Former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi brought legal action against Governor Rick Scott Thursday seeking to force him to revoke the former mayor’s suspension from office.
Pizzi was suspended when public corruption charges were filed against him in federal court. Pizzi was acquitted of all of the public corruption charges last week and since then has been saying his suspension should be lifted and he should once again be mayor of Miami Lakes.
“What the Governor has done – suspend Michael Pizzi upon his arrest – the Governor must now undo – revoke the suspension upon Michael Pizzi’s acquittal,” the petition for the writ to the Florida Supreme Court states.
The petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Pizzi’s attorney Thursday asked for expedited treatment of the complaint “in light of the continued, unjustified deprivation of Michael Pizzi’s right to have his suspension revoked ‘forthwith.’”
In the filing, Pizzi’s attorney said under the Florida Constitution, specifically Article IV, Section 7 (c), Governor Scott has no choice but to lift the suspension of the former mayor since he was acquitted on all of the charges.
“When a municipal official is acquitted of all charges that form the basis of a gubernatorial suspension pursuant to the Florida Constitution and Florida law, the Governor shall forthwith revoke the suspension,” the petition for the writ stated. “This directive is mandatory and ministerial, allowing no discretion to the Governor to refuse or delay the revocation of the suspension.”
The petition also referred to Pizzi as “the duly elected Mayor of the Town of Miami Lakes.” That point is disputed by the current Mayor of Miami Lakes, Wayne Slayton.
Slayton was elected in a 2013 special election while Pizzi was suspended and under the federal indictment. When Scott was asked about the dispute last week, he said, “Miami Lakes already had an election and so they have a mayor now. So there is no place to reinstate him to.”
Slayton’s term doesn’t end until 2016 and he said he has “no intentions of resigning.”
The filing of the petition doesn't address whether Pizzi should be re-instated to the job of mayor.