Miami City Commissioners decided Monday to move forward with an investigation into Art Acevedo's performance as the police department's chief.
Issues to be investigated include assignment and selection of the sergeant of arms, how the chief was selected for the job, and whether he was properly vetted.
A recent poll conducted within the Miami Fraternal Order of Police found that 79% of respondents did not have confidence in Acevedo's ability to lead the department.
"What he’s done to the morale of the department the people that have been through hell and high water … here for decades, and this guy comes from outside and all of a sudden, he says, 'hey, I know better than all of you, I am the great reformer,'" said Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla.
The FOP has been critical of Acevedo following several incidents this year. In an officer roll call in August, Acevedo said Miami is run by the "Cuban mafia." Acevedo had responded that it was an attempt at humor and that the comment was being politicized against him.
The investigation will also look into the allegations that Acevedo got into a crash in his city-issued vehicle and did not report it.
The investigation will also look into any misconduct by any member of the city of Miami, elected officials, or the police regarding the allegations Acevedo has made that elected officials are interfering with internal affairs investigations.
A former law enforcement officer or former prosecutor would head up the investigation. It comes with subpoena power.
Acevedo has been under scrutiny since he arrived because of the way he was hired. Acevedo did not officially apply for the job but got the job over the official process and 50 applicants, eight finalists, and five internal candidates. NBC 6 reported earlier this year Acevedo now makes tens of thousands of dollars more than his predecessor.
"Due to the legal issues involved and the existence of an ongoing criminal investigation, I cannot comment further at this time," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said in a statement. "However, I can share that in the weeks leading up to today’s special meeting, I have been in dialogue with city leaders in an effort to address this situation as expeditiously as possible, and I will continue actively engaging all parties in search of a satisfactory resolution to this matter. I look forward to soon refocusing the city’s attention on improving quality of life and delivering excellence for all our residents."
Acevedo instead was a surprise candidate after expressing interest to Suarez and City Manager Art Noriega. Acevedo impressed the two as the police chief of Houston and as president of the police chief’s association. He’s one of the most well-known chiefs in the country.
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