Geller Is The Loser In Dropped Investigation


What’s Steve Geller to do now?

One of the key legs of his campaign against Sue Gunzburger collapsed today, kicked out of the way by Sheriff Al Lamberti.

Geller has argued that Gunzburger is too ethically challenged to hold office because her husband once sold recycled plastic lumber to the county.  

Then Geller instigated, supported or spurred on an investigation of Gunzburger by Lamberti’s anti-corruption squad.

 The former state senator says he didn’t have anything to do with the investigation. Even if Geller did nothing, perception is everything in politics.

The perception among many is that Geller was behind the investigation, whispering in the sheriff’s ear and pulling his strings.    That perception was fueled by a brilliant daily e-mail campaign by Gunzburger’s campaign.

Geller finally could not take the accusations generated by the Gunzburger e-mail.  He held a news conference, which foolishly tied him to the investigation.

The conference was broadcast by one TV station and ignored by the print media.  It was a clumsy political move, the culmination of more than a week of stumbles by Geller.

Geller’s conduct from the start has been heavy handed. It gave Gunzburger the opportunity to charge that the stench of political dirty tricks was all over him.

Lamberti’s investigation was ill-advised: 

* It was too close to the Aug. 24 election and thus looked politically motivated. 

* It concerned an incident that was more than a decade old.

* Sue Gunzburger didn’t vote on the plastic lumber contracts. 

The key figure in the sale of the plastic lumber Sue’s husband Gerry Gunzburger is dead.   

* The key witness against the Gunzburger had an big axe to grind.  He lost a sealed bid to Gerry Gunzburger’s company, Better Than Wood, which had a lower price.  

Sheriff Al Lamberti admiteed today that his investigation was a waste of time: “There is no information that would lead to criminal chargesWe don’t feel there is anything left to investigate.


I could have told you that weeks ago and saved you embarrassment, sheriff.

I agree with one of Geller’s contentions.  It was shady for Gerry Gunzburger to have sold anything to the county. It was wrong. It smacked of inside dealing.

But looking sleazy and being criminal are big leaps.  Geller, a lawyer, should have known that before he supported this trumped-up criminal investigation.

Geller should have remembered a rule in politics: When instigating something like an investigation, stay in the background.  Very far in the background.

The Great Oz had it right when he said, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

If you are going to pull the levers, make sure nobody knows it is you.

21 Responses to “Geller Is The Loser In Dropped Investigation”

  1. Yaki says:

    What a disappointment! In the SunSentinel article, Geller says Gunzburger voted in 2000 on a park bond that was going to benefit her/husband since BTW had exclusive contract with the county, 2 Million+ was going to BTW. Can’t anyone verify whether this is true? WTF is going on here!!!!

  2. Truthiness says:

    Of course it is false: Geller said it. Gunzburger sold BTW in early 2000, so not one penny of the parks bond money ever went to Gunzburger. The 2000 Parks Bond vote was to simply place a parks bond on the ballot. Who got the contracts to do the work in the parks was something decided in 2001 and afterwards — long after Gunzburger sold all interest in the company. Bottom line: SUE GUNZBURGER NEVER VOTED ON A SINGLE PLASTIC LUMBER CONTRACTS. EVER. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    By contrast, can Geller explain his Senate amendment in 2001 in SB310c1 which doubled allowable density on Broward high-rise beach developments … and his votes in support of SB 1660 in 2003 which tried to entirely gut all Broward developmental/height restrictions for beach high-rises … and all of this done while Geller was a paid lobbyist outside of annual session for beach high-rise developers (including JF Roy’s Ocean Land companies, of which Geller owned an interest in). Hmmmm.

  3. Aap says:

    Not sure, Yaki, how this could be a “disappointment” if the Sheriff determined Sue did not do anything wrong? Maybe a dissapointment politically for the Gellet campaign, sure. But isn’t exonerating an innocent person – as the Sheriff says Sue dud nothing wrong – isn’t that called “doing justice”?

  4. G.B. says:

    @ Truthiness

    You are on point with that one.
    This is an issue much larger than plastic lumber and there WERE votes cast by Senator Geller.

    Hey Ronnie…are you getting all this?

  5. Hey G.B. says:

    of course Ronnie is getting all this…. he’s truthiness. DUH!

  6. Karma says:

    Gunzburger and her family making millions of the taxpayers is STILL UNETHICAL….. it will catch up to her……

  7. The Point says:

    The point of this story is not what took place with the plastic wood contract. Those facts are well established. The point is how and why all this came about. How is that Geller got the Sheriff to do something very stupid. That gives you an xray into the character of both men. It also vindicates Sue Gunzburger. Geller took his best shot and came up empty. Now he has no bullets in his gun to fire and Sue is armed for bear. Geller’s going down.

  8. Broward Lawyer says:

    If this pathetic “investigation” dust-up wasn’t so fraudulent with over-the-top shock and awe by the Gunzberger campaign, I would be laughing.
    Some slob goes to the Sheriff and complains. The Sheriff investigates the complaint and it turns out that it doesn’t amount to anything. So what? The Sheriff can’t open an investigation after a complaint? Isn’t that what the Sheriff is supposed to do?
    The Gunzberger crew acted like bufoons.
    I have no favorite and don’t live in the district. Between the two Geller seems to be a lot more polished and prepared to take charge.

  9. SouthFLGIRL says:

    Perception is everything because I believe that you are making it so on this blog in this case.
    I never thought that Geller had anything to do with this. My money is on Geller on this campaign. I also think he’d make a great commissioner. But I don’t live in that I can’t vote in this one.

  10. Truthiness says:

    Broward Lawyer and SouthFLGIRL, you both have something in common with Steve Geller. He doesn’t live in the district either! He and his family live halfway across the county in Cooper City … in Wexler’s district.

  11. Yaki says:

    Aap, the sheriff never said Gunzburger didn’t do anything wrong. He said there wasn’t any new/sufficient information to keep this investigation open. If there was money in the park bond that was going towards BTW, whether they sold it or not, Gunzburger own website states that her husband kept a 5% interest in BTW after it was sold and was a consultant for the business, and she voted in favor of the bond, she step over the line.

  12. Aap says:

    Yaki, the Sheriff did say “no wrongdoing” and said there was “nothing credible” in the allegations. Watch the lengthy video clip of Lamberti on the Sentinel website.

  13. Terry says:

    The bottom line is it was unethical for Gunzberger’s husband to get county contracts while she was a county commissioner. She benefited financially from these contracts.Her pals on the commission knew it was her husband’s company when they voted to award BTW the contracts.

  14. Lamberti Loses says:

    The real loser is Lamberti. He has shown he can be pushed around.

  15. janey says:

    …and Wexler doesn’t live in her district either. She lives in Plantation and is trying to redistrict to suit her living conditions rather than have to continue to make believe she lives in that pesky district. Geller is just continuing a long practice of make believe.

  16. Another Voice says:

    Geller isnt required to live in the district until he wins, a la Kristin Jacobs circa 1998.

  17. Yaki says:

    Aap! No he didn’t…you need to listen carefully to the video. Lamberti never said there was no wrongdoing by GUNZBURGER. These long time commissioners have had it too easy and got away with a lot. It’s time to end her long, long reign in Broward. She’s been there way too long. Enough already. Aap, listen to the video again!

  18. Geller Lies says:

    Yaki says, “she’s been there way too long.”

    Geller has been in office since 1988. The only time he wasn’t in office was the past two years, when he was running for county commission.

    Geller was behind this evil dirty trick to smear his opponent, because he has no real reason to vote her out of office.

    If Geller’s mouth is moving, he’s lying.

  19. Aap says:

    Yaki, not trying to give you a hard time but here is what Lamberti said word for word direct quote from the Sentinel. “We find no information that we feel would lead to any criminal charges against Commissioner Gunzburger. … We don’t feel there is anything left to investigate.”

    No way to spin this but as clearing Gunzburger.

  20. Yaki says:

    Aap. Kinda agree…unfortunately, the investigation became public, political and rushed. I do not think it clears Gunzburger. Either way, it’s up to the voters now. I want ALL the commissioners replaced. Strong ethics reform in place. And peace on earth. I can dream, can’t I?

  21. Geller Lies says:

    Geller doesn’t live in the district, tried to play dirty political tricks, is a paid lobbyist for developers who want to build more high rises on the beach and along major roads like Pines Boulevard, is friends with ponzi scam artists like Scott Rothstein and his a career politician. A vote for him is a vote for corruption.