In the midst of a nasty, public battle between Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Police Chief Miguel Exposito, the city's new administration has issued a rule banning most Miami employees from talking directly to reporters without approval.
City Manager Tony Crapp Jr., who assumed his post on Jan. 1, sent employees an official bulletin Tuesday saying only selected members of his administration and the office of communications are authorized to respond to media requests. Previously, reporters could reach out to department spokespeople and staffers directly.
The new media relations policy comes after weeks of political infighting between Regalado and Exposito played out publicly in newspapers and radio and TV broadcasts. Neither could be reached for comment on the new policy Wednesday afternoon.
Crapp, who acknowledged a flurry of media interest in the city over the past few weeks, said the policy was "something we needed to do anyway."
"I posted it because no one needs to be able to have a press conference unless going through the manager's office," Crapp said, alluding to a packed news conference the police chief held last Friday in which he publicly rebuked the mayor.
The new policy still allows reporters to speak directly to the Miami police and fire departments, and Crapp admitted the police chief can talk to the media on certain issues — like public safety — without the city manager's consent.
Read more of this story at MiamiHerald.com