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FBI arrests mayors of Miami Lakes, Sweetwater on bribery-related charges; both suspended

MIAMI — The FBI has arrested two South Florida mayors on bribery-related charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel “Manny” Marono were taken into custody today at their offices.

Pizzi is in his second term. According to federal prosecutors, Pizzi and lobbyist Richard F. Candia were involved in a kickback and bribery scheme over federal grants for both Miami Lakes and Medley. Pizzi is an attorney for Medley,

Marono became mayor in 2003 and played a role in Gov. Rick Scott’s transition team in 2011. An indictment claims Marono and lobbyist Jorge L. Forte were involved in a separate kickback and bribery scheme over federal grants for Sweetwater.

Both complaints charge the defendants with conspiracy to commit extortion.

Scott ordered both mayors to be suspended from office.

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