Miami Lakes mayor says he's here to stay

Wayne Slaton says residents elected him to replace Michael Pizzi permanently

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. - The mayor of Miami Lakes isn't going anywhere.

Mayor Wayne Slaton made that point clear during a news conference Monday morning.

"The residents of the town of Miami Lakes elected me as mayor of this great town to serve until 2016," Slaton told reporters who gathered at Town Hall as he addressed the status of former Mayor Michael Pizzi.

Pizzi was acquitted by a federal jury of seven corruption-related charges Thursday. He returned to Town Hall later that night, proclaiming, "I'm back."

State statute requires the governor to reinstate any elected official who has been cleared of any charges that were the basis of the suspension with back pay.

However, Gov. Rick Scott said Friday he wouldn't reinstate Pizzi because the town already has a new mayor.

Pizzi was suspended by Scott after his arrest last summer. Slaton was then chosen to fill Pizzi's seat during a special election in October.

Slaton said the town charter allowed voters to permanently elect a new mayor.

"Let me be very clear -- there is no temporary position that was created," Slaton said.

But Pizzi still wants his job back.

"I don't know under what basis he thinks he's entitled to serve out my term as mayor," Pizzi told reporters Monday outside Town Hall.

Pizzi met with Town Manager Alex Rey after Slaton's news conference and was told what Slaton already stated.

"The city manager understands my view, but he's informed me that the town is refusing to allow me to resume my duties as mayor and that I will have to seek some form of judicial relief," Pizzi said.

Pizzi's attorney is planning to do just that.

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