Art Acevedo suspended as Miami police chief, city manager plans firing

City manager calls relationship with chief 'untenable'

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Former Houston police chief Acevedo loses Miami job
Just six months after leaving Houston, Art Acevedo has been suspended by Miami's city manager, who said he intends to fire him. Press play to hear Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez speak on the situation.

MIAMI, Florida (KTRK) -- Former Houston police chief Art Acevedo has been suspended from his new job as Miami police chief, just months after he was hired.

Miami City Manager Art Noriega released a statement Monday saying he suspended Acevedo and plans to fire him.

"Today, I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment, consistent with the City Charter," Noriega said in a statement. "The relationship between the Chief and the organization has become untenable and needed to be resolved promptly. In particular, the relationship between the Chief and the Police Department he leads - as well as with the community - has deteriorated beyond repair. Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization."

On Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez wished Acevedo and his family the best of luck while also admitting he was not the leader the city needed.

"It's obvious his personality and his leadership style are incompatible with the structure of our city's government," said Suarez.

Last week, Acevedo delivered a report to Noriega outlining ideas on how to reduce gun violence and improve morale and relationships with city commissioners, according to WPLG-TV. In the report, he also admitted to mistakes during his short time on the job.

Noriega appointed an assistant police chief as the interim leader of the 1,700-plus member department.

The suspension comes weeks after Miami City Commissioners held a special meeting to question Acevedo about his performance in the role.

PREVIOUS STORY: Art Acevedo at risk of losing Miami police chief gig after turbulent start with department

Commissioners were enraged at a series of removals and hirings by Acevedo. They were also furious over a statement in which he said the Cuban mafia was running Miami's police department, according to a report by WPLG.

Acevedo later apologized for his remarks.

"While the statement was made to be humorous, I have since learned that it is highly offensive to the exile Cuban community, of which I am a proud member. I want to thank the City of Miami Commissioners for kindly informing this morning that historically, the Castro regime referred to the exile community in Miami as 'the Cuban Mafia,'" he wrote. "Suffice it to say, I would have never made the statement and I extend my apologies to our community."

According to Suarez, Acevedo has the right to a hearing and it is to the mayor's understanding that hearing has been scheduled for Friday.

"I think every elected official had the expectation and the hope that this would work out," said Suarez. "He was hired with tremendous expectations."

Suarez wrapped up by saying city leaders could continue to drag this situation out but that would not do the city nor Acevedo any good.

"We should now focus on bringing homicides down and doing the best for the city," he said.