Miami Lakes and Sweetwater mayors arrested
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Two South Florida mayors are under arrest for alleged public corruption charges.
According to published reports, FBI agents arrested Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marono at their City Hall offices, Tuesday morning.
Pizzi who easily defeated his challenger in 2012 is serving his second term as Miami Lakes mayor. Marono has been the Sweetwater mayor since 2003 and has been with the Sweetwater City Commission since 1994.
According to reports, Marono was on a transition team for Governor Rick Scott. He had a firm in North Bay Village, named 7 Strategies, which was aimed in supporting Governor Scott's job creation plan.
Scott released the following statement Tuesday afternoon, "This is disappointing. Public officials must be held to the highest standards. While we wait to see the evidence, the fact remains that elected officials must be held to the highest standard."
Pizzi and Marono appeared in Miami federal court Tuesday afternoon. In a news conference following the hearing officials said both mayors are accused of pocketing federal grant money and lying about where it was going.
According to an undercover FBI agent who had been posing as a grant writer at the time, in June 2011 Sweetwater Mayor Marono passed a resolution for a fake company to get a federal grant. In result he received approximately $40,000 in payments from the deal.
Miami Lakes Mayor Pizzi received around $6,000 for his role in the kickback scheme.
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