All You Need To Know About Kraft Verdict







Former School Board member Stephanie Kraft was convicted of official misconduct on Thursday, but cleared on charges of bribery, unlawful compensation and conspiracy.

It looks to me like jurors couldn’t decide whether she was guilty or innocent, so they did what sometimes happens: Reached a compromise by convicting her of something while finding her not guilty of three other counts.

Kraft’s pleas that her mother was in hospice so she needed to be released until sentencing were ignored by Circuit Judge Matt Destry.

She was immediately jailed, which was a highly  unusual move by the judge for a third degree felony.  Many, if not the vast majority, of those convicted of third degree felonies are released on bond until sentencing when they have long ties to the community and own a house, like Kraft.

Jurors were in tears.

An interesting sidelight: The campaign treasurer of Destry’s opponent Robert Jakovich in the 2010’s election was lawyer Kevin Kulik.   Kulik  represents Stephanie Kraft’s husband Mitch Kraft in a similar case awaiting trial in front of Destry.

My bottom line:

Kraft is (soon to be was) a lawyer.  She should have known better.

Whether she took money or not, the idea that her husband was working for corrupt developers Bruce and Shawn Chait who had a project pending at the School Board just doesn’t smell right.

She should have told her husband Mitch Kraft, who faces the same charges, to dump his clients.  She should have told him not to take any work involving the School Board.

She apparently didn’t.

A School Board insider opined that Kraft might not have known that her husband was working for the corrupt Chaits. That is unbelievable to me.

Stephanie Kraft is (soon to be was) a member of the Florida Bar.  She knows the law.

She should have steered clear of this whole seamy mess, even if she didn’t take money.

State Attorney Mike Satz’s news release on the conviction is here:               Kraft verdict

21 Responses to “All You Need To Know About Kraft Verdict”

  1. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Wow, how could the State Attorney’s Office have screwed up so badly?!?

    Instead of upholding its proud tradition of either seeing no evil or just letting all the corrupt politician(s) walk free due to incompetent prosecution, Satz’s office actually presented enough of a case to enable the jury to actually convict on the least serious charge, a mere third degree felony!

    No doubt the prosecuting attorney is already in Satz’s office getting chewed out for not fatally bungling the official misconduct charge, and tearfully pleading on his knees to Satz that he will never let such a conviction happen again!!

  2. Sunnysider says:

    Any idea when Pat Santeramo’s trial will be?

  3. Not a surprise says:

    Destry is a hanging Judge. No surprise.

  4. Camy says:

    She deserves that and more she is a witch

  5. Plain Language says:

    Say you’re facing the trial of your life. The end of your career and a prison sentence is hanging over your head.

    It’s a difficult case in which your wife was just convicted involving the same facts. Say the judge in both cases is particularly tough and just refused to grant bail to your wife bail while awaiting sentencing for a third degree felony.

    Is it a smart idea to hire the deputy campaign treasurer of that judge’s former opponent to represent you? Or do you find another lawyer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Destry was a prosecutor before becoming a judge, thus he views her a criminal who is beneath contempt. He has about as much feeling for her as the rest of us have for an ant.

  7. The big loser says:

    The big loser is Ken Padowitz who was telling anyone who’d listen about his 1.4m legal bill the school board would have to pay

  8. junk says:

    End of a sorry era at the School Board. Just wait. This will all repeat itself in 5-10 yrs.

  9. Notocorruption says:

    Merry Christmas from the Hallelujiah Chorus!

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    In October 2009, Broward-Palm Beach New Times…broke the story of Stephanie’s involvement with the Chaits by publishing an email Kraft had sent to then-Broward School Board Deputy Superintendent Michael Garretson to carry out the favor for the Chaits for the so-called Prestige Homes development.


    The feds never charged Kraft and her husband. This case was prosecuted by State Attorney Mike Satz.

    Kraft was found innocent of bribery, unlawful compensation and conspiracy. She was found guilty of official misconduct, the lesser charge.

  11. s only says:

    Why would the school board pay S. Kraft’s legal bills?


    If an elected official charged with wrongdoing in office is found innocent, often times the public pays for their defense.

  12. Judge Not says:

    If every criminal who claimed to have a dying mother was let out, there would be nobody in jail.
    A more important point is that Kraft is a School Board member, owned a home and had a long history in the community. This was no deadbeat criminal who would have jumped bond. Destry was just being cruel.


    I believe you meant “was a School Board member….”

  13. elf still on the shelf says:

    Meanwhile,Jonathan Williams is still the principal of Northeast High,still bullying and still doing unethical things. Totally protected by Runcie,Blackburn,etc.

  14. Witch Kraft says:

    When Michael Garretson retired from the school board Stephanie Kraft Public ly stated that she would shed no tears for his departure That is after she used him like a rag. Her husband though is the real criminal And should serve serious jail time.

  15. Alice McGill says:

    Stephanie Kraft was a lawyer. Stephanie Kraft was a School Board member. Stephanie Kraft is 58 years old and about 40 pounds overweight. What is next? A greeter at Walmart or a plus size model?

  16. Dadvocate says:

    I predict that someone will be arrested for corruption long before the $800 million bond money is spent. It’s just in the genes of Broward politics.
    Anyone want to take a bet?

  17. Yes says:

    Kraft got Dr Frank Till fired !!

    Kraft changed employee health ins. to one vendor.

    Kraft killed the purchase of Sawgrass at $5 per sq ft because she had issued with the Stiles group. Sell KCW at a profit ??

    Kraft killed off the careers of Principals and Asst. Principals.

    Kraft had schools built that were not needed.

    At 59 years of age, she has lost her state pension and her law license.

    Maybe she can collect social security after her time in the slammer.

    Maybe her church will need to do a fund raiser to help her out ??

    Enjoy your holidays !!


    Please remember that most of these Kraft actions you cite took the vote of at least four other School Board members to pass.

  18. Real Deal says:

    Stephanie Kraft was an arrogant, abrasive, imperious, obnoxious bureaucrat drunk with power. Power is a tool that good leaders use but in the hands of bad leaders, it becomes an intoxicant that inevitably leads to corruption. We see that lesson played out over and over again. Kraft is paying the price for not being attentive to that character flaw.

    Woe onto those who seek public positions of authority yet fail to self-examine whether their character is equal to the task.

    Today’s school board just got their hands on $800 million dollars. We will soon learn how well they can keep their addictions in check. All the signals are there, arrogance. Avoidance of due diligence and independent review. The outcome seems inevitable.

  19. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Lost in the hubbub of a heated election season headlined by a down to the wire governor’s race, voters in Tallahassee approved a first-of-its-kind municipal anti-corruption referendum intended to limit the influence of big moneyed special interests in local politics. The new policy, backed 2 to 1 by city voters, amended Tallahassee’s charter to enact bold ethics and campaign finance reforms that supporters say is the beginning of a national grassroots campaign aimed at stopping “the legalized corruption that has come to define modern politics.”

    Under the new rules, which have drawn scant media attention outside Tallahassee, city leaders must establish a tough ethics code within six months, and create an independent ethics board to assist the city commission in drafting the code, and then to administer and enforce it. More notably, candidates for mayor and city commission may no longer accept campaign contributions in excess of $250 per election. And in a twist on public financing for political campaigns, registered voters who contribute to municipal candidates in Tallahassee are eligible to receive a refund from the city equal to the amount of their contributions, up to a maximum of $25. If successful, the strategy would empower small donors to dilute the undue influence of big money donors. …

    The vote was a victory for Citizens for Ethics Reform, the local coalition that collected more than 20,000 signatures over the summer to get the anti-corruption measure on the November ballot – more than twice the required number. One of those who rang doorbells was Anita Davis, a former Leon County commissioner and ex-president of the Tallahassee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “I had very few people that said no. They wanted to know how they could help,” said Davis, a co-chair of Citizens for Ethics Reform. “We are now the model for the nation,” said the coalition’s other co-chair Catherine Baer, who also chairs The Tea Party Network. “The diversity of our partnership contributed to the success of it. Opponents had a hard time painting it far right or far left.” …

    Josh Silver, of , said the referendum vote is not vulnerable to legal challenge. A Washington lawyer who specializes in campaign finance law agreed. “The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision had a huge impact on state races, but only deals with independent expenditures, not contributions. Similarly, last year’s McCutcheon decision did away with aggregate limits on contributions to all candidates, but didn’t outlaw limits to a single candidate,” said the attorney…

  20. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I don’t feel sorry for her. Your husband Mrs.Kraft is and was your worst enemy. Well Catherine Maus(ast.State att). you finally nailed one of the Chaits cohorts(snitch). I mean whats up w/ Mrs.Kraft? What you never came out of your house after you skipped out w/ the school bd. The hair alone looks like it hasn’t been cut since she got pinched. Have your lovely husband do the time Steph(and get a haircut-Tues/thurs). Oh tell your husband to fill up your commissary(keep those honey buns close-barter Steph). Greed prevailed here. Mitch your up next(an easy one att.Maus-another name I heard all year-and Comm.Trantalis what you just tell your buddies (Grand wizard) that Trantalis will be indicted to appease the Grand wizard? Well? Word has it that when the Grand wizard says jump, you say how high…Next case…

  21. Just Sayin' says:

    The disgusting thing in this trial and all the others are those two pigs – the Chaits. How can anyone, judge, jury, lawyer, etc, believe anything these 2 dirt balls say. They got away with everything and now are “turning state’s evidence” so they don’t go to jail. The two of them should be rotting in prison. But, since they are not politicians, they are not sexy enough for the judicial system.