Devoun Cetoute, Charles Rabin
Fort Lauderdale’s police chief has been fired following an investigation into employee complaints — a move that comes less than a year after he was hired, the city announced Thursday.
City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said the city decided to “separate employment” with Chief Larry Scirotto after an extensive probe into the 48-year-old who was hired in June. The former Pittsburgh assistant police chief’s swear-in ceremony was on Aug. 16.
Lagerbloom’s short statement did not say what Scirotto did or detail the complaints against him.
The city did not immediately respond for comment.
Effective immediately, Assistant Chief Luis Alvarez will serve as acting chief as the selection process for a new chief is already underway.
Scirotto was hired after a 23-year career in Pittsburgh and after an exhaustive national search to replace veteran chief Rick Maglione, who led Fort Lauderdale during the summer of 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
Maglione was in charge and took heat for a pair of high-profile use of force incidents during the protests in which Blacks were injured and roughed up by police during questionable altercations.
And in another incident that was widely viewed, Fort Lauderdale police officer Steven Pohorence, who had been reviewed for using excessive force 79 times in his career, was captured knocking over and shoving a Black woman as she sat on the ground protesting.
The officer was videotaped being rebuked after the incident by a Black female officer inside a nearby garage. Meanwhile, the crowd that witnessed the officer’s aggression, became agitated and began pelting officers with water bottles and other projectiles.