In tense meeting, Doral replaces vice mayor

Growing tensions between Doral Mayor Luigi Boria and Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz came to a boiling point during a Monday council meeting.

A call for the removal of Ruiz from her vice mayor position was the topic that led the pot to boil over.

“In December of last year, when I nominated Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz to be vice mayor, I did it in the spirit of trying to work together with her in the hope that the past infighting that she had with the prior mayor and manager could be put to rest,” Boria said Monday night, “and that this new administration could begin fresh with a spirit of cooperation.”

It was during a March 6 special meeting that the mayor called for Ruiz’s removal by saying he no longer felt comfortable with her filling that role, and in the days following that meeting, he told The Miami Herald that Ruiz was divisive and conflictive.

All of this made for the perfect recipe for one of the most chaotic meetings Doral has seen under the Boria administration.

More than 300 people packed the council chambers Monday night, and some stood because of a lack of seats while other residents spilled over into the lobby area.

Ultimately, the mayor nominated Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera to take on the vice mayor role, and they voted 3-2 to remove Ruiz and to place Rodriguez Aguilera as vice mayor.

Ruiz and Councilwoman Christi Fraga opposed.

“Throughout the years, I have been subject to many attacks against my character. Thankfully, the people of Doral have been able to see through the fog of malicious and false accusations, and I am thankful the truth always prevails in this community,” Ruiz said. “The terms and title do not define me.”

When Ruiz was first voted in as the city’s vice mayor, Boria moved her seat to be on his right and Fraga to his left.

After the vote, both councilwomen voluntarily got up and moved one seat down.

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