Anthony DeFillipo, Democrat mayor, has been arrested and charged with three felony counts of voter fraud, potentially facing up to 15 years in prison.
Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo, a Democrat, has been arrested and charged with three felony counts of voter fraud, potentially facing up to 15 years in prison. The charges stem from allegations that DeFillipo cast illegal votes in three different elections despite no longer residing in the North Miami Beach district, as required by the city charter.
The investigation began after a complaint was filed with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust, claiming that DeFillipo lived in Davie, Broward County. Although DeFillipo admitted owning a property in Davie, he insisted that he resides in North Miami Beach. However, records indicate that he owns two properties in Davie and serves on the homeowners association board for the Davie community.
Florida Politics reported:
Records show DeFillipo was booked just before noon Wednesday at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $5,000 bond.
The Democratic Mayor has faced allegations in recent months that he does not live in North Miami Beach, a requirement for elected city officials, and instead resides in a $1.2 million Davie home he and his wife bought in July 2022.
DeFillipo has repeatedly denied the allegation he doesn’t live in North Miami Beach, insisting he’s been estranged from his family due to “marital issues” and resides in a rented, one-bedroom condo within the city’s bounds.
He also admitted to being president of the homeowners association governing his Davie property, a post he resigned from on Jan. 19.
Two days before he stepped down from the HOA, DeFillipo tried unsuccessfully to change the city charter to reduce the Commission quorum after three City Commissioners — Fleurimond, Daniela Jean and Michael Joseph — refused to recognize him as Mayor, saying he’d broken city rules, and began boycotting meetings.
The turmoil this month trailed other instances of unrest at City Hall, including the March 16 resignation of City Attorney Hans Ottinot, who complained he and his firm been targets of “unfair political attacks because of our adherence to the law,” and a 6-1 vote six days later to fire then-City Manager Arthur Sorey III without cause.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle accused DeFillipo of using cell phone data to travel from his Davie property to vote in North Miami Beach and then return home. Rundle stated that the evidence supports the claim that DeFillipo voted illegally three times and emphasized that voting laws apply to everyone without exceptions.
“We believe the evidence shows (DeFillipo) voted illegally three times,” Rundle declared.
Rundle said, “Our voting laws apply to everyone. There are no unwritten exceptions.”
DeFillipo has denied the allegations, and his attorney, Michael Pizzi, argues that his arrest is politically motivated. The Miami Herald reported that DeFillipo, a registered Democrat and CEO of TD Managing Enterprise, is the third North Miami Beach mayor to be arrested in the past 11 years.
Despite ongoing disputes about his residency, DeFillipo maintains that he lives in North Miami Beach and attributes his estrangement from his family to marital issues. He resigned from his position as president of the homeowners association governing his Davie property in January.
The arrest of DeFillipo has just added to the ongoing turmoil. Prior to his arrest, the city had also experienced the resignation of City Attorney Hans Ottinot and the controversial firing of City Manager Arthur Sorey III.
As the legal proceedings unfold, the city of North Miami Beach finds itself grappling with a leadership crisis and a series of controversies that have marred its political landscape. The outcome of the case against Mayor DeFillipo will have significant implications for the city’s future and its efforts to restore stability and trust in its government.