Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis took swift action on Monday by suspending North Miami Beach Democrat Mayor Anthony DeFillipo from office after his arrest and charges of multiple felonies related to illegal voting. DeFillipo was accused of voting unlawfully in an election on multiple occasions, resulting in three counts of Election-Unqualified Voter, each carrying a potential prison sentence of up to 5 years.
Governor DeSantis’s executive order stated that DeFillipo is suspended from his position as Mayor of the City of North Miami Beach. During the suspension, DeFillipo is prohibited from carrying out any official duties, receiving any pay or allowances, and enjoying the privileges of public office. This suspension will remain in effect until a further executive order is issued or as otherwise determined by law.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, a Democrat herself, held a press conference where she asserted that the evidence clearly indicated DeFillipo had voted illegally on three separate occasions. It was revealed that DeFillipo had moved out of North Miami Beach to Davie but returned and cast votes in the district where he no longer resided. Cellphone data was utilized to track his whereabouts on the days when the illegal votes were recorded.
CBS News reported that DeFillipo claimed to own two homes in Davie but none of them were his permanent residence. He admitted to the oversight and stated that he promptly rectified the situation once he became aware of it, acknowledging that mistakes can happen.
A complaint was lodged against DeFillipo by a resident and a former campaign worker for a commissioner, alleging that he lived in Davie with his wife instead of North Miami Beach. The crux of the matter revolves around DeFillipo’s three votes in 2022 from an address that he had already sold in 2021, as reported by Florida Politics.
Governor DeSantis’s suspension of Mayor DeFillipo sends a clear message that election integrity is of utmost importance and that those who engage in illegal voting will face serious consequences. It is a necessary step to ensure the trust and fairness of the electoral process. The charges against DeFillipo highlight the need for strict enforcement of laws to prevent any form of voter fraud and preserve the integrity of our democracy.