The charity fight that was set up between former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez was canceled after Pizzi's arrest on Tuesday, August 6th.
Pizzi was arrested on the morning of August 6th on bribery charges stemming from an FBI sting investigation that also involved Sweetwater Mayor Manuel "Manny" Maroño.
Hernandez said that the arrests were a very unfortunate event for Miami Lakes and Sweetwater, and all of South Florida. He was disappointed that he won't be fighting Pizzi in the ring.
Earlier this year, the two mayors were swapping stories of the good old days over dinner when they decided to fight each other for charity. The mayors ultimately decided on a mixed martial arts fight. Proceeds from the MMA Mayhem at Milander Mayor vs. Mayor fight were going to go to local children's charities in both municipalities.
Not only were tickets for the event sold out, sponsors had also chipped in. Hernandez said, "We were grateful to them, but everything will be refunded." Hernandez said they were disappointed because it was for a good cause.
The fight was scheduled for Friday, September 6, 2013. Both former mayors were engaged in intense preparations and workouts for the event. On the day of his arrest, Pizzi was at the gym just a few hours earlier practicing for the fight.
Hernandez said that he was training very hard and now he feels as if the bride has left the altar. "Hopefully in the future we can do this again with another mayor or somebody else."
Section 838.015 Bribery
The offense of bribery is covered under Section 838.015 of the Florida Statutes. Bribery means to corruptly give, offer, or promise to any public servant, or if a public servant, to corruptly request, solicit, accept, or agree to accept for himself or herself or another, any financial or other benefit which is not authorized by law. Anyone who commits bribery commits a second degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 years and a $10,000 fine.