Feds Investigated Broward Corruption For A Decade


The FBI has been looking at Broward government corruption for much longer than the four-year involvement of Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu.  

Informants have been talking to the FBI about Broward corruption for more than a decade, sources tell Browardbeat.com.

The feds for most of this time targeted the county commission.

They were interested in everything from commission land purchases to the business at Port Everglades.  

But I know of no one who wore a wire until Alu came along.

The feds needed somebody like Alu.

Getting the goods on bad politicians is not easy. Jurors in this video-drenched society expect to see and hear the crimes on tape before they convict.

Like Abscam.  That was the televised sting involving FBI agents disguised as Arab businessmen that nailed six members of Congress in the early 1980s. 

 Like the coke bust of Washington Mayor Marion Barry Jr. a decade later.  Who can forget Barry muttering on videotape: “I’ll be goddamn bitch set me up?  The jury didn’t forget.

So the FBI at one point considered bugging the garage where county commissioners park, two sources have told Browardbeat.com.

They did this after being told that at least one commissioner was meeting lobbyists and cutting deals in the garage.

In the end, the FBI didn’t carry through with their plans which were deemed too difficult, sources say.  

Federal agents also told two sources they were considering bugging commission offices. 

I don’t know if they ever carried out those plans. If they did, none of the evidence has surfaced yet.

This investigation has sparked a lot of comment.  A lot of it has been about Alu.

To all those calls and e-mailers who criticized me for ignoring Alu’s transgressions and portraying her as a hero:

The critics are right.  Alu is far from an angel. 

She has been part of the mess that is Sunrise city government since 1991, many times on the right side….but not always.

She voted to give a $432,000 no-bid contract to her personal attorney Stuart Michelson. 

She might not have been driving the train to hire Michelson as city attorney, but she was an enthusiastic passenger.

It looked like a seamy deal on July 24, 2008 when the vote took place.  It looks like a seamy deal today.

The woman who clashed with the city’s trash hauler because she objected to their no-bid contract, gave a non-bid contract to her own attorney.

There is really no excuse.  Gotta take away her angel wings for that one.

Also there is another theme running through some calls and e-mails.

They call her “a rat.” 

There is something ingrained in many against an informant.  That’s why there are so many unkind synonyms for informant — fink, stool pigeon, squealer (like a pig?) and, of course, rat.  

Some said Alu was worse because she volunteered to spy on her friend, School Board member Bev Gallagher.

I don’t agree.  Although Gallagher is innocent until proven guilty, it looks to me like Alu helped bring down a politician who was taking bribes.

That’s a good thing.

But Alu’s involvement is strange.

The FBI went fishing and used Alu for bait.


I refer you back to my post where I called her Hurricane Sheila

Alu likes to be the center of attention.  She likes to be the center of tumult.

She believes she was put on the earth to end corruption.  

This isn’t a bad thing or a good thing.  It’s her personality.

We probably need people like Hurricane Sheila to keep other people honest.

I know I need her.  After all, I’ve got this blog to fill.

9 Responses to “Feds Investigated Broward Corruption For A Decade”

  1. Snitch says:

    Snitch was the other word you were looking for Buddy. Most civilians that wear a wire for the FBI are forced to do that, if you get my drift. I find it fascinating that the FBI is now recruiting “honest” elected officials to help them with cases.

    If you’re an honest elected official, desiring to make some FBI pay on the side for wearing a wire when in the presence of other elected officials, to whom should you send a resume?

  2. In The Know says:

    Two things about Alu. Now that everybody knows she’s been wired for the FBI, she’s basically a non entity in Broward politics. Nobody will get within 10 feet of her. And now that she’s been outed, the FBI won’t need her either.

  3. Watcher says:

    Lest anyone think she is purely altruisitic in her “crime-fighting” cause and can put aside her own aspirations and ego (she loves to say at Commission meetings “she puts people in jail”, a strange comment for a juvenile prosecutor but it certainly makes more sense that perhaps she meant “I wear wires”), watch a series of Commission meetings. Some of the things she says and does on the dias are alarming and disturbing. Many a folk have turned to a neighbor and expressed shock after listening to her unfiltered comments. Far from an example of well-behaved government official on the dias. And, make no mistake, it appears she can play the game of politics in Sunrise with the best of them — making and breaking coalitions when it suits her. Watch for the “Judge Alu” show or some other talk show project. All that said, good ruidance to those who abuse the public trust.

  4. the unasked question... says:

    Why did Alu try to open the trash bid? Hmmm because maybe she had a lobbiest friend who wanted to bring another trash hauler in? Come on, this she is out for the public good act is wearing thin. Shelia plays for Shelia. Wasnt Shelia the one who waited almost a year to bring out her allegation against Gardiner? If someone is so out to snuff out corruption why did she wait so long to come forward? If she is out to clean up corruption why did she do the deal with Michaelson? What cleaning up of public corruption was involved when she dropped the ball on a DUI case and had a temper tantrum in open Court and quitting her job?

    She made choices,maybe some of those choices brought about some good, but if you think the decisions to make those choices were anything but for the betterment of Shelia you are sadly mistaken.

  5. Beth The Bounty Hunder says:

    I agree totally with snitch….the only reason cooperate is for them to not be prosecuted.

  6. Watcher says:

    Beth the Bounty Hunter: Not entirely true. There are those that think they are or want to be “crime-fighters” and who are in a position to do so. Your skepticism sounds more like your concern regarding her other conduct belies the veracity that she is “Elliot Ness” on the dias as well as her stated motivation. Only time will tell I guess.

  7. In The Know says:

    The real Elliott Ness died alone and broke. He shot his wad with the Capone affair and was no longer needed or particularly wanted. Elliott Ness of the Untouchables was pure fantasy.

  8. Yes to In The Know says:

    And that same fate is coming to Sheila Alu. Even if her intentions were good, snitches always end up alone and broke. That’s the reward for snitchery. It’s human nature. And hey, I’m glad they’re catching the bad people, put them all away as far as I’m concerned. But nobody likes a snitch, and it’s just human nature to avoid such people.

  9. Blue Man Scoop says:

    In my old neighborhood they used to say:
    “Snitches and Talkers get Stitches and Walkers”