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Feds slap suspended Miami Lakes mayor with more corruption charges

@jayhweaver

Federal prosecutors have charged Michael Pizzi, the suspended Miami Lakes mayor, with two new offenses stemming from his role in an alleged government grant scheme.

Pizzi, 51, will be arraigned Thursday on the charges of accepting bribes while Miami Lakes received more than $10,000 in federal funds for local programs over the past year.

But the new charges are based on the same alleged extortion activity from Pizzi’s earlier indictment. The only difference is that prosecutors have used the same evidence to charge him under a different bribery law. He has not been accused of taking any new bribes.

Pizzi has waived his right to appear at the arraignment in Miami federal court, where his defense lawyers, Ed Shohat and Ben Kuehne, plan to enter a not guilty plea to the two new charges.

In October, Pizzi pleaded not guilty to an initial five-count indictment charging him with seeking kickbacks in exchange for sponsoring sham federal grant applications that prosecutors say were meant to enrich him. His trial is set for early May.

More here.

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