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Fired Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Larry Scirotto Speaks Out

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Fort Lauderdale City manager Chris Lagerbloom announcing his decision to fire Police Chief Larry Scirotto after just 6 months on the job.

"I made the decision that it was in the best interest of the department to separate from the current chief of police," Lagerbloom said.

The allegation is discrimination in promoting officers.

But Scirotto is firing back. "The EEOC report is a report built on hearsay, there is no testimony, there is no transcript, there is no audio," he said.

An investigation alleged that Scirotto made promotions based on race, gender and sexual orientation.  

The report said at one point Scirotto was pointing to a wall of pictures of command staff saying "that wall is too white."

"I'm gonna change that." And later, when weighing two minority officers for promotion said, "which one is blacker."

Scirotto denies that last statement. He said his comments were taken out of context.

"The bottom row had several white males and one white female. And we're talking in conversation as it relates to our community and the expectation of a diverse and inclusive organization. And how do I purport we have that when the entire bottom row are white men?" Scirotto asked.

Lagerbloom said, "Diversity in any department is a plus. We strive to be diverse in our organization, we strive to represent the community we serve. There's just certain lawful ways to allow that diversity to happen and in this case. The report indicates we didn't quite follow the law," he said.

Another investigative report on Scirotto dropped Friday.

This one from the city auditor, who was fired for taking on the investigation on his own.  

It looked at the chief's side job as and college basketball referee.

The auditor said, "The Chief received payment from the city for regular work hours while at the same time receiving payment for outside employment."

The auditor said his report would "merit review for possible criminal violations."

The auditor is forwarding his report to the Broward State Attorney's Office, the FDLE and Broward Inspector General.

Lagerbloom said all the promotions made by Scirotto will come under review in the coming days.

Scirotto has hired an attorney, he said, to protect his interests and reputation.

Watch: CBS News Miami spoke to NAACP Broward President Marsha Ellison


Watch: CBS News Miami's Ted Scouten sp...ed police chief Larry Scirotto.


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