School Board member Phyllis Hope Part Of FBI Probe



School Board member Phyllis Hope fell into the FBI’s net  by attending a party thrown by undercover agents as part of an investigation into Broward government corruption.

phyllis hope

Hope was at a December 10, 2008 party thrown by the FBI at a venue that included agents as waiters and microphones in the walls, two sources at the party confirmed.

The party was outlined in the criminal complaint against School Board member Bev Gallagher.  Gallagher was charged last week with taking money from undercover agents pretending to seek subcontracting construction work.

Gallagher was at the party.  She was asked to invite “influential persons who could assist the undercover agents’ phony construction company, according to the complaint.

She apparently invited Hope, several contractors who build schools, members of the committee that approves which builders get work at the school system and some city officials.

The criminal complaint does not say what happened at the party.

“The bartenders were agents and they were pouring very big drinks.  The agents themselves weren’t drinking, said a source.

It is not known if FBI agents are still interested in Hope.

12 Responses to “School Board member Phyllis Hope Part Of FBI Probe”

  1. Birds of a Feather says:

    The sky is falling at the School Board. You can take that to the bank. Phyllis Hope is a joke and nothing we hear about her should surprise us one bit.

  2. Tyronne Steele says:

    You mean the same Phyllis Hope that was previously convicted of welfare fraud? Are we speaking of the same Phyllis Hope who touts rehabilitation?

  3. Beth The Bounty Hunder says:

    So are you going to provide the public with the entire guest list and attendees???? Pullleeeeezzzzeeee

  4. anonymous1 says:

    I notice you don’t say Hope is under investigation. You just say that she had the misfortune to attend a party full of FBI agents at the invitation of Gallagher. With friends like Gallagher, who needs enemies.

  5. Election Reporting says:

    Does she have to report the food and drink provided to her and her husband at the party?

    FROM BUDDY: I believe if the value was more than $100, she is required to report it on her Gift Disclosure Form.
    How do you figure the value of food and drinks, since no tickets were being sold?
    By the way, the Gift Disclosure law is widely ignored in Broward. Elected officials often eat and drink on lobbyists’ tabs at expensive restaurants, political or charity dinners and never disclose it.

  6. Worried says:

    Buddy, you have got to see Hope’s casual treatment of attending a lavish boat party put on by construction interests (as reported on the Hope can not even admit a lapse in judgment and thinks ther is nothing for any of us to even question with her attending a party put on by construction interests (who turn out to be FBI). Also, does Hope have to report that as a gift under BCSB rules (if any ethics rules guide apply) or Florida law?

  7. B. Maxwell says:

    I’m glad to FBI is responsible for these stories coming out.
    If there are teachers out there that work in the system and know a few things here or there, they’d rather die with the secret. They would never even THINK! of saying a word; they’re too scared of threats and reprisals, which is what the Broward School Board is all about with their famous set-ups to get rid of you and blacklists if you dare speak up or disagree.
    How do you spell Saddam Hussein again????

  8. Curious says:

    I keep reading on the blogs that Hope was convicted of welfare fraud. Is there any truth to that and what are the details?

    FROM BUDDY: This is from the Miami Herald Nov. 13, 2006:

    Her life has changed dramatically since she was convicted of welfare fraud 10 years ago after taking a few thousand dollars of government money despite having a job, for which she eventually spent 16 days in jail. Hope has been forthright about the arrest, and said she learned from her mistake and turned her life around.


    Gov. Jeb Bush granted her a full pardon in 2003.

    Marty Rubinstein, the incumbent, used the welfare fraud accusation against Hope during the campaign. It backfired.

  9. kwitcherbelyaken says:

    Buddy, you’re so wrong. Hopes win was all about Rubinstein firing Frank Till. Even the newspapers at the time were predicting a repeat of 2002 until that went down.

    Question: If Hope didn’t receive a pardon until 2003, did she have her civil rights in 2002? If she didn’t, she cheated the system by running and voting in 2002.

    FROM BUDDY: The purpose of the flyer was to re-elect Rubinstein. The flyer backfired because Hope got elected. It may have been accurate, but voters didn’t care.
    Hope might have been elected for the reason you stated, although I don’t think that most voters even knew Frank Till existed. Rubinstein’s attempt to thwart her election by resorting to the welfare fraud accusation was a failure.
    I’m sure if Hope was ineligible to run and vote, Rubinstein’s political op. folks would have found that and leaked that to the newspapers at the time. The Sun-Sentinel at that time — I don’t know if it is still done — did a background check on all major candidates.

  10. Worried says:

    I still think Hope needs to come clean about what she knew about who was throwing the party and why she went. While it may be common practice for an elected School Board Member to go to lavish parties on yachts where they (and family) travel, dine and drink for free so long as reportedly invited by another sitting School Board Member, it doesn’t mean there should not be an massive overhall of the ethics guidelines. To suggest it was just a christmas party ignores the very basic fact that if invited by sitting school board member, Hope may have been told who was throwing it or why they would want sitting School Board Members there. Maybe we need production of the Hope emails and text messages through Public Records Law. Even if no Sunshine Law violation and even if no gift violation (I am sure others will look at that), it is a terrible lapse in good judgment at best. Her attitude that she does not have to justify why she went is sheer arrogance in failing to understand the appearance of impropriety can undermine public confidence. And, by the way, this is a SCHOOL system. Children are watching.

  11. In The Know says:

    Buddy, here’s the rest of the story about the mailer that you claim backfired on Rubinstein. He won’t tell the story but I will. Hope filed a complaint against Rubinstein with the Elections Commission over the mailer. In her complaint she alleged that she didn’t plead guilty to welfare fraud and “never, ever” (her words) was involved in any mortgage foreclosures. The commission responded that according to public records she did plead guilty to welfare fraud and she was involved in two foreclosure actions at the time. The mailer was completely accurate.

    What Hope did was to knowingly file a false complaint with the Elections Commission which is a third degree felony in Florida. Yes, Hope committed a felony during the 2006 campaign and why the state has not prosecuted her is a question that should be on everybody’s lips. You can get a copy of the complaint and response since they’re public record.

    FROM BUDDY: The purpose of the flyer was to re-elect Rubinstein. The flyer backfired because Hope got elected. It may have been accurate, but voters didn’t care.

  12. Unsure but is this wrong? says:

    I am not sure if this is a violation but maybe you can research. A sitting Lighthouse Point City Commissioner reveives a free membership, free room and meals from the tony Hillsboro Club each year. The General manger of this club who sanctions this is the Vice Mayor of Hillsboro Beach. Does this and other freebies this commissioner receives need to be reported?