Sunrise Commissioner Wore Wire In Probe

sheila alu 



Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu wore a wire for the FBI against people who thought they were her friend.


One of the targets:  School Board member Bev Gallagher.

Using a cell phone that doubled as a recorder,  Alu volunteered to buddy up to Gallagher to bring her down.

I’m going public with this now because The Broward Palm Beach New Times broke the story a half-hour ago.  Like writer Bob Norman, I’ve known about Alu’s relationship with the feds for years.

Alu said she called Norman today and told him he could write the story.  She acted after School Board member Phyllis Hope told daily newspaper reporters that Alu was at an undercover FBI party December 10, 2008.

Hope’s attendence at the party was first revealed by yesterday. Reporters reading the blog entry and a follow-up story by Norman called Hope today.

Hope told reporters about Alu being at the party. The School Board member didn’t know about Alu’s role with the FBI.

“My phone is ringing off the hook. I didn’t want anybody to think I was dirty.  So here is my statement: ‘I have worked side-by-side with the FBI for four years. I think it is inappropriate to go into details of my role,'” she said.

Her role was to introduce the feds to local politicians.

“I just believe in cleaning up corruption, Alu told me last night.

But she added that she may have damaged her reputation among politicians, who won’t trust her again.

Here is some of what I know:

Alu brought undercover FBI agents to charity and political events, including the Black Elected Officials dinner.  She introduced them around.

She was also at the December 10 FBI party.  That’s the one I wrote about yesterday, where Gallagher invited the guests including Hope.

The agents looked the part one a well-muscled Hispanic with rough edges pretended he was a construction executive.   

Alu had no qualms about spying on Gallagher.  How close were the two?

I went out for drinks with the two women after a Sunrise City Commission meeting during the early stages of the FBI probe.  I suspected  Alu was wired at the time, but I didn’t know for sure.  

They drank heavily. Soon the two middle-aged single women were  mooning about how there were “no good men around.

I thought to myself, if Alu was wired the agents must be getting a good laugh listening to this.

Alu provided the introductions for the FBI agents to worm their way into Gallagher’s trust.

She then pulled back and let the agents do their work.

If the criminal complaint is to be believed, agents did a good job. They brought down a School Board member who was taking bribes.

And Alu?

“It’s all been about cleaning up government, she says.

13 Responses to “Sunrise Commissioner Wore Wire In Probe”

  1. Myles says:

    You really suspected she was wired at the time? I am not buying it.

    Good article though.

    FROM BUDDY: Thanks for the compliment.
    But you are wrong. I did suspect she was wired because she told me she wore a wire for the FBI. I just didn’t know when she wore the wire.

  2. Bizzare says:

    So all those loud, drunken appearances around town, where her boobs are falling out of her dress, all of that was just another day at the office. Yea right.

    And so much for Satz having nothing to do with the investigation…sounds like he was absolutely involved if Alu as his employee was working with the feds.

    This entire thing is bizzare.
    FROM BUDDY: Her involvement with the feds pre-dates her work for Satz and even her law degree by several years. Satz did know about her involvement with the FBI when he hired her, according to Alu.
    My article last week that Satz was not involved in the investigation was based on the U. S. Attorney’s public comments last Wednesday.

  3. the unasked question... says:

    So just out of nowhere the Feds pick Sheila out of all the politicians in Broward to wire up??????? Come on knowing all the alleged corruption in Sunrise one has to wonder if she got her tit caught in a ringer and this was what she had to do to get out of it.

    Another interesting scenario will be if the FBI records prove the alleged illicit trysts with Cacciatore and Bob Norman that have been alleged to have been going on for awhile?

    FROM BUDDY: Heavy emphasis on the word alleged as far as trysts. I have seen no evidence of this, althought it has been hinted in the blogosphere. I find that many of the allegations that are in the comment section of blogs is BS.
    Alu ran into the feds because she fought the waste hauling contract in Sunrise. They natually were interested in the waste business.
    She volunteered to work for them, but I don’t know who broached the idea first.

  4. Worried says:

    Tell us, do you know how she got home after “they drank heavy”. With all that drinking she was doing trying to get Gallagher to talk, the public would like to know who drove her home? Doesn’t change that bribes are bad and people who take them should go to prison (having further damaged the public trust in the system), but it makes you worried if she drove herself home after her FBI reimbursed happy hours?
    FROM BUDDY: I’m not sure the FBI reimbursed her for anything.
    I have no idea how she got home, but I didn’t drive her.

  5. 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 I know you have a piece on it too but this is spreading wider and wider. 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?

  6. B. Maxwell says:

    Please stay tuned. More when we return….

  7. Broward voter says:

    Is this how it was widely rumored in political circles that Gallagher was under investigation? Then it begs the question — what could Neil Sterling possibly have done wrong, since he has not ever been mentioned as being involved in any of these get togethers?

  8. the unasked question... says:

    Well “alleged” as to Norman. As to Cacciatore there was sworn testimony regarding that one. If I remember he was so upset he was going to file a JQC and an Ethics complaint, but that never happened. Maybe that because one would have to give a sworn statement that the alleged facts were not true?

    Sorry Buddy, until the FBI confirms how this “relationship” developed it is a coin flip as to whether she did this to get out of trouble or for the greater good. Hey she wants to be Judge and wearing a wire never hurt Mel Grossman when he became Judge. Who knows?

    FROM BUDDY: She wants to be a judge! She has been a lawyer for less than two years. She’s got years to wait.

  9. The Long Black Robe (ret.) says:

    I have been around criminal justice a long time and I can’t recall anybody being an informant unless they were charged with something and were trying to save their own skins.
    The only explanation for Sheila Alu’s action is that she is a publicity junkie. She is no better than Al Sharpton or others who say they are driven to do “what’s right.” What they are really driven to do is get themselves noticed.

  10. I wonder says:

    If shelia was wearing a wire to get corrupt developers and lobbiests you have to wonder if she wore a wire hanging out with ali waldman and bergeron? Not saying they are corrupt but she did spend a lot of time together

  11. Robin Rorapaugh says:

    Buddy, Thank you for the excellent recap of the FBI/Alu story plus your personal color.

    The nastiness of the comments only point to how small a town Broward County really is.

    Sheila should be commended for her courage, no matter the circumstances of her original involvement with the FBI.

  12. Shrink says:

    The truth may still come out about Alu. She isn’t as clean as she wants people to believe. Her fellow Commissioners may be looking over their backs right now. The very things that she states she is against, they are involved. County Commissioners and ex-boy toys must be very nervous, they all allowed her in their inner circles. What is most un-nerving is that whatever she says, people believe her. Maybe a few mental tests need to be performed, just to make sure she is all there. Her back ground is not the perfect one.

  13. Crapper Detector says:

    Robin Rorapaugh, you are a mindless idiot if you think Sheila Alu’s hands are NOT dirty with something. What the feds just pulled her name out of a hat and said “She seems like an honest person, lets ask her to be our snitch.” You are either mindless of Sheila’s standing over your shoulder telling you what to write. By the way, make sure you don’t say anything personal or incriminating around Sheila, unless she’s not holding a cell phone and wearing a thong bikini…uurp…I just threw up in my mouth.