Art Acevedo

Miami Mayor Defends Not Supporting Former Police Chief After Suspension

Several commissioners have butted heads with the high profile police chief, critical of his job performance and his public persona

NBC Universal, Inc.

NBC 6’s Steve Litz spoke with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez about the firing of Police Chief Art Acevedo

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez staunchly defended his position to not support his handpicked choice for police chief, Art Acevedo.

“I didn’t think it was in the best interest of the city frankly,” said Suarez. “If I did think it was in the best interest of the city I would have.”

Suarez spoke with NBC 6 News hours after all five city commissioners voted to fire Acevedo.

Several commissioners have butted heads with the high profile police chief, critical of his job performance and his public persona.

“One of the things that for me is a lesson, in all of this, is that we stuck together and that we felt what was best for the city on unanimous front,” said Suarez.

The hearing featured the city manager tick off his criticisms of Acevedo, from bad personal moves to improperly reporting damage to his city car.

Acevedo’s attorney argued the chief’s firing had been predetermined by the commissioners and city attorney. John Byrne was adamant in telling commissioners how Acevedo would not present a case.

“We object because his rights have already been violated by not giving him the time necessary to prepare his defense,” said Byrne.

Suarez had a swift reaction to what some describe as a circus-like, dysfunctional Miami city government.

“This is the third time I’ve been around this and so these moments, while painful, are short and what lasts is the functionality of our government and that’s always got to be my priority,” he said.