OPA LOCKA (CBSMiami) – The man brought in to fix Opa-locka’s financial crisis has been fired
By a vote of three to one, the city commission terminated city manager Steve Shiver Tuesday at an emergency meeting.
“I will not and cannot work with this manager,” declared Mayor Myra Taylor.
Taylor said she lost confidence in Shiver because he violated the city charter.
Taylor said she and the commission should have been told of the debt crisis before Shiver informed the state of Florida.
As of early November, Shiver determined the city was about $ 8 million in the hole with about half of that being debt owed to Miami-Dade County for sewer and water services.
The city’s phones had recently been turned off because the bill wasn’t paid. Also, for three months, city workers didn’t get their life insurance premiums and other benefits. There was also an issue in which a contractor renovating the old city hall walked off over unpaid bills.
Taylor has blamed the city’s financial calamity on former managers who she says kept commissioners in the dark.
After the vote Shiver said he will be vindicated in time.
“I feel confident everyone will see what we’ve been going through,” he said.
It isn’t the first time the city has faced financial woes and scandal.
Shiver was accused by a contractor of trying to solicit a bribe for the mayor, about a month into his job.
Taylor and her husband plead guilty to federal income tax charges several years ago.
Commissioner Terence Pinder was sanctioned for using his city credit card to buy meals and pay for hotel rooms having nothing to do with city business.
The state also took over the city’s finances in 2002 for three years after auditors revealed they were in disarray. It’s something city officials have been trying to avoid from happening again.