Rumors swirling around Miami City Hall say Police Chief Miguel Exposito may be fired next week, but Exposito isn't going down without a fight -- or at least continuing an old one.
The embattled police chief has sent a letter demanding whistleblower protection to city manager Johnny Martinez, according to the Miami Herald.
In it, the paper reports, Exposito states that he has been 'unfairly targeted' by the Mayor since December 2010, when the chief sent a letter to federal authorities accusing Regalado of interfering with a police raid on video gaming machines.
The letter, dated Tuesday, is said to be two pages long.
“I trust the city of Miami and its representatives will avoid taking actions that may be deemed retaliatory in nature," it reads, according to the Herald.
Regalado wasted no words on his response to Exposito's claims of retaliation for whistleblowing, telling the paper, “I can claim I have been unfairly targeted by him since December. I don’t understand why he’s doing this now. He does this when he feels his job is endangered.”
Exposito famously prevailed in a whislteblower suit against the city a decade ago after a demotion appeared to be linked to a complaint he made that the police department was keeping files on elected officials.
But just last month, two high-ranking officers filed their own whistleblower claims against Exposito, who demoted and reassigned them to desk jobs even after Martinez declined to approve the move without more information.
One of them claimed his demotion was retaliation for his refusal to "play politics," helping Exposito wage an alleged political war on Regalado.
Now, their demotion may be used against Exposito as early as Tuesday, when Martinez could deem it insubordination and list it as reason to fire him.
According to the city charter, the city manager must first suspend the police chief, and the city commission would make the final decision.
If Exposito is terminated, he has five days to appeal, and an appeal would also require a vote by the city commission. A majority of three out of five commissioners is needed to either uphold a decision to fire a police chief, or reverse it.