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Michael Pizzi shouldn't be reinstated as Miami Lakes mayor, Gov. Rick Scott says

Governor files response to Fla. Supreme Court's request to show cause

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – Michael Pizzi shouldn't get his old job back, the governor said Tuesday.

An attorney for Gov. Rick Scott filed a response to last month's request by the Florida Supreme Court to show cause as to why the former Miami Lakes mayor is not entitled to be reinstated.

Pizzi sought to have the governor end his suspension upon his acquittal on federal corruption charges. However, Scott refused to do so, saying voters elected a new mayor in a special election after Pizzi's arrest last year.

Current Mayor Wayne Slaton said he had no intention of stepping aside.

Under state statute, an elected official is supposed to be reinstated if he or she is cleared of the charges.

"The statutory requirement to revoke the suspension of an acquitted municipal official is coextensive with the requirement to reinstate the official," the response said. "If the governor is not required to reinstate the official, then he is not required to revoke the suspension order either. This is the case here."

Pizzi argues he should be allowed to serve out his term, as the state statute requires.

But the response said the statute clarifies this provision, noting that the governor may not reinstate that individual if "during the suspension, the term of office of the municipal official expires and a successor is either appointed or elected."

The response went on to say that revoking Pizzi's suspension would be a "nugatory act and would only sow confusion into the issue of the mayorship of Miami Lakes."

Pizzi said his attorneys intend to file a response Wednesday.

"The governor is making a mockery of Florida Law," Pizzi said in an email to Local 10 News. "He should simply be honest and state that he is not going to follow the law because he believes he can ignore the law. Now that we are past the governor's waste of time and taxpayer money on this charade, I can move forward and obtain revocation of my suspension and ultimate reinstatement. This is America and that is what the law calls for. It just a matter of time."

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