Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (R) suspended the mayor of North Miami Beach after he was arrested for voting illegally.
Democrat Anthony DeFilippo was booked last week on three felony counts for voting in three elections in the city while allegedly living somewhere else.
Investigators say he voted three times in 2022 using the address of a North Miami Beach home he had sold the year before.
DeFillipo was allegedly living in Davie when he voted in 2022's primary, general, and run-off elections in North Miami Beach. He previously told NBC6 that he mistakenly voted using an old address.
“I totally forgot, it was an oversight and I had it fixed immediately when I noticed,” DeFillipo said to WTVJ.
An investigation into DeFilippo began months ago when a complaint was filed alleging the mayor was living outside the city. DeFilippo said during a deposition that his family was living in Davie and that he was living at a condo in North Miami Beach.
The mayor said that he lived with his mother in North Miami Beach for most of 2022 before moving into the condo where he now says he resides. Both properties are in a different voting precinct than the one he cast ballots in last year, the affidavit says.
The affidavit cites cell phone records that suggest DeFilippo was actually sleeping most nights in Davie during 2022, including the days he voted in North Miami Beach.
The executive order DeSantis signed says that DeFilippo will be "prohibited from performing any official act, duty, or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office.”
The move comes as DeSantis is looking to win over Republican primary voters by arguing he is a tough and decisive champion for the conservative agenda.
DeFilippo has called the charges a "politically motivated" hit job by rivals.
“The Mayor expects to be fully exonerated from these politically motivated false charges and is anxious to get his day in court. The Mayor has always fought corruption in his City and has never been charged with abusing his office," his lawyer said.
DeFilippo faces 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.