Former Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito wore a FBI wire to try to snare the mayor and city officials in what he believed was an attempt to bribe him into leaving his post, according to a new report.
At the time of his firing, Exposito had been embroiled in an ongoing feud with Mayor Tomas Regalado, with the chief claiming the mayor was interfering with his investigation into gaming machines.
According to the report, Exposito called the FBI in January 2011 after he was contacted by then-Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring, who wanted to meet to talk about offering Exposito a severance for resigning.
The FBI agreed to outfit Exposito with a secret recording device “to see if the Mayor or any member of the Mayor’s staff would attempt to commit or actually committed a crime," the report said.
According to the report, the FBI decided not to bring charges, handing the case over to state authorities.
Miami-Dade prosecutors concluded that the proposed $400,000 buyout of Exposito, which he turned down, was an attempt at a legitimate severance package. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also found that Regalado didn't violate the city charter in his efforts to dump Exposito.
Regalado called Exposito's actions "unheard of" and said he felt "vindicated" after reading the final report, according to the Herald.
"When I read the it, I thought, ‘This is really weird. The guy was trying to set up the administration,'" Regalado said.
Exposito stood by his claims that Regalado broke the law.
"I felt a crime was committed," Exposito told the Herald. "They told me, you better take the money, or the commission is going to meet and fire you."
Exposito is appealing his firing, which was upheld by an appellate panel last month.