Fla. Supreme Court asks Gov. Rick Scott to show cause for not reinstating Michael Pizzi
High court says request doesn't mean governor 'required' to reinstate former Miami Lakes mayor
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court is asking Gov. Rick Scott to show cause on why he hasn't revoked the suspension of former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi after his acquittal on federal corruption charges.
Pizzi wants the court to force Scott to end his suspension, but the governor has refused to do so because voters elected a new mayor in a special election shortly after Pizzi was indicted last year.
Under state statute, an elected official is supposed to be reinstated if he or she is cleared of the charges.
"A response from the governor is warranted in this matter in light of the jury's verdict" last month, the high court said in an order issued Monday.
Pizzi contends he should be allowed to serve out his term that ends in 2016.
Current Mayor Wayne Slaton said he has no intention of stepping aside. Slaton and Scott argue the town charter called for a special election to permanently replace Pizzi and that the town charter trumps state law.
"I don't know under what basis he thinks he's entitled to serve out my term as mayor," Pizzi told Local 10 News in August.
Although the request may seem to favor Pizzi, the court cautioned otherwise.
"This court is not, however, suggesting that Gov. Scott is required" to reinstate Pizzi, the order said.
Town Attorney Raul Gastesi Jr. said he was pleased with the order.
"We continue to assert that the special election held on Oct. 1, 2013, pursuant to the town charter, must be respected," Gastesi said in a statement. "The voters in Miami Lakes have spoken and we firmly believe the court will agree."
The court asked Scott to file his response by Oct. 14.
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