MIAMI (CBS4) – There is a showdown at Miami City Hall between Mayor Tomas Regalado and the police chief, Miguel Exposito. The chief’s job is in question, in part, because of six deadly police involved shootings over the past year. The most recent came on New Year’s Day when police say a SWAT team member shot and killed a gun wielding felon in Overtown.
Regalado said, “We are very concerned about the last shooting.” Chief Exposito countered, “That community has been asking and begging for us to go out there and do something about violent crime in their community. We’ve done that.” The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under review.
Coincidentally or not, the embattled chief is also turning his attention and anger toward the mayor on a separate front. Exposito fired off a letter to Regalado last week that accused the mayor of butting into recent police efforts to confiscate illegal gambling machines around the city.
The chief also sent copies of his letter to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI. Neither office will comment on Exposito’s letter which said, “Through the mayor’s office there was a concerted effort to interfere with the gambling enforcement operation. Your unsuccessful attempt to halt the enforcement operation against these elements of organized crime was abominable and the consequences odious to those you govern.” Exposito goes on to allege that “individuals contributing to your recent mayoral campaign are positioned to profit from illegal gambling machines.”
Mayor Regalado says he has no idea what the police chief is talking about. He told reporters Monday, “I was surprised and shocked by the letter. I don’t understand the content.”
The showdown simmers between the two men and stuck in the middle is the brand new Miami city manager. Tony Crapp’s first day on the job was Monday. He said, “There is no timetable as it pertains to the chief’s future. I’m still gathering information. Not exactly a ringing endorsement to ring in the New Year.
Whatever the new city manager’s ultimate decision, Exposito won’t be going anywhere without a fight.