Broward Commissioners Warned To Be Honest


Broward County commissioners have been warned: Be honest.

Or the feds might throw you in jail for up to 20 years! 

In a startling three-page memo from County Attorney Jeff Newton, commissioners were told in writing how to avoid being snared by a wide ranging federal corruption law.

It has come to this, folks.

Broward government is so shady that commissioners need advice on how to be ethical. 

The memo went to all nine commissioners. 

It comes amid media frenzy over Mayor Stacy Ritter’s alleged conflicts of interest with clients of her husband, lobbyist Russ Klenet. 

The law explained in Newton’s memo deals with voting conflicts and other conflicts of interest.

Called the “honest services fraud statute, the feds have already used it to crack down on corruption, most notably in Palm Beach County. 

Newton warned:

“The U. S. Attorney’s Office is now using this statute, and particularly that (honest services fraud) provision, to criminally charge and prosecute local public officials for ethical offenses, including conflict of interest (and voting conflicts).

“As construed in recent cases, when a political official uses his/her office for personal gain, he or she deprives his/her constituents of their right to have him/her perform his/her officials duties in their best interest.

Public officials inherently owe a fiduciary duty to the public to make government decisions in the public’s best interest.

“If the official instead secretly makes a decision based on his/her own personal interests, as when an official accepts a bribe or personally benefits from an undisclosed conflict of interest, the official has deprived the public of his/her honest service.

(My underlining)


Under this law, government officials from all over Broward could be jailed.

Newton warned commissioners that the “statute is extremely broad.  He wrote that commissioners who have an undisclosed conflict of interest violate the law “regardless of how that intent manifests itself. 

Thus, the commissioner doesn’t have to vote on the conflict as required by Florida laws.   Under the federal law, the commissioner just has to take “steps to ensure that a majority of the commissioners vote a certain way.

Prosecution only requires that “the defendant knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud and used the mail, wires or a private commercial carrier to further the scheme.

This law is so broad it has the potential of changing the way business is done in Broward County.

It has the potential of finally smashing the insiders club of lobbyists, attorneys and other sharpies who divvy up billions in goodies handed out by commissioners.

Not only at the county Government Center. 

I would say that some cities in Broward are infested with the same inside dealing by commissioners to friends. 

I could name Sunrise as the prime example.  There are plenty of others.

As I wrote before here, the feds are already investigating Broward County governments. 

At least one county commissioner has talked to them. I know at least one city commissioner who has been cooperating with the feds, too.

There is plenty to sniff out in Broward.  Let’s hope the feds use this honest services fraud law to clean up Broward…..finally. 

9 Responses to “Broward Commissioners Warned To Be Honest”

  1. We Need New Government says:

    I would add Hollywood to the list of cities that are corrupt and poorly run. The FBI should go into Hollywood City Hall with a task force and sweep the place clean.

  2. WOW says:

    It’s about time they checked into Broward County with all the corruption going on, it’s been way too long.

  3. Col. Broward says:

    When I attend the Broward County Commission meetings, I see lobbyists in the audience text messaging instructions to the commissioners. One is Judy Stern. Why doesn’t the media do something about that? It is a disgrace.

  4. Score Keeper says:

    It should be pretty easy to determine who is cooperating with them (feds) soon enough. One can only imagine what they have on them already. I know there is a new atmosphere in the county so something must be afoot.

  5. Watchful Eyes says:

    If I were those commissioners, I would be very careful. There are eyes and ears planted all over that building.

  6. Broward County Employee says:

    The FBI has been very quietly asking questions around the building. Something is coming soon.

  7. Broward County Employee says:

    We believe that John Rodstrom and Kristin Jacobs are the only ones who have nothing to fear. The rest of them better watch out, especially the mayor.

  8. Democrat says:

    It is too late for this memo. The FBI is already dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on their case.

  9. LynEvans says:

    Do NOT hire Larry Seidlin as a guest,He’s a drub addict.