| Columns |

Arson Suspected in Midnight Inferno at Miami Lakes Mayor's Law Office

Saying Michael Pizzi is the kind of guy who's made a few enemies in this town might qualify as the understatement of the year.
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​The U.S. probation officer turned criminal defense lawyer turned politician and elected Miami Lakes mayor is a full-time crusader who lives for a dirty street brawl. 

New Times profiled Pizzi in 2004 when he was in a race for state attorney (calling him "Saint Pizzi" in a headline, no less). Here's what his wife Maria said about him: "He's a person who looks for and enjoys a challenge. He doesn't back down from a fight when he believes he's right."

Most recently, that's meant taking on Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez in a big way. Just last month, Pizzi filed a lawsuit trying to make it easier for voters to mount a recall effort against the embattled politico.

All of which is a long runup to saying that police have ample reason to be suspicious of a raging fire that broke out at Pizzi's law office in Miami Lakes early this morning. Det. Rebeca Perez, a Miami-Dade County PD spokeswoman, tells Riptide that arson investigators are looking into the blaze today. 

The fire erupted at Pizzi's office, at 15271 NW 60th Ave., sometime after midnight, Perez says. Firefighters were called to the scene at 12:46 a.m., and MDPD's arson team soon joined them.

Investigators told Channel 10 it looked like Pizzi's office had been broken into before the fire. 

"This will not deter me from carrying out my duties," the mayor told TV reporters.

We'll keep you up to date when we hear more from MDPD. With a guy with Pizzi's credentials at the center of the crime scene, narrowing down a list of suspects could be difficult.

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