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The Fall of Defillipo: How, When, and Why Did It Happen?

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

It's been an unimaginable few years of racial tension and division, but it was during 2022 city election when the negative campaign turned up to the negativity maximum and of course, the lies. Allegations of campaigning on lies is nothing new to North Miami Beach so its up to you to decide what is true or not.

One thing is true, former North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony Defillipo joined the previous two elected mayors to leave office under a cloud of a public corruption scandal after his arrest by the Office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez on three felony charges related to his residency fraud (living in Davie, Broward County while pretending to live in North Miami Beach so he could hold onto power).

Is anyone really surprised that this happened to Defillipo when he has a habit of telling lies?

  • being arrested several times in his youth.

  • cited for driving under the influence of pot during his first run for city council.

  • lying to the Eastern Shores neighborhood about opposing a developer application (then flip-flopping).

  • telling everyone from the commission dais that he lived in North Miami Beach where prosecutor showed his cell phone location data proved that he was regularly commuting to city hall from Davie where he has been clearly living.

However, the more important question is why did politicians in North Miami Beach go to extreme lengths to help cover up Defillipo's lies. The Defillipo-controlled commission from November 2022 to May 2023 (when he was arrested) took extreme action to protect their control of city hall.

Timeline of North Miami Beach Defillipo Residency Fraud and Cover Up

On November 6, 2020, Defillipo was seller’s agent on the closing of a $5.2 million sale of a development project in the City of North Miami Beach at 16300 Northeast 19th Avenue.

On January 20, 2021, Defillipo purchased a home in the Nova Hills community in Davie, FL. He later sold this home where listing photos showed the home full of family furnishings and was later confirmed by Defillipo in court depositions as lived in by his wife and children (while he claimed he was staying with his mother in the city).

On December 17, 2021, Defillipo sold his North Miami Beach home of 15 years where he was living for residency purposes in the city. He subsequently updated his address to a condo that he had been renting from November 2021 to November 2022.

On July 11, 2022, Defillipo purchased a second home in Davie, Broward County for $1.2 million in cash. This is the home the state attorney's investigation revealed he was living in.

On November 8 and 22, 2022, the North Miami Beach election and run-off election changing the commission to a Defillipo-controlled commission.

On December 20, 2022, at the city commission meeting right after news about Defillipo's residency fraud came to light, the Defillipo-controlled commission tried to fire the city attorney which prompted a walk out and subsequent boycotting of the city commission meetings by law and order commissioners.

On January 17, 2023, Defillipo sued the city to demand a change in the voter-approved charter to force boycotting commissioners to either attend meetings or do business without them as an emergency so he could fire the city attorney. Just days before, an outside law firm the city attorney hired to review allegations about Defillipo's residency fraud concluded that Defillipo was no longer the mayor since he lived in Davie, Broward County.

On February 16, 2023, Commissioner Jay Chernoff using Defillipo's legal team filed a new lawsuit to force the boycotting, law and order commissioners to attend meetings.

On February 21, 2023, the Defillipo-controlled commission met unofficially but took the opportunity to hold a lengthy public discussion took place with Chernoff stating that his attorneys were working “pro bono” to “fill the three seats” (referring to supporting DeFillipo’s residency fight against boycotting commissioners) and “getting rid of Michael Joseph”. Chernoff also claimed that the personal attorneys were representing his case and the welfare of the city “pro-bono” or at no cost.

On March 21, 2023, the Defillipo-controlled commission met with enough members to make quorum respecting a court order. The commission voted to replace the city attorney who had abruptly resigned with interim city attorney John Herin and replacing city manager Arthur Sorey III with an interim city manager Mark Antonio. The Defillipo-controlled commission went on vote to cancel the city's lawsuit challenging Defillipo's standing to remain in office (for residency fraud).

On April 18, 2023, the Defillipo-controlled commission voted to hire the personal attorneys of Defillipo and Chernoff as outside counsel to review the claims made during the 2022 election of "alleged misuse of City funds". The Defillipo-controlled commission also approved more than $110,000 of attorney fees to be given to these same attorneys. At this time, the city has not released how much these attorneys have been paid by the city.

Chernoff answering to concerns about him profiting from voting for his personal attorneys to be paid said, "I wouldn’t have made the motion if there was any ethical thing wrong with the motion. Mr. Ben Kuehne made a ruling that this is not a conflict of interest in any way shape or form. So I do stand by what I made."

Defillipo instead of answering to the same concerns as Chernoff, made a forceful speech about the work of Pizzi and insisting on his hiring, "If you stand in my way, watch out!"

On May 16, 2023, the Defillipo-controlled commission voted to remove Commissioner Michael Joseph illegally without a process or a quorum. The administration promptly removed Joseph's belongings from city hall and scrubbed the city website.

On May 30, 2023, DeFillipo was arrested by the State Attorney's Office on 3 felony counts of “voting irregularities” that were supported by his cell phone location data pinpointing his living in Davie since December 2021. The same attorneys who sued the city for Defillipo and Chernoff remain on the city's payroll as outside counsel and are illegally representing DeFillipo in the ongoing criminal case.

On June 2, 2023, Governor Desantis suspends DeFillipo from office.

On June 16, 2023, the court orders Commissioner Joseph to be restored to his commission seat since his removal was illegal for various reasons (no quorum, no authority to remove a commissioner and the 120-day attendance requirement was met).

SILENCE and DENUNCIATION is the Traditional Response to Public Corruption in North Miami Beach

The city of North Miami Beach has attracted a lot of real estate investment due to its great location and a working-class community that would not oppose development and the politicians have not been able to help themselves from taking advantage of the situation.

Quietly, Defillipo amassed a fortune using his position of mayor to secure large real estate sales commissions (by his own admittance). The proceeds of this income is obvious, various real estate investments and an upgrade in his lifestyle (outside of North Miami Beach).

We don't criticize a man for making a living, but we do criticize someone for claiming to represent us and not live among us to accept the consequences of their decisions. Then there's the lying and cover up of it all.

If one thing is true, the only thing that can change the tradition of public corruption in North Miami Beach are the voters rejecting the business-as-usual candidates such as Evan Piper and the like.

As we said, last year, Paule Villard still represents a break from the tradition of public corruption and a focus on law and order.

Voters... you know what to do.


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