Fight Over Miami Lakes Mayor Ends, But Taxpayers Left With Huge Bill

The long legal battle in Miami Lakes is over. Michael Pizzi will be returning to the mayor's office at Town Hall this Wednesday.

It's a battle that has cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past two years.

Current Miami Lakes Mayor Wayne Slaton announced Monday that he will not fight the Third District Court of Appeal's decision that Michael Pizzi should be the town's mayor.

"I will not be appealing their ruling," Slaton said, ending his legal fight to remain mayor, saying if he were to appeal, the process could take an entire year.

"It has been and honor to lead this town as mayor, thanks again for your continued support," he said.

On Friday, the court of appeals ruled in Michael Pizzi's favor, saying he should be reinstated.

The governor removed him from office two years ago after he faced federal corruption charges. Charges Pizzi was later cleared of.

"I'm really happy of the Town's decision at this point to recognize and respect he rule of law," Pizzi said.

Meantime, NBC 6 has discovered the legal battle has cost tax payers more than $370,000 and many are upset.

"It was a waste of money," said one resident. And that doesn't include the money they will have to spend for Mayor Pizzi's attorney fees.

"I would think so," Pizzi said, "You know what I'm going to leave that stuff to the lawyers."

And, there's also the $80,000 the Town owes him in back pay and benefits.

"And I could certainly use the money, I need to change the oil in my car, which I haven't done for a year or so," Pizzi said.

Mayor Pizzi said his main concern right now is getting back to work. He will return to office this Wednesday.

Slaton already hinted Monday that he may run for mayor again next year.

Contact Us