A motion to terminate Doral City Manager Joe Carollo instead turned into a 3-2 vote of confidence for the administrator.
The Doral City Council rebuffed an attempt by Mayor Luigi Boria to fire City Manager Joe Carollo Wednesday night as its members supported Carollo in a 3-2 vote of confidence.
Rodriguez Aguilera, Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez and Councilwoman Christi Fraga supported Carollo, while Boria and Ruiz did not.
The vote came on the same day that a Venezuelan developer surrendered to police and was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report after accusing the city manager of the Miami suburb of physically and verbally attacking him.
Boria accused the city manager of erratic behavior, taking a weeklong vacation to Las Vegas without letting anyone know, and even of hacking into emails.
“He attacked my integrity, first, one. Second, he abused his power and the third one, his conduct is not appropriate for a manager,” the mayor said, listing off his reasons for wanting to terminate the manager’s contract.
“I deeply believe he has problems with conduct,” Boria explained.
The mayor didn’t allow Carollo to speak at the city council meeting – but the city manager had plenty to say afterward.
“They have conspired to try to discredit me, defame me, try to get me out of here, by putting me in jail, by falsely accusing me of assaulting someone. If Mr. Boria wants to get me out of here he better get the votes. I am not leaving. I am going to do the job that the people of Doral want me to do,” Carollo said.
He addressed Boria’s accusation that he disappeared for a week on vacation.
With documentation in hand, Carollo refuted many of Mayor Boria’s claims against him, including one that he traveled to Las Vegas on city business without permission.
Carollo presented a document that he said Boria himself signed, which gave him the green light to travel to Vegas on business.
“To discuss the possibility of bringing the Miss USA pageant to the city of Doral,” he explained.
Carollo said he had taken two days and a few hours of a third day of vacation, but he would explain that during a special meeting next week where he is expected to address the accusations the mayor made against him.
On Wednesday his job was spared, with some councilmembers including the vice mayor, Rodriguez Aguilera, pointing out that the mayor himself had praised the manager’s work.
In the end, she said stability was important in a city that’s had a revolving door of city managers.
“Every time we change the city manager, all that brings is instability, so the vote of confidence, is to continue the stability of our city,” the vice mayor said.
“I have had the manager tell my guests that they would be arrested if they didn’t leave the building,” she added.
Ana Maria Rodriguez earned a round of applause when she challenged the mayor. “I think the pattern of erratic behaviors and changes is not from our manager,” she said.
Rodriguez Aguilera said Carollo has done a good job balancing the budget.
Fraga said ” I never came up and asked for Carollo’s removal just because we disagreed about something”. “This is not about Team Boria and Team Carollo.
She said Mayor Boria was pleased with Carollo’s efforts as recently as two weeks ago. Throughout all the back and forth, Carollo kept quiet, but he didn’t hold back when addressing the media during a recess.
After Wednesday’s very public confrontation, the mayor resolved that the city will get back to business.
Boria added that he will continue to request the termination of the city manager’s contract if he “doesn’t behave.”
Carollo has vowed to keep working as City Manager.