Updated: Scott Israel Sued Over Campaign Debt



Scott Israel has been sued for allegedly not paying for polling in his losing race for Sheriff in 2008.


The Kitchens Group LLC, a well-known central Florida survey company run by Jim Kitchens, filed the suit April 17.  The case, which is over an amount less than $15,000, was assigned to County Court Judge Lisa Trachman.


Israel’s campaign account is closed and Israel was sued personally. 


Kitchens also said an ethics complaint may be filed against Israel.


Israel told Kitchen that the bill was the responsibility of his former campaign manager Judy Stern, who often works with the Kitchens Group.  


“The law says the candidate is the agent for the campaign.  The candidate is responsible, Kitchen said.


“I have no comment,” Israel said. “It’s in litigation and there are a plethora of issues.  Obviously, I believe I acted honorably and honestly as I always do.”


Kitchens said he has been  trying to collect the debt for at least six months.


“I‘m in the hole, Kitchens said. “I paid for phone banks and computer time out of my pocket.


Israel lost to incumbent Sheriff Al Lamberti in what was widely described as an upset.


UPDATE:  Since this item was posted in mid-afternoon, two political insiders have pointed out Florida Statute 106.11 (4). 

This portion of the law states (my underlining):

“(4)  No candidate, campaign manager, treasurer, deputy treasurer, or political committee or any officer or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of any of the foregoing, shall authorize any expenses, nor shall any campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer sign a check drawn on the primary campaign account for any purpose, unless there are sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account of the candidate or political committee to pay the full amount of the authorized expense, to honor all other checks drawn on such account, which checks are outstanding, and to meet all expenses previously authorized but not yet paid. However, an expense may be incurred for the purchase of goods or services if there are sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account to pay the full amount of the incurred expense, to honor all checks drawn on such account, which checks are outstanding, and to meet all other expenses previously authorized but not yet paid, provided that payment for such goods or services is made upon final delivery and acceptance of the goods or services; and an expenditure from petty cash pursuant to the provisions of s. 106.12 may be authorized, if there is a sufficient amount of money in the petty cash fund to pay for such expenditure. Payment for credit card purchases shall be made pursuant to s. 106.125. Any expense incurred or authorized in excess of such funds on deposit shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, constitute a violation of this chapter. As used in this subsection, the term “sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account of the candidate or political committee” means that the funds at issue have been delivered for deposit to the financial institution at which such account is maintained. The term shall not be construed to mean that such funds are available for withdrawal in accordance with the deposit rules or the funds availability policies of such financial institution.”

The question is whether Scott Israel might have broken an election law by not paying for the survey out of his campaign before closing it in February. 


Two longtime political insiders believe he did break the law.  I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t make that accusation.  







11 Responses to “Updated: Scott Israel Sued Over Campaign Debt”

  1. thank God says:

    Thank God Al Lamberti won. Otherwise we would have a deadbeat for sheriff.

  2. huh? says:

    Wasnt it the Treasurer’s responsibility to pay this?

  3. money man says:

    interesting there was no money to pay the bill yet scott israel pocketed the remaining 5k in his campaign account for himself. why would he take that money if he knew he owed this bill?

    FROM BUDDY: Absolutely true. Israel’s last expenditure in his campaign was $4942 paid to him on December 19. Check it out here.

  4. End of A Political Career says:

    This is the end to his political career. He came out of nowhere to become a shooting star. He fell just short of getting elected and might have had another shot. But with this, he will never be able to run for public office again. That entire campaign deserves to be reduced to a political science case study.

  5. Capt Bill says:

    So much for his managerial skills.
    First Rule: Stay out of Court.

  6. Ann says:

    It should also be noted that his terminating report is in error.

    Total amounts shown are for the period only and should show the total for the campaign!

    Another violation signed by the candidate

  7. anonymous says:

    Who would have thought Shak and Israel had so much in common?

  8. anonymous says:

    Wonder where Cacciatore falls in all of this?

  9. The Detective says:

    Scott Israel recently opened a detective agency. Maybe he can search for some money to pay his election bills. And while he is at it, look for Shak. The cops want him.

  10. By the way, Where's Al? says:

    Does Al Lamberti live in Broward County anymore? We never see him in Broward, is he busy, with someone special perhaps, in DC? Hmmm. Hope he’s not driving up there, unfortunate things happen when he’s behind a wheel.

  11. Where's Dhanji says:

    Where is Dhanji?