In a Monday evening email sent to all Miami Police Department (MPD) employees with the subject “Farewell,” chief Art Acevedo urged the department to “keep driving forward and give the people of Miami the best service possible.”
Acevedo, who came to Miami from Houston this past spring at the urging of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, was suspended by the City of Miami manager Art Noriega.
“Today, I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment, consistent with the City Charter,” Noriega released in a statement Monday evening. “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.”
His departure follows a series of special Miami City Commission meetings last month to excoriate the police chief following a slew of high-profile shake-ups, terminations, and a quip that the Havana-born police chief later apologized for in which he said the department was run by the “Cuban Mafia.”
MPD Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix confirmed to New Times that Acevedo had stepped down.
“We’re disappointed that he wasn’t given an opportunity to finish out his time here, to implement what he wanted and to reform,” Jean-Poix tells New Times. “His 90-day action plan showed he was willing to correct his perceived mistakes but he was never given a chance to defend himself. They railroaded him and wanted him out.”
Acevedo, who was hired as chief in Houston in 2016 and served as chief in Austin before that, did not immediately return a call from New Times.
Acevedo sent an eight-page memo to his boss, City Manager Art Noriega, and Mayor Suarez on September 24, alleging that commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Diaz de la Portilla, and Manolo Reyes had engaged in “continued retaliation and [efforts] to harass and intimidate” him for his attempts to reform the department.
At the time, a spokesperson from the Miami division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation told New Times that the agency was “aware” of Acevedo’s memo.
STATEMENT FROM CITY MANAGER ART NORIEGA
Today, I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment, consistent with the City Charter.
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.
It is now time to move forward with the search for new leadership at MPD. Assistant Police Chief Manny Morales will be appointed as interim chief as the City engages in the search for a permanent replacement,
As this matter remains a personnel matter between employee and employer, I will have no further comment at this time.
ART ACEVEDO’S FAREWELL EMAIL
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your service and for your warmth and spirit. I urge you all to keep driving forward and to give the people of Miami the best service possible. Even more importantly, please be kind to each other. Never forget that public service is a privilege that has to be earned each and every day.
Do your best to engage in #Relational Policing with everyone you come into contact with and you will have a wonderful career. Remember adhering to the tenets of #RelationalPolicing are truly a mutual responsibility between the men and women in blue and the community we serve, but for us these principles are truly a sworn duty.
I promise to continue to fight the good fight to rid MPD of the political interference from city hall that unfortunately continues to negatively impact this organization.
It has been a privilege serving with you and fighting for you. As always, please be safe and do not hesitate to call upon me if I can be of service.
May God bless each and every one of you and your families, and may he grant you peace, good health and continued success.
With Great Admiration and Appreciation,
Chief of Police
Miami Police Department