Suspended Mayor Michael Pizzi remains free on bail until trial

Miami Lakes mayor faces federal corruption charges

MIAMI - A suspended South Florida mayor won't have to wait behind bars while awaiting trial on federal corruption charges.

Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Wednesday that Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi wouldn't have to remain in jail, despite a request from prosecutors.

Pizzi pleaded not guilty to the charges in October.

Prosecutors claim Pizzi violated the terms of his release by sending emails to people who will testify at his trial and then lied about it to his probation officer.

In court, Pizzi admitted he sent the emails because he couldn't help himself.

"Put your gadflyness on hold," Cooke said. "No more emails or you'll be preparing for trial across the street (in jail)."

Pizzi spoke to reporters after the decision.

"My view is I respect what the judge has said and my understanding is that between now (and trial) I'm going to have to do my talking inside the courtroom," Pizzi told Local 10 senior political reporter Michael Putney.

But Pizzi being Pizzi, he kept talking.

"Today was about having a big mouth, so I'm going to close my mouth and I'm going to respect the judge," Pizzi said. "She's a fantastic judge, and I'll see you guys after the trial."

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