MIAMI -- The saga continues in North Miami Beach. Mayor Anthony DeFillipo's residency challenge moves forward as he confirms many of our investigative findings in a recent deposition.
CBS4's Joe Gorchow shares insight into what the mayor said and the next steps in the case.
On the 184-page deposition, CBS4 exclusively obtained through a source, the mayor admits to owning multiple homes in Davie with his wife. However, he denies ever permanently residing at either property, maintaining he's always been a resident of North Miami Beach.
CBS4 has confirmed the authenticity of the deposition by calling the attorney involved.
DeFillipo's refused to answer our questions since our findings raised questions about his primary residency.
The uncertainty emerged after he sold his North Miami Beach home of 14 years in December 2021. An email from the city clerk that same month states he changed his primary residency to a one-bedroom condo in Eastern Shores. DeFillipo now says he wasn't living there at the time, saying he rented out the condo until the beginning of November 2022.
He said in his deposition, "When I first moved out of my house, I moved in with my mom, and I made my mother's residency my residency because she had some health issues."
DeFillipo says his wife and two children moved to Davie, and they lived apart because of "marital issues." Says a drive-by shooting and a sexual assault pushed her away, she was "fed up with it, and she wasn't having it anymore."
His wife and children lived at two different homes in Davie in 2022. The first Davie home they sold last summer. DeFillipo confirmed our findings of photos online showing his clothes, wedding photo, and his reflection in the microwave.
The second Davie home is in a gated community. He confirms his name on the callbox outside it and that his wife and kids live there, but not him.
He was asked, "Have you slept more than 15 days consecutively at this second Davie 14 home?
DeFillipo answered, "I couldn't tell you exactly how many days. I can tell you that I -- I try and spend as much time with my family as I can."
DeFillipo also admits to being the HOA president of that community, resigning on January 19th, two days after he filed a lawsuit to change city charter laws.
He did so because three commissioners no longer recognized DeFillipo as the Mayor, believing he broke the charter code and automatically vacated his seat. They refused to attend city meetings.
One faced removal from office in court Wednesday for potentially violating city law by not attending a meeting since last October.
Vice Mayor Michael Joseph won the first round.
"Got some justice today, and I look forward to serving the people of the community of North Miami Beach," said Joseph.
A recent court order compels Joseph and the two no-show commissioners to attend the next commission meeting on the 21st so the city can conduct official business. An expected agenda item is to fire the city attorney.
"My thought is they are going to try to terminate the city attorney. Find a city attorney that would agree with the majority of the commission that support Mr. DeFillipo and summarily stop the investigation."
"Are you sure the other commissioners support DeFillipo?" Gorchow asked.
"I don't know," replied Joseph.
"You don't know if they want to end the investigation?"
"That's up to them," Joseph responds.
"That's the fear, they hire someone they like, and says, nothing to see here," said another reporter.
"Exactly," Joseph reacts.
Commissioner Jay Chernoff filed the lawsuit against Joseph.
"The city attorney has nothing to do with what were talking about right now. What were talking about right now is whether Michael Joseph violated the 120 days," said Chernoff.
"I agree. That's been pushed backed. So the next pressing issue is whether or not you plan to fire the city attorney, and, if so, do you intend to continue on with the city challenging the Mayor's residency? Or would you rather have the case dropped?" asks Gorchow.
"The residency of the mayor will be determined on March 24th, period," Chernoff answers.
Chernoff anticipates March 24th being the day the court takes up the mayor's residency challenge. We have yet to see a hearing date scheduled on the docket.
for more features.