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Suspended Chief Exposito Sues City’s Commission

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(Photo Credit: CBS4) Miami Police chief Miguel Exposito was suspended on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011.

(Photo Credit: CBS4) Miami Police chief Miguel Exposito was suspended on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011.

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Days before the Miami Commission convenes to discuss the future of Miguel Exposito, the city’s suspended police chief has filed a suit to stop two of its members from having a vote.

In his suit, Exposito claims Commissioners Francis Suarez and Wilfredo Gort would not be impartial because they are biased and have already expressed their opinion.

Read Exposito’s Complaint

Exposito was suspended last week by City Manager Johnny Martinez who named 31-year police force veteran Maj. Manuel Orosa acting chief.

“I have taken this action because you have failed to obey my orders and have taken other actions that indicate just and reasonable cause to demonstrate that you cannot properly perform your duties as the Chief of Police,” stated a memo sent from Martinez to Exposito.

The City Manager cited two specific actions for the suspension. The first involved an issue that took place last month when Martinez refused to give Exposito permission to demote three high-ranking police staffers. Martinez asked for more information before signing off on the move. Exposito nevertheless stripped the officers of their authority by reassigning them to desk jobs.

The second had to deal with overtime

“You have continued to disregard my request about reducing overtime expenses by organizational restructuring,” stated Martinez in the memo.

The commission has until next Tuesday to decide if Martinez had adequate cause to suspended Exposito. If they don’t override his decision, Exposito will be terminated.

Michelle Spence Jones, who was recently restored to her commission seat after grand theft charges against her were dismissed, is considered to be the swing vote.

“I think it’s really important that we shouldn’t rush to judgment,” she told CBS4’s Jawan Strader. “I think that you have to look at both sides. You know listen to the city manager’s side and listen to the chief’s side and you make a decision from there. For me, someone who has actually gone through the process, I understand the importance of weighing both sides

Spence Jones said commission needs to focus more attention on the city’s most pressing issue – dealing with a $61 million budget shortfall.

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