Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jan. 5: Regalado Also To Blame For Exposito Mess

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It's interesting that Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado is hesitating to call for the firing of Police Chief Miguel Exposito, despite Exposito's clear lack of qualifications for the job and recent comments to the press.

There's a good reason for that: If Exposito is let go - a responsibility of new City Manager Tony Crapp, Jr. - Regalado would essentially have to admit he made a mistake in promoting Exposito's hiring and nudging his predecessor, John Timoney, out the door.

Regalado was so eager to get rid of Timoney that he didn't do his homework on whether Exposito was the right person for the job. After improving community policing and relations during his seven years as police chief, Timoney was pushed out almost as soon as Regalado was elected mayor.

What's resulted since is a return to the bad old days of Miami's police getting negative headlines for being trigger-happy, and for shootings in the city's African-American communities.

How bad are things? Former Miami Police Chief Ken Harms - fired after a police shooting triggered riots in Overtown in 1982 - is defending Exposito. With friends like that.....

Crapp, who just took the job, does need a chance to review the events of the past year before he makes a decision on Exposito's future.

But the major responsibility for this mess belongs to Regalado. Whatever Exposito's fate, Regalado needs to own up to his part.

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