Tamarac Mayor Busted!


Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco surrendered Wednesday at the Broward County Jail on four public corruption charges.

Talabisco is charged with Unlawful Compensation, Bribery, Official Misconduct and Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation. She faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Talabisco is the latest city official to be swept up in State Attorney Mike Satz’s probe of corruption in Broward.

Happier Times: Now Talabisco (right) and Sultinof are under arrest and Ritter is talking to the prosecutors

Satz’s main witness is a pair of developers in Tamarac — Bruce and Shawn Chait — who contend they bought through bribes and favors they obtained permission to pave over two golf courses to build condominiums.

She has been under investigation for months on allegations that after publicly returning money from the Chaits in her 2006 campaign, the developers used a shadowy political action committee to help her win.

The Chaits funded the committee with $21,000. In return, she voted in favor of the Chaits’ development on both sides of Florida’s Turnpike near Commercial Blvd.

Tamarac commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad, former Broward School Board member Stephanie Kraft and former Tamarac Commissioner Marc Sultanof have already been busted based on testimony from the Chaits.

The father and son developers pleaded guilty to corruption related charges. In return for reduced sentences, the Chaits are singing like canaries.

Others talking to prosecutors about Tamarac and the Chaits are County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, Stacy Ritter and former political consultant Beverly Bard Stracher. Stracher, who sources said was paid more than $100,000 in cash by the Chaits for lobbying, ran Talabisco’s campaigns.

Lieberman and Stracher told prosecutors about Talabisco’s campaign and her relationship with the Chaits, according to sources.


The news release from the State Attorney’s Office:

Broward State Attorney’s Office charges Tamarac mayor

The Broward State Attorney’s Office has obtained a warrant for the arrest of Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum – Talabisco on four public corruption charges for her improper dealings with two South Florida developers seeking her support of their building projects in her city.

Flansbaum – Talabisco is charged with Unlawful Compensation, Bribery, Official Misconduct and Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation.

She is accused of allowing developers Bruce and Shawn Chait to clandestinely contribute $21,000 through a political action committee to support her 2006 campaign for mayor in exchange for her favorable votes on the commission agenda involving their company, Prestige Homes.

Broward Circuit Judge Martin Bidwill signed an arrest warrant charging Flansbaum – Talabisco on Tuesday. The mayor surrendered at the Broward County Jail on Wednesday. Judge Bidwill set the bond on the four charges at a total of $9,000.

Unlawful Compensation and Bribery are second degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison. Official Misconduct and Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation are third degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.

6 Responses to “Tamarac Mayor Busted!”

  1. Resident says:

    Just reported by Sun-Sentinel that the Mayor just turned herself in at the Jail.

    You scooped them.

    FROM BUDDY: Thank you for noticing.

  2. Woodlands Tamarac says:

    This is very sad. I’m sure this has been hanging over her head for ages. Beth is a wonderful woman whose heart is really in her neighborhood and city. I believe wholeheartedly that she did nothing wrong.

    Makes me so angry that the Chaits got no jail time. Meanwhile, those golf courses they purchased in Tamarac sit empty and abandoned. A real blight on our city. These courses should be used as public parks.

  3. Satz IsThe Man says:

    Mike Satz is solidifying his re-election. All he needs is a few convictions.

  4. Sue Hacker says:

    Maybe now they can rescind the land use change for both golf courses. There is no way the Chaits should profit from the sale of this land. They should lose everything they spent both legally and illegally. I would have dearly loved for them to go to jail but at least our eyes have dramatically opened to just how deep the corruption goes in Broward County. After all, between the County, the School Board and the City, it sort of proves what the residents were saying all along – that this land use change was obtained illegally. Now is the time for our City to step up to the plate and rescind it. Hopefully someone is looking at the then sitting Regional Planning Council. I’m hardpressed to believe that all of them are innocent dupes in this matter. If I could jump for joy, I would.

  5. Satz is done says:

    The political apparatus will ensure his loss now that he has stabbed them in the back to rehabilitate his image.

  6. Kevin says:

    Good luck proving what she did was illegal. 527s are perfectly legal.

    It looks to me that she is charged with a quid pro quo conspiracy to trade campaign cash for her vote. It also looks like they have County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman to testify there was a deal, along with the Chaits and others.
    527s (committees) are legal. Trading votes for money is not.
    See my second story.