After 15 tumultuous months marked by controversy and feuding between members of Doral’s City Council and City Manager Joe Carollo, the outspoken manager believes he will be fired on Monday.
Carollo told the Miami Herald he expects his ouster at a special council meeting called for 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall. The meeting is being advertised to discuss “administrative evaluations.”
At a press conference Friday afternoon at City Hall, he said if he’s going to get fired, he won’t go quietly.
“If a majority of the members of the council want me removed, that’s their prerogative,” Carollo told reporters during a press conference on Friday afternoon at City Hall. “But if I’m not convenient for whatever reason, put it out the way it should be. Put out the reasons.”
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Figuring his time as Doral’s top administrator is running out, he aired out accusations he’d been keeping quiet.
He accused Vice Mayor Christi Fraga of corruption in a scheme to sell her vote during an attempt to remove him last fall.
He said that earlier this year, Mayor Luigi Boria told him he had been approached last fall by someone who knows Fraga, claiming the councilwoman was willing to offer her vote to remove Carollo in exchange for money. At the time, Boria had called for Carollo’s firing, which the manager eventually survived with vote a confidence from Fraga, Councilwoman Bettina Rodríguez Aguilera and Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez.
The manager said Boria declined the offer and eventually went to the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.
Boria did not respond to phone calls from the Miami Herald on Friday.
In response to a public records request for files related to any investigation into Fraga filed by the Miami Herald this week, the state attorney’s office said there were no public records available, citing a Florida statute exempting records that are part of an active investigation.
Fraga did not comment Friday, but said she will be holding her own press conference Monday after the meeting.
Fraga sent an email to the city clerk on Wednesday requesting a special meeting for Monday. Shortly after, Mayor Luigi Boria and Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz responded they would be available, thus creating a quorum for the meeting.
Ruiz said Friday she’d be there since the council is having a series of afternoon meetings Monday before and after the requested time. She said she did not know the nature of Monday’s meeting.
“There’s no backup [paperwork] to the request,” she said.
Rodríguez-Aguilera said she requested more information to prepare for Monday’s meeting, but has not received a response. Since the special meeting was called on such short notice, she believes the matter must be pressing.
“The only thing we can speculate is the city manager will be fired,” she said.
After Mayor Luigi Boria brought on Carollo last January 2013, their relationship deteriorated over the course of a year, after Boria found himself mired in controversy over a real estate project on land that used to belong to his children, on top of other public spats with fellow council members and the manager.
Carollo, a former Miami mayor, publicly criticized Boria during the controversy. Amid the scandal, the mayor called for Carollo’s firing in October but only found support in Ruiz.