Columns

The Five Most Outrageous Allegations in the Miami Lakes and Sweetwater Mayors' Indictments

Everything about yesterday's arrests of lobbyists Richard Candia and Jorge Forte, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel "Manny" Maroño on federal bribery charges screams "Only in Miami." There's a paid anonymous informant who happily served up lobbyist Candia as a bagman for corrupt politicians to the FBI. There's Maroño, the mayor of a town founded by Russian circus midgets, introducing undercover G-men to his personal bagman and former North Bay Village Manager Forte during a lovely dinner at a unnamed posh Coral Gables hotel. There's Candia, miked up for sound inside an office closet, handing over an envelope stuffed with $3,000 in cash to Pizzi, a politician once considered a tireless crusader against real estate developers and the rock mining industry.

See also: Mayors of Miami Lakes and Sweetwater Arrested by FBI on Bribery Charges

Hollywood could not make this stuff up. Banana Republican has compiled the five most outrageous allegations in the federal indictments in screenplay form:

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.