Three years before he was arrested on federal corruption charges, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi met a political ally in the parking lot of Shula’s Steak House.
The topic of conversation: getting rid of Pizzi’s nemesis on the town council.
What Pizzi did not know was that his ally, Tom McGrath, wore a bug and was secretly working with Miami-Dade County detectives.
The men spoke about planting cocaine on then-Councilman Richard Pulido, a plot intended to get the man arrested. Pizzi, spewing F-bombs, said he was open to other schemes, promising $100,000 in cash to get Pulido off the council.
“I don’t care what you do. Rig the f------- brakes on his car. F------ take him out. I don’t want to see him anymore,” said Pizzi in the July 30, 2010, undercover recording obtained by the Miami Herald through a public records request.
In a series of meetings over the next month, however, Pizzi never expanded upon the threats toward Pulido. He soon told McGrath, a retired Hialeah cop who at the time chaired the town’s planning and zoning board, “Forget about him; he will self-destruct himself.” Not long after, police suspended the investigation without charging anybody with anything, officially closing it earlier this year.