By Michael Sallah and Katie Lepri
Just weeks after revealing Opa-locka was on the edge of financial failure, City Manager Steve Shiver was fired by elected leaders in yet another tumultuous turn for a city that’s millions in debt and the target of a federal corruption probe.
During a brief but emotional meeting on Tuesday, commissioners ousted the 49-year-old manager three months after hiring him to stem the city’s mounting deficit and out of control expenses.
Moments after the 3-1 vote, Shiver abruptly rose from the dais and walked outside, where residents gathered and began shouting at one another over the move.
“This is sad. It’s absolutely sad,” said Dorothy Johnson, a former Opa-locka mayor who turned out to support Shiver.
The firing, led by Mayor Myra Taylor, comes shortly after the city manager pleaded with the state for help in resolving a deficit — now at $8 million — in a move that the mayor criticized because she said Shiver should have taken the issue to the commission.
“Mr. Shiver wanted to be in charge,” Taylor said. “It seems he wanted to expose everything we did wrong.”