MIAMI (CBS4) – One day after Miami’s top cop admitted that city officials tried to bribe him to leave his job, the city’s mayor said he knew nothing about it.
Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito said in January he was offered what he considered to be a $400,000 bribe.
“I was approached by some officials with the City of Miami and I was presented with a check for $200,000 and they said that this would be a part of a payment that would total $400,000 that would be given to me so that I could quietly leave my position,” Exposito told CBS4’s Jim Defede.
Mayor Tomas Regalado said he never heard about the check that was reportedly offered to the chief.
“I don’t have the authority to authorize any check at all,” said Regalado.
Exposito has refused to name the two top city officials who offered him the check and has made it clear he is not for sale.
“I guess that this was the only way to get me out was to buy me out and I’ll make this perfectly clear, to you and anyone else, my integrity is not for sale, my badge is not for sale and my reputation is not for sale,” 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 Regalado have also clashed over the issue of gaming. The Chief has insisted on continuing crackdowns.
Exposito has been with Miami Police for nearly 40 years and said 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.”
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.