The Florida Department of Law Enforcement won’t investigate Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi’s June car accident, in which he crashed his black Kia Optima into a tree.
In a letter addressed to Town Manager Alex Rey, the FDLE said it looked at the Miami-Dade Police investigation, along with news reports, and was in contact with the Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office, before deciding that no criminal action was involved.
“Should additional information regarding the single car traffic crash be discovered that you believe warrants additional investigation, it is recommended that you forward this information to the MDPD, which is the primary investigating agency,” the letter states.
During a contentious special meeting in July, the town council asked the FDLE to investigate Pizzi 's car accident. Some residents accused Pizzi of using his title of mayor to avoid being punished for the accident.
“I’m delighted that an independent agency, that was not of my choosing, has exonerated not only me but more importantly the outstanding men and women of our police force,” Pizzi said. “I’m happy that this matter is now closed and our residents can rest assured that an independent agency found no evidence of any special treatment or any reason to give this matter any special scrutiny.”
Pizzi has remained in the spotlight since his August 2013 arrest on federal bribery charges. He was acquitted a year later, and soon after entered in a battle for reinstatement that concluded in April with Pizzi returning to office.
The car crash took place just before 9 p.m. June 15 on Northwest 140th Street and 82nd Avenue.
At the time, Pizzi told police he was trying to avoid an animal when he hit the tree, and is said to have then left the scene. He returned shortly after wearing a baseball cap. He had a cut on his forehead, but refused medical attention.
Pizzi later said the call for an investigation was just “sour grapes” and a distraction.
Councilman Ceasar Mestre said Wednesday he’s “extremely satisfied,” with the news from FDLE.
“In response to the people’s questions we attempted to have those questions addressed by the neutral third party and they have decided not to investigate, I accept the decision and it’s time to move on with the people’s business,” he said.
Roberto Alonso, chairman of the town’s public safety committee, says he’d like to use this incident to educate the public. He’ll reach out to law enforcement for answers on proper behavior following a crash.
“The public safety committee is still looking for answers in how to educate our community in the event that a citizen were to have an accident with a non-moving piece of property,” Alonso said.