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Suspended Miami Lakes mayor feels muzzled as federal trial set to begin


Michael Pizzi, the suspended mayor of Miami Lakes, has been in a funk since his arrest last summer on public-corruption charges — and not just because he faces the grim prospect of going to prison.

He can’t go to Town Hall, can’t throw his roast-pig street barbecues for senior citizens, can’t cook Mayor Pizzi’s pasta for schoolchildren and can’t hand out toys to low-income kids at Christmas.

He can't even issue his regular email blasts to political supporters, a command issued by a federal judge after Pizzi violated his bond and almost got sent to jail for contacting a government witness.

Stuck alone most days in his townhouse off the Palmetto Expressway, the perpetually hyper Pizzi says he feels like he has lost the ability to breathe.

“I miss my people,” Pizzi, 51, told the Miami Herald. “It’s killing me every day.”

Whether the two-term mayor gets his public life back will be up to Miami-Dade jurors. Pizzi’s bribery trial starts Tuesday in federal court.

More here.