Who is the mayor of the town of Miami Lakes? It’s a simple question without an easy answer.
Miami Lakes currently has a mayor in office, Wayne Slayton. He was elected in a special election when Mayor Michael Pizzi was suspended and under federal indictment.
After he was acquitted of all public corruption charges brought against him in federal court Thursday, suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi proclaimed that he had been reinstated to his old job by Gov. Rick Scott.
“The minute that acquittal came back, I became the mayor,” Pizzi said. “I consider myself the mayor right now.”
Pizzi cited Florida law in making his case to get his old job back: “If the municipal official is acquitted or found not guilty… then the Governor shall forthwith revoke the suspension and restore such municipal official to office.”
NBC 6 hasn't verified Pizzi's citation of the law as being correct.
“The governor really has no choice in this matter and there is really, as far as I am concerned, I’m the mayor right now under Florida law; it’s a non-issue,” Pizzi said.
While Pizzi believes Gov. Scott has only one choice to make, Scott doesn’t agree with Pizzi’s analysis.
“The Miami Lakes already had an election and so they have a mayor now,” Gov. Scott said Friday. “So there is no place to reinstate him too.”
Gov. Scott was referring to the town’s current mayor, Wayne Slayton. He indicated Friday that he is not stepping down, because he was elected while Pizzi was under a federal indictment. Slayton gave NBC 6 a statement that read:
“Pursuant to the special election in October 2013, the residents of Miami Lakes elected me to represent them as the mayor of our great town to serve until 2016. I have no intentions of resigning. I am not going anywhere. I am completely committed to the residents of Miami Lakes.”
Pizzi counters that he ran against Slayton two years ago and beat him with 70 percent of the vote. Pizzi told NBC 6 that he hopes to get the issue of his job straightened out and doesn’t want to go to court. However, he is adamant that he should be the mayor again when all is said and done.