Sheriff Israel: The Old Political Quid Pro Quo






This is how Broward politics works:

Lesson One. You rub my back and I’ll rub yours.

Channel 10 had an interesting story this week by my old frenemy Bob Norman.

It outlined how Sheriff Scott Israel was defending a whistleblower case against him using lawyer David Ferguson. Ferguson is an employment law expert, according to his Florida Bar profile.


Ferguson also is Israel’s re-election campaign treasurer, which Norman doesn’t mention. He also was head of Israel’s transition team in 2012. 

Ferguson stands to bill roughly $130,000 for his firm’s defense so far, according to a BSO source.


Ferguson gets paid big. In return, he raises money for Israel’s re-election as his campaign treasurer.

His firm Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg gave Israel $1,000 in the sheriff’s first re-election campaign finance report filed in March.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Israel is doing a great job.

But call me jaded. Call me a cynic.

This deal with Ferguson looks like the old political quid pro quo to me.


Channel 10’s story is here. 



Scott Israel's appt of David Ferguson

20 Responses to “Sheriff Israel: The Old Political Quid Pro Quo”

  1. jim tylock says:

    buddy its only poitics, and to the few friends whoo all read this blog, i am in valpariso and , tough, still kicking, cant get on my e mail see u all in 3 weeks, although its so nice here i might stay…..


    Jim Tylock was a long-time top prosecutor in Broward who is now retired. Good luck, Jim.

  2. Sam the Sham says:

    No one ever accused me of being an Israel supporter, but honestly, who is he supposed to hire? Someone he does not know? Someone with no experience?

    BTW, I would not trust Bob Norman with the facts of a story any further than I could throw his fat ass.

  3. Microscope says:

    What experience did Ferguson have representing a government agency in labor and whistle blower claims? As the results of this case show, not much.

    It must be nice to be playing with BSO monopoly money, only in govt could you spend a half mil on a case over 20k.

  4. Bob Rountree says:

    I agree with the previous commenter. I don’t see a problem unless there is the hiring pattern is pervasive, such as that demonstrated by Bob Lockwood in the clerk’s office. Israel needs to hire people he trusts for critical positions. In Lockwood’s case, almost everybody hired by him was a condo politico without experience.

  5. Bob Rountree says:

    But the Lockwood story is very old news. 🙂

  6. Chaz Stevens, I am Festivus says:

    Is it me? Am I the only person who thinks Bob Norman’s voice is the male version of Kathleen Turner?

    One too-many late night rendezvouses with Jim Beam and Pall Mall?

    That whole sleeves rolled up, just ran the 40 yard dash in 23 seconds, holding onto the microphone as if was Zeus’ penis …

    Give it a rest Bob. Lighten up. At this rate, Jim Defede is going to outlast you.

    PS Ask Bob about the official complaint filed against him by the City of Deerfield Beach… No really, go ahead, ask him.

  7. Beth Learner says:

    Buddy, you are something else. You write the story which isn’t shocking to anyone that Israel is once again a hypocrit and abusing tax payer dollars in exchange for political pay back. The Sheiff is as unethical as they come. Bob Norman like him or not caught the sheriff red handed and the sheriff deserves everything he gets and my belief the future will be getting removed from office.

  8. Floridan says:

    If Ferguson was a divorce lawyer, this would be a problem, but his expertise is in the subject under litigation, so it’s not.

  9. WELL SAID says:

    Norman should have stayed at the New Times….he was more effective when you couldn’t see him….

  10. Hmmm says:

    @Beth Learner – Kinda funny to complain about someone being “a hypocrit and … as as unethical as they come” when you (likely Judy) are pretending to be Beth Lerner (and you cannot even spell her name correctly). And Israel is your Sheriff, whether you like it or not. Your guy lost. Whomever you back next will lose, too.

    @Microscope – David Ferguson is apparently a well respected litigator who specializes in employment law, and has major corporate clients he also represents in this area. See

  11. @fake Beth Lerner says:

    You have to love it when political operatives have to smear their opponents on this site, but then don’t have the sense to spell someone’s name right. I’m guessing that the fake Beth Lerner (Learner?) above is someone bitter that Sheriff Israel got the National Women’s Political Caucus Endorsement in 2012. Probably someone on the Board of that group whose mother ran the Sheriff’s campaign in 2008.

  12. I live there says:

    You are wrong on one point, Buddy. This sheriff is NOT doing a great job… he is NOT doing a good job. Law enforcement in contract cities is the worst in decades. Yes, crime statistics look good. That’s because deputies do not write reports if they can get away with it. I personally know of several instances of this. From law enforcement to finance violations to hiring incompetent political hacks… this sheriff is the WORST!

  13. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    This is politics….and it is nothing compared to the millions paid out by Lamberti..the ultimate Dirty Lamberti.

  14. Smoke says:

    I get it. You have to write stories like these. Just too easy to pass up. But I have no problem with Israel hiring people he knows and trusts. It should not be a disqualifying factor to work for BSO if you support the Sheriff. Is Israel only supposed to hire people who opposed him or did not support him in the last election? Using that logic Israel sould hire Lamberti anyone left in Rothstein’s firm.

  15. Time to grow up, Sons says:


    C’mon, stop acting like a tween girl. “Frenemy?” The incident between you and Norman happened 8 years ago. Isn’t it time to move beyond that? Comments like that, make you appear small.

    As for “Chaz”,making comments about Norman’s voice and rolling up his sleeves? That’s what you got? Your comment reeks of jealously , pure an simple.

    Isn’t it time for both of you to show society, the BEST of what you bring to the table, instead of this pansy little girl snarking?

  16. Chaz Stevens, I am Festivus says:

    Oscar Wilde once said, “The job of the artist is to educate the critic. The job of the critic is to educate the public.”

    Glad you and I understand our position in life’s org chart.

  17. Barbra Stern says:

    Sorry kids unlike the rest of you I don’t hide behind anonymous names nor do I blog (present comment excluded). Anyone who knows Beth knows she’s enamored with the Sheriff and his team so it defies logic to try to make a post from her trashing the Sheriff. I have spoken to any of you so called “political operatives” in years. Please move on with your lives and stop dragging my name in to your nonsense. You are not relevant in my life and I should not be in yours.

    On a side note — read the bar rules. If you’re not board certified in an area of law you are not deemed “an expert” nor do you “specialize” in anything. Enjoy your weekend people.

  18. Ha Ha Ha says:

    This is how Florida politics works:

    With Florida lawmakers having reached the halfway point of their 60-day session last week, the lineup of legislation with traction looks like a Who’s Who of fundraising and lobbying…

    “Money plays a huge role in what goes on up here” and the issues that “get traction just happen to line up with a lot of those large campaign contributions,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach. But, he notes, “I don’t think it’s any different than any other year.”…

    Nearly all of the big donors have a stable of lobbyists ready to influence legislation and, by mid-session, there were 1,826 lobbyists registered, 10 for every legislator, representing 3,559 companies. …

    Eric Draper, a veteran lobbyist for Audubon of Florida, said he began the session trying to fend off a fast-tracked bill to make it easier for large landowners, like Big Sugar, to avoid regulations. “We were run over. I didn’t get around to members quick enough,” said Draper, who has just four lobbyists compared to U.S. Sugar’s 27-member lobbying team. Draper said public interest groups like his are at a disadvantage because they don’t have the staff or the money “to match the relationships” the big lobbying teams have. “We aren’t at the golf tournaments. We can’t give money to political parties. Those social connections are pretty much cut off,” he said.

    Sen. Tom Lee, a Brandon Republican and former Senate president who now serves as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said these investments have turned the Legislative process into one that now “turns on relationships.” “I have never seen the process more relationship driven and less policy driven than it is today,” he said, noting that relationships extend beyond the lobbyist-to-legislator and are also shaped by legislators’ relationships with other lawmakers. “It’s member to member — an internal quid pro quo,” he said. “Bills are being heard and not heard on the basis of internal and external relationships, not necessarily the policy.”

    Lee acknowledged that some interest groups have such an influence on the process that “no one even bothers to look to see if there is a justifiable reason for policy changes” and decisions have become “transactional” instead of transformative. …

  19. you're right Chaz says:

    Norman does speak with a smoky voice. But from what I have heard of you speaking on radio and tv with all that Festivus foolery, you lisp. And pretty badly too.

    And aren’t you in your late 40s or so? That being the case, I would keep my voice quiet on someone else’s.

  20. Casablanca Barstool says:

    Yeah the Stern family never gets involved with Blogs