The dude took cash from a lobbyist? While standing in his office closet?
The law was crystal clear and Pizzi and his lawyers won handily in every forum.Slaton should be forced to repay the taxpayers for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he squandered in his desperate attempt to hold on to power.
The people from Miami Lakes must be up in arms over the legal fees.
Wait until Miami Lakes gets the bill from Pizzi's lawyers. The few hundred thousand they paid was to hedge against the probably 1 million plus Pizzi will stick the taxpayers with!
Slaton should be forced to pay Pizzi's legal bills, too. All legal action could have been avoided if Slaton wasn't trying to illegally cling to power.
Slaton was elected too. He didn't do anything illegal and I'll make a bet with you "G", if there were an election tomorrow between Slaton & Pizzi, Pizzi would lose in double digit numbers, unless there was massive AB fraud!
I can see by the comments here that Pizzi has found a new hobby in late night blogging. These days he walks around Miami Lakes and people cross the street or spit on the ground when they see him coming. By 2016 he will be nothing but a bad dream.
In a special meeting on Aug. 8, 2013, then-Town Attorney Steve Geller warned council members that if they were to run for Pizzi's seat and win, they might lose it later.“I would remind you that if you have three years remaining on your seat and you give your seat to run for the position of mayor, and Mayor Pizzi ends up being found not guilty, or charges [are] dropped or anything, then you lose the seat,” Geller said.“If you have been elected to mayor, you lose that seat because he would automatically get it back, and you would not get back your old commission seat.”If Slaton had only heeded the advise of the town's legal counsel, all of this legal action would have been unnecessary.
Let me see if I understand this ... the town council got rid of its attorney Geller, who gave them sound legal advice, in favor of Gastesi, who foolishly fought this losing battle? Interesting. So is Slaton's defender Gastesi an incompetent lawyer who doesn't understand the law? Or is he a competent lawyer who compromised his ethics and standing in the legal community just for attorney fees? Also, does anyone doubt Gastesi will be gone with Slaton next month?
As an impartial lawyer and non-resident, the legal issue was always clear: if Pizzi was acquitted before November, 2016, then he returns to office, just like Spence Jones! Slaton WAS permanent against all other EXCEPT Pizzi. Geller was RIGHT all along. Slaton's man Gastesi gave bad advise to Slaton and Governor Scott. Regretfully, it does appear Slaton and Gastesi manipulated the Governor and Town Council. It's a shame Alex Rey had to remain silent or risk getting fired himself. Slaton should vacate before 4/30 and Gastesi should respectfully resign. Both good men, but selfish.
Ben Kuene is highly respected in the legal community. He implored the Town of Miami Lakes to mitigate the litigation and reinstate Pizzi. Ben pointed out after each legal battle that the legal fees were mounting up. In my humble opinion, it does seem that Mr.Slaton and Mr. Gastesi knew the ultimate outcome but chose to prelong this to allow Mr. Slaton to serve an additional 8 months. Slaton is a good man and truly is a town founder. I think his motives were pure and felt that despite the law, he wanted to delay the inevitable return of Pizzi for what he thought was best for Miami Lakes. Unfortunately, it will cost the people millions of $$$. I blame Gastesi. He should have known better and not led the Town Council down this path. He didn't do it for the legal fees. I think he did it out of conviction and devotion to Wayne Slaton. Pure loyalty.
I feel bad for Mayor Slaton. If you know him, he doesn't have a dishonest bone in his body. I believe he thought he was elected to be the New Permanent Mayor. Why? Because he did not expect Twice elected Mayor Michael Pizzi to be acquitted. Since the Courts have spoken, Mayor Slaton will step aside now. His regret will not be leaving Town Hall. No, what will haunt him will be his regret and sorrow that this fight on HIS behalf has depleted the Town and it's residents of upwards of $1,000,000 or more on legal fees that could have been spent on the town and it's projects. For a simple and honest man, that's a huge burden to live with. For those who support Mayor Pizzi, go ahead and celebrate. But have some compassion for Wayne Slaton who loves this Town and all it's residents. He never dreamed his own efforts would carry such a heavy price. The man only wanted to serve the town and make it better. Pray for him. He feels worse than us.
Congratulations to TONY LAMA!!! Absent for the vote to approve hiring all of these attorneys for Slaton, the Town Clerk and the Town for a fight NOT worth fighting. Pizzi vs. Slaton was fought 2 years earlier and the people chose Pizzi. When the legal fees past $200k, TONY LAMA was the only voice to say NO when asked to approve additional money. Don't forget this!! Councilman Lama can be proud of this and keep his head up high and look every resident in the face. He watched the purse strings and must have realized or received a legal opinion that Geller was right, The others blindly talked about defending THE CHARTER and approved this ridiculous expenditure for legal fees. Don't be surprised one day to see "Mayor Lama" sitting in Town Hall.
RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF MIAMI LAKESWhereas Town Attorney Joseph Geller was humiliated and unceremoniously terminated for rendering sound and correct legal advise in a political vendetta by a temporary Mayor; and Whereas Joseph Geller was vindicated by the Florida Supreme Court, the Third District Court of Apoeals and the Circuit Court of Miami Dade County, be it resolved, that the Town Of Miami Lakes apologizes to Joseph Geller and his Law Firm and begs him to RETURN to his position as TOWN ATTORNEY with back pay and appreciation for his understanding and knowledge of the Florida Constitution and Statutes!------ (although unlikely, wouldn't it be nice if the Town did the right thing?)
Do you think Alex Rey can find enough boxes on such short notice for Wayne Slaton and Raul Gastesi? I can't imagine Gastesi will hang around long enough for Pizzi to fire him. Even the councilman who supported Gastesi cant allow him to continue to serve when it was HIS faulty legal advise to the Governor that started this mess.
Next to the Bob Graham/ Everglades savior-destroyer, this is the longest and most boring political controversy in Miami Dade history. Give the seat back to Pizzi and let us watch the reelection campaign. Time for a new season of episodes.
i never liked joe geller and i am surprised that miami lakes hired a partisan democrat as their attorney. but i am now going to take a second look at geller because he was 100% correct in his legal advice to the town. geller must also have had some ability to cross party lines to get appointed as the attorney in the first place. Since the pizzi arrest, geller was elected to the state legislature. i support the resolution described above, and he may have gained a new fan. By the way, i am a libertarian independent.
Gastesi and Slaton will soon "Sleep with the Fishes!"Bada Bing!Pizzi is back in Town - Forever!
Gastesi can do the math--hold on until Town Meeting on May 5 and wait to be fired so he collects another $12k for the month of May and then agrees to a generous severance package on the "Friends and Political Allies" Plan. Seriously , Gastesi cost the Town a fortune with his bad interpretation of the Law. Slaton's resignation only delayed the inevitable for 10 days at the most. Any Motion For Rehearing would have been denied and the Supreme Court would have either denied Cert or Affirmed Per Curiam. Maybe Mr. Slaton thinks he saved face, however, a clear clear majority still support Pizzi and blame the Council for wasting money. In Politics, everything is votes and money. In this final chapter, Wayne Slaton had neither .
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