Days following his August 6 arrest on federal bribery charges, Michael Pizzi was walking around shell-shocked and despondent. In a blockbuster moment for public corruption fighters, the Federal Bureau of Investigations had nabbed the Miami Lakes mayor, his counterpart in Sweetwater Manuel Maroño, and two lobbyists allegedly accepting payoffs in a pair of separate undercover stings. Gov. Rick Scott swiftly suspended both mayors from office in a scandal that made national headlines.
Even by Miami-Dade's shady record of politicians doing the perp walk, the bust of two sitting mayors on the same morning was a shocker that no one saw coming, especially Pizzi. Slumped over a sofa at Billiard Club in Miami Lakes a week after his fall, Pizzi looked defeated. "I'm done," he said. "It's over."
What a difference a month makes.More »