The Miami Herald reported in, Miami Lakes mayor acquitted of corruption charges:
“From day one, I always said I was innocent,” a jubilant, fist-pumping Pizzi told reporters outside the downtown courthouse. “Today, I have been vindicated and I have been exonerated.”
The article also confirmed, as I had previously suspected, the entire case was built over his allegedly accepting the sum of $6,750.00 in bribes. I opined that, if true, only a putz would sell his integrity “for less than the price of a very used car with very high mileage.”
I guess the jury concurred. Obviously, the prosecution couldn’t convince them that Pizzi would settle for such a small cut when the undercover agents posing as businessmen claimed that “they intended to keep the hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money for themselves.”
As it turns out, the real putz in this saga was the “likeable lobbyist” who accidentally got himself arrested when the feds targeted Pizzi. Richard Candia, who confessed to taking bribes in exchange for turning in the Mayor, gave up his shot at a trial by pleading guilty and is now awaiting sentencing.
Candia is probably wishing he could get do-overs right about now.
Or at least, paid more attention to the part that says, “You have the right to an attorney.”
The outcome of this trial has got to give Ben Kuehne a glimmer of hope. He is representing suspended North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau, who is the latest in a string of arrested Miami-Dade County elected officials.
Unlike Richard Candia, Lucie has not confessed or pleaded guilty.
On that count, Lucie is guilty as charged.
When I admonished Michael Pizzi that, as a felony defendant, he was doing it wrong, apparently I was mistaken. I thought for sure that the U.S. Attorney’s Office would score an easy win in this case.
I either greatly overestimated the prosecution or really underestimated the defense.
In this instance, I must admit I’ve come to the sad conclusion that, Wilfredo Ferrer,
“Spreading the Wealth”