MIAMI (CBS4) – A motion to terminate Doral City Manager Joe Carollo instead turned into a 3-2 vote of confidence for the administrator.
In front of a packed council chamber, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria immediately launched into his effort to oust Carollo Wednesday evening.
The item was not officially on the agenda, but the discussion lasted over an hour.
“This is becoming like a soap opera,” Boria said.
Boria claimed Carollo has acted inappropriately during his 9-months as manager.
“I deeply believe he has problems with conduct,” Boria explained.
One-by-one, the council weighed in.
“I feel so bullied by everything that has happened in this city,” Councilwoman Christi Fraga said. “It’s very disheartening.
Boria’s single ally, Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz, said Carollo has disrespected her in the past.
“I’m very concerned for our city. I think many of us are,” Ruiz said.
Ana Maria Rodriguez earned a round of applause when she challenged the mayor.
“I think the pattern of erratic behaviors and changes is not from our manager,” she said.
It was Vice Mayor Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera who eventually changed the course of the conversation.
“I would like place a motion of confidence for the city manager,” she said.
Rodriguez Aguilera said Carollo has done a good job balancing the budget.
She said Mayor Boria was pleased with Carollo’s efforts as recently as two weeks ago.
Throughout all the back and forth, Carollo kept quiet, but he didn’t hold back when addressing the media during a recess.
“In America, we don’t have lynchings. Sadly, this is what Mayor Boria tried to do to me tonight,” Carollo said.
With documentation in hand, Carollo refuted many of Mayor Boria’s claims against him, including one that he traveled to Las Vegas on city business without permission.
Carollo said he was in Las Vegas with the mayor’s blessing to help woo Miss USA pageant organizers to one day bring the event to Doral.
“This is outrageous what he said today,” Carollo said of the allegations.
The meeting came just hours after Carollo was vindicated by surveillance video taken at city hall.
Venezuelan developer and former Boria business partner Juan Carlos Tovar had previously accused Carollo of yanking him into a hallway, when clearly, the video shows he walked in willingly.
Tovar was arrested Wednesday for filing a false report.
“If you want to defame and discredit me, you better go toe-to-toe with me,” Carollo said. “These people that have conspired to get me out of the way… They got another thing coming.”
Carollo has vowed to keep working as City Manager.
If he is ever fired, he’s already agreed not to receive a severance.