Court Clerk Candidates: Pigs At A Trough?






Most candidates for Broward Clerk of the Courts are lining up like pigs at a trough.

This according to Democratic Chair Mitch Ceasar, who believes he is the only candidate not seeking the job for money.

Any candidate winning the race for Clerk of the Courts next year — incumbent Clerk Howard Forman is retiring — would cash in on a generous salary and, more important, an overly lavish defined benefits pension. That includes Ceasar.

But the Democratic boss says money is not motivating him.

“I really would like to do some public service….it’s not more money for me,” he says.

Here are the candidates:

Liz McHugh (Public Defender’s Office), Iris Siple and Brenda Forman (The Clerk’s Office) and Victor Tobin (a former judge) have made careers in the courthouse. JAABLOG, the courthouse blog, disclosed Tobin’s interest earlier this week.

Only Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan and Ceasar are outsiders and not part of the courthouse culture.


richard kaplanRichard Kaplan: Considering several races


(It is uncertain that Kaplan will run for clerk. He told in an e-mail:

“I am termed limited out at the city in 2018 and won’t be running.  I have been encouraged to seek another position probably in 2016.

“I have heard quite a few people talk about me running for Clerk of Court, County Commission District 1, Supervisor of Elections and State Rep. District 95 (which Lauderhill is over 40% of the district and the other cities have very small shares).

“I can’t go into it further but there has been a lot of discussion and information provided to me about these things.  It’s been quite interesting to hear.  I know a poll was done with my name in it but I can’t go into detail on it other then to say I didn’t do the poll but I did surprisingly well in it beyond what I would have expected….”)

So let’s handicap the race so far:

Running for office in a county as large as Broward, which has more voters than some states, is tough.

Campaign Experience:

McHugh and Forman have never run for office as far as I know.

Tobin never had a race with an opponent, having been elected unopposed in 1996 and never getting a challenge for re-election.

Kaplan was elected mayor of Lauderhill in 1998. Siple is a Pembroke Pines Commissioner first elected in 2004 in a single district.

Ceasar has been involved in countywide campaigns for decades. He has been re-elected repeatedly since the 1990s in contentious races against serious opponents.


Presumably, Ceasar would have an advantage in raising money. He has nationwide Democratic and business contacts.

Tobin, who left the bench for a more lucrative private practice, probably has access to money, too. So does Kaplan, who knows donors from his Lauderhill and legal work.

McHugh, Siple and Forman appear to have less ability to raise money than the other three potential candidates.


Tobin had a very rocky tenure as chief judge. Just Google him to see. Here is one interesting article is here.

There are unproven allegations of sexual harassment leveled against Ceasar that resulted in some weekly newspaper stories. The stories were ginned up by the alleged wronged women’s attorney and the allegations never went anywhere further. But the allegations could definitely prove damaging in a campaign.

Forman is the current Clerk Forman’s wife. Surely there will be questions asked whether a wife should inherit an office from her husband.

Siple has years worth of votes at the Pembroke Pines commission. Some of them are unpopular.

I know nothing that can be used against McHugh. That doesn’t mean an opponent can’t dig up dirt.

One long-time observer of politics had an interesting thought:

Five candidates are talking about running for clerk despite Mitch Ceasar. What does that say about the Democratic boss’s clout?


mitch ceasar

Mitch Ceasar: Says Other Clerk Candidates Seeking “A Big Pay Day”


The never shy Ceasar had a ready answer.

“First of all, let’s see if these people really file,” he said.

Only Brenda Forman has filed papers to open a campaign so far.

Ceasar added, “I don’t think people looking at this has anything to do with me. I think its people thinking this is a big fat cow. It’s a big pay day for them.”

What about the clerk’s job being a pay day for Ceasar?

“I will be losing money,” said Ceasar, a lawyer. “I can prove it.”

I’ll be interested to see that proof, Mitch.




23 Responses to “Court Clerk Candidates: Pigs At A Trough?”

  1. Another POV says:

    There is no one other than Howard Forman, Mrs. Forman, Iris and the rude Clerks who know Howard will never fire them that believe the status quo of the Clerk’s is great.

    Mrs. Forman and Iris are both forced by their association with the office to claim the office as it is now is great and can only get better. Saying otherwise makes themselves and Howard look bad by acknowledging that the office has been run into the ground.

    Book it now, if Vic Tobin runs, Iris Siple will not run and support Tobin while looking to keep her job as #2

    Liz McWho? enough said.
    Lisa Franz? yawn.
    Kaplan makes it interesting but certainly the other races he has mentioned will have far fewer people and more opportunities to raise money.

  2. Ooo la la says:

    Howard needs to get his wife in line. Brenda Forman hasn’t got a thing going for her except she is his wife. She was a secretary and not someone who can manage a big office.

  3. Larry, Moe and Brenda says:

    I agree with @ooolala Brenda Forman is a joke.
    Kaplan won’t run. Tobin is just blowing smoke. Mitch will and should beat the others easily.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Forman, Siple, McHugh and Tobin would get a big pension added to the one they already have that the state would have to pay the rest of their lives. Ceasar is right.

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Lori Parrish for Clerk of the Court!!! If the SoE would allow it, I’d put her name on the ballot myself!

  6. Wrong Richard Kaplan says:

    Wrong Richard Kaplan. The Richard Kaplan that is running is a Fort Lauderdale attorney who works as Assistant Regional Counsel, with previous experience as an Attorney General and in City Government back in New Jersey


    No one named Richard Kaplan is officially running yet.

    The Richard Kaplan that political folks are talking about is the mayor of Lauderhill. The other Richard Kaplan is a total political unknown.

  7. Señor Censor says:


    Mitch Ceasar should refuse the salary and benefits associated with the Clerk of Court position, I’m sure as an attorney Ceasar could craft an iron clad document to ensure that he does not receive any compensation. How about a blind trust to a charity.

    Just think of all the women that are employed at the clerk’s office ….maybe that’s the up side for him. Free massages to start the day.

  8. Lisa Franz says:

    Mitch,has always been respectful to me, however, he is a career politician and I really don’t think money is a factor. What is the factor is his environment is what he is used too, change is hard for a career politician. Unlike myself who believes change is what makes things progress and move forward.

  9. Same old song says:

    The candidate says that money doesn’t matter is usually the one who knows they won’t raise any and more times than not they will lose. Lisa you are boring us, run and talk about what you will do or run along already.

  10. Ms. Franz says:

    Your grammar and sentence structure is horrid. What experience/ education/ background do you possess to run the clerks office?

  11. Sure Money is not a factor says:

    Yes sure money is not a factor-165 per year is a lot of money. The pension is a big one, and you can hire anyone you want. Especially to curry political payback. Great way to get paid walking around and saying hi to people 20 hours per week.

  12. Mitchmudslinger says:

    Should someone with the reputation of Mitch Caesar be slinging dirt? Try cleaning up your back yard before you sling mud around Mitch. Did you call the ladies you were “supposedly” accused of harassing, pigs too? With your pig comments, you expect to run an office of approximately 750 people, a majority female, with the dignity the office deserves?

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Lisa Franz bio here:

    To be fair, Buddy’s blog doesn’t exactly have the spelling & grammar checking capabilities of LibreOffice and unlike many other blogs it doesn’t provide the ability to edit one’s posts either! Not exactly the best environment for perfect writing quality….

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:

    As I read #8 it seems to me that this response simply goes to the question of whether or not Mitch Ceasar is motivated to run by financial considerations (the Clerk of Court’s salary & benefits).

    #9 has it wrong – Lisa Franz made no reference to campaign financing at all.

  15. Chaz Stevens, I am Festivus says:


    University of Sally Struthers!

  16. frank says:

    Money is not a factor. Haha you already lost. A candidate should raise a million dollars to be effective in a race of this sizem

  17. Just Saying says:

    What the Clerk’s office needs as the head is an attorney who is tech savvy. To date, that is NONE of the names being floated. Then again, voters rarely choose the best qualified person … so maybe it doesn’t matter.

  18. Lt Dangle says:

    “I really would like to do some public service….it’s not more money for me,” he says.

    Mitch Ceasar how about protecting the homeless from the predatory and abusive Fort Lauderdale Police with your legal knowledge, pro bono? As your “public service” if money is not your motivating factor for this position.

    Mitch do you really think the voters are that stupid to believe your reasoning to throw your hat in the ring? Or are you trying to convince them that they are stupid?

  19. Just saying more says:

    The Clerk doesn’t need to be tech savvy, he needs to be smart enough to know he needs to bring in people who are tech savvy.

    On top of that an end needs to come of Forman just awarding contracts without an RFP.

    I bet when the books are opened we will see that Clerk’s account receivables under Forman from traffic fines, court costs, cost of prosecution, public defender fees and other sources of income obtained via the current collection firm are much lower than it should be. Why would the vendor work any harder than needed since the contract is rarely if ever put out to bid/RFP.

    Obviously, the above knocks out Iris and Mrs. Forman, who are part of the problem.

  20. clerk's employee says:

    Howard Forman was an otherwise relatively harmless nebbish who has really done no real harm as clerk just as he did no real harm in any other office he served because he did nothing at all. Forman is now ending his career sadly because he can’t keep his wife out of a race she doesn’t belong in. She neither has the experience or the smarts to run this office and will do harm.

  21. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    The police are the root of all evil. Lets abolish the police and the clerk will cease to exist. You people really are that stupid.

  22. squeekiewheel says:

    Mitch Ceasar is a lawyer.
    He is well aware of the work that goes on at the Clerk’s office and I am sure he would work diligently to improve services to the legal community and the citizens of Broward County

    I believe that Mitch Ceasar wins hands down. I will vote for him

  23. Courthouse Insider says:

    Liz McHugh is Judge McHugh’s relative.