A story that started yesterday with blogger Al Crespo posting a mysterious, voided city check for $200,000 ended with more ammo fed into the raging firefight between the Miami Police Department and City Hall when Chief Miguel Exposito admitted the check was part of a huge payout he was offered to resign as chief.
The day before a city commission showdown over a string of police shootings, Exposito says city officials offered him $400,000 to walk away from the job -- a deal he rejected. Mayor Tomas Regalado is already dealing with fallout over severance packages ex-City Manager Tony Crapp gave to two other leaving bureaucrats.&
Recently resigned Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring confirms the story, though, and says that Crapp and Regalado himself asked him to schedule the meeting with Exposito to offer the deal.
"I told them they couldn't buy me or my reputation," Exposito tells El Nuevo Herald.
Exposito's revelations are the latest blows to a teetering City Hall, which is still reeling from Crapp's abrupt resignation last week amidst thorny budget negotiations.
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New City Manager Johnny Martinez learned days after taking over that the city's budget gap has grown to $54 million, and two major investment services -- Fitch and Moody's -- have downgraded city bonds this week over concern about the turmoil.
Regalado declined to comment on the check made out to Exposito, his spokesman, Pat Santangelo, told Riptide.