MIAMI (CBS4) – It’s a stunning story. Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito says in January, he was offered what he considered to be a $400,000 bribe.
That was money over and above what he was entitled to as long as he left office quietly, according to Exposito. He told our news partner, Univision 23, that that was not going to happen.
“My integrity does not have a price,” he said. “You can’t buy me to leave.”
Miami’s top cop was referring to documents posted on a website from last January. They reflect the money he says he was told he’d receive if he left office. He says he was shown a check for $200,000 and was told he would be receiving it right away.
“They approached me, some officials from the City of Miami approached me and they offered me $200,000 in advance to leave and they showed me the check and another $200,000 when I retired. It’s an insult to me,” said Exposito.
Chief Exposito has been under criticism from community activists after a series of deaths from police-involved shootings last summer—four of them in two months. He and Mayor Tomas Regalado have also clashed over the issue of gaming. The Chief has insisted on continuing crackdowns.
Exposito was asked if the money was intended to shut him up.
“It’s possible because if you look at the order of events, also remember that there was a comment by Commissioner Dunn that ‘if we can’t take him out, then let’s pay him so he’ll leave’.”
The Chief did not know who authorized the $400,000 payment. Mayor Regalado had little to say.
“I’m not going to comment on any of that,” said Regalado. “I am focusing on the city and the contracts and that’s my job.”
The Chief said he’d been with Miami Police for nearly 40 years and felt compelled to finally speak out about this alleged bribe.
“It’s more important when something like this happens,” said Exposito. “I have a responsibility as Chief of Police to abide by the law and that is far more important than any personal gratification.”
Exposito said he did not think the city representatives had the authority to offer him a severance package.
One City Commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, expressed surprise about the report because he said the issue of such a payment did not come before the City Commission. Normally, the Commission has to approve any expenditure over $50,000.
Exposito declined the $400,000 offer and has no plans to retire.