Good lord, after nearly three hours of sitting through some of the most boring and slow moving city business I've ever seen, the special meeting ended with City Manager Hector Mirabile getting FIRED!
Our friend, Andrea Torres, from the Miami Herald covered it here...
Fired South Miami city manager says treatment was worse than Iraq
BY ANDREA TORRES
South Miami commissioners fired their fourth city manager since 2009 during a contentious meeting Friday night.What she doesn't mention among other things is just how nasty Mr. Mirabile got during his "farewell speech", aside from his self aggrandizing babble that lasted over 45 minutes, he managed to show some hypocritical character traits while he was busy patting himself on the back. He went on to tell us that...
Outgoing City Manager Hector Mirabile said Friday that his last year working for South Miami was far worse than being under daily attack as a lieutenant colonel in Ramadi, Iraq, where he was stationed in 2009.
With tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, Mirabile told the crowd at the commission meeting that he was proud of his team and all that they had accomplished during the two years in the city.
“Part of my management leadership style is to surround myself with the best available leaders that have the same drive and focus as I,” Mirabile said. “I am reporting to you that I accomplished that and more. The team of directors and managers currently working for the city are probably the best group.”
Some city employees, including South Miami’s director of human resources LaTasha M. Nickle, walked out of the meeting crying. Others filed up into his office to hug him.
Commissioners voted 3-2 to fire Mirabile without cause. South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, a biology professor turned politician, led the effort after accusing Mirabile and “his friend,” South Miami Police Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro, of turning the city into a “hostile” place.
“The situation has become intolerable,” Stoddard said.
Commissioners Bob Welsh and Walter Harris supported Stoddard’s effort. Vice Mayor Josh Liebman and Commissioner Valerie Newman dissented.
The city charter entitles a manager fired without cause to a month’s salary and benefits as severance, but Mirabile’s contract stipulates that a firing without cause before Sept. 20, 2015, required the city to pay his full salary as a “consultant” with benefits for six months. Under the contract’s terms, Mirabile received $140,000 in salary, and benefits included a $150 cellphone and $650 car allowance each month, plus a monthly $680 for health insurance coverage. Mirabile also receives benefits from the city of Miami.
Mirabile came to the city loaded with experience as a former Miami police major, Army National Guard veteran, and Miami’s interim director of community development and director of employee relations. He is also board chairman for the United Police Federal Credit Union, which represents police departments, including Miami, West Miami and the Miami-Dade County school district police.
In 2010, Mirabile replaced former acting city manager Buford “Randy” Witt, a retired Air Force general and former Miami-Dade chief information officer. Witt had replaced interim city manager Roger M. Carlton, who took Ajibola Balogun’s place after he was fired in 2009. A year ago, commissioners extended Mirabile’s three-year contract to two more years.
“I feel it was a mistake,” Stoddard said at a meeting Wednesday.
Before being fired, Witt chose Martinez de Castro as one of three finalists. Martinez de Castro, who worked in the Miami Police Department in the early 1980s with Mirabile, held several posts in South Miami, including public works director and assistant city manager before then-City Manager Maria Davis appointed him as police chief in October 2003. Martinez de Castro resigned in March 2006 and returned in 2010.
One of Mirabile’s biggest accomplishments: He restructured the police pension plan and moved toward a defined-contribution plan.
On Friday, commissioners named Kelly Barket as the acting city manager, while they look for an interim manager.
"You had certain managers from the past hiring personal friends you had the human resources director hiring family member (sic), come to find out we had ended up having an IT person being a uh a cousin of the city mana..., one of the city managers in here and on and on and on. Well that doesn't happen here any more."You sure about that Mr. Mirabile? Really? Last I checked it was under your watch and in some instances with your approval that the city sent the chief's wife's tag agency business, unless you too are going to claim that you had no idea that tag agency was owned by the chief's wife.
Regardless, to get the full grasp of how nasty former city manager Mirabile's diatribe was, go on over to the City of South Miami's website and you can here it all for yourself. Here's a link to the hearing, the "farewell speech" starts at around 1:46.
In his final parting shot, former city manager Mirabile plays the veteran card and accuses Mayor Stoddard of somehow not being patriotic or in someway shape or form being disrespectful of veterans by firing Mr Mirabile (an Iraq veteran) on the weekend of Veterans day. That sounds pretty shitty doesn't it? Reality is quite different than Mr. Mirabile wants us to believe as the commission had originally called his firing to vote on Wednesday, November 7th. Remember, it was Mr. Mirabile's staunchest supporter, Commissioner Valerie Newman, who went ahead and blocked the vote last Wednesday and therefore pushed the vote onto the Friday of Veterans day weekend.
So while we understand Mr. Mirabile's disappointment and perceived disrespect for being fired on this particular weekend, his animosity is aimed at the wrong person. In fact, the person he should be pissed off at for ruining his Veterans day weekend is none other than Commissioner Valerie Newman!
That's enough for this week, more coming next week, we've found a new witness in the chief's ethics case that claims he's been lying and we've got a whole desk full of new ethics complaints against him as well. So till then, have a great Veterans day weekend!