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'Trying To Save His Own Job': South Florida Film Director Billy Corben On Miami City Manager Asking Chief Art Acevedo For Action Plan

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami's city manager has asked embattled Police Chief Art Acevedo for an action plan. It was due by the close of business on Monday.

The 57-year-old Acevedo was the subject of two stormy meetings at city hall last week after criticism that he had said said the police department was run by the "Cuban mafia," that he had demoted several police officers and supervisors and that he had done a controversial Elvis Presley impersonation during a fundraiser.

And last Friday, City Commissioner Joe Carollo said he had heard that Acevedo was planning to have him and two other commissioners arrested for retaliation. The City Manager Arthur Noriega said that was not going to happen.

In a memo sent to the chief last Thursday Noriega said, "I am concerned about the operational readiness of the Miami Police Department… I believe you lack certain sensitivity training and cultural awareness in regard to this community and items residents."

Noriega requested the chief's plans for reforms to policing, a vision of management, improving officer morale, interacting with the media and repairing relations with elected officials.

Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I am glad to see the city manager is taking a very pro-active role in creating a metric to measure the Chief. This is criteria under which he is expected to perform. There is nothing there that is being asked that is unreasonable. This is too important to the city and the police department. The city commission can fire the city manager so the city manager is under a lot of pressure to perform in his duties in managing his team and the chief."

He said the subject of the police chief could come up at the city commission meeting next Thursday. It is not known if the chief was able to submit his plan by the end of the day. CBS4 reached out to the city manager but did not hear back.

Meanwhile, Miami film director Billy Corben, who has followed city politics, said the city manager "was trying to cover his butt" after hiring Acevedo.

"He is trying to save his own job because he failed to do his due diligence in hiring him." Corben said.

Russell said that was not a fair statement.

Corben added, "The government shut down last week when they spent days on end in a kangaroo court attempting to assassinate the character of this police chief. What is the problem? Have we heard a single legitimate grievance about his performance here in Miami? The man has been here for five months. He has already reported the police department to the Justice Department."


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