When suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi was found not guilty of bribery charges in August, he dashed to Town Hall to reclaim his office.
The clerk’s staff had already put his picture back on the lobby wall, his nameplate on the council dais and his mayoral desk in order.
“Everything was the same as it was, as if I’d never been arrested,” Pizzi recalled Tuesday.
But five months since his federal acquittal, the two-term mayor is still fighting to fill his seat.
Just before Christmas, Gov. Rick Scott was forced by the Florida Supreme Court to revoke Pizzi's suspension, which he had refused to do — sparking a political standoff at Town Hall. After successfully suing the governor, Pizzi now is heading to Miami-Dade Circuit Court to urge a judge to reinstate him and remove his nemesis, Wayne Slaton. He won the mayor's office in a special election last October, but won’t leave.
Pizzi, 52, who was serving his second four-year term as mayor when he was arrested in August 2013, says he’s entitled to his old job under Florida law.