Palm Bay councilman running for re-election after cocaine, DUI arrest forced him to resign last year

A Palm Bay councilman who police arrested for allegedly having cocaine in his sock and driving under the influence last year is running for re-election. 

Peter Filiberto just filed his paperwork on Wednesday, to represent taxpayers again after resigning following the arrest. 

FOX 35 reached out to every candidate who’s running for Seat 3 on the city council in Palm Bay. Some are shocked. Others are frustrated, saying this shouldn’t be happening. 

"I just think that we deserve better here in the Palm Bay community," said Chandler Langevin who’s also running for seat 3. 

"I’m a little hot under the collar about it," said David Kearns who’s also running for the same seat. 

His opponents are fired up and frustrated to see him join the race, following the controversy it caused the city because of the arrest and vacant city council seat. 

"We’ve had issues in the city for decades with corruption, with criminals in office," added Langevin. 

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Another opponent, Michael Bruyette, shared a statement with FOX 35:

I, Michael J Bruyette would like to go on record with Fox 35 News posing the question of how Peter Filiberto is being allowed to run for Palm Bay city council seat three? This is a man Who has had his chance as a councilman, and destroyed the trust that our community put into him when he was arrested for possession of cocaine and other charges. And still, the public has no resolution from these charges. Leaving the question of how did he get out of this one?? There are people that might compare him and I, yet totally different circumstances. For one, I wasn’t a councilman nearly 40 years ago when my crime happened. Nor did I betray the trust of our community as a councilman. Number two, I took responsibility nearly 40 years ago for the crime that I committed. Has Mr. Filiberto taken responsibility? At least I’m worthy of our communities trust because I am about as transparent as anyone can be and I will always speak up and or put out people that can’t be trusted in our community. 

Peter Filiberto also shared a statement with FOX 35 about his decision to run for re-election:

Former Council member Peter Filiberto submitted paperwork (05/29) to the Palm Bay City Clerk and filed for Seat 3.
Life comes with hardships, no matter who you are, whether it is self-inflicted or external circumstances. Many people overcome the trials and tribulations, but it is important to learn from it. I have been called a druggie, cokehead, even had my face photoshopped on a Scarface character; I neglected my own health and learned that I could have easily become a statistic. Now I have an incredible support system that includes my Family & Friends. I received many letters of encouragement this past year and appreciate those residents who didn’t turn their back on me as they know I wouldn’t turn my back on any Resident. My goals and priorities are to create a better community for Palm Bay, as we the Residents still have unfinished business to tend to.

Some candidates say not enough time has passed for the community to trust him again. 

"This is too soon to be jumping back into this stuff. Obviously, he couldn’t handle two years. Why are we going to give him four?," questioned Kearns. 

Another candidate, Eileen Sepp, told FOX 35 she had no issues with him running: 

I welcome Mr. Filiberto to the Seat 3 race. Our election laws allow him to announce his candidacy. I trust the people of Palm Bay to discern the quality of each candidate and decide who will best be the voice that serves them.

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According to documents from the county clerk, the only charge that Filiberto plead guilty to was driving under the influence. 

He was supposed to be on probation for the drug charge for two years, but new documents show a judge terminated that probation back in March.

With Filiberto joining the race, six candidates are vying for your vote to represent seat 3 in Palm Bay. 

At this time, FOX 35 did not receive any comment on the new competition from current council man Randy Foster who currently holds seat 3.