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“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
― Patrick Henry
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the mayors of Miami Lakes and Sweetwater Tuesday on bribery charges.
The arrests, first reported by CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, will be separate cases involving different people.
Both Mayor Michael Pizzi and Mayor Manuel Maroño were taken into custody at their respective city hall offices and appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon, according to the Herald.
Both Pizzi and Maroño were charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. Pizzi’s bond was set at $100,000 and Maroño’s was set at $250,000. Both were released from federal custody early Tuesday evening.
In addition, two lobbyists were also arrested Tuesday.
According to U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, Moroño received roughly $40,000 in bribes since 2002. Ferrer said Pizzi received $6,750 in bribes.
“There was like seven or eight FBI agents,” a witness to the arrests named Raul told CBS4′s David Sutta. “I always knew that guy was a corrupt mother…I’m sorry. He was a bad guy. This guy didn’t do anything for Sweetwater. I always knew he had something going on.”
Governor Rick Scott released a statement within an hour of the arrest that read, “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.”