Former Mayor’s Not Guilty Verdict Will Cost Taxpayers Big Money






Former Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco’s acquittal on Wednesday was not only a big loss for prosecutors.

It was a big, big loss for Tamarac taxpayers.

Taxpayers will foot the bill – surely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – for Flansbaum-Talabisco’s legal fees.

Because she was charged as the mayor and found not guilty, the city is on the hook. City Attorney Sam Goren called the payment of legal fees for officials found not guilty a “legal entitlement” under Florida law.

The former mayor’s victorious attorney Larry Davis was reticent to discuss his legal fees or his costs. He would say that using the word “substantial” would not be inaccurate.



larry-davis-380x380Larry Davis


How substantial?

Flansbaum-Talabisco first fell under investigation in 2010. That’s five years defending herself.

She was arrested in 2011.

The charges were thrown out a little more than a year after the former mayor’s arrest.

Up to that point, Davis’ fees were $125,000 and costs were $11,998. An attorney hired by the city called the charges “justifiable.”

The dismissal was appealed. An appeals court reinstated the charges and the Florida Supreme Court affirmed this decision.

Davis began preparing for trial.

A favorite of politicians in legal trouble, Davis took hundreds of hours of depositions.

I know. I saw the files.

He gathered thousands of pages of evidence.

I know. I saw the files.

Davis represented Flansbaum-Talabisco through numerous hearings.

All this work paid off. Flansbaum-Talabisco was acquitted. Now its time for Tamarac taxpayers to pay. And pay. And pay.

It’s unfortunate an accusation from a pair of sleazy developers got this far.

Flansbaum-Talabisco never should have been charged.

She was no criminal mastermind.  She was a naive puppet of Democratic insiders doing the bidding of the corrupt developers.

I wrote that long before Flansbaum-Talabisco was acquitted. My posts – not all of them – are here and here and here.

This fruitless prosecution — It took jurors two hours to find Flansbaum-Talabisco not guilty — produced no winners.

Tamarac taxpayers lost.

State Attorney Mike Satz lost trying to prove a crime occurred.

But Flansbaum-Talabisco was the big loser.

She lost five years of her life defending herself against a crime that didn’t exist.

Those are years Flansbaum-Talabisco will never get back.

That’s the real crime.




I posted this piece before I had clearance to use the photo below.  It is a terrific picture by Sharon Aron Baron, editor of   Larry Davis and Beth Flanbaum-Talabisco are waiting for the verdict.  None of the Old Media had a shot as good as this.

Read Baron’s story here. 










28 Responses to “Former Mayor’s Not Guilty Verdict Will Cost Taxpayers Big Money”

  1. Chaz Satan says:

    David Bogenschutz’s bill, for representing Al Capellini, is roughly $1.2M.

    There is minimal backup material justifying the breakdown.

    Capellini himself supposedly added $100K to the bill, costs for staff to photocopy and deliver documents to Boggie’s office…

  2. Wayne Arnold says:

    Finding former Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco not guilty of a crime that took five years of investigation and thousands of taxpayer dollars I am sure took its tow on this person. It reminded me of a not guilty verdict years ago in New York where a jury found Former Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan and seven others NOT GUILTY of fraud and grand larceny. According to a news story in The New York Times issue on May 26th. 1987 the trial lasted eight months but it only took a jury ten hours to find a NOT GUILTY verdict.

    The article quoted the former Labor Secretary as asking, “Which office do I go to get my reputation back.”

    I do not know the ex-Mayor but I applaud her for her endurance of what surely has been a living Hell.

  3. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:

    She was no criminal mastermind. She was a naive puppet of Democratic insiders doing the bidding of the corrupt developers.

    Buddy who are the “Democratic Insiders” that received the money?

    Why is it that the only person convicted in this corruption scheme was Former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion?

    Was it because the case was prosecuted by the feds?

    Is it time for a new State Attorney in the 17th Judicial Circuit?


    Actually, former School Board member Stephanie Kraft was convicted on one count.

    My former posts, linked in the current post, name the insiders.

  4. beth is no angel says:

    I never knew you were so naïve. Beth is anything but naïve. She can really be nasty. Beth is lucky that the jury hated the Chaits more than her. That was the same story for Patte Atkins-Grad, and Stephanie and Mitch Kraft. Interesting that she committed to support their project and then the Chaits gave her $27,000 in campaign help. As you are known to say, Hmmmm.

  5. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:


    Kraft was sentenced to probation and hold a cooking class in the new kitchen an her punishment, this shows the impotency of the State Attorney’s 17th Judicial Circuit and corruption of the “Just-us System”.

    The only one that was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to prison by the Fed’s was the black man.

    Why wasn’t this “Democrat Political Gang” charged under the Federal Rico Statutes?

    Interesting read below. If you choose to post.

  6. Retraction Bob, the Twunt of TV News says:

    This is what happens when the Bob Norman’s of the world use their TV appearances to bully prosecutors into bringing cases that don’t belong in court. There is nothing in a free society quite so corrupt as accusing someone of a crime when chances are very slim for conviction. Yet that’s what took place here and in other cases just because The Great Twunt bullied the prosecutors. Plain and simple.

  7. count l f chidkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Broward county has three liberal Jewish surnamed if not Jewish themselves democrats who get elected mostly without opposition in primaries and general elections. We have one daily general interest newspaper in Broward county. Without vigorous journalism or meaningful elections decisions get made without vigorous debate or outside disinterested input. And anyway no one cares in south Florida about anything but tax rates n how much money can make selling their house or condo so they can move to a cheaper residence in the us

  8. Let's be accurate says:

    To be accurate, Stephanie Kraft was acquitted (found NOT GUILTY) of all of the corruption counts. NOT GUILTY of Bribery, Unlawful Compensation and Conspiracy to commit Bribery and Unlawful Compensation.

    The only charge she was convicted of was Misconduct in Office, based on the allegation that by walking off of the dais and not voting, and not declaring a conflict, that constituted Misconduct in Office. That charge was NOT a corruption charge. She is appealing that decision.

    Poster #3 is correct. The only one convicted of corruption was Eggelletion, who pled guilty in a case brought by the feds.

    Mike Satz lost every single corruption case he brought based on the testimony of the lying, scheming Chaits, who should have both been charged, prosecuted and penalized to the fullest extent of the law.

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    A lot of these comments blaming Mike Satz what about the ast.state att. prosecuting the case. Putting all your eggs in one basket time and time again w/ the same results (not guilty) is plain stupid. Meaning drop the snitches9The Chaits). Juries hate snitches. When are they going to learn this. Both the father/son(chaits) should have gone to jail. Enough w/ these two. They are toxic when trying to convict. And yes, Larry Davis will be compensated ,but @ 300/hour not 7 or 8hundred which he intends to bill. Tamarac pay him but don’t give away the store..

  10. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:

    That is the point Mike Satz & his team are very adept at prosecuting the low level crimes and people of color.

    How many politicians, LEO’s,and persons of wealth (Ryan LeVin) has he successfully prosecuted? They all have been given “Special Deals” or covered up in moldy boxes. These are voting blocks that Satz needs to continue his reign.

  11. Read it and weep says:

    Hey Retraction and Chaz Satan,

    Didn’t Chaz’s dogging the Satz’s office, rack up tons of money wasted for the taxpayers for the three cases he took a personal vendetta against? 1.2 million for Capellini by his own admission. Let alone Sylvia’s bill….for the misdemeanor. How much did that fiasco cost? Yup that Chaz is a fearless advocate for the people .

  12. Jim Miller says:

    Tamarac’s residents shouldn’t have to pay her legal fees. Mike Satz should. This is all his fault -time to retire Mike Satz and find someone else.


    It is a horrible idea to have prosecutors pay for failed prosecutions. Such a rule would deter any prosecutions.

    The city has to pay for her legal fees because they were incurred as part of her duties as mayor. The charges stemmed from her being the mayor.

  13. Chaz Stevens says:

    So you think that the City of Deerfield Beach is better off with Poitier, Gonot, and Capellini still in office?

    As far as Poitier’s misdemeanor, you’ll need to ask the SAO why they didn’t press forward with the felony charges.

    But in the end, it’s all good, because you’re still whining about me!

  14. What about Maus says:

    How many public corruption trials can this woman lose and not fired?

    Obviously after the first couple maybe Satz should have put in a new ASA.


    I saw Maus in action. I thought she was a good advocate and I’ve seen a lot of lawyers arguing cases. In these prosecutions she was hampered by sleazy key witnesses — developers Shawn and Bruce Chait. And she lacked strong evidence that crimes were committed.

  15. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Maus blew the Capellini trial. 6 years in the making, and she forgets to include the Commission agenda document as evidence?

    What in the actual pixelated fuck?

    Without the agenda, Capellini deceived the jury, indicating the matter he voted on was part of the consent agenda, when it wasn’t … it was under quasi-judicial… He lied, and Maus’ rookie mistake allowed him to skate.

    But what do I know … I only took time out of my very busy scheduled to attend the trial.


    I have no knowledge of any of this.

  16. What about Maus says:

    Maus my be a fine lawyer but the manager takes even his best pitcher out of the rotation if they are getting shelled and losing.

    Donnelly and Maus have not won a significant public trial ever or if they have won it certainly wasn’t memorable.

    In this case the need was for a great trial lawyer like a Brian Cavanaugh, Chuck Morton or Greg Rossman, who as great trial lawyers can be more than just a good advocate. Lawyers like those mentioned above know how to keep a jury focused on themselves and what they are saying.

    Giving Maus or Donnelly a pass because the Chaits were scummy (no disagreement there) and bad witnesses is a disservice to the Prosecutors and District Attorneys around the Country that have been able to put away mobsters, fraudsters and corrupt politicians with equal or scummier turncoat witnesses.

    Maus and Donnelly may be very intelligent lawyers and good advocates, but clearly not elite trial lawyers. An elite trial lawyers can keep a jury focused on themselves and get a conviction despite the shortcomings of their key witnesses.

  17. Maus is awful says:

    I sat through several trials handled by ASA Maus. She is a terrible prosecutor. She can’t frame a question to save her life. She doesn’t understand the law, or does and ignores it. For someone who has been practicing as long as she has, she is a terrible litigator. But that’s a good thing, since the cases she’s been prosecuting shouldn’t have been brought to begin with.

  18. Chaz Satan says:

    FROM BUDDY: I have no knowledge of any of this.

    That doesn’t make it any less truthful. Give your friends at the SAO a call, and verify what I said.

    Also, ask them why they took a pass when I filed an additional complaint against Capellini for perjury on the stand.

    I tried, others failed. I did my job, Maus cocked it up.

    What’s a fearless advocate supposed to do?

    It’s like the Gonot trial. It was my email late Tuesday night, pointing out to ASA David Schulson that Gonot traveled to Vegas a few days after his mom’s passing. Traveled west to celebrate his boy’s 21st, when he was, according to his trial testimony, so broken up he wasn’t paying attention to his campaign funds.

    Once again, I did my job, and in this case, the uber talented Schulson punted Gonot’s nuts into the next county.

    Sadly, he’s retiring soon. Hopefully, Maus will follow him out the door.

    I’d say she’s worthless at tits on a bull, but I don’t want to offend bulls.

  19. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @8 – “Mike Satz lost every single corruption case he brought based on the testimony of the lying, scheming Chaits, who should have both been charged, prosecuted and penalized to the fullest extent of the law.” – AND WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO GIVE THE CHAITS IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION???

    It was yet another disingenuous, slick move from Mike Satz’s comical Public Corruption Unit, which constantly does everything possible to put on the APPEARANCE of fighting public corruption while conveniently making so many stupid moves along the way that virtually no public official ever gets any meaningful conviction.

    Now they have even topped that – not only do all the public officials get off either unconvicted or slapped on the wrist, but the scumbags at the center of the entire scandal get a slap on the wrist as well.

    Yet, as #10 correctly notes, “Mike Satz & his team are very adept at prosecuting the low level crimes and people of color.

    People found engaging in victimless “crimes” like buying marijuana or buying sex – they get railroaded. The rich, the powerful, the well-connected 1% – Mike Satz will put up plenty of smoke and mirrors, but will never actually give them any meaningful penalties for their illegal acts.

  20. you're right, Chaz says:

    No Chaz, not whining. But your name does get mentioned a lot.

    As the punch line to a joke.

  21. Bob Burns says:

    And I guess when Maus convicted Keith Wasserstrom, or any of the other hundreds of cases she has won, they were flukes, right? And Donnelly’s numerous murder convictions were also fluke’s, right? Ask Cavanaugh, Morton or Rossman what they think about Donnelly and Maus, and Satz, and they will uniformly agree they are excellent trial attorneys. But I guess in this forum, a barber’s opinion about trial skills and evidentiary rules carries alot of weight?

    The bottom line w/Talisco and Chaits is that the jury didn’t like Chaits or what they had to say. Saying that this case and the Chaits testimony is the same as some other case in another part of the country is ridiculous. State and Federal laws differ, and believe it or not, evidence differs from case to case too.

    Other comments on this braintrust of a forum suggest the SAO should just pre-emptively ignore Chait’s sworn testimony and not charge anybody? I can only imagine the idiotic comments from this group (Chaz) when Satz doesn’t charge a local politician when there is sworn testimony that the politician committed a crime. As one of Satz’s former ASA’s used to say “if you want to prosecute the devil, you sometimes have to get your witnesses from hell”. The SAO did its job here. It was a difficult case, and with difficult cases, you win some and you lose some.

  22. Tamarac Voter says:

    I’m only going to say this once. Stephanie Kraft was a corrupt, nasty, pompous, irritating, arrogant, biatch and Broward is a better place having seen the last of her in government.

  23. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @21 – One of the actual jurors in this case posted this comment to the Sharon Baron article: “Maybe if there was more evidence presented, I (AN ACTUAL JUROR ON THIS CASE) and the other 5 people who deliberated with me, would have found her guilty.

    The jurors apparently concluded that the prosecutors had failed to present enough evidence. So it wasn’t the Chaits – it was prosecutorial incompetence.


    I wouldn’t put much emphasis on an anonymous comment on an Internet site.

  24. gimme a break says:

    The folks in the public corruption unit negotiated the deal with bogey and knew or should have known how well their turncoat witnesses would play in court. Everyone is trying to make it sound like Maus was handed these witnesses as if the day they showed up to testify was the first they heard of them. With the upcoming election year Satz should blow up the whole unit and put in some young blood. Like all fading out ASA’S let Maus and Tim get their pensions working in case filing.

  25. Alvin Entin says:

    The problem with public corruption cases is that you have to use the corrupter to get the politician. The less savory the corrupter the more difficult the case. Catherine Maus from personal experience is a superb prosecutor, she played with the cards the way they were dealt. Additionally, the Flansbaum-Talibisco case was not a typical corruption case. The Mayor took nothing for herself, no cars, no cash, nothing. She received campaign contributions. You have to be totally naive not to understand that campaign contributions usually mean one of two things; 1) you know the candidate, their family or a friend of yours does and you contribute without motive or 2) you are someone who is trying to buy future influence ( ie: votes ) as your reward for making the contribution. Which explains why large corporations, lobbyists, real estate developers etc are among your largest contributors. It is said that ” Money is the Mother’s milk of politics ” and thats for a reason. If you can’t change the system that is the way it has been and will forever be. The difficulty Catherine Maus had in this case is that all the Mayor received was a contribution, thats not a crime. Even if her vote was influenced by it, its still not a crime. As a Tamarac citizen I am one of those that will pay the freight for this prosecution, I do not have a problem with that. My problem is why was this particular case brought at all. Finally, to Chaz Stevens I loved your use of the word pixilated in your earlier comment. I haven’t heard that word used since Clare Booth Luce used it at the 1948 Republican Convention to excoriate the bosses that put Harry Truman on the ticket in Democrat ticket in 1944 leading to his presidency. Thank you for that memory.


    A very good explanation by veteran criminal defense attorney Alvin Entin.

  26. SAM FIELDS says:

    On Beth,
    I have no doubt that Beth should be entitled to be reimbursed for attorney’s fees and costs.

    But what about the rest of us? The answer is we are screwed, blued and tattooed.

    Only politicians who prevail at trial are legally entitled to have the government pay for their lawyers. Politicians wrote that self serving law law. The rest of us are limited to the cost of subpoenas which are between $6 and $12.

    The rest of us are forced to eat it no matter how egregious the behavior of the prosecutor.
    You might think an exception would be carved out if it was later learned that a conviction was obtained because the prosecutor willfully hid DNA evidence absolutely proving the defendant innocent. How about if the conviction was obtained with perjured testimony?

    In Van De Kamp v Goldstein, Justice Breyer, writing for the majority, said Goldstein could not sue the prosecutors even though they willfully hid evidence that cleared him.

    He went on to say that prosecutors should not have to worry about being sued even if they destroy exculpatory evidence and put on perjured testimony.

    They could get fired, disbarred and maybe even sent to jail…but they can’t get sued for $$$$$.
    Politicians, prosecutors and judges (who have the same absolute immunity) all live by the Golden Rule: “Whoever has the gold makes the rules”!

    Note: To Alvin Entin: You were listening to the GOP convention when you were three or four? Now that is a rock ribbed Republican.

  27. Alvin Entin says:

    Note to Sam Fields. Close when I was 6-7 my father bought the Edward R. Murrow I Can Hear It Now records. The Clare Luce Booth speech was on the album 1945-48. I had no idea what the word meant and looked it up, as a result I have never forgotten it.

  28. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @25 – Alvin Entin is wrong. Bribery via campaign contribution is well established as a crime and both judges and politicians have been convicted accordingly.

    In McCutcheon v. FEC,the Supreme Court noted that “the Government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or its appearance” is a compelling interest for purposes of strict scrutiny. However, “Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to such quid pro quo corruption. Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner “influence over or access to” elected officials or political parties. … And because the Government’s interest in preventing the appearance of corruption is equally confined to the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, the Government may not seek to limit the appearance of mere influence or access. … quid pro quo corruption occurs when “[e]lected officials are influenced to act contrary to their obligations of office by the prospect of financial gain to themselves or infusions of money into their campaigns””

    In order to prove quid pro quo corruption with respect to a campaign contribution, the prosecution has to show that the public official knew that the campaign contribution represented payment for official acts. See

    At this point it is proven that Alvin Entin’s claim “all the Mayor received was a contribution, thats not a crime” is FALSE. When a campaign contribution represents a quid pro quo for an official act, that’s a crime. AND the Supreme Court even recognizes the APPEARANCE of a quid pro quo as a compelling interest, which enables the Government to create laws to combat the mere appearance of quid pro quo corruption.

    Florida law requires that a public official declare a voting conflict and recuse whenever there is a vote on a matter which involves a “special private gain or loss” (an economic benefit), and Maus was trying to prove that the failure to declare a voting conflict and recuse herself was a violation of the law by Talabisco. See

    Unfortunately, that Florida law only regulates quid pro quo corruption, without also regulating the APPEARANCE of quid pro quo corruption. That is a serious weakness in Florida law which should be immediately corrected.

    In order to succeed under the existing (lame, weak) Florida law, prosecutor Maus had to show that Talabisco knew the Chait money was a quid pro quo – a payment in exchange for her official act of voting for the Chaits’ project. Not influence upon, but rather control of Talabisco’s vote is what had to be shown.

    Maus knew or should have known that she had to provide that level of evidence in order to get a conviction, and that if she failed to provide that level of evidence then there would not be a conviction. Or, to put it another way, there would be the APPEARANCE of working to stop public corruption, without any actual penalty being given to Talabisco.