City leaders calling on governor to suspend Palm Bay councilman arrested for DUI, cocaine possession

Mayor, council calling on state leadership to suspend councilman arrested for DUI and drug possession charges.

Peter Filiberto has been in the hot seat since the weekend. He was elected to lead, but the public is now losing trust.

For the first time since his arrest, the council is discussing the arrest publicly at the City Council meeting on Thursday. Agenda items include possibly sending a letter to Gov. DeSantis asking for an immediate suspension of Filiberto. Mayor Rob Medina is also considering immediate drug testing for council members.

During the Thursday meeting, the council voted unanimously to have the city attorney write a letter to DeSantis to ask him to suspend Filiberto. 

"You took the oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and Florida. And when you violate a Florida Statute, you're not upholding the constitution of Florida," said councilman Randy Foster during the meeting. 

While the city is frustrated with this arrest, and Mayor Medina asked him to resign in a statement on Tuesday, the city’s hands are tied unless state leaders step in according to political science experts.

"When we elect an official, we do of course hope that they will follow the law and that they will work hard on our behalf and when they do not, there are systems in place to take care of that," said Aubrey Jewett who’s a political science professor at the University of Central Florida. He believes the governor will act swiftly in a situation like this.

Police arrested Filiberto for numerous charges including DUI, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license. The Florida State Attorney’s Office also announced they are formally charging Filiberto with DUI and drug possession following this arrest.

"Typically, the governors act pretty quickly in cases like this, so I suspect this won't go on too much longer before the governor would actually issue an executive order suspending this person," Jewett added.