Another chapter in the saga of Broward County Bribery "R" Us:
Another elected official arrested, Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad of Tamarac is accused of bribery and unlawful compensation. According to the Sun Sentinel article, prosecutors said one of the first things she did, after being elected, was to accept $4,000 cash from a developer to fund her victory party. There are also many others under investigation; subpoenas are flying around Broward County like confetti.
What does it mean? Are Broward County’s prosecutors finally catching up to the other Florida Counties and actually investigating corruption? Our county has been very lax in this area. Or are they only opportunists piggy backing on the feds arrest of Broward County Commissioner Joe Eggelletion and trying to look good by cracking down on elected officials who were already ratted out by their fellow miscreant.
It seems that all the Broward prosecutor really had to do is sit with a tape recorder when Joe, trapped by the FBI, told about accepting gifts and cash from the developer brothers Shawn and Bruce Chait to get the land use changes they wanted and then keep the tape going when the Chaits, I assume hoping for some leniency in sentencing, informed on the others, such as Atkins-Grad, that they did “favors” for. Not too much detecting involved here, but it does look good for the arrest statistics. Ah, well, at least some of the rats are trapped.
This brings up an interesting question. If the land use change was granted because commissioners were bribed, should it be reversed? What was the vote margin, were the non-bribed commissioners influenced by the passionate advocacy of the bribed ones? This is something that must be looked into. It is wrong to let the change stand.
Think how furious the residents must be, who in good faith, appealed to their elected officials to do the right thing and deny the Chait’s request to change their golf course land use from recreational to high density residential; yet another poster child for Amendment 4.