BY BUDDY NEVINS
State Attorney Mike Satz is out to prove the skeptics are wrong.
Satz has long been criticized for not vigorously prosecuting public officials who break the law.
The state attorney is finally listening.
With his 2012 re-election approaching, Satz is stepping up probes into official wrongdoing. He is taking a second look at complaints about electeds.
Satz on Monday filed Sunshine Law violation charges against two Coral Springs commissioners.
This comes on the heels of bribery charges against two developers and former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion. And the jailing of former Hollywood Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom for lying on a conflict of interest form.
Coral Springs commissioners Vincent Boccard and Tom Powers were charged with meeting privately with Coral Springs police officers Michael Hughes and Christopher Swinson at a Coconut Creek restaurant. They discussed the City Commission’s police salary freeze and other city issues.
The two cops are police union officials.
“Among other things discussed at the private meeting, which was held at Bru’s Room Sports Grill, was the renewal of City Manager Michael Levinson’s employment agreement; a change in the city charter requiring all city department directors to report directly to the city commission as opposed to reporting directly to the city manager; and the replacement of Police Chief Duncan Foster upon his retirement, states a news release from Satz’s office.
Boccard and Powers are obviously not brain surgeons. They broke the law with cops as witnesses!
Sunshine Law cases are hard to prove, but this one sounds like a slam dunk. Juries tend to believe cops.
The Sunshine Law forbids any private meeting of two or more members of the same board at which they discuss any matter that could come before that board in the foreseeable future.
Violation of the Sunshine Law is only a second-degree misdemeanor. That’s punishable by up to 60 days in the Broward County Jail and/or a fine up to $500.
That’s not the point.
The Sunshine Law is almost openly violated daily by public officials in Broward. City officials, county commissioners and School Board members flagrantly break the law.
The School Board members e-mail each other regularly to telegraph how they are going to vote a violation. Maybe Satz should look at them.
And maybe now that Satz is starting to pay more attention to public wrongdoing, the officials will start obeying the law.