Miami Lakes

Michael Pizzi has 20 days to amend his suit against Miami Lakes

Michael Pizzi
Michael Pizzi rkoltun@elnuevoherald.com

Former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi has 20 days to amend his suit against the Town of Miami Lakes, which seeks about $2.5 million in reimbursed legal fees stemming from Pizzi’s federal criminal case and reinstatement as mayor.

On Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin granted a motion to dismiss the complaint without prejudice, after determining the complaint didn’t prove that Pizzi was serving a “public purpose” in seeking the town’s reimbursement of his fees, among other issues.

Pizzi, who last month lost a bid for his third term as mayor, was arrested three years ago on federal bribery charges. In 2014, he was acquitted. After a lengthy and costly court battle with the town and Gov. Rick Scott, he was reinstated as mayor.

Pizzi then sued the town for his legal fees.

The 20-day period gives Pizzi’s attorney, Benedict Kuehne, a chance to amend the complaint and be more specific, Kuehne said Wednesday night.

“This is really just a technical ruling,” he said. “The case is still pending. This is nothing more than legal posturing by the town.”

On Wednesday evening, Miami Lakes put out a press release declaring, “Case against town was dismissed.”

“In dismissing the law suit (sic) the Court found that Pizzi was not acting in an official capacity or serving a public purpose when charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion in 2014,” the town wrote.

Pizzi said Wednesday the complaint being dismissed “does not change anything.”

“The complaint will be refiled with additional information,” he said. “We are fully confident at the end of the day that we will prevail.”

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