What is evident about the write-up posted online is that, as usual, contrary and opposing views attempt to manipulate the passions of Town of Miami Lakes residents.
What Miami Lakes residents clearly understand is that the Town of Miami Lakes permitted that a man removed from office by a mere allegation be tried and sentenced without due process of law. A violation of the Constitution of these United States, a document that supersedes any and all other documents.
Town of Miami Lakes Charter is a local constitution of sorts, a document written by a group that worked very hard to create a ‘map’ to rule and guide our recently formed town. It is a document that has proved to not withstand the test of time because it has failed miserably to protect an elected official, a local government, and ultimately, the reason for why it was written — the protection of the governed, which in this case is us, the residents of the Town of Miami Lakes.
Let’s summarize the facts: an attorney, a criminal attorney, a mayor — the highest office of the Town — the son of a United States Marshal, a law student who graduated first in his class, an elected official that received an overwhelming vote of confidence from residents during an election that saw the majority of Miami Lakes registered voters cast their vote and select the candidate they perceived as the best person to run our town is removed from office.
Within hours, the vice mayor, Ceasar Mestre, is sworn as mayor and several important meetings take place, where the town attorney clearly explains that if found innocent, Mayor Michael Pizzi would return to office.
Now, Mayor Pizzi loses his benefits, his job as town attorney for Medley, he is suspended pending trial and jury verdict, he is subjected to a rather tormenting process to regain his status as innocent — innocence is guaranteed by our Constitution until proved guilty — all the while in full awareness that the town attorney’s statements during a Town Special Call meeting “guarantee” that he return to office once found innocent.
No sooner the verdict was known, he returns to Town Hall, the town clerk confirms that he is in fact the mayor, Wayne Slaton vacates the Office of Mayor and goes home, but ... the town attorney and staff group together and determine that is not so.
What else would you expect from a fighter? What else would any one of us do if we found ourselves in the same circumstances?
Frankly, what would have been the ideal Charter Process?
Given that the Charter’s preamble clearly states the purpose of government is to protect the governed, what should have happened is:
1. Allow the vice mayor to remain as mayor until such time as the verdict is known;
2. Select a resident to fill the vacancy of the council person;
3. Protect taxpayers by not spending on a special election, attorneys, and all other attempts to help the authorities to prove the guilt of the elected official because by doing the work in support of the prosecution, we were left with rather obvious questions:
Why not arrest and remove the Council, given that they all voted yes for the infamous resolution?
Why not arrest and remove the town attorney for failing to review the item on the agenda prior to the day of the council meeting?
Why not arrest and remove the town manager and staff for not doing the due diligence necessary to prevent this fiasco?
If the day Pizzi was found innocent, as a town, we would have gathered together to thank God that a man’s innocence had been proven, return him to office, and file against an Errors & Omissions policy, sending the cost of litigation for Pizzi and the town to the federal government for its fabricated process to entrap honest politicians, we would not find ourselves in the mess we are in today!
The entire Council voted yes on that awful night when the feds destroyed a rather peaceful Norman Rockwell town, removing our innocence and our sense of well being, immersing each of us in such an ordeal that today many of us stand with health issues for the stress has been relentless.
We admire and fully support a person ready, willing and able to take a stand and fight to the bitter end; to fight because his life depends on it, litigate because his family’s well-being depends on it. ... We only wished we had the same courage, knowledge, ability, and understanding of law to put up with the outcome of over 20 years of dedicated public service.
In God we trust, the outcome is favorable to Mayor Michael A. Pizzi!
Esperanza “Hope” Reynolds,
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