BY BUDDY NEVINS
Disgraced lawyer Howard Kusnick had â€˜em fooled.
Long before he was charged with wire fraud in the Scott Rothstein case this week, Kusnick was winning awards for being a good guy.
He never had me fooled. I always felt he was a piece of slime floating in the political swamp called Sunrise City Hall.
Unlike what many think of political players, most never lie to me outright. They present themselves in the most favorable light. They spin.
He would lie about the most innocuous things. He would lie about things I could check out, like how much money he raised for a candidate. Or when the cityâ€™s waste contract expired.
He would lie.
When a political player lied to me, I always figured they were hiding something. Boy, was Kusnick hiding something!
Obviously the Florida Bar and Browardâ€™s Chambers of Commerce didnâ€™t see what I saw.
Look at his resume:
*Appointed to the Florida Barâ€™s Consumer Protection Committee in 1998.
*Named the 1995 Small Business Person of The Year by the Broward County Council of Chambers, an umbrella group of 18 Chambers of Commerce.
*Remains a member in good standing with the Florida Bar, although itâ€™s almost two years since the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme broke. His role became known in civil court shortly after the Rothstein law firm fell.
What a joke.
As the lobbyist for Sunriseâ€™s all-powerful waste hauler, Kusnickâ€™s contributions helped fuel campaigns. Nothing wrong with that.
But I believed he went too far.
Like when Kusnick was head of a group that arranged free European and Israel trips for commissioners.
Like when Kusnick was part of a campaign to threaten and intimidate Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu.
Sheila Alu: Kusnick Target
Aluâ€™s crime? Daring to suggest the city should seek competitive bids for the cityâ€™s waste hauling contract. Suddenly detectives started following her around. Parts of her divorce file mysteriously ended up being mailed to the media and political leaders.
Now Kusnick has proven I was right about him. He is charged with swindling $57 million out of auto dealer Ed Morse and his wife.
Just one more lie.
Kusnick once fooled the Bar, The Chamber and even an entrepreneur like Moore. He wonâ€™t be able to fool a federal judge.
Iâ€™m waiting to see if he has one more lie in him: A plea of not guilty.