Gov. DeSantis suspends embattled North Miami Beach Mayor DeFillipo
By CBS Miami Team,2023-06-05
MIAMI -- Anthony F. DeFillipo, the embattled mayor of North Miami Beach, has been suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to an executive order released Monday by the governor's office.
The development is the latest twist for DeFillipo, who was arrested last week and is now facing three felony counts of voting in a North Miami Beach district even though he no longer lived in the area for which he cast a ballot.
According to the governor's order, "Anthony F. DeFillipo II is prohibited from performing any official act, duty, or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension, which period shall be from today until a further Executive Order is issued or as otherwise provided by law."
The executive order goes into immediate effect. It was not clear when DeFillipo will be allowed to resume his official duties.
It was also not immediately clear what the city will do in terms of appointing a vice mayor.
Michael Pizzi, DeFillipo's attorney, has described the arrest and charges against his client as being politically motivated.
"The Mayor expects to be fully exonerated from these politically motivated false charges and is anxious to get his day in court," Pizzi said in an emailed statement to CBS News Miami on Monday. "The Mayor has always fought corruption in his City and has never been charged with abusing his office. The sole allegation that he voted in the wrong district is misguided and it is shameful that the State attorney is using her office to intercede in politics."
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle detailed the three third-degree felony counts her office has filed against DeFillipo during a news conference last Wednesday.
"We believe the evidence shows (DeFillipo) voted illegally three times," she said.
According to Fernandez Rundle, the mayor moved from his Miami-Dade home to relocate to a new residence in Davie. Despite that, she said DeFillipo still cast ballots in August, October and November 2022 in elections for a district he was no longer legally qualified to vote in.
Fernandez Rundle said cell phone data was used to track DeFillipo's location on the days where he voted, showing where he was phone before he traveled to Miami-Dade to cast a ballot.
In a 184-page deposition obtained two months ago by CBS News Miami, the mayor admitted to owning multiple homes in Davie with his wife.
But DeFillipo has denied ever permanently residing at any of his properties, insisting that he has always been a resident of North Miami Beach.