FBI arrests 2 Florida mayors on corruption charges

The FBI arrested two South Florida mayors Tuesday on charges they were involved in  kickback and bribery schemes.

The FBI says in a press release agents arrested Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel "Manny" Marono at their offices and charged them in two separate complaints involving public corruption allegations.

The complaints say the mayors and two lobbyists were involved in two separate schemes, one in connection with purported federal grants for Sweetwater and the second in connection with grants for Medley and Miami Lakes.

The mayors face charges of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

“Our democracy suffers when, as alleged in these cases, elected officials use their power and political influence for personal gain instead of for the public good," U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said.

Pizzi is in his second term as mayor. He's an attorney who once worked for a high-profile criminal defense firm in Miami. He was elected in 2008.

Marono, a member of the Sweetwater City Commission since 1995, became mayor in 2003. He currently serves as president of the Florida League of Cities. He played a role in Gov. Rick Scott's transition team in 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report