NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The mayor of a South Florida city was arrested on illegal voting charges Wednesday following months of accusations that he no longer lived in the city where he served.
North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo was booked into the Miami-Dade jail on three felony counts of voting in a district where he didn't live. He was freed a short time later on $5,000 bail. DeFillipo’s attorney Michael Pizzi denied the allegations and told the Miami Herald they look forward to a speedy exoneration.
A complaint filed six months ago with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust accused DeFillipo of living in Davie, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of North Miami Beach and in a different county. The North Miami Beach city charter requires elected officials to reside in the city.
Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County began to investigate. DeFillipo admitted during a March deposition to purchasing a home in Davie, but he said it was for his family to live in while dealing with marital issues.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that DeFillipo was living primarily at his Davie home when he voted in August, October and November 2022 for a district he was no longer legally qualified to vote in. Location data tracking DeFillipo’s cell phone showed that he was spending most of his nighttime hours in Davie during the months of the three elections, prosecutors said.
DeFillipo was first elected mayor in 2018. Before that, he served as a city commissioner since 2013.