Doral’s new city administrator fires police chief

 

eflor@ElNuevoHerald.com

Nearly 17 months after taking charge of the Doral Police force, Richard Blom has been removed from his position, officials said.

Council members Bettina Rodriguez-Aguilera and Sandra Ruiz confirmed Tuesday that the new city manager, Edward Rojas, made the decision to fire Blom. Rojas, a former construction director for Doral, took over as city manager in June.

“I think it was the wrong decision,” Rodriguez-Aguilera said. “The administrator must have his reasons.”

Rojas could not be reached for comment.

Mayor Luigi Boria said that he didn't know the details involving Blom’s removal, but that he had heard rumors about the chief’s desire to quit.

“I only heard that he wanted to resign,” Boria said.

Blom, an experienced officer with 38 years of police service, did not discuss his position, only saying that he would be traveling to Seattle on vacation.

Ruiz said Rojas did not disclose details on why he let Blom go, and added that she reminded Rojas that doing so meant a fourth police chief for the department in the past two years.

“I hope the administrator holds a national search to fill this position, which is so important because it represents the safety of our city,” said Ruiz.

Blom and Rojas had a tense meeting Tuesday, according to a municipal source. When asked about the nature of the meeting, Blom said he discussed “vacation plans.”

Blom became Doral’s police chief in February 2013. He has conducted a campaign to reduce crime and seize grow houses in the city. In March, he hired 15 officers, bringing the force to a total of 107.

A source indicated that Blom signed a confidentiality contract that forbids him from discussing his exit and that he will receive six weeks of paid salary.

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