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Miami-Dade reinstates aide fired by county commissioner over police report

A dispute over a traffic circle in Horse Country during a meet-and-greet held by Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Souto resulted in a police report and the firing of Souto’s longtime aide for not backing him.

After 19 years of service, Margarita Gonzalez was terminated after refusing to support the account Souto gave police when he called them to report a constituent who he felt was verbally abusive at the event.

The constituent denies the claim.

Capping all the drama, the county has been forced to reach a legal settlement with Gonzalez, finding her a new job — at a public library — until she retires next year.

Souto, who has long been known for his impetuousness from the dais, has been left with the smallest staff among the county’s 13 commissioners. He has two employees.

The commissioner, who represents a wide swath of unincorporated West Miami-Dade, walked away from a Miami Herald reporter this week when asked about the 2-month-old incident with his former aide.

“It’s an internal matter,” Souto said, adding that he had nothing more to say. “I don’t talk about family matters — do you?”