The mayor of North Miami Beach has a strong message for city employees days after a longtime resident was removed from a commission meeting.
Speaking with reporters at a news conference held Thursday, North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo did not mince words.
“One of our longtime residents, Mubarak Kazan, had his civil rights violated by our city manager, Arthur Sorey III,” he said.
Kazan expressed his outrage about what happened in and outside City Hall on Tuesday.
Cellphone video captured Kazan standing outside of the building.
“This is Mubarak Kazan. He is being kicked out,” said a man in the video. “Police are being used to protect politicians.”
Kazan’s digital recorder was temporarily confiscated after he left it recording by a speaker. He said he left it there while he went to use the restroom.
The cellphone video outside City Hall captured North Miami Police officers as they stood between Kazan and the doors to the auditorium.
Kazan said he has recorded city commission meetings for years.
“It was like a normal thing for me to be doing over the decades,” he said.
DeFillipo said the way Kazan was treated was unacceptable. He also called out Sorey for orchestrating the incident.
“What happened on Tuesday night is unjust, unconstitutional, not right and will not be permitted,” said the mayor.
When asked whether he is asking Sorey to step down amid claims of corruption, DeFillipo replied, “Loud and clear.”
Speaking with 7News over the phone on Wednesday, Sorey said Kazan’s recorder had raised suspicions and was an unknown device that was picked up by officials before Kazan was confronted outside the meeting.
“This should not occur and should have never occurred,” said DeFillipo as he put his hand on Kazan’s shoulder.
The mayor called for Sorey’s removal for what he called wild spending and for chauffeur services for at least one commissioner.
A call to Sorey’s phone number went to a recording stating he has not set up a voicemail.
As of Thursday night, Sorey has not responded to 7News’ calls for comment. When he spoke briefly with 7News on Wednesday, he declined an offer for a phone interview and said he was out of the country.