published on
13 April, 2018

Opa-locka City Manager fired for protecting unlawful strip club
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When your bosses are politicians, getting fired is an occupational hazard.

There has not been a city manager until now, that has lost their job for protecting a strip club that was operating illegally.

It happened Wednesday to Opa-locka City Manager Ed Brown, when he was fired for refusing to cancel the vocational license of Klub 24, the all-hours strip club that opened in January after wrongfully obtaining zoning and other permits.

The city attorney said the club was an illegal business in Opa-locka and advised the five-member commission to have Brown shut it down. Brown, who was hired last July in the intense aftermath of another Opa-locka manager being arrested, said the city would be sued by the Klub 24 owners. The cabaret is owned by Booby Trap, which runs many flashy strip clubs throughout South Florida.

On Wednesday, the same three commissioners who ordered him to close Klub 24 -- Matthew Pigatt, Timothy Holmes and Joseph Kelley -- moved to sack Brown from his $115,000-a-year job. The two commissioners who agreed with Brown to keep the club open -- Mayor Myra Taylor and John Riley -- wanted Brown to keep his job as city manager.

The three commissioners who moved to dismiss Brown said he not only mismanaged the Klub 24 matter, but he had done nothing and was insubordinate as the city manager.

In the meantime, his replacement will be a familiar face in Opa-locka government: Newall Daughtrey, a former city manager.

Meanwhile, the long-running FBI public corruption investigation into Opa-locka is ongoing.

Within the past two years, a former commissioner, city manager, public works official and the mayor's son have pleaded guilty to bribery charges, and last week federal prosecutors charged a towing contractor and his son with paying bribes. More charges are expected to surface.

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