Broward’s Pay-For-Play Culture On Display





Anyone who has two eyes and two ears knows that Broward County government has a pay-for-play culture.

You want to do business with a city or the County Commission. Start spreading around money.

Money to hire a lobbyist. Money to buy the support of community and condo leaders.

For the past decade, Vicente Thrower has been a go-to guy in Northwest Broward and a part of the pay-for-play culture.   Now a five-year-old deposition Thrower gave to the State Attorney’s Office has surfaced that vividly illustrates how business is done behind the scenes in Broward.


thrower oneVicente Thrower 


A Blanche Eli graduate with deep ties into the northwest Broward community, Thrower described himself to investigators as a “networking type of person” involved in “business development.” That description means he received money for introductions to elected and support for projects.

In that Feb. 1, 2010 deposition, Thrower said those who hired him included:

  • Cornerstone, an affordable housing firm.
  • Murray Zweig, a builder with a townhome project in Pompano Beach who paid him “anywhere from three, four to $6,000” in 2009 as a “community liaison and consultant.”
  • AshBritt, the emergency recovery firm with government contracts to cleans up streets and parks after a hurricane.
  • Zvi Levin, another developer with a Northwest Broward project.
  • Habitat for Humanities, a charity which paid him $2,000 while they were proposing to build in Northwest Pompano Beach.

Shawn Chait, the developer who admitted bribing electeds to get a huge project built in Tamarac, also paid Thrower.

Thrower testified he was “brought on” by the Chaits consultant Beverly Stracher, a political strategist and lobbyist.

“She was the chief dog,” Thrower told investigators.

Shawn Chait gave him $6,000-$8,000 for an introduction to County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion.

After the introduction, Shawn and Bruce Chait bribed Eggelletion, who did time in prison for corruption. The Chaits were given immunity.

Thrower got another $6,000 to $7,000 while he was introducing Shawn Chait to members of the Broward County Planning Council, which had to approve the project, according to his testimony. Those council members were Hallandale Commissioner Joe Gibbons, Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Levoyd Williams, Dan Hobby and Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher.

All the money was paid in cash.

In the Feb. 1, 2010 deposition, Thrower called the Chaits “the only big client I ever had.”

Then he was asked:

Q: “Has any developer paid you directly for introducing that developer to someone, a politician in Pompano or in the County, anywhere? Just the same introduction you just described, just open the door?”

A: “Dog, that’s a wide open question.”

Thrower was back at the County Commission offices this week, visiting Commissioners Dale Holness, Mark Bogen, Marty Kiar and Chip LaMarca.

Asked by the Sun-Sentinel’s Brittany Wallman what he was doing, Thrower said he was “representing his community and wasn’t paid to lobby today. ‘Nobody should have to hire a lobbyist,’” Thrower is quoted.

That might be true other places, Vicente, but this is Broward County.


29 Responses to “Broward’s Pay-For-Play Culture On Display”

  1. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    On the positive side you don’t pay to play to speak to the members of the ft Lauderdale city commission! Mayor Seiler, vice mayor mckinzie, commissioners Bruce Roberts, Romney Rogers, and dean trantalis don’t barrage themselves in a military base like the county commission! At least in Ft. Lauderdale city hall the elected officials aren’t like this
    bunch of pompano pimps. Art Seitz Charlie king the cba Steven Glassman aren’t extorted before speaking to the elected officials! I mean habitat for humanity had to pay? How low do these people stoop. And when state rep bobby Dubose was a ft Lauderdale commissioner he would see anyone. And both state senator Chris smith or congressman Alcee Hastings serve their constituents not lobbyists from what I have seen. These slrazebags shouldn’t let their sleaze lesk onto the reputations of our honourable local ft Lauderdale public officials unlike the sleazoids in places like notarious Miami beach city hall or our own county hall

  2. pastor john says:

    As a pastor in the community, I’m trying to figure out why you consistently target a young black man in our community that is seemingly making a difference unlike the thing you are doing…
    What seems to be the personal issue?

  3. Wayne Arnold says:

    Mr. Nevins The revelations of no play in Broward unless their is pay keep coming and coming. Hopefully, in the 2016 election’s cycle women and men elected to the county commission will stick to their values and put forth progressive needed changes that will benefit the community at large. A strong elected mayor may well be the answer to many problems Broward County faces. With that being said we will at least have one person to blame for what ills government as we know it today. Governor Fuller Warren in his book “How to Win In Politics” spoke vividly of how the function of state cabinet members helped to “spread the heat” when there are difficult matters and there was little fixed blame on an individual. In Broward it appears that some commissioners are moving targets because the only time real blame can happen is when an outstanding citizen or group of citizens demand investigations of possible corruption or inefficiencies in government. Often the perception of seeing some lobbyist is the root of the problem. Ethics in political office must be well formulated and failures to comply has to result in consequences that will scare the living hell out of the violators.

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #1 All the people you referenced can’t stand you..(such an ass kisser this one) Pay to play for some yes, but not for all of them(elected off). I’ have to say many of them are good people and really good lookin to boot…

  5. Dania Duh! says:

    Yes, Buddy, it does take money to interact with a Broward County Commissioner. Case in point: The Dania Beach City Commission has just hired Ron Book for about $5000 a month for up to 6 months to “help” Anne Castro, who has just started her own lobbying business, secure 5 votes from Broward County Commissioners. Dania Beach will pay Mrs. Castro $20,000 per year plus unlimited travel expenses to meet with her “contacts” at the county, state, and federal levels.

    Mrs. Castro assisted a nationally known lawyer in negotiations with Broward County to develop an interlocal agreement between Dania Beach and the county involving the expansion of the south runway at FLL when she was a Dania Beach commissioner. The agreements in that document are not happening. Residents’ homes are not getting the promised sound mitigation, sales assistance, or conveyance and release dollars. Dania Beach spent millions to secure an agreement that contained no “time certain” provision.

    Bottom line: Dania Beach is now going to spend over $50,000 to pay a long term lobbyist and a former politician (Castro) who is Chair of the Broward County Planning Council and Executive Director of the Dania Beach Housing Authority and a newly minted lobbyist taxpayer dollars to schmooze Broward County Commissioners into voting to tell the Broward County Aviation Department to spend the already allotted funds to uphold an agreement that already has cost taxpayers about 4 million dollars.

    Question: Whatever happened to common sense? As in, Tim Ryan, Mayor of Broward County, represents Dania Beach. Couldn’t he just get the item to tell BCAD to step it up on the agenda? Which Commissioner could possibly vote against that? Save the taxpayers money, cut out the middlemen (Book and Castro) , and get the same result: BCAD will say it is doing the best they can.

    Broward politics operate like the Mafia. Everyone is shaking down someone and looking for money and power.

  6. Ummmmmm says:

    If that was a real pastor speaking out in support of this clown why wouldn’t he use his full name?

  7. Ok then says:

    Buddy is a racist even Stevie Wonder can see that one.


    You are entitled to your opinion even if it is not true.

    This post could be looked at positive for Mr. Thrower.

    I call him the “go-to” guy for Northwest Broward. I note he has “deep ties” to the community. I list his clients, some who are huge firms, and displays his resume for everybody to see. All this is advertising he could never buy.

    I quoted from a deposition Mr. Thrower gave to the State Attorney’s Office voluntarily. And, it might be noted, that I didn’t mention any of the more controversial elements of Mr. Thrower’s past, which I could have, because I believed they were irrelevant to this piece.

  8. Oh Robert says:

    Ok Robert let me guess who the good guys are…

    The Chaits who hired Judy Stern to get a meeting with John Rodstrom.

    Former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, Former State Rep, Joe Gibbons, Mayor Lamar Fisher. All of which had their campaigns run by Judy Stern.

  9. holycow says:

    Vicente is a good guy. If people want to pay him, he shouldn’t be criticized

  10. buddy was nice says:

    Buddy could have told everyone how Thrower won his corruption trial by claiming he was not a public official when he was taking money from people coming before his CRA advisory board for votes on their issues. now he is asking his pal Mayor Lamar Fisher and the rest of the Pompano Commission to pay him almost a half a million dollars for his attorneys fees because he should be considered a public official. The case is currently being litigated that is why and how the voluntary sworn statement he gave to SAO became public. From what it looks like, Vicente was willing to give up anyone he could to get his charges dropped except it appeaes he had nothong to offer to get the chaits and eggelletion.

    Great guy, a real pillar to the NW Pompano community. If he wanted to help his community, maybe he should offer to give part of that half million back to his community instead of trying to put it in his pocket.


    The money is for legal fees, not to go “in his pocket.”

  11. Depo says:


    Why don’t you provide a link to the depo?


    I didn’t provide a link because the document is sealed behind a wall. Also, the deposition is part of legal action over legal fees for Thrower’s defense against a criminal charge where a jury found him not guilty. That charge was not part of this story.

    But if you or anybody else desire to sign up with the Clerk of the Courts office to obtain the deposition, here is the link:

  12. pastor john says:

    Pastor John McNally here, now that you know who I am mr or Ms ummmmm, who are you and what did Nevins pay you to come on here and talk trash about a young man that is a good guy and a great asset to our community. Attack the elected officials not someone that chooses to help his community. You guys need to do some real soul seaching,and for the record,I’m WHITE.

  13. Dan Hobby says:

    While a member of the Broward County Planning Council I received emails and letters, took phone calls and had meetings with a variety of people who had concerns about items that were to come before the Council. Most of the time they were proponents, but those who objected to an agenda item expressed their concerns to me also.

    During my tenure, I never refused to meet with someone who had an opinion on an issue. When Mr. Thrower called me and asked if I would meet with Mr. Chait (who up to that point I had never heard of), I said yes. We met, he explained what he wanted to do, and that was that.

    Actually, what surprised me was the relatively few calls I received, either pro or con, from lobbyists or citizens, even when the issue was somewhat contentious.

  14. Just Saying says:

    Common link between the Chaits, Cornerstone, Zweig, Ashbritt, Levin, Eggeletion, Gibbons, Williams, Fisher is one person … lobbyist JUDY STERN.

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #8, so was this a dig to the Rodstroms or Judy Stern, or both, I still feel the Chaits are posion in this county and a snitch is a snitch is a snitch. Back to the Chaits hiring Judy Stern who got them a meeting w/ John rodstrom while he was a county comm what are you getting at???

  16. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    This “bastion of the community” went before the Pompano Beach City Commission, decrying the filming of his community for the TV Show Female Cops of Broward.

    And not but two weeks later, Vincente Thrower is arrested by those very same cops (Erika Huerta being one) for soliciting sex…

    Yeah, as if…

    Now Buddy, this will be my second comment about Thrower’s solicitation charge. I wonder, will you toss (pun!) this one also? Does this yarn not fit your narrative?


    Since you seem obsessed with dragging this aspect of Thrower’s life into the public again despite its irrelevance to the post, here it is:

    Mr. Thrower was charged with misdemeanor lewdness in April, 2011. He pled Nolo Contendere and had the adjudication withheld.

    A misdemeanor. No criminal record. I say, Big Friggin Deal!!!

    By the way, the Broward Sheriff’s Office must not have enough real crime in Deerfield Beach to waste their time on this.

    This subject is over on this website.

  17. lol says:

    Interesting, google search of Pastor John McNally and Florida or Broward or Pompano or Fort Lauderdale and nada, zip and nothing.

  18. Ilene Dridock says:

    Mr Buddy:

    I respectfully sent a FOIA records request to the appropriate records custodian for these files,

    I was informed that during the last flood of the records storage room the entire file was saturated with water. I was also told that one of the janitors is diligently combing through the files and drying them on the roof of the New Courthouse, the only issue is the severe wind currents present a problem, as the document dries it has a tendency to blow off the roof.

    The janitor is negotiating with with the “Downtown Homeless”to retrieve the falling documents. City Manager Lee Feldman, Mayor Seiler and City Commissioners are requesting that a special work permit needs to be purchased at a cost of $250.00.

    Not to worry I have been provided 16,995 blank pieces of paper from the file at $0.15 per sheet for a total of $2549.25 plus 2 blank CD’s, Am I being ROBBED?


    I didn’t provide a link because the document is sealed behind a wall. Also, the deposition is part of legal action over legal fees for Thrower’s defense against a criminal charge where a jury found him not guilty. That charge was not part of this story.

    But if you or anybody else desire to sign up with the Clerk of the Courts office to obtain the deposition, here is the link:

    Thank you for the above site it has proved to be not valuable.

  19. hmmm says:

    What is amazing is that these people sell their souls, and risk prison, for a few thousand dollars. Not only are they whores, but they are cheap whores.

  20. bs pile get bigger and bigger says:

    Mr. Hobby

    Did it not give you pause to wonder why Mr. Thrower would have to call you at all to set up a meeting for the Chaits? Do you not think it was odd that they needed a third party to set up a meeting with you if you were as accessible as you say you were at the time?

    The issue is not about who you met with but it was arranged and the perception created by the Chaits needing to hire Mr. Thrower to meet with you.

  21. John Henry says:

    Cant believe these people paid tens of thousands of dollars to a guy that uses the word “dog” in a legal deposition.

    Just goes to show the political elite in Broward will talk to any idiot off the street as long as they have that cold hard cash.

  22. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    So Mr.Thrower is basicly a “John”.Please tell me he is not married./ Not another one….

  23. Dan Hobby says:

    #20. No, I didn’t think it was odd. It was not strange to get a call from someone I knew who might say, “I’m working with Joe Shmoe on a project that will be coming before the Council and he would like to discuss it with you and answer any questions you might have.”

    In this case, Mr. Chiat could have accomplished the same thing by calling me direct, but it seems he had a habit of wasting his money on people who he thought were political insiders.

  24. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    Most everybody in Broward politics are whores. What difference does one more John make? The morons here keep electing crooks, what do you expect?

  25. dania duh x 2 says:

    @dania duh
    right on.
    that is exactly what is happening.
    castro has no gig.
    reportedly an attorney but no paying clients. duh.
    needs to keep angelo c from strong arming his way back to the power he had.
    she finally wised up and learned to bring the A team players (lobbyists, attorneys, a-listers) to her corner in an effort to ram low income, affordable, workforce, or whatever you want to politically call this extortion from developers and yes this is extortion/pay to play/develop.

    taxpayers you are being had but it is in cahoots with your bcc.

  26. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Does anyone actually live in south Florida? The six houses on my side of the street are five foreclosed on 260,009 mortgages then sold off for 40,000 to 60,000 to investors who fixed them up and sold one for 105,000 and rented the others out for up to 1900 a month to uppies who only stayed for one year. Now four

  27. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Four are for sale for 190 000 with an expectation of sales at 180,000. So out of six houses only one is a long term resident who works for government and presumably votes for incumbents. And yes, if someone offered me 180 000 cash for a house I paid 105,000 for at the end of 2012 I’d be out of here in a NYC minute! So don’t expect me to volunteer or contribute to “good government” groups any more than my neighbors.

  28. Alice McGill says:

    You are onto the elitist’s plans to continue running Broward County and its cities. More and more houses are rentals. More and more “luxury apartments” are being built. More and more super expensive condos are being sold to people who have their roots somewhere else, many in other countries, and live here part time.
    It is open season for crooked politicians and their cronies to make their own little fiefdoms.
    No one is paying attention because they have no skin in the game here.

  29. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    My greatgrandfsther. Grandparents, and parents lived in ft Lauderdale n had a branch of the family marine business here until the mid-1960s when they purchased land to build on on the Gulf because the costs on the Atlantic coastal cities were going sky high for family homes because of the unbridled development of the first wave of massive condos. With the 1987 stock market crash their were bankruptcies all over South Florida and development slowed a bit. By 1997 or 1998 GREED RULED! Despite the decisions NOT to buy the local supermarket site for a public park and for the city museum to affiliate with a fifth rate trade school, I settled here as ny home un 2004 spending most of my time in Europe but seeing trashy overpriced renovations at beachside hotels, the collapse of small businesses such as the searstown n hittel book stores, and local restaurants and service establishments all of which employed LOCAL people! The idea of our city government including dean trantslis is put a parking garage on every blade of grass, a hotel with overpriced condos on every grain of sand and so overwhelm our streets with traffic that the only ones left to vote will be real estate salesmen, lobbyists, government employees, drug dealers, pimps and street walkers as they will not have to deal with traffic jams!