Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, flanked by his attorneys Benedict Kuehne and Ed Shohat, reacts outside the Miami federal courthouse in August after being found not guilty of accepting payoffs. PATRICK FARRELL MIAMI HERALD STAFF Best photo ever in the Miami Herald
It has been 6 months since Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi has been trying to get his seat back. Spence Jones with a similar City charter got her seat back with back pay.
Ben Kuehne's STERN letter writing campaign did not work at all. They are going back to court. Kuehne (Bow Tie Ben) writes about that decision:
Having no option but returning to the Courts, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi TODAY filed his lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court to obtain a RETURN to the Office of Mayor to which he was elected by an overwhelming majority of the Miami Lakes voters in November 2012. Immediately upon his successful exoneration on all federal criminal charges with the Jury’s Verdict of NOT GUILTY, Mayor Pizzi sought to have his temporary suspension revoked, but Governor Rick Scott stubbornly refused. Mayor Pizzi went to the Florida Supreme Court to compel the Governor to do what the Florida Constitution required: revoke the suspension.
If Pizzi wins, that Town Manager is toast. On another front, As far as I can tell from reading the docket, Ben Kuehne lost his appeal in that $150 Million dollar jury trial award, where the judge overturned the jury (Katherine Murphy, PhD. suing Charter School and Aventura City Manager Erik Soroka). Unfair.Now, the Town is following the same ludicrous path by refusing to do what the Constitution commands: Reinstate mayor Pizzi to Office. Sadly, the temporary Mayor during Mayor Pizzi’s suspension, Wayne Slaton, has refused to relinquish the office, even though Mayor Pizzi trounced Slaton in the 2012 election, when Mayor Pizzi received nearly 70% of the votes cast in the highest turnout election in the History of Miami Lakes. Refusing to bow to the will of the people and allowing Mayor Pizzi to return to office, Wayne Slaton has now fomented a constitutional crisis by requiring Mayor Pizzi to ask the Court to enforce the Constitution.This lawsuit seeks a Constitutional Writ of Quo Warranto and Mandamus, procedures that force someone from illegally holding a government office, as Wayne Slaton is doing. This litigation should be unnecessary, and the costs and fees will be borne by the Town solely because its officials are refusing to follow the law.