Judge Is Told: Former County Commissioner Investigated In “Five or Six” Cases







During a widespread investigation of government corruption over at least four years, former Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman was targeted in “five or six” cases,  Circuit Judge Andy Siegel was told on Friday.

Lieberman was never charged in any case.

The bombshells about Lieberman surfaced during a preliminary hearing in the corruption case of former Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco on Friday. Lieberman is a key prosecution witness in the case.


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Ilene Lieberman: Investigated, never charged. 


During the hearing, the Court was told that Lieberman’s bank, telephone and other records were subpoenaed as part of various corruption investigations.

The disclosures by both prosecutor Catherine Maus and Talabisco’s attorney Larry Davis painted a disturbing picture of Lieberman with business relationships that were questionable enough to trigger investigations.

For instance, Lieberman’s connections to Pinnacle Homes was investigated over several years without any charges being filed, the prosecutor said.

The State Attorney Office also looked into the work that MGM Contracting did at Lieberman’s Tamarac home. The firm had a contract at the airport.

Investigators eventually found that Lieberman paid MGM Contracting for the work.

Maus said that one point the State Attorney’s Office probed whether Lieberman was paid by corrupt developers Bruce and Shaw Chait. Other witnesses would not confirm allegations.

The investigations of Lieberman took place roughly from 2006-2010.  They seemed to peter out after she testified in December 2010 under immunity against the Beth Talabisco, the former mayor of Tamarac.

“Her motivation (for testifying against Talabisco) were based partially on the fact she was under investigation and was granted immunity,” Davis charged.

Lieberman’s testimony against Talabisco was also shaped by the mayor’s opposition to a project called “Main Street.” That was because Lieberman was the “Main Street’s” lobbyist and her husband Stuart Michelson was project’s attorney, Davis said.

It was also revealed that Michelson did other work for the Chaits, the corrupt developers who allegedly bribed Talabisco with campaign contributions.

At the hearing, Judge Siegel was asked to exclude much of the testimony about Lieberman because it might “unfairly prejudice” the jurors against her

Siegel agreed to block some of the testimony, but said he would rule on most of it as questions were asked during the trial.

The prosecution’s case against Talabisco is simple quid pro quo bribery:

  • Corrupt developer Shawn Chait contributed to an independent electioneering communications organization that backed Talabisco’s election as mayor in 2006.
  • In return, Talabisco voted for the Chait’s project in Tamarac after her election.

Lieberman, who was friendly with the Chaits, were the developers’ connection to Broward political figures. At the time, Lieberman was one of the most powerful political figures in Broward.

The former mayor of Lauderhill, she was elected to the County Commission in 1996 and had already served a term as Broward mayor.

The Chaits quickly realized that Lieberman was crucial to the approval of their project.

After being asked, Lieberman supported the project and helped organize Talabisco’s campaign for them, according to testimony.

At the same time, Lieberman “asked” the Chaits for a favor. She “asked” the developers to donate $25,000 to the Transplant Foundation, which they did, prosecutor Maus said. Lieberman served on the foundation board.

After being given immunity, the Chaits admitted that they bribed numerous Broward politicians to get a controversial housing project approved in 2007. The project met resistance from the public because it was paving over two golf courses.

Former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion and former School Board member Stephanie Kraft were convicted of corruption charges related to the Chaits. Several other political figures were charged, but were not convicted.

Eggelletion served prison time. Kraft was given probation.

The trial is due to start on Monday.





22 Responses to “Judge Is Told: Former County Commissioner Investigated In “Five or Six” Cases”

  1. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    and you wonder why people have no faith in these elected criminals. She should be in jail.

  2. Talks like a politician says:

    I happen to have a very smart dog who looks at every situation in the household as “what’s in it for me or what do I get out of this event?”. Treats, a walk, a ride in the car or some form of a reward. Broward County politicians act the same way. Lieberman and Ritter are the definition of self serving.

  3. Ilene is smart says:

    Ilene is smart. When she was in law school, she was a full time mayor, a full time mother, and finished first in her class.

    I think her biggest sin was the way she protected the big garbage companies that ran the incinerators as they ripped off the taxpayers for hundreds of millions.

    Follow the money. Like I said, Ilene is smart, and she will even tell you so……

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    You like facts Buddy , I’ll give you facts(I can substachiate everything I state, I will never, assume, specualate etc). I reported yrs ago I saw boxes in the State Att.off-floor to ceiling(mind you) w/ Ilene Lieberman name written all over them. This lady is slippery. She knows the ropes. she knows what to say, when to say it etc. She is one tough nut to crack. I am surprised the father /son snitches(chaits) haven’t thrown her under the bus yet(if they haven’t already(remember a snitch(huh Anthony arillotta, NYC states to me that that if it takes them forever they wil get justice(there’s), & and your sister is on their radar as well(good) also big mouth Fatso tony they want nothing to do w/ so do whatever you want Robert. To my amazement the old lady(wife) is the smartest one out of the bunch is only out for themselves(that’s why I can’t stand them). Don’t count the State Att. Off out yet. If they can nail her, they will. Also to point out same office had boxes w/ County Comm.Stacey Ritter name also floor to ceiling. Who knows(forget the golf cart there guys -not enough there). So now do you see why we need the OIG and the Ethics laws etc to be strengthened , not compromised. Word to the wise, some of you out there(elected off) we are watching and make no mistake we will put you in jail in a NYC. minute….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lieberman out lawyered Satz! She always says she is the smartest person in the room. Satz didn’t listen

  6. Maybe! says:

    This is what happens when the same people are elected over and over. They develop relationships that are to close. We are the largest democratic controlled county in the state with the most corruption complaints.

  7. City Activist robert Walsh says:

    #5 no kidding kid me not Lieberman is no sloach. Speaking of courts etc we here in Ft.lau have our own problems w/ the city Clerks off. City Clerk Jonda Joseph has a whistleblower suit against her..So here we go. More later. Doesn’t look good for city clerk(her staff will probably get her fired, which was their main objective to start w/ (shame)..

  8. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    If hairdressers are wandering around the state attorney’s restricted offices looking at boxes of potential evidence in criminal cases of political corruption no wonder the crooks never get caught!

  9. Lt Dangle says:

    #3 All criminals think they are smart.

    When they are caught the “smart ones” are the first to flip, get immunity from prosecution and implicate the others to take the fall.

    Honesty and integrity are a must in any public service job, appointment and elected official’s duties.

    When crimes are committed by elected officials, public employees i.e. school teachers, law enforcement officers, etc. The investigation and punishment must be certain and swift. This is where the State Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit MUST NOT make himself impotent in his sworn duties to uphold the laws equally.

  10. Shitty Walsh says:

    Robert, what drug are you on? I can’t make sense of your writing…..

  11. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    Careful Count, or Walsh might spray you down with some mousse.

  12. Dear Count says:

    Even though it is May, Buddy should give you the comment of the year award for your “hairdresser” comment in this thread.

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @9 – Am I to assume that you would strongly support a state and / or local legal requirement that persons who hold elected or appointed public office must immediately resign from that position as an inseparable part of the process of accepting any offer of immunity from prosecution, and must not become a candidate for or accept appointment to any public office at any time during the next ten years?

  14. tell the truth says:

    @Ilene is smart
    “Ilene is smart. When she was in law school, she was a full time mayor, a full time mother, and finished first in her class.’
    GMAB – she went to Nova (SUNY Corland undergrad and not a stellar university?) and she was married to a lawyer who joined the bar in 1979. Betcha he helped her write her briefs and answer the questions on the exams ‘just so’.
    consolation – now that hubby is trolling for insurance work they must be cutting back. I read he made ober $250k in the part time gig at Sunrise.

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    # 9 you are right on the money. Keep up the comments. #* George Burns once stated the people that should be running the country are to busy cutting hair”. So now the latest jab we make fun of my profession. Kid you not I do more than just cut hair. (huh G, huh Big Tony-make a move). Also #10 “Shitty Activist(marc D). I am on no drugs, also complete physical recently blood pressure 121/67(what is yours fat boy). Quit smoking St>Patricks Day. Swim everyday. Benchin 265, not bad since I only weigh 165-measurements 4o, 30, 29-take that) (what good is it quite franky still will die of Alzheimers some day(so what). # 11-I hate your guts, you you are a heathen-we should hang you on any given day. People hang in there, hold on, relax, we will prevail(Jonda Joseph). They will play dirty , we will play dirtier….

  16. Lt Dangle says:


    #13, this is what would be appropriate for ANYONE that abuses their authority as an elected, appointed or hired public service employee.

    This punishment should double for any participant in the S A’s office for the 17th Judicial Circuit that sits on files till the paper turns to dust.

    The guidelines for all the above positions are written in all policy and procedures manual associated with each position, the issues begin when policies are not followed or they are manipulated or massaged to fit their benefit of abuse. They also must be barred from lobbyist employment or volunteering as lobbyist.

    Close Management I: Restrictive single cell, single occupancy housing level.

    Inmates at this level have committed the most serious violations and are considered extreme security and management risks.

    An inmate assigned to CM I is not eligible for a work assignment inside or outside the CM unit.

    Privileges are the most restrictive at this close management level.

  17. Chaz Stevens says:

    Walsh hates my guts.

    Mission accomplished, though it didn’t really take all that much effort.

    And people, be fair to Walsh, as he does more than just cut hair. He also colors it.

  18. Chaz Stevens says:


    One differnce between us that sort of says it all.

    I’ve previously worked at NASA doing cosmology, while you have a license from the Florida Board of Cosmetology.

    A magnitude of difference on the Ye Olde IQ Scale.

  19. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #17, # 18-Do you have a real job Mr.Stevens. The difference between me and you sir is I am not out to destroy people’s lifes. I do not intentionally set out to see people lose their jobs etc. You on th e other hand get off on it. I am in no completion w/ you or anyone else for that matter. For example the cops that were fired, to the city clerk in Ft>alu(ok big deal Chaz she made a mistake-who’s says anything that she will get her notary revoked(Mayor)it was an oversight-lets hang her right Mr.Stevens). To the cops in ft.alu-no second chances. To the DPW workers that were shitcanned(wher’se the report Mr.Feldman). So you see Mr.Stevens that is the difference between you and I. Make any sense to you???

  20. mrkneeley says:

    Both of them have full time jobs, but so what?
    Walsh says “Word to the wise, some of you out there(elected off) we are watching and make no mistake we will put you in jail in a NYC. minute…” and then he chastises Stevens for putting people in jail….
    Some folks talk shit, and some folks get shit done…………

  21. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #20 yeah when they blanantly do something wrong. In the cases that I brought up what a city clerk that forgets, to notorize some document in question, or we fire police officers for basicly doing something stupid, or we fire DPW workers because a manager is instructed to downsize etc. So double standard w/ ,e. I get plenty of shit done buddy…Stick up for the heathen(stevens) all you want. Besides if he thinks he can do such a better job why doesn’t he run??. I tried and some where so afaird at what I could get done that I was investigated by the Elections off. To getting obscene phone calls @ 3 in the morning. To people calling me to state that if I ran my late mother would end up in a nursing home(sic). So don’t tell me I am some hypocrite…. And for the record my day starts @ 5am and I don’t get home to after seven at night.(poor Molly)…..

  22. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Another problem I have #20 and your support for Chaz Stevens is all the chaos he causes. At least I petion information, just cause, hearings etc to better the city, enrich the city, make the city a better place to live, making Ft>lau and surrounding area a better place for us residents. This Chaz Stevens just causes chaos. For instance the Ft>lau comm. ha s a closed door session in regards to the Heathen ‘s complaint to the Gov’ off in regards to a certain document the city clerk made a notary error. So you are costing us money Mr.Stevens. Closed door session in regards to what to do next. I say Mayor Seiler let it roll. In other words the city clerk made a mistake. There is not enough to revoke her notary. And the suit involving the former staff member Lory Farmer, she was quiting anyways regardless. Ok say you believe her call her bluff and give her job back,(always call their bluff people). Will see what happens. Hang in there Jonda Joeseph. To her staff if she is shown the door, so will you(Wendy)…Also there is a “special place in Hell, for women who don’t help other women” Don’t get to comfortable Mr.Hardeep-you actually fired people w/out just cause at your manager’s direction-I prove this, and your history-(On a personal note those that informed me that my late mother memorium(Mother’ day)pic was distorted. In was an old file photo and the “Paper” credited my c/c $75.00(fair).Needless to say thank you for your input…..)