Ilene Lieberman: Surrounded By Frenemies


Surrounded by fienemies who say she shouldn’t be a judge, Ilene Lieberman was hit hard by another former friend this week.

Dan Lewis, the veteran political consultant, sent a blast to his extensive e-mail list denouncing Lieberman.  The piece is devastating.

Lewis knows Lieberman.  And he is just one of the people knowing her who doesn’t believe she is qualified to be on the bench.

I know her, too.  I agree with Lewis.

In my opinion, Lieberman is running for Broward County Court solely to pump up her pension.

She now earns roughly $95,000 annually as a county commissioner, which is a joke in itself.  That will go to roughly $150,000 as a judge.  Her pension is calculated heavily on the last years of a public officials’ work history.

You get the picture.  And you will pay the bill.

Judges must retire at 70 and she is 65 years old.  Despite critics who attack her over this, I believe she can serve her the whole six years under Florida’s Constitution, because she turns the mandatory retirement age of 70 after half her term is over. Her age is a non-issue.  It is not Lieberman’s problem.

This woman has no substantial legal experience.  She has been a politician all her life.

Her own campaign literature does not name concrete judicial experience she has. Her opponent Katie McHugh has years of trials and courtroom practice under her belt.

Even some of Lieberman’s friends and close acquaintances, some of who donated to her campaign, believe she shouldn’t be a judge.

Call them frenemies.

“She keeps calling me (for a contribution), but I’m not taking her call,” one frenemy volunteered to me. “The idea of her on the bench is preposterous.”

“All her chickens are coming home to roast,” another long-time Lieberman crony told me. “She treated people like crap for years and now she expects them to fall in line for a job she shouldn’t be doing.”

Another who has been to Lieberman’s house for dinner many times said: “Ilene doesn’t understand why (elected officials) aren’t lining up to endorse her… Ilene hasn’t had a primary ever and it’s been a long time since she had a race at all. I think she is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the whole thing having forgotten what campaigning is like. In typical Ilene fashion, she is trying to control everything from the poll workers to the TV script. She is incapable of letting others help her and she can’t let go.”

Yet another said, “Oh, she may win because a lot of Democrats are fools who will only see the Lieberman name.  She shouldn’t.  No way.  Her whole life is one big scandal. Is there another judge who has been as political and as investigated?”

Which leads me to Dan Lewis’ blast e-mail.  It’s below:

From: “Dan Lewis” <>

Date: July 18, 2012 10:04:58 PM EDT

Subject: Ilene Lieberman – the wrong choice for County Court Group 6.

The Miami Herald endorses Katie McHugh as the best choice for County Court Group 6. I agree. Not only is Katie the best choice, she is the only reasonable choice in the group. Katie McHugh has impressive credentials and a very judicial demeanor – her opponent is disgraced and in our opinion is an ethically challenged County Commissioner. Ilene Lieberman has a non-existent record in the court system and no relevant experience to be a Judge.

Commissioner Lieberman is generally known as an arrogant know-it –all on the Commission. There are numerous reasons to vote against her. Lieberman (who uses her married name “Michelson” as a lobbyist) can compete with Katie only because she can raise truckloads of cash as a County Commissioner from people appearing before the County Commission. I forget the story about lipstick and the pig, but I think it fits here.Don’t be fooled by slick advertisements (either mail or TV) – select McHugh in this County Court Group.

Dan Lewis, Civic & Community Activist.

A sampling of published headlines and articles about Ilene Lieberman you should read if you are thinking of voting for her.

A Commissioner Under Oath: The Lieberman File

“In other words, it was sleazy politics 101, but that’s a given. Why did Lieberman initially deny it not once but three times? When she came back from the recess, had she decided to tell the truth or had she decided to tell a lie?””

Did Ilene Lieberman’s Public Bailout of Operative Buy Loyalty?

“Of course Lieberman’s vote is for sale, certainly in the legal sense. She’s always been ridiculously cozy with this town’s influence peddlers, developers, and other special interests (so long as they have cash).”

YOU Are the Distraction

“We all knew that Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman — once perhaps the most powerful woman in the county — disappeared for a few months, missing commission meeting after commission meeting without explanation. … But theextent of the hooky she played while collecting her $90,000-plus public salary is pretty staggering. The county’s visitor lists reveal that from December 10 through March 30, Lieberman had only five days when she met with anyone [] at County Hall. That’s five days working in the office during a period of 16 weeks.

Scandal-Ridden Commissioner to Receive “Public Service” Award

“But I’m not sure these building officials are going to get much bang for their buck by sucking up to Lieberman. She’s been gutted by the corruption investigation and barely speaks anymore. It’s even odds at this point that she’ll even show up.”

Ilene Lieberman: From Political Godmother to Star Witness

“Make no mistake, Stracher — whom the Chaits say they paid more than $100,000 cash for her shady services — is at the heart of the corruption in this case. Interestingly, Lieberman hired Stracher last year, after the criminal investigation was under way, to work as an aide in her county office.”

Honey, I Rigged the Vote: Broward Power Couples Screw Each Other; Then They Screw Us

“Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman is married to a powerful Broward attorney, Stuart Michelson, the current city attorney in Sunrise. The couple owns an office near the Broward County Courthouse — and what do you know? Lieberman is gung-ho about building a new courthouse, which figures to have a positive impact on the value of that investment. So gung-ho that she seems willing to defy voters to make it happen. Or maybe that’s just the opinion of Ilene Michelson — the name she uses when she puts on her lobbyist hat”

Broward County bail bondsmen want to kill pretrial intervention, and the County Commission is willing to help

“At a recent meeting, however, Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman made a startling suggestion:She said that it may be time to kill the program, willfully violate the federal order, and overcrowd the jail system with inmates again.”

Politicians Feed At Super Trough

Ilene Lieberman, who in addition to lobbying for developersdefends corrupt politicians on the side …

Our Mayor, the Lobbyist

“The new revelation about Lieberman’s dealings with the insurance broker raises serious questions about whether she violated a Florida law that makes it a felony for public officials to profit from their governmental actions.”

Part Two: Ilene Lieberman Doesn’t Belong On The Bench

“Imagine a judge that received immunity to testify in a corruption case. Imagine a judge who was absent from work for months last year for “health reasons” that she has never really explained. Then imagine a judge who has been the center of controversy her entire public life – from ethics complaints against her to public shouting matches with her colleagues. And let’s not forget allegations that she was influence peddling when she was a paid lobbyist for a developer. Then imagine County Judge Ilene Lieberman.”

Sleazy Tales Of Corruption and Envelopes Full of Cash

“She is a disgrace. Why is she working as an aide to County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman on our dime?”

Garbage Deal’s Failure Weakens Ilene Lieberman

“Lieberman is said in numerous published reports to be under investigation in a corruption probe of the county commission.”

Lieberman’s Criminal Immunity Response Steals the Show!

“The hardest hitting question asked to explain why she was granted immunity in a criminal corruption prosecution casewhere she testified against her longtime friend Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco.”

Look Out Mango Thieves, Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman Wants To Be Judge!?!?

This email is an official political communication  and does not represent in any way a commercial solicitation. Paid political advertisement paid for by Strategic Technologies & Research, Inc. independently of any candidate or committee.

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27 Responses to “Ilene Lieberman: Surrounded By Frenemies”

  1. Paladin Fan says:

    That makes the third “Katie” I will be voting for on August 14th.

  2. Just Saying says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Great job, Dan!!

  3. And that isn't the half of it! says:

    Great item. You know how many lifelong Ds are looking forward to this opportunity to settle a score with Lieberman.

    I especially like when Panza donates $500 to her campaign this year and she doesn’t mention it to opposing counsel or the judge when he gets appointed conservator of the Aguiar estate.

  4. ticklemepink says:

    Following in the footsteps of another deal making pol- Lori Parrish

  5. Plain Language says:

    Take all that “information” and multiply the merit and value of it by 100, and Ilene Lieberman still wins this election by high double digits.

    Plain and simple. Ilene will be elected by landslide proportions.


    Her winning doesn’t make it right.

    This campaign is one more reason why judges should be appointed after a vetting process by the Judicial Nominating Commission and face merit retention elections afterward.

  6. Judicial Watch says:


    It’s obvious that Ilene hurt your feelings. Maybe she didn’t want to give you an interview? Didn’t give your kid that job in her office?

    Your personal feelings are becoming obsessive. Every week or so I know I’m going to visit you and Bob Normans site and read another Lieberman post. You need to get past your vindictiveness and do some original writing.


    The first page of this website states “politics, news and views“. My opinion, and others like Sam Fields, are the views portion.

    Ilene Lieberman has not ever refused to give me an interview. That is to her credit, since I have written negatively about her for at least a decade at the Sun-Sentinel and here.

    She never hurt my feelings. When it comes to matters like this, I have the skin of a rhino thickened after 31 years of daily newspaper journalism.

    As far as my kids, one son has a job. The other is in law school. Neither have anything to do with Ilene Lieberman.

    I am sorry you find you dislike this entry on You views are not going to change my opinion. Lieberman is not the best candidate in this race.

  7. Voting my conscience! says:

    I can’t wait to vote for Katie! Lieberman has proven time and time again what she is all about. If Lieberman wins it will only show that broward is not ready for real change. It is time for a better broward! Best of luck Katie! I think you are well deserving of becoming the next judge of broward county!

  8. G.B. says:

    @ plain language

    We’ll see about that. “High double digits”? You must be a wishful Lieberman operative.

    The unmitigated gall that this woman has to run for judge is unbelievable!

    She’s an life-long, influence peddling, turncoat rat who knows nothing but feeding at the public trough. Plain and simple.

    The majority of her courtroom experience was as a witness against her best friend to save her own butt.

    What people will remember about her is The Chaits, Beth Talabisco, heck…just read Dan’s post again…but carefully this time.

    If you still think she should be judge, you are either one of her cronies or just a clueless soul.

    I think she’s all done in this county after this.

  9. vivi says:

    Ilene Lieberman would be a very good Judge for broward Cuunty.

  10. Just Sayin' says:

    The only place Ilene Lieberman should be in a courtroom is sitting in the criminal defedant’s seat.

  11. Independent says:


    I don’t know if you have ever heard this, but one of Lieberman’s favorite sayings is:

    “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.”

    She has said it often over many years.

    Somehow I don’t think this is the type of person I would want to serve as a judge. It is clear from her history that she holds grudges, and has proved it. Is that the type of judge you would want to hear your case?


    Not exactly an original thought. I believe it was in the “Art of War” by Sun Tzu, long before Christ.

    Also, Michael Corleone used this in one of the Godfather pictures. Hmmmmm

    If elected, I can just start hearing about the numerous requests she will get to recluse herself.

  12. Rick Scott's Pick? Lieberman says:

    Please, everyone, vote for Ilene.

    When she retires mid-term, I will inflict on you an appointment you will definitely like.

    Do NOT vote for someone who can actually complete her term.

  13. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    I’ve met Katie McHugh, heard her speak about her background and experience, as well as having done my homework.

    She’s extraordinarily qualified to be a judge, with courtroom experience, intelligence, a background of overcoming physical obstacles,ethics and integrity.

    I’m voting for Katie McHugh without reservation.

  14. go ilene says:

    Word around town is that Ilene dumped Judy Stern for consultant Stan Atkins from Miami. How the mighty have fallen. Looks like all Stern has now is Julio and Mancini. Could be 0 for 2 this cycle. At least Joe is home.

  15. voter says:

    theory of unintended consequences at work –
    Ilene will win

  16. Crabgretch says:

    Attorney K. McHugh practices the law, and she knows the law.

    A vote for Attorney McHugh is the right vote!

    Thank you!

  17. Kevin says:

    Buddy, if she’s 65, and the term is 6 years, then the mandatory retirement age would prevent her from running a second time, but she could still serve out the 6 year term. Then she could get appointed a senior judge, but I doubt that would happen since she wouldn’t have lots of experience except with traffic tickets and small claims court.

    I asked the question. You provided an answer. Thanks.

  18. holybananarama says:

    Lieberman and her ilk have to go. Broward cannot survive the likes of her and those like her for much longer. To have someone like her judge another is beyond ridiculous. Any current commission member, long time school board member; need to be voted out of office for the good of browardtown.

  19. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Is it too late to consider Wopner?

  20. Questions without Answers!!! says:

    Putting the Jewish “Lieberman” name aside, what exactly would make her QUALIFIED?

  21. Sanctimonious says:

    To Vivi: You hit the nail on the head…she would be the biggest “Cuunty” Judge around.

  22. Ms. Bad Ethics says:

    Does anybody know how many ethics complaints did Ilene Lieberman have now?

  23. The Real Fake Lieberman says:

    How many happy paying customers do I have? You will never know!

  24. Concerned Citizen says:

    This column is a WINNER. It’s nice to read a column of TRUTHS. To Ms. Lieberman and her entire herd of groupies “know when to fold”. You are unworthy and not wanted. Go shopping, change your hair or something…it’s time to do the right thing (you’ve done so many wrong” RETIRE…..IF you sincerely care about Broward County BOW OUT AND RETIRE…YOU ARE NOT WANTED.

  25. GOPapa says:

    You need to change the headline, Buddy. What she is really surrounded by is corruption

  26. dirct mail reader says:

    Interesting mail piece from Lieberman, I had heard rumors that she dropped Judy Stern after Stern convinced Ilene it was judicial to have pictures of yourself on a golf course when you are trying to convey your judicial stock. I see Stan Atkins from Miami desigend the current mail piece with Ilene in a suit behind law books. Bad news for McHugh had Stern not been canned she probably would have won. I guess we will have to see how Judy does with Julio and Mancini.

  27. Anonomous says:

    I have known Ilene Lieberman for over 20 years. She has done nothing but cross everyone that gets in her way. She is a lyer and cheat and a Fucking horor. Someone should take her down to where she needs to be put. She does not even care about her family. She uses them to her benefit only