On Wednesday, fired Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Miami, City Manager Art Noriega and Commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes.
In the court filing, Acevedo claims that the city, manager and three commissioners violated his First Amendment rights and illegally retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on what he describes as a toxic stew of corruption and wrongdoing at City Hall. Acevedo says his firing was retribution for trying to maintain his independence as police chief, the Miami Herald reports.
“After he was appointed Chief of Police, [Acevedo] attempted to promote officers committed to reform, to investigate officer misconduct, and to push back on attempts by certain City of Miami Commissioners to use the men, women, and resources of the MPD ... as their puppet,” the lawsuit states. “In particular, Commissioners Carollo, Díaz de la Portilla, and Reyes targeted Chief Acevedo because of his resistance to their efforts to use the MPD to carry out their personal agendas and vendettas.”
The complaint details several examples of alleged illegal and unethical activity by commissioners, saying they attempted to “weaponize” Miami police officers against their enemies.
In a statement, Noriega, the city manager, said the lawsuit was no surprise.