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Michael Pizzi returns to Miami Lakes to reclaim job as mayor

Acquitted mayor says 'exoneration is complete'

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – The once and future mayor of Miami Lakes made a triumphant return Wednesday.

Michael Pizzi returned to Town Hall at noon, greeted by about a dozen supporters.

"After two years of fighting, today, my exoneration is complete," Pizzi said.

Pizzi has been fighting to get his job back since he was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott after being charged with bribery and extortion in August 2013. He was acquitted last year, and his attorneys argued that he should have been reinstated to his position, citing state statute.

Attorneys for Miami Lakes and current Mayor Wayne Slaton, who was elected during Pizzi's suspension, claimed the town charter superseded the state's law.

The Third District Court of Appeal ruled last week that Pizzi "is entitled to resume his duties" as mayor immediately, in addition to receiving all back pay and benefits.

Slaton said Monday that he won't appeal the ruling.

"I'm back with my sleeves rolled up, and I'm back to resume my duties right this second as mayor of the great town of Miami Lakes," Pizzi said.

Pizzi will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in November 2016.

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