Sen. Maria Sachs Hit With Ethics Complaint



An ethics complaint has been filed against Democratic State Sen. Maria Sachs alleging she lied and falsified public documents when she swore she lived in her district.

Sachs is perhaps the most egregious example of an office holder who ignores the law by not living where they are supposed to live.

Sachs has apparently never lived in her district!

She has flouted the Florida Constitution her entire career in the Legislature, according to several different media investigations over many years.

In 2008 when in the Florida House, Sachs claimed to live in a duplex in downtown Delray Beach. The Sun-Sentinel found she lived instead in a $1.5 million house in west Boca Raton.

From 2010-2012, she was a senator.  Again, she claimed to live where she didn’t.  This time her residence, she swore, was in a small Delray Beach office with state Rep. Lori Berman, another Democrat.

After reapportionment in 2012, Sachs claimed to live in a home co-owned by lobbyist Judy Stern in Fort Lauderdale.’ Tom Lauder and then Channel 10’s Bob Norman found that Sachs still lived in Boca Raton.

It is not that Sachs can’t represent Fort Lauderdale by living in Boca Raton.  They have pretty much the same issues.

It is that Sachs is an unmitigated liar who disregards the law and the Florida Constitution.

The state Ethics Commission?

I predict they will pass the buck to the Senate to police Sachs.

Here is where it gets interesting.

The politically powerful state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, apparently has political reasons for opposing Sachs. Latvala has a lot of clout among the other Republican Senate leaders.

Using the ethics complaint, Latvala will have a receptive audience in the Senate to do something about Sachs’ lying.

The Senate is a body controlled by Republicans. They have no love for Sachs, who won a seat from another Republican – Ellyn Bogdanoff.

And Latvala is in a key position to make trouble for Sachs.  He is chair of the Senate Ethics Committee.

There is more and it involves Senate politics. According to a report in The Miami Herald, Bogdanoff  “is expected to seek a re-match” with Sachs. If elected, Bogdanoff’s vote “could be a crucial one” in Latvala’s 2016 race for Senate president.

Latvala is thought to be in a tie for votes against Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, states the Herald. 

Latvala has already attacked Sachs’ residency once in the Spring during confirmation hearings for Stern’s daughter, Barbra, who was seeking Senate approval for an appointment to the Florida Elections Commission.

My take:

Any Senate probe of Sachs won’t come a minute too soon.

Her continued violations of the Senate residency laws – living in Boca Raton while claiming residence in Fort Lauderdale — is just one more reason why so many are cynical about politicians.



Letter sent to state Ethics Commission (click to enlarge):


35 Responses to “Sen. Maria Sachs Hit With Ethics Complaint”

  1. Barack Obama says:

    There should be an ethics complaint on the entire republican leadership for their absurd gerrymandering. That’s way worse than what Sachs is allegedly doing.


    This district was thrown out at first by the Florida Supreme Court, redrawn and then approved by the justices.

  2. When will they wake up says:

    Lets face it there is a gray area here whether these legislators are breaking the law. Hopefully from this a proceeding can take place that puts some clarity to this issue. I have no doubt these type of games are being played elsewhere in the State.

    The irony of all of this is the fact that Thurston, Gibbons and Sachs want to blame and smear Media Trackers and the media instead of blaming who brought the spotlight on to them, Judy Stern.

    Maria are that cheap/dumb or did Stern need the rent money so bad for you to “move” into her and her daughters condo? If you had a subtle little place in Wilton Manors or North Broward you may have got a pass on this. Did you never have a single thought renting from Stern would be a lightning rod for the press?

    Seeing Stern at the Medicare meeting the other night 2 things were clear, she got someone to get Sachs out a side door to avoid Bob Norman and she practically begged him to interview her. She just cant stay out of the spotlight.

    One interesting thing from the Norman piece Judy is pushing away from Maria saying she relies on info from Maria and not things she knows first hand. Maria it looks like you will be joining the stern screwed me over club any day now.

    As for Perry and Joe do you not realize but for your association with Stern your residency bs would have gone unchecked. Did Geller or Gottlieb ever live in their Districts?

  3. Dennis McEwen says:

    The entire Gerrymandered district map is an ethics violation x 100 IMHO.

    You’ve missed the forest for the trees.

  4. Tallahassee Reader says:

    Ellyn Bogdanoff could be the Lieutenant Governor by 2014. The rumor is that she is on the short list and is being vetted now.

  5. Judy has to be a plant for the GOP says:

    It’s pretty pathetic how Judy Stern selfishly brought this attention on her clients for no reason whatsoever except to benefit herself. What’s more insane is how ignorant a few of these Democrats are to keep falling for it and risking their own political careers just because they feel the need to kiss her oversized ass. I doubt this mess is anywhere near over and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Maria Sachs career end here shortly because of it. Sad.

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The state Ethics Commission is a toothless wonder – it’s capable of loudly proclaiming “fines” but incapable of making anyone actually pay these “fines”.

  7. Back off says:

    Leave Judy alone. With the SCOTUS striking down DOMA I would guess she would have a wedding to plan. See everyone in California .Enough is enough she has taken enough crap on here.

  8. George says:

    Barry-don’t forget about the Dems that voted for these maps. Including Maria-I pretend to be Jewish so people will vote for me-Sachs.

  9. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    Seems that Matt Feller cut and pasted one of my complaints!


    As a Dem, I have to say this about Sachs… Move to the GOP and save us all the embarrassment.

  10. Sharon T says:

    Here is the thing, the elected officials (regardless of party) need to live in the districts they represent. It is a constitutional and law thing not a party thing. I do not want someone “representing” (term used very loosely) me who doesn’t even live in the district. They are not affected by issues of that district if they don’t live there. This is like ethics 101, and if we let them get away with it they think it is no big deal. Time “Man Up” as the commercial says.

  11. In the know says:

    This is just the beginning ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats.

  12. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    The really worrisome part is THAT Maria Sachs didn’t even worry about being caught. Do elected officials feet THAT entitled to their positions??

  13. Wilton Manors says:

    Stern will most likely be enjoying a nice little sit down with the Feds very soon – if it hasn’t happened already. Sachs is in some pretty big trouble because Judy is the last thing from loyal. How many times have we seen this movie before?

  14. @Chaz says:

    I was thinking that too. Way to be an inspiration! Maybe as a public service you should post some complaint templates on MAOS so that anybody who sees wrongdoing and corruption can get in the game.

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Here we go again. Anything, anything to do w/ Judy Stern and wham, your there. Me thinks that Senator Sachs has a lease to occupy the domicle. In other words – catch me if you can, but not so fast, because she can produce the lease. Its irevant that you are catchin her in Boca Bob Norman. Again so what. You have fodder,. No more, no less. Love the Corvette Senator….

  16. Fact Checker says:

    but wait there’s more! Chaz take notice and kick some ass.

  17. Sandy says:

    Barbra, Mazel Tov, I wish you all the happiness in the world. Cheers, you will love Carmel and Hawaii. Me and Abraham are so happy this day has come for you. As for the jersey and haters remember people have feelings and love conquers all.


  18. oh really says:

    @Sharon T
    electeds NOT from/living in the ‘District’ is just like cops/patrol officers NOT living in the city where they are paid to patrol
    Its a job – nothing more or less – no vested interest, no caring and compassion and definitely no leadership
    few cities in broward have sworn officers in their city so the ‘wolf at the door’ is not their wolf or their door

    Get over it folks and move along
    nothing to see here…..

  19. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    See, here’s the problem with filing ethics complaints (and I’ve lost count how many I’ve done).

    Imagine if Feller hits a home run. What’s the penance?

    A modest slap on the wrist — fined a couple hundred bucks, a letter bitching at Sachs, and maybe, perhaps, the FEC will refer it to “other authorities.”

    The FEC is a toothless waste of time.

    I say, do like I did with Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Eric “DeadBeat Dad” Haynes — cut out the middle man.

    You see, Haynes moved out of LL (we estimate) about two years ago, therefore ineligible for office.

    The city charter has a residency provision for holding office, but there’s no local provision and/or State law in this area.

    So what to do, what to do?

    Fuck I say, I’ll file a criminal complaint with the SAO, alleging Haynes of malfeasance.

    To wit.

    He didn’t live in town, therefore wasn’t eligible for office, therefore not eligible to collect a salary benefits, pension, etc, and yet intentionally pocketed ill-begotten gains.


    Malfeasance is a crime.

    See that’s what I would have done with Sachs, and perhaps Feller, if he’s an enterprising sort of chap, will follow up.

    Suggestion: Search MAOS, find the criminal complaint against Haynes, and cut/paste from the doc.

    Bada-bing, bada-boom.

    One final tale.

    LL had a “special workshop”, also known as a dog-y-pony, where Haynes and his lawyer “proved” his residency.

    Well, not really, but 6/7 commissioners fell for it.

    Not surprising to me in the least, as this is the same commission that I just sued in civil court.

    To the revolution!

    Che Chaz

  20. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    I don’t have any free time…

    I am going to nuke the fucking Lauderdale Lakes with my lawsuit.

    Someone else will have to get involved. Get in the game. Get off your lazy ass and get involved.

  21. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    Contrary to public belief, writing anonymous comments on a blog isn’t getting involved.

    Feller did it… Follow Feller’s lead.

    Stop bitching and moaning, make a difference.

  22. BrowardHGA says:

    Let’s not forget about Mr. Moskowitz claiming to live in his district.

  23. Get it right says:

    This is nothing Nevins why don’t you write about red broward saying the lgbt community has a hidden gay agenda. Red broward is a cancer on politics in broward and should be arresting for stalking Michael Rajner, Judy and Barbra stern


    Congrats Barb don’t later the haters get you down and don’t forget my invitation to Cali


    Apparently some Democratic activists don’t like any criticism of their office holders like Maria Sachs, regardless of what they do. Why else would she be elected for the past five years despite the fact that she lied to the public and broke Florida law?

    Tom Lauder (Red Broward) is a force needed in Broward where too many in the political community sing the same tune. I guess Channel 10s Bob Norman and the Sun-Sentinel are also wrong about Maria Sachs?

    Lauder’s comments to the School Board have been misrepresented.

    Here they are:

    “…Love the ADL, ACLU and LGBT. Their mission isn’t the kids. They have agendas of their own.”

    Everybody has agendas. To say that the ADL, ACLU or the LGBT communities don’t have agendas is naive. They all raise money. They all take political positions. Thus, they all have agendas like any thinking group of people.

    Now, knowing that coupling the LGBT community with the word “agenda” is a red flag for many, Lauder probably should have avoided the term. Did what he say — Posted by a LGBT activist on YouTube — imply any evil intent on the part of the LGBT community?

    You decide.

    At no time did Lauder say “hidden gay agenda.” The blogosphere barrage aimed against Lauder by a handful of LGBT activists avoid mentioning the other groups that the Republican Lauder listed.

    Don’t believe me about his comments? Check out the YouTube of Lauder here:

    There might be reasons to dislike what Lauder writes. But this attack on Lauder over these comments is much to do about nothing. For all we know, Lauder is a strong supporter of LGBT rights….like I am. Has anyone asked?

  24. BrowardHGA says:

    Get it right – How exactly is Red Broward a cancer on politics? How about the politicians being the cancer, considering their track record? Just because someone uncovers what is really going on does not make them a cancer. Forget party affiliation.

  25. Creekgirl says:

    The state does have a law on the books that could potentially punish Florida elected officials for living outside the district they are elected to represent.

    Homestead Tax evasion/fraud.

    In the state of Florida, you cannot claim homestead exemption if the home is not your primary residence. The address on a driver’s license and voter registration card can be used as cause to prosecute you for homestead tax evasion/fraud.

    Potentially, a federal charge of filing a false tax return could also be leveled at the elected official if he/she has claimed a properyt tax deduction incorrectly on a federal income tax form.

  26. just wondering says:

    way to go! you are one smart lady and I wonder if an attorney! So where is Chaz Stevens so he can file a public records request on Sachs? I know – busy giving hell to Lauderdale Lakes fradsters!

  27. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Buddy, so Chaaaz Stevens, Bob Norman and Bogdanoff camp think they got Sachs. Ok, so then what , they have their hench-men turn up the volume. They get an ethics hearing etc. Senator sachs then holds a press conference, has Judy stern sighn a notorized afadavit stating she does occupy the dwelling, and most importantly produces a lease. Then what? Some of the local “gotchas”- I would be very careful especially you Bob Norman.(you know what i’m talking about).I mean does she (sachs) float around from the small condo in question to the palace in Boca. Ok and she will state hire all the Private investigators you want, you prove nothing but she spends overnites in Boca. None of you have sustained that she fraudently used this Condo address to run for Senate. As far as Judy Stern she is just the landlord. As long as Judy Stern can produce the sighned lease then she trumps. My advice guys (Stern/Sachs)-they play dirty, play dirtier…..

  28. Creekgirl says:

    @just wondering

    No, I am not an attorney. I am planning to become one, preferably a prosecutor, when I return to and finish college. Low on funds right now.

    You do not need to make a public records request on Sachs property taxes. Just visit the county property appraiser website of Palm Beach County.

  29. Christine says:

    When will they wake up says:
    Lets face it there is a gray area here whether these legislators are breaking the law.

    There are not 50 shades of grey here- darker or otherwise….
    either Sachs lays her bleached blonde head down on a fluffy pillow in her district or not. It really has nothing to do with politics…it has to do with her behavior-over which she alone has control of.

  30. walsh the village idiot says:

    You’re right about one thing Walsh. Your pal Stern will walk. She’s already making statements to CYA and distance herself from Maria.

  31. Blah Blah Blah says:

    Walsh you can pontificate all you like about what you think is a trump card but it’s not a court of law. The legislature is the sole judge of its members. At some point the Legislature will decide that the serial investigations of all of the “district renters” is undermining the dignity of the office and will be forced to act. Ultimately the Legislature will have to determine amongst themselves if they are serious about FAIR DISTRICTS and the Constitutional requirements, or as Walsh says it’s a distraction.

  32. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    You guys are funny. Why would Judy Stern back stab Senator Sachs. Mrs.Stern i’ll bet the rent that she can produce a lease. It doesn’t matter if she spends overnites @ the Palace(nice) up in Boca. She rents in Ft.lau from Stern. Plain and simple. So again hire all the PI’s(really story is who paid for the Private eye?) you want, you still got fodder. As far as Judy Stern folding why would she? She rented the Senator an apt. So what if her(senator)son stays there. Bob Norman what are you applying that Senator Sachs can no way live @ this address in question ,because its a small unit. So what if her son stays there.You never heard of twin beds(or be like me sleeping single in a double). You see what I mean. Even if there was deception, you can never prove it. The trump is the lease.(take note Dale Holeness-produce a lease to the shit box). And Bob Norman choose your battles carefully. As much as you are keeping tabs on these elected officals , they are keeping the same tabs on you. Its unfortunate that you don’t suffer the ramifications, no your wife does. Enough said…..

  33. Oopsydasy says:

    What about Ron jacobs of plantation. Wink wink

    What about Dan dodge of Hillsboro beach. Super wink

  34. Thank you robert says:

    Duh, you are so right, it makes sense that Maria with her 100k vette and million dollar residence would choose to live in a 700 sq foot apartment on twin beds with her son for the good of her constituents. Thanks for clearing that up.

  35. City activist Robert walsh says:

    #34-ok so then what. Do you really think Sen.Sachs distractors will make those comments. So basiccly you are saying Sachs is to good to sleep in a twin bed. As far as the Vette, I know I love it. Again nothing sticks. Do you really think Judy Stern would “back-stab” Sachs. I mean that is one notch under your belt having a State Senator on speed dial that I personally would not spoil. Although get your ducks(lease) in a row, because these distractors are bitter, and I mean bitter Senator.