An executive order formally suspending a Democratic mayor suspected of voting fraud was signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this week.
Anthony DeFillipo, the North Miami Beach mayor, was detained last week for allegedly engaging in voting fraud, as TheBlaze reported.
The accusations revolve around claims that DeFillipo cast three votes in North Miami Beach even though his main address is purportedly outside of the area’s voting jurisdiction. Three charges of intentionally voting as an unqualified elector were brought against him. The maximum term for each of the offenses is five years in jail.
DeFillipo has acknowledged the claims and described his behavior as an “oversight.”
“We’re just human, therefore we err,” DeFillipo said to WTVJ-TV.
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The executive action instantly removes DeFillipo from office.
The ruling states that “Anthony F. DeFillipo II “shall be forthwith suspended from any public office he currently holds in the best interests of all citizens of the City of North Miami Beach as well as the State of Florida.”
DeFillipo is “prohibited from conducting any official duty, act, or function related to public office; from collecting any pay or allowances; and from having any right to any emoluments or the privileges of public office,” according to the executive order.
Florida law allows the governor to remove elected officials from local governments for “malfeasance, negligence of duty, intoxication, incompetence, incapacity to carry out official responsibilities, or committing of a felony.” The next decision about DeFillipo’s future in office will be made by the Florida State Senate.
DeFillipo’s attorney, Mike Pizzi, responded to the accusations by claiming that the state had brought “politically fueled false charges.” Pizzi said:
“The Mayor is eager to have his day in court and anticipates being completely exonerated of these politically driven bogus accusations. The Mayor has always opposed corruption in his city and has never faced allegations of misusing his power. It is dishonorable that the State Attorney is using her position to interfere in politics for the express purpose of accusing him of casting his ballot in the incorrect district.”
However, Pizzi did not provide any supporting data for his assertions.