Commissioners vote to leave Alex Diaz de la Portilla’s seat vacant until November election

MIAMI – Miami commissioners held a special meeting Saturday to figure out how to fill the District 1 seat left vacant by Alex Diaz de la Portilla after he was arrested on corruption charges just over one week ago.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, agents arrested the District 1 commissioner on one count of money laundering, three counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, one count of bribery and one count of criminal conspiracy, after he turned himself into the FDLE’s office in Doral.

Attorney William W. Riley Jr., 48, was also arrested and faces the same charges, according to the FDLE.

Diaz de la Portilla, 58, was also charged with four counts of official misconduct, one count of campaign contribution in excess of legal limits and two counts of failure to report a gift. According to the FDLE, Riley was also charged with failure to disclose lobbyist expenses.

The commission had to decide whether to appoint someone to finish out Diaz de la Portilla’s term or hold a special election. The only issue with that is that the seat was already up for its regular election in November.

The commission had the option of appointing someone to finish out his term.

In a 4-0 vote, commissioners agreed to leave the seat vacant until the regularly scheduled election on Nov. 7.

The city attorney said that the regularly scheduled election can essentially serve as a special election. Diaz de la Portilla has promised to run in that election. Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, could then suspend him again.

About the Author:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.