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Suspended Homestead mayor's corruption trial pushed back until next month


Suspended Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman was supposed to be in trial this week on corruption allegations -- but he can thank acquitted Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi for a bit of a delay. 

The reason: Both men are represented by bow-tie-wearing lawyer Ben Kuehne

A jury on Aug. 14 acquitted Pizzi in a corruption case that ran longer than expected in a Miami federal court. The next day, Kuehne asked a state court judge, Robert Luck, to push back the trial to give the defense more time to prepare. 

"We didn't anticipate the enormity of the Pizzi trial," Kuehne told the judge.

After a few more days of schedule wrangling, a new date for Bateman's trial has been set: Sept 15. Kuehne will be defending Bateman along with Michael Davis, who was also part of Pizzi's defense team. 

Pizzi, who is still technically suspended by the governor's office, is suing to be returned to his post as mayor of MiamiLakes. 

Bateman has pleaded not guilty to state allegations he secretly worked as consultant for a health-clinic company that was seeking government approval for a construction project.