‘Not a good fit for our city’: Miami Mayor on suspension of former HPD Chief, now-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo

‘I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment’ Miami’s City Manager said.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 15: The City of Miami's new Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks to the media during his introduction at City Hall on March 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Acevedo is leaving his job as police chief in Houston, Texas to take over Miami's police department of about 1,400 officers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 15: The City of Miami's new Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks to the media during his introduction at City Hall on March 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Acevedo is leaving his job as police chief in Houston, Texas to take over Miami's police department of about 1,400 officers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Former Houston Police Chief and now-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo has been suspended and faces imminent termination, Miami’s city manager said in a statement Monday evening.

Miami City Manager Art Noriega said Acevedo’s relationship with the Miami Police Department had “deteriorated beyond repair.”

“The relationship between the Chief and the organization has become untenable and needed to be resolved promptly,” wrote Noriega.

In a short press conference Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he supported the city manager’s decision to suspend Acevedo.

In a short press conference Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he supported the city manager’s decision to suspend Acevedo.
In a short press conference Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he supported the city manager’s decision to suspend Acevedo.

“This was a difficult decision and it marks the beginning of the end of an unfortunate episode for our city,” Suarez said. “Although it’s clear that Chief Aevedo has the qualifications and the experience to be an effective chief of police it is also obvious that his personality and leadership style are incompatible with the structure of our city’s government.”

“The status quo where a top city administrator is at war with the city’s elected leadership is simply untenable and unsustainable,” Suarez continued. “This dynamic was unforeseeable and while Chief Acevedo ended up not being a good fit for our city, I certainly wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.”

Suarez said Acevedo has a right to a hearing and added that Acevedo plans to avail himself of that right. A hearing will be held at some point soon, possibly Friday, Suarez said. Though city officials had offered to hold the hearing Wednesday, Acevedo requested and was granted additional time to prepare.

“You know, look, this is not about a fault,” Suarez said. “I and I think every elected official had the expectation and the hope that this would work out. Anytime you hire someone, and there’s no doubt that he was hired with tremendous qualifications . . . Unfortunately, not every hire works to your satisfaction.”

RELATED: Police Chief Art Acevedo leaving Houston to become Miami’s top cop

Acevedo, who served as HPD police chief for over four years, departed Houston for Miami in late March. When he was hired as Miami’s top cop earlier this year, Acevedo was hailed by Miami’s mayor as the “Michael Jordan of police chiefs.”

“We’re very blessed to have someone in Art who not only has presided over three large departments but is someone who brings a tremendous ability, personality and has the right frame of mind to come in here and make this the best department on the planet,” Suarez said in March.

Miami’s opinion of Acevedo has since plummeted.

Acevedo faced severe scrutiny after a series of decisions involving top brass at the Miami Police Department and several remarks he made in his first five months at the helm of the department.

RELATED: Former HPD Chief Art Acevedo facing heavy scrutiny in Miami over gaffes, top brass decisions, report says

View Miami City Manager Art Noriega’s Monday statement in its entirety below.

“Today, I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment, consistent with the City Charter.

The relationship between the Chief and the organization has become untenable and needed to be resolved promptly. In particular, the relationship between the Chief and the Police Department he leads - as well as with the community - has deteriorated beyond repair. Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization.

It is now time to move forward with the search for new leadership at MPD. Assistant Police Chief Manny Morales will be appointed as interim chief as the City engages in the search for a permanent replacement,

As this matter remains a personnel matter between employee and employer, I will have no further comment at this time.”


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.