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Opa-locka Mayor Veronica Williams Says She's Looking Forward To Ensuring Transparency In Local Government

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The former Opa-locka Mayor Matthew Pigatt abruptly resigned from his position last night at a commission meeting.

The former mayor read a prepared statement and said he won't be a figurehead for corruption.

In his words, Pigatt says he tried to "root out corruption in Opa-locka, but I only continued." He didn't provide any specific details but said eventually more will be released.

"To stand up and say he won't be a part of corruption and liars is like wait a minute... if these are your colleagues what's going on? What's really going on?" questions Malcolm Davis, owner of Pro-Cuts Barber Shop in Opa Locka.

What's going on behind closed doors? That's the question local people want answered. Pigatt's abrupt resignation is just the latest letdown for those who were born and raised in this city.

"There's so much crooked going around. I'm going to say it like that, there is so much crooked going on," says Dolene Neloms, who's lived here her whole life.

She says the residents are trying to turn this city into a great place but they are lacking faith in many of the leaders running their community.

"You're steady saying you're trying to build up Opa-locka but you're not your tearing Opa-locka down," she says.

In 2016, Feds raided City Hall collecting dozens of boxes for a corruption investigation surrounding the mayor at the time. Around that same time, a former Opa-locka City Manager and former public works director were charged for their participation in a two-year-long bribery and extortion scheme.

"My first-time challenge this government was when I spoke out on the firing of the city manager back in 2014. That led me to code enforcement violations on my house," said Pigatt, who's been a voice in Opa-locka even before he was elected mayor.

"I thought a system that was broken could be fixed," he said. "I was wrong."

Mayor Veronica Williams says she's looking forward to working with her staff to ensure transparency in local government. She says she'll strive each day towards helping make the city of Opa-locka a first-rate city.


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