Update: Parkland Mayor Wanted $$$ From Corrupt Developers

(Update: Channel 10’s Bob Norman reported Wednesday on the station’s website that the Chaits’ company Prestige Homes finally paid Parkland Mayor Michael Udine.

He was paid $10,000 about a month after he complained an e-mail that he had gotten stiffed for helping the Chaits influence a Tamarac city election. My earlier story on the e-mail is below.

The take away is the same from Channel 10 and Browardbeat’s story:

Udine lied to the Sun-Sentinel. Also, he is willing to help a developer manipulate a neighboring city’s election for money.

The new breed of Broward politician represented by Udine is just as sleezy as the veterans.

Channel 10’s piece is here.)


Good politicians are experts in spinning.

Spinning is manipulating opinion by inventive interpretation. One of the most common spinning techniques is to cherry pick facts.

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine was obviously spinning when he talked to the Sun-Sentinel in March.  He is quoted as saying he had been unfairly dragged into the Tamarac corruption scandal.

Udine told reporter Lisa Huriash that he had little involvement with the corrupt developers Bruce and Shawn Chait at the center of the scandal.

“I have never gotten anything from the Chaits,” Udine is quoted.

He hadn’t gotten anything. That’s true, according to him.

But Udine was disappointed he didn’t get something: Money!

Udine’s personal e-mails indicate he was sorry you didn’t make “plenty of dough” from the corrupt developers.

The e-mails were subpoenaed in a criminal trial stemming from the Chaits’ testimony about Tamarac corruption.

One e-mail is saucy…especially for a mayor.

It concerns the Chaits and their manipulation of the Tamarac city election. They wanted to elect commissioners in 2006 who would favor their project to pave over golf courses and build condominiums.

The Chaits testified they bribed politicians to get approvals. They were also throwing lots of legitimate money at lobbyists, lawyers and consultants.

Udine writes to political consultant Russ Oster that “we both got fucked on this one big time. There was plenty of dough to be made on this. When I hear some of the numbers thrown around and what went on.  Handled differently on the front end with contracts, retainers and ‘win bonuses’ it could have been a good year for both of us!!”

A second e-mail to Oster complains: “You got the second worst screwing in the whole deal. I got the first worst. I got totally stiffed…”

Then the mayor adds as a conclusion that he doesn’t want “anything from (Chait) that isn’t totally legit.”

Udine told Browardbeat.com by e-mail  (I added explanations in parenthesis):

“My law firm has done legal work for (Bruce and Shawn Chaits’) Prestige Homes in the past.  The firm is not doing any legal work for them now and hasn’t in over five years.  Numerous law firms, in the area, have done legal work as they were a large builder in Northwest Broward.  Any legal work that I have done was totally unrelated to me being an elected official.  Back in 05, I felt that there could have been the potential for future legal work if new developments were built in the area and that was the context of the email that I sent below to Russ (Oster).”

He said in a phone call later that “my law office is two blocks from the golf courses.”

Blaming his language on his use of a Blackberry, Udine said he was campaigning at the time and distracted.

If Udine was trolling for the Chaits’ money, was he unfairly dragged into the controversy? Regardless, it seems to me like Udine’s interest in the Chaits and their money go far beyond what he told Lisa Huriash.

You can decide for yourselves.

Here is an earlier story about Udine and what was going on with the Chaits.

One e-mail is here (click on it to enlarge):



13 Responses to “Update: Parkland Mayor Wanted $$$ From Corrupt Developers”

  1. What's the Diff says:

    Udine is the same as most lawyers. They are out to get everything they can and don’t care who it will hurt. Nowhere in your article does it discuss how the neighborhoods around the golf courses were vehemently opposed to the projects. These lawyers don’t give a damn. They only want money, money and more money. Parkland is filled with such scum, so it is no surprise that one is their mayor.

  2. here's the diff says:

    He complains that he got stiffed and is not going to take anything unless it was “legit”. He was not in a position to make any decisions because he was not elected in the city of tamarac. I assume he had no ability to vote on anything here. So if he didn’t vote and didnt take anything improperly what is the problem. That he used the word fuck?

  3. Dee Dee says:

    Too long the appearance of impropriety has clungto Broward politicians like a bad stink. This just proves the new generation like Udine are the same whores as the old generation. Udine was embarrassed by what he was doing, which is why he lied to the newspaper.
    Here’s The Diff claims he did nothing wrong. How about not realizing that the whole situation stunk from the start? What does that say about his judgement?

  4. Questions says:

    You wrote Udine got no money from the Chaits. But Bob Norman reported on Channel 10 on Friday that Udine got paid $10,000 in campaign “consulting” fees by the Chaits, via Oster. Norman even showed copies of the two cancelled $5,000 checks. Which is it? Did Udine get $10,000 from the Chaits, or did he get nothing?

    I have no idea what was on was on television. If you are accurate, Udine lied in these e-mails.

    This story was primarily about him telling Sun-Sentinel one thing when something else was going on. The broadcast story as you report it would strengthen this premise.

  5. Hammerhead says:

    It’s only a matter of time now. The architectural design of the fraud mongers has been determined and the whole bunch is being rounded up a little at a time. Those who don’t go down will only do so at the expense of those they flip over on.

    It is really just rewards if you ask me. I hope the “food” and “drinks” and “junkets” were worth it. Really seems cheap on the back end doesn’t it???

  6. What a shocker says:

    The guy is a lawyer and a client he represented (turned out to be shady) Who cares. In the email you quote above it says that was the case. The developer probably had many lawyers. Maybe the developers had different lawyers for different things. Did he vote on anything that affected this project, if not no issue, other than what he said to a reporter.

  7. So many lawyers, so little time says:

    Interesting point shocker; looked up prestige on broward clerk webiste. stopped counted at 10 different lawyers for this developer. many many lawyers represented this company.

  8. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    This is somewhat confusing to read. I get the notion that Udine was speaking as a lawyer who was mad at losing out on big fees, not as someone who could vote on a project.

    A lawyer looking for big fees?

    I’m shocked, shocked.

    I read in the Sun Sentinel that Civil Libertarian Norm Kent is the lawyer for the Gypsies who are accused of a 40 million dollar fraud. Should Norm Kent be looking at getting the best fees he can for his service?

    I would like to see a lawyer like Sam give his take on this Buddy.

  9. Buddy says:



    Let me explain further what Udine wanted to get paid for. This was not simple legal work for Prestige Homes.

    The mayor was instrumental in setting up a misleading committee to manipulate Tamarac’s 2006 election. That’s what he thought he should get paid to do, but didn’t. That’s the job he claims he got stiffed on.

    His comments to me are his comments. But the connection between Russ Oster, a political consultant who was also involved in the background in the Tamarac election, and Udine was on that campaign.

    The committee was headed by a straw man to disguise the Chaits’ involvement. The Chaits money was passed through others.

    The slimy deal was put together by County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, but Udine was right there with his hand out.

    As I wrote before (The story is linked at the end of this one.), Udine is a disappointment because he is the next generation of Broward politician. He has proven himself to be everything people hate about politics. He is just another insider willing to bend election laws for developers with cash…and the Tamarac public be damned.

  10. Let me guess says:

    Let me guess Buddy, Udine has never offered to buy you lunch?

  11. So many lawyers, so little time says:

    If he wanted to get paid for setting up this committee, presumably he could have. You wrote that many many people were involved in this election committee. If he knew about it and was so involved with it, why would he complain to oster.

    A second e-mail to Oster complains: “You got the second worst screwing in the whole deal. I got the first worst. I got totally stiffed…”

    Then the mayor adds as a conclusion that he doesn’t want “anything from (Chait) that isn’t totally legit.”

    Looks to me like, BECAUSE he didn’t want to do anything improper he avoided getting paid for this committee. That is the correct way to handle.

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    Don’t you think it’s about time someone put Ilene Lieberman in her place. She seems to be the thorn in everyones side and the entire mess. Why does she appear to be untouchable?

  13. Kim Fox says:

    So why hasn’t Udine been charged if the evidence is so clear?