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Acquitted Florida Mayor Demands Governor Reinstate Him

Michael Pizzi smiling in a suit
"What the Governor has done — suspend Michael Pizzi upon his arrest — the
Governor must now undo — revoke the suspension upon Michael Pizzi’s acquittal."

Michael A. Pizzi, Jr., Mayor of Miami Lakes, Florida, petitioned the state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, directing Governor Rick Scott to reinstate him following his acquittal of federal bribery and extortion charges.

Pizzi was suspended by the Governor in Executive Order No. 13-217 on August 6, 2013, after he was arrested for on charges that he accepted thousands of dollars from FBI agents during an undercover sting operation.

He had been elected in November 2012 and his term expires in November 2016.

He was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of law, in violation of 18 United States Code §1951(a), by a jury on August 14, 2014. No other charges are pending against him.

A Florida appeals court declared that "[u]pon being cleared of the charges, the
governor must restore the official to office with full back pay and other emoluments
from the time of suspension," Spence-Jones v. Dunn, 118 So. 2d 261, 262 n. 1 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013).

The mayor argues, "This petition implicates no other provision of Florida or local law.
Instead, what the Governor has done -- suspend Michael Pizzi upon his arrest -- the
Governor must now undo -- revoke the suspension upon Michael Pizzi's acquittal.
Yet the Governor has affirmatively refused to revoke the suspension, despite the
mandatory requirement of Florida law. This Court must issue its writ of mandamus
to compel the Governor to follow the requirements of the law."

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