Former Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito fought to get his job back Thursday before an appellate panel.
Exposito’s attorney , Steven Wisotsky, said the former chief was not insubordinate and that he had not gone against the city manager’s wishes not to demote three officers. The officers were moved laterally, not demoted, Wisotsky argued during the 45-minute hearing.
Wisotsky also said the city commission didn’t follow the city charter, which required the city commission to hear the case within five days. Exposito claims the city operated outside that window, which city officials disagree, saying the opposite.
Exposito also said that crime in the city is up and the current approach to policing is wrong. He thinks more tactical and undercover squads are necessary to keep peace in the city.
Meanwhile, the Assistant City Attorney John Greco said Exposito was insubordinate and didn’t pay attention to the city manager’s directive to not demote the three officers who were part of his command staff.
The panel is expected to issue a written ruling a few days after the hearing, Miami-Dade County courts spokeswoman Eunice Sigler said.
Exposito became chief in November 2009 after joining the Miami Police Department in 1974. He quickly fell out of favor with Mayor Tomas Regalado when he began to crack down on the city's gaming machines, after he claimed Regalado was interfering with the investigation.
"The mayor was the one that orchestrated this whole thing because he is defending his associates that own these gambling machines, of which I vigorously pursued," Exposito said.
Regalado's spokesman did not return a call seeking comment on Exposito's charge Thursday night.