Just after 7 p.m. last Tuesday inside Miami Beach City Hall, two high level bureaucrats settled a heated argument the old school way: With some good ol' fashioned fisticuffs.
Police broke up the brouhaha after Charles Carreño, the Capital Improvement Projects director, allegedly grabbed assistant to the city manager Emanuel Mayer by the throat and threatened to punch him in the face, Riptide has learned. Check out the police report -- it's democracy at work!
The executive scuffle broke out between two well-paid city leaders. Mayer, who also owns a construction firm, was hired in 2008 at $146,000 a year to help City Manager Jorge Gonzalez save money on construction bids.
Carreño, meanwhile, joined the city in 2009 after overseeing construction of the Icon Brickell condo tower. He also makes six figures a year, according to a city pay scale.
The two men have been fighting for months, sources say. Mayer's job -- finding overpriced construction bids -- often led him to criticize Carreño's work.
So last Tuesday, they met along with Assistant City Manager Jorge Gomez to hash it out. The end result probably wasn't what Gomez had in mind.
Mayer apparently called Carreño a "liar," which prompted the CIP director to announce, "If you don't stop, I'm going to hurt you."
Mayer replied: "Come and get it."
So Carreño leapt up, police say, put a hand around Mayer's throat and raised his fist. Gomez jumped into action and separated the men before Carreño could do any more damage.
Police showed up a few minutes later, after Mayer told Carreño, "It's going to be great to see you leave this office in handcuffs."
No charges have been filed in the case, and it's not clear what actions the city might take against the men.
Mayer, reached on his cell phone, declined to talk about the fight. "I'd rather not talk about it at this time, as the city has an ongoing investigation," he said.
Carreño didn't return a message left at his city office.
"Human Resources is following its standard process to promptly investigate the incident," says Nannette Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the city. "Following the process and conclusion of the investigation, a determination on whether disciplinary action is warranted will be made."
Update: City officials sent Riptide a follow-up report with an officer's interview with Carreño.
He denies grabbing Mayer's throat, instead telling police that -- after repeatedly being called a "liar" -- he lost his temper and grabbed Mayer by his shirt.
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Although Mayer told police, "I want him arrested, he needs to learn a lesson," the officers declined because they could see no signs of any injuries to Mayer.
Here's the police report:mayercarrenoreport
And here's the second follow-up interview with Carreno: