowed 5 days, he and his client, Acevedo were given much less time to prepare. As a result, Bryne said he could not call witnesses or present any evidence at the hearing. He said that he and his client had to forfeit their right to a fair trial.
Bryne alleged that Acevedo was first suspended and later terminated for his fiery September 24 memo in which he had accused the 3 commissioners of interference in the internal affairs of the department and retaliating against him by withholding or eliminating budget allocations for crucial police positions at high levels.
Bryne compared the actions of the 3 commissioners to that of Cuba, a communist nation. He said that each of the allegations against Art Acevedo predated the sending of the memo. It proved, he alleged that the police chief was not suspended for the reasons alleged at the hearing. The only reason he was suspended, he claimed, was that Acevedo dared to speak the truth.
The allegations against Art Acevedo included the allegation that the police force had lost faith in him, that he had misused his power, and that he had demoralized the police force with his high-handedness.