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Gov. Rick Scott says he doesn't plan to reinstate acquitted Miami Lakes mayor


Michael Pizzi returned triumphantly to Miami Lakes Town Hall on Thursday after a federal jury found him not guilty of corruption charges.

But he remains suspended from his mayoral office -- and Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday he doesn't intend to put Pizzi back in office.

According to Scott, who held a campaign event in Homestead, because Miami Lakes held a special election last year in which voters elected Wayne Slaton as mayor, there is no job for Pizzi to return to.

"They have a mayor now," Scott said. "They had an election."

"I expect all elected officials to live up to the highest standard," the governor added. Under the Miami Lakes charter, he said, "there's nothing to reinstate him to."

It's unclear how the Miami Lakes charter differs from, say, the city of Miami's. When former City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones beat a corruption case against her in state court, Scott reinstated her -- even though another person, the Rev. Richard P. Dunn II, had been chosen in a special election to replace her.

During last year's special election in Miami Lakes, it appeared clear that the winner would essentially keep the seat warm until the end of Pizzi's trial. Had Pizzi been convicted, the new mayor would remain. Otherwise, it seemed clear that Pizzi would get his old job back.

"Let me be clear," Pizzi, an attorney, told a Miami Herald reporter on Friday. "Under Florida law, I am the mayor of Miami Lakes right now."

--with reporting by David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) 

This developing story will be updated.