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Miami Police Chief Manny Morales Reverses Art Acevedo’s Firings, Demotions

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After Miami Police Department (MPD) Chief Art Acevedo was ousted last October, the new interim chief, Manny Morales, seemed to represent everything his predecessor wasn’t. Unlike Acevedo, a California import via the Lone Star State, Morales is an insider, part of the old guard, and handpicked by the Miami City Commission. In fact, at Morales’ swearing-in ceremony, Commissioner Joe Carollo giddily cued up the theme from The Godfather on his phone, an unsubtle nod to Acevedo’s fateful quip that the department was run by the “Cuban Mafia.”

In his short tenure, Acevedo drew the scorn of the commission and some members of the police department with his drastic plans for reform — despite the fact that his protocol-eschewing unilateral hiring by Mayor Francis Suarez ostensibly came with precisely that mandate.

Acevedo’s brief reign culminated in a melodramatic series of special public meetings in which Commissioners Carollo, Alex Diaz de la Portilla, and Manolo Reyes blasted the chief and essentially strong-armed him out of the position. Morales, a 30-year veteran of the department who previously applied for the top job, was chosen as the interim replacement even though there has been no public announcement of a national search for a permanent chief.

Over the past three months, Morales has already rolled back some of Acevedo’s biggest changes to the department. Three of them are listed below.

Twitter/MPD” href=”https://media1.fdncms.com/mia/imager/u/original/13716608/ronald_papier_nerly_papier_miami_police.jpg” rel=”contentImg_gal-13711106″ title=”Miami Police Department Deputy Chief Ronald Papier (left) and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Papier – PHOTOS VIA TWITTER/MPD”> click to enlarge Miami Police Department Deputy Chief Ronald Papier (left) and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Papier - PHOTOS VIA TWITTER/MPD

Miami Police Department Deputy Chief Ronald Papier (left) and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Papier

Ronald and Nerly Papier Reinstated

Acevedo promised to rid the department of bad cops and come down hard on rule breakers. Within weeks of his swearing-in, the former Houston chief suspended and fired Deputy Chief Ronald Papier and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Papier following reports that Nerly Papier had damaged a police vehicle in an accident without immediately reporting it and that her spouse helped her cover up the crash. 

The high-profile dual firing sent shockwaves through the department. The Papiers maintained their innocence and fought to regain their jobs.

On Wednesday, January 12, Morales reinstated the MPD power couple in the biggest rebuke of Acevedo’s tenure to date. Both Papiers will return to the department at the rank of captain, which will represent a salary cut from their previous posts, but the city is expected to retroactively pay them since the day they were fired.

MPD Celebrates Major Keandra Simmons for Women’s History Month by recognizing the many women here at the Miami Police Department. 👏🏻 #WomensHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/CHz8oPleRv

— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) March 17, 2021

Demoted Officers Get Their Jobs Back

After stating that MPD had too many executive positions, Acevedo demoted a number of high-ranking officers, including Maj. Keandra Simmons, the city’s second-highest-ranked Black female officer.

Simmons considered the demotion to lieutenant as retaliatory in the wake of her attempts to discipline MPD Capt. Javier Ortiz. She sued Acevedo and MPD and sought whistleblower protections.

Morales reversed Acevedo’s decision last month and gave Simmons back her old position along with two other demoted majors: Jose Fernandez and Richard Perez.

This is how Sgt. At Arms Luis Camacho thanked the #Miami commissioners for getting him back on duty. He looks very grateful. Like he owes them something. #BecauseMiami pic.twitter.com/lH2ZsZodUL

— Elaine de Valle (@newschica) January 14, 2022

Sergeant-at-Arms Brought Back to Duty

Sergeant-at-Arms Luis Camacho was assigned to Suarez’s bodyguard detail and was liked by several members of the commission. But Acevedo suspended Camacho last June after photos leaked of several sergeant-at-arms vehicles during the mayor’s weekend vacation in Key Largo. At the time, Acevedo claimed Camacho was involved in a “breach of operational security.”

Camacho’s suspension was one of the many grenades commissioners lobbed at the chief during last fall’s special public meetings. An internal affairs investigation deemed Camacho not guilty of misconduct but found that he’d abandoned his post without proper notice. Morales reinstated the officer to his post earlier this week.

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Miami-Dade School Board Narrows Down Search For New Superintendent

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami-Dade School Board met Tuesday for hours to discuss efforts to replace outgoing superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

The list of candidates is down to three ahead of a future meeting that will involve public input.

READ MORE: Driver In Wilton Manors Hit-And-Run That Killed Two Children Pleaded Not Guilty

“We have identified 3 individuals by names,” said Lubby Navarro, District 7 School Board member.

The board’s vice-chair Dr. Steve Gallon made his recommendation for the next leader.

READ MORE: Search On For Man Who Shot Woman At The Landings In Pembroke Pines

“I would like to make a motion to make Dr. Jose Dotres as the new superintendent of schools,” says Dr. Gallon. “I stand in my charge; I am prepared with the three to have a conversation of who checks off all the boxes.”

The other two individuals include Jacob Oliva and Dr. Rafaela Espinal.

Some board members expressed interest in wanting a process where candidates would attend a public meeting soon.

MORE NEWS: Grammy Awards Rescheduled For April 3 in Las Vegas On CBS

“The majority wants a public process and I want a public meeting so my community can hear,” said Navarro.

Austin Carter

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Grammy Awards Rescheduled For April 3 in Las Vegas On CBS

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MIAMI (CBSLA)The 64th annual Grammy Awards will now be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, the Recording Academy has announced.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for Jan. 31 at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles but was postponed due to growing concerns surrounding the Omicron variant.

READ MORE: Driver In Wilton Manors Hit-And-Run That Killed Two Children Pleaded Not Guilty

Trevor Noah will return as master of ceremonies.

With the Grammy ceremony shifting airdates, the CMT Music Awards will move from its originally scheduled date of Sunday, April 3 to a later date in April.

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Information about the date and location of the awards show will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Once we realized the need to move the GRAMMY Awards to a later date due to current health concerns, we came together quickly with our partners at the Recording Academy and CMT, to strategically reschedule these two incredible music events and utilize the full power of the ViacomCBS ecosystem to promote them,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music, Live Events & Alternative Programming, CBS. “Coming out of an exciting month of college basketball on CBS, we’re thrilled to continue our programming momentum with these two big live events for television in the spring.”

“We are excited to take the GRAMMYs to Las Vegas for the very first time, and to put on a world-class show,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “From the moment we announced the postponement of the original show date, we have been inundated with heartfelt messages of support and solidarity from the artist community. We are humbled by their generosity and grateful for their unwavering commitment to the GRAMMY Awards and the Academy’s mission. We appreciate the leadership CBS has shown during these challenging weeks and the flexibility of the CMTs and others who worked toward this solution.”

MORE NEWS: Miami-Dade School Board Narrows Down Search For New Superintendent

The 2022 Grammy Awards will now broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena from 8:00-11:30 p.m. on CBS Television Network and available live and on demand on Paramount+.

CBSMiami.com Team

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Broward County State Attorney’s Office To Investigate Alleged Corruption By Miami Officials

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has recused herself and her office in the ongoing investigation into corruption claims made by former Mami Police Chief Art Acevedo.

The Broward County State Attorney’s Office will take over over the investigation after Governor Ron DeSantis ordered Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor to take it over.

According to a letter sent to the governor, Fernandez Rundle discovered a conflict of interest, saying that, “a substantial witness to potential wrongdoing is the brother of a senior attorney” in her office.

The investigation was opened when weeks before being fired, Acevedo wrote a memo accusing City of Miami commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes of corruption.

CBSMiami.com Team

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