Former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi has won his reinstatement lawsuit against the town and current Mayor Wayne Slaton, although the judge who ruled in his favor issued a 30-day stay to allow the town time to appeal.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely ruled Tuesday afternoon that Pizzi can return immediately to his duties as mayor, and receive back payments, allowances and benefits from Aug. 13, 2013 to the present. The mayor’s position earns $18,000 annually, but that doesn’t include the cost of the benefits, which Pizzi figures exceeds $40,000 a year when tallying salary and benefits.
“This a total and complete victory for democracy and the constitution and rule of law,” Pizzi said following the ruling. “The big winners are the people of Miami Lakes, who are getting their rightfully elected mayor back where he belongs, in town hall — where I should have never left.”
Pizzi has been fighting to return to the mayoral seat since being acquitted of federal bribery charges in August 2014.