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Royal Palm Beach mayor says 'he will not resign' after domestic battery arrest

Posted at 6:44 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 18:44:25-05

The mayor of Royal Palm Beach told the Contact 5 investigators Friday, he will not resign, after his arrest on domestic violence charges earlier this week.

Mayor Fred Pinto addressed his personal problems during Royal Palm Beach's Village Council last night.

"It is a personal issue and I'd like to say my wife and I are fully reconciled together and moving forward together. And we'll continue to work in a positive direction in that regard," said Pinto to the council, and those at the meeting.

His arrest report says the victim, which Pinto admits is his wife, told a deputy the couple was arguing Monday, when she did something "to allow the neighbors to hear how verbally abusive Frederick was to her." She also claimed her husband pushed her. 

He apologized for his arrest, but for some people, that's not good enough.

"You are the face of Royal Palm Beach. When you spend the night in jail, RPB spends the night in jail," said resident Gary Webster.

"This is the most upsetting thing I've heard in a long time. If the allegations reported by the police are correct, this reflects poorly on your leadership as Mayor," said resident Lenora White. 

"This is a shame and it shouldn't happen again," said Martha Webster, another resident.

Lori Cabrera, who lives in Royal Palm Beach as well, disagreed, saying "I don't think it's the public's responsibility to be judge and jury for anyone here. I think it is wrong to  ask for removal because it's a personal issue."

Two others demanded Pinto's resignation.

"I sincerely request you tender your resignation as mayor," said Lenora White.

"Seems to be a history with you so I ask you to resign tonight," said Gary Webster.

That history he is referring to, is laid out in a workmen's compensation lawsuit Pinto's wife filed last year, against WPTV NewsChannel 5. According to court records, one of Mrs. Pinto's doctors reported that in 2014, about a month before she was injured by a falling tent while working for WPTV, he treated Mrs. Pino for injuries to her face and neck "after a domestic abuse incident where she was hit in the face with a book."

According to our news partners at the Palm Beach Post, the mayor's wife denied that account.

As for the workers' compensation case with WPTV, that has been resolved.

"I feel everyone is innocent until proven guilty," said Don Green, retired police officer. "With that being said, I have a question for attorney and board here. If you, Mr. Mayor are convicted what is the board's position on getting rid of him?"

According to the VIllage Council, their charter says only the governor can remove the mayor so they don't plan on calling any further meetings about the incident.

The Village manager told Contact 5, if voters don't want him as mayor, they don't have to elect him in March.

Governor Scott sent us a statement saying, "Governor Scott expects all public officials to act ethically. Our office will review any details forwarded from local authorities and we are monitoring the situation."