North Miami Beach Democrat Mayor Anthony DeFillipo was arrested on Wednesday and charged with three felony counts of illegal voting.
The charges stem from allegations that DeFillipo cast ballots in a North Miami Beach district despite no longer residing in the area. Each count carries a five-year prison sentence, $5,000 in fines, and five years probation, Florida Politics reported.
In an afternoon news conference, State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida Katherine Fernandez Rundle provided details on the three felony charges filed against DeFillipo. She stated, “We believe the evidence shows (DeFillipo) voted illegally three times.”
Rundle explained that despite moving from his Miami-Dade home to a new residence in Davie, DeFillipo had cast ballots in August, October, and November 2022 for a district he was no longer qualified to vote in. Cell phone data was used to track DeFillipo’s location on those voting days, revealing his presence in Miami-Dade before he traveled to cast his ballot.
“We in law enforcement take actions which violate our election laws very seriously. They are crimes. Today, we are charging Anthony DeFillipo, the present Mayor North Miami Beach, with 3 counts of Unqualified Voters Willfully Voting, 3rd degree felonies,” said Kathy Rundle.
We in law enforcement take actions which violate our election laws very seriously. They are crimes. Today, we are charging Anthony DeFillipo, the present Mayor @NorthMiamiBeach, with 3 counts of Unqualified Voters Willfully Voting, 3rd degree felonies. pic.twitter.com/pUICntyegS
— Kathy Rundle (@KathyFndzRundle) May 31, 2023
Florida Politics reported:
Records show DeFillipo was booked just before noon Wednesday at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $5,000 bond.
The Democratic Mayor has faced allegations in recent months that he does not live in North Miami Beach, a requirement for elected city officials, and instead resides in a $1.2 million Davie home he and his wife bought in July 2022.
DeFillipo has repeatedly denied the allegation he doesn’t live in North Miami Beach, insisting he’s been estranged from his family due to “marital issues” and resides in a rented, one-bedroom condo within the city’s bounds.
He also admitted to being president of the homeowners association governing his Davie property, a post he resigned from on Jan. 19.
Two days before he stepped down from the HOA, DeFillipo tried unsuccessfully to change the city charter to reduce the Commission quorum after three City Commissioners — Fleurimond, Daniela Jean and Michael Joseph — refused to recognize him as Mayor, saying he’d broken city rules, and began boycotting meetings.
The turmoil this month trailed other instances of unrest at City Hall, including the March 16 resignation of City Attorney Hans Ottinot, who complained he and his firm been targets of “unfair political attacks because of our adherence to the law,” and a 6-1 vote six days later to fire then-City Manager Arthur Sorey III without cause.