But not so much with Mike Pizzi, who the government tried to set up again (this time it was the State). There won't be an indictment or trial in this case, and Pizzi made it clear on tapes that he was clean. Dave Ovalle from The Herald has the scoop:
The allegations against Pizzi surfaced at an Aug. 6, 2015, meeting when Flores, again secretly recording the exchange, asked if Pinder was still getting a monthly $3,000 kickback from Pizzi for getting him the job. Pinder sounded baffled.
“Mike don’t give me sh-t,” Pinder said angrily.
“He owes you three grand a month. ... He’s f---ing you,” said Flores, who claimed Pizzi was also supposed to give him $1,000 a month.
With Flores at his side, a testy Pinder called Pizzi on speakerphone. “Are you f---ing me, Mike? ” Pinder told him. “He says you’re f---ing me.”
“What are you talking about,” Pizzi replied.
The conversation quickly turned to joking around and plans for dinner. “You saw how he changed the conversation?” Flores said after they hung up, adding: “He’s taking you to the cleaners.”
The three never got together for dinner. But Flores did meet with Pizzi on Oct. 13 at Lakes Seafood. He did not confront Pizzi, according to the secret tapes, asking only that Pinder “thought I was getting money from you.”
Pizzi replied that he paid nobody, then floated a plan to ask Pinder to get the city to hire him for “special litigation” at $150 an hour. “Just to get back in the door,” Pizzi said on the recording. “All he gets is great services at a great cost.”
Pizzi told the Miami Herald that Flores called him later, pressing him to get involved in a corruption scheme in Opa-locka. He said he sent Flores a text that he wasn’t for sale: “Jose. Thanks. my friend. But I’m not interested in Opa Locka. DON’T DO BUSINESS THAT WAY. SEE YOU SOON. THEY CAN FIND ANOTHER LAWYER.”
The two did not speak again until December, when Pizzi said Flores called to meet for a drink at the Havana Group Cigar Club in Miami Lakes. As football blared on the TV in the background, Pizzi urged Flores to stay away from Opa-locka and leave him out of city business.
“Do me a favor, never mention my name,” Pizzi said.