Corruption Case Snares Former Coral Springs Mayor



When Former Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook dropped out of a state House race in September, he cited family reasons.

But there was something else brewing in the background.

Brook is apparently another politician dragged down by the dirty developers, Bruce and Shawn Chait.

The Florida Ethics Commission staff is recommending commissioners find probable cause to believe Brook broke state ethics laws.  He is alleged to have accepted a boat trip, food and drink from the Chaits while voting on their controversial golf course project.

Brook was a member of the Broward County Planning Council, which was considering the Chait’s plan to pave over two Tamarac golf courses.

According to ethics commission documents obtained by

  • In 2006, Brook asked the Chaits for use of their 74-foot Viking yacht to watch the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show on May 6.  The developers  said the yacht was not available, but offered Brook a 27-foot boat instead.
  • Brook accepted and took his wife, children, another couple and their children to view the show.  He was given free drinks and snacks.
  • Less than three weeks later, Brook voted to approve development of 161 acres the Chaits owned in Tamarac with 931 homes.

The staff report indicates that Brook admitted accepting the 3 1/2 hour boat ride and refreshments.  The staff put the trip’s value at $750.

Staff investigators concluded Brook broke state laws forbidding unauthorized compensation and soliciting unauthorized compensation.  Non-lawyers call that accepting and soliciting a bribe.

The commission will consider the staff’s recommendation next month.

The complaint was filed by Tim Donnelly, a chief investigator of public corruption in State Attorney Mike Satz’s office.  I have no idea why Donnelly did not file a criminal complaint against Brook.

Any punishment would be a fine, but not jail since it was a civil ethics complaint.

21 Responses to “Corruption Case Snares Former Coral Springs Mayor”

  1. dragged in says:

    Interesting the way you phrase this in the headline. How was he “dragged in”. Looks to be opposite if you look at the facts set forth in the Florida Commission on ethics website. Brook called Chait and asked them for use their 70 foot boat. This is the elected official asking, then three weeks later he voted on their project. 100 percent against the law. Brook admits everything in the documents and is agreeing to be reprimanded and to pay a fine. Did Brook think they were giving him their boat because he was a nice guy. Come on.

    I changed the headline.

  2. Mr. Woody72 to you says:

    Wow this guy sold out cheap. At least Talabisco got a $20,000 election slush fund for her vote. (According to prosecutors.)

  3. Privacy 101 says:

    Is there is one honest politician in Broward County?

  4. Verrry interesting says:

    So interesting what cases Mike Satz decides to go after, and which he turns a blind eye on. So Satz’s office finds probable cause to find the former mayor “broke state laws forbidding unauthorized compensation and soliciting unauthorized compensation” but simply filed an ethics violation complaint? Interesting, while others who similarly accepted “gifts” from the Chaits were arrested and charged with bribery.

    In this election year, when Satz claims he is “tough on corruption,” he is giving Scott a pass on this? Not that I wish anything bad for him, he is a lovely person, but Satz seems to pick and choose who he goes after.

    Hmmmmmm as my favorite former columnist would say.

  5. Bunchacrap says:

    Statute of limitations? That’s all I can think that would stop this from being a criminal prosecution.

  6. The Pendulum Swings says:

    No…there is not any honest politicians in Broward County including Mike Satz!

  7. Grease the skids says:

    By now, anyone following this whole episode can see that ANYONE who had a vote on this issue was taken care of. The entire Tamarac commission was covered. Brook who was on the planning counsel was covered. Krafts had the school board covered. Ritter and Lieberman had the County Commission. Left nothing to chance on this one.

  8. Jen says:

    The corruption is so bad because NOBODY is going after it. There are no cnsequences for being corrupt. We have a CORRUPT State Attorney who won’t file criminal charges like he should.

    Take this case. Instead of filing criminal charges and at least have the threat of jail time for this elected crook Brook, what does the State Attorney do? He files a civil complaint. The worst that can happen? A slap on the wrist.

    FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS: Get rid of Mike Satz.

  9. viking says:

    And who was on the Viking????

  10. observer says:

    This stinks. Who calls someone and asks them if they can use their 70 feet boat. Seriously. Now throw in that, they barely knew each other. Their only interaction was the fact that one was on planning board and boat owner was developer. The chair of the planning board calls and asks for your boat right before a meeting. This just does not happen in the real world. What makes this one different from all the other pols who were criminally charged.

  11. Herman Pecker says:

    Call me a cynic, but…. If Brook was still in office, he would have been arrested. As a former mayor, the headline opportunity just isn’t there, hence the lesser ethics implication. Law enforcement by grandstanding opportunities is
    not the best policy.

  12. Statute of Limitations says:

    If the Statute of Limitations HAS run, doesn’t this point out how totally ineffective the State Attorney’s Office aka Mike Satz really is?

    Shouldn’t they have known about this deal when they gave the Chaits a free pass?

    Wouldn’t it have made more sense to charge the Chaits with all the deals they made, rather than going after the low level pols one at a time?

    The Chaits were given NO jail time, heck the son was even given adjudication withheld!! Wasn’t part of the deal with the Chaits that the would tell the SAO of all the crimes they committed?

    Looks like, once again, Satz and his boys made a bad deal. The Chaits are free, doing business once again, and laughing their #$%@ off at the system. Meanwhile, this pol gets a meaningless ethics complaint since he is out of office already, and avoids a criminal charge.

    Nice going, Mikey.

  13. observer says:

    “Wouldn’t it have made more sense to charge the Chaits with all the deals they made, rather than going after the low level pols one at a time?”

    Not so sure about this anymore. True Chait was paying off everyone in site, but doesn’t the elected official have more of a duty?? Looking at everything in totality, sure Chait was a p o s and deserved more of punishment, but just looking at the facts of this specific case, since they seem to be so clear and admitted. The developer who has a big land issue, gets a call from the elected official, who is going to vote a few days later. Voter says I want to use your 70 foot boat for my family and some friends. Kind of puts the developer in a tough position. So developer is stuck, what are his choices??? make the voter happy? go to the police? Has to be a greater duty on the elected official.

    What say you Buddy?

  14. Where's Mikey? says:

    The reason why Tim Donnelly filed the complaint as a civil complaint rather than a criminal complaint was simply because if boss Mikey filed the charges, he’d once again look like the soft on corruption nincompoop he really is. Not to support Brook since he’s a total moron for doing it, but it’s Mikey’s attempt to turn the spotlight away from his re-election bid.


  15. Buddy says:

    What always amazes me is that the Sun-Sentinel and other media outlets, like Channel 10, use BROWARDBEAT.COM as a template to follow. After all, they have numerous staffers and I am just one guy.


  16. To Where's Mikey says:

    That explanation doesn’t make sense. The only thing that makes sense is that the SAO didn’t know about this until after it was too late to file. According to other sources, this occurred in spring of 2006. The statute of limitations had long run by the time Donnelly reported it to the ethics commission.

    This was a sad, pathetic attempt to get at least some consequence for Brook’s actions. Too bad they didn’t get what they bargained for when they made the sweetheart deal with the Chaits. Somehow the Chaits “forgot” to mention this when they got their plea deal.

    A better question is, when did this come out, and how? I wonder if it had something to do with the race for State Rep. One wonders if someone connected with the Moscowitz camp found out about this and used the info to get Scott to drop out.

    Hmmmm…what are the connections there? (Moscowitz is close to Lieberman; Lieberman is close to Stracher; Stracher was the bag man for the Chaits…) No, that would be too devious, even for Broward politics. Or would it??

  17. Nick Steffens says:

    Who on earth taught you all about Statute of Limitations. It starts running upon leaving the position and goes for two years. I don’t know when Scott Brook left the Planning Board, but he’s been out of the Mayor’s office for less than two years. I think they went with the Ethics complaint because of his true remorse, the lack of a pattern of misconduct, the low dollar amount and Scott being a relatively small fish.

  18. Privacy 101 says:

    So Nick, if I rob a bank and only steal $10, which is a low dollar amount, and I am remorseful, I should be given a slap on the wrist also.

  19. Hammerhead_Giordano says:

    I am really sad to see this news. I am thinking that the mayor is not as smart as me and my buddy Marchetti. I have collected over $75K and my buddy Marchetti is still collecting over $90K at School Board for doing nothing.

  20. Hammerhead says:


    How’d I get dragged into your rant?

  21. David Cody says:

    My question is, Mike Satz and Tim Donnelly filed criminal charges on Sylvia Poitier for falsification of a public record, not stealing any money or accepting a bribe…nothing like that….but this guy actually was sold his vote for a yacht ride and who knows what else and it goes to the Ethics Commission…WOW!!! I wonder what circumstances prompted the filing of a criminal complaint against Poitier, but an ethics violation for this scum who actually sold his vote. What’s up with Broward’s State Attorneys Office??? 2012 can’t come fast enough, i only hope that office along with many others are not uncontested.