Who’s Next After Wasserstrom?


Public officials.   Take a look at this picture.


website--january 25, 2010--wasserstrom's jail shot

Keith Wasserstrom

You could be next!

The picture is of former Hollywood City Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom as he was booked into the jail a week ago to begin his 60-day sentence. 

He is in solitary at his own request.  He gets out to shower, limited recreation, to visit the law library and attend religious services, according to The Miami Herald.

I have no sympathy for Wasserstrom.   He sold out his constituents.

His law firm was doing legal work for a company that won a contract with Hollywood.

In addition to a jail term, he got his license to practice law pulled: 


Keith Wasserstrom, 5011 S. State Road 7, Suite 106, Davie, suspended for three years, effective retroactive to April 18, 2008, following an April 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) In February 2009, Wasserstrom was convicted of felonies in circuit court in connection with his position as a city commissioner in Hollywood. (Case No. SC08-525)

Wasserstrom deserved everything he got.and more.

Yet, inside dealing is still going on in Broward.

How many commissioners or their relatives are funneling money through law practices?  How many are working as “consultants to firms doing business with government?

How many others steer contracts to firms represented by their favorite lobbyists?  How many are taking envelopes of cash?

How many others put their relatives on the payroll? 

(Memo to the feds:  Investigative wiz Fred Schulte and school reporter Bill Hirschman wrote a story for the Sun-Sentinel how the School Board staff hired their own relatives over more qualified employees on May 22, 1994.  It was a long time ago, but I would bet nothing has changed.  Here is the top of the story:

“Broward’s public school system has spent millions of dollars hiring relatives of employees, paying substantial overtime to certain employees and making large payments to retirees for unused sick leave.

Nearly one of five school district employees – including about half of the district’s top administrators – have family members who also draw a school paycheck, records show.)

Hopefully, the authorities will find out.

Wasserstrom was popped by Mike Satz’s State Attorney’s Office.  But much of the heavy lifting on public corruption continues to be done by the feds.

The feds say publicly they are still looking at Broward government, with several agents assigned fulltime to the job.

Numerous sources have told me they are investigating county commissioners, the School Board and city halls across Broward.  Maybe even the hospital district.

The feds aren’t through in Broward.  That’s a good thing.

—-Post suggested by Dan Christensen of Browardbulldog.com. The words and opinions are mine.

11 Responses to “Who’s Next After Wasserstrom?”

  1. Out with the old says:

    Isn’t Gonesburger’s son on the payroll at the property appraiser’s office and wasn’t her daughter on the payroll at B.S.O.? Isn’t true that her daughter was fired by Lamberti and since then, Gonesburger has been trying to privatize B.S.O.? No family nepotism there.

  2. Garbage says:

    I would suggest the feds look at the garbage situation that you have been writing about in Sunrise and at the county. They already have Sheila Alu as an informant in Sunrise.

  3. Go Chaz Go says:

    If the letters for investigation by Chaz do some good, then Seidman may be next

  4. Balanced View says:

    This issue needs to be looked at in a more balanced way.

    Everyone should agree that the people working in the government should earn their jobs through merit, and typically that happens within a competitive system. All jobs in the private sector should be earned that way also. That’s not the way the world generally spins.

    The desire to work in government is something that many grow up seeing within their own families.
    It is no coincidence that many whose mom’s or dad’s were in the miltary, or police, or fire, teachers or general employees end up following them later in life into the same line of work.

    It is also true that sometimes those moms and dads “help” get their kids jobs in government. Likewise, some elected officials “help” with their own family members. This is not new.

    Rules apply that regulate this activity and those rules need to be followed. The concern is not so much that someone related to a current employee finds work in government. The bigger concern is where the person hired is not qualified to do the job, or even nearly best qualified.

    Nor does this phenomenon apply only to government. It is the way this world has turned for centuries in the private sector. Except they don’t have any comparable rules to those in government. I think that makes them even more corrupt.

    Who would deny that private companies don’t hire the relatives, including the sons and daughters of current employees or business associates that throw their weight around. Or that college admissions don’t in part focus on who was or wasn’t a “legacy” or who does or doesn’t contribute to the college fund, no matter what the grades applicant might be?

    So if we’re going to raise this issue, let’s raise it everywhere it applies, and in every context, not just with government.

    The “culture of corruption” is not a phrase that is exclusively linked to government. That culture is much more pervasive outside of government. A big part of the “culture” is that we don’t even call it “corruption” when it occurs outside of government. The corruption in the private sector costs residents much much more than the corruption in government ever has or ever will.

    This is not to excuse even a nickel’s worth of corruption in government. It is an effort to more accurately focus our effort to root out corruption everywhere it applies.

  5. BrowardTeacher says:

    I’ve heard from a VERY reliable source that the FBI is still investigating the BC School Board. Wasserman may get some more company

    FROM BUDDY: The FBI is definitely investigating the School Board and so is a federal Grand Jury.

  6. Dave R says:

    Maybe we’ll see Deputy Frank McCurrie’s picture next!

  7. Sherlock says:

    Investigate Judge Seidman now. There is so much stuff that Seidman has done in the past and present.

  8. Chaz Stevens says:

    No. Next up to bat is former Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini. Arrested for one felony count of misuse of public office, he’s on trial in 2 weeks.

    Followed shortly thereafter by his colleague, former Deerfield Beach Commissioner Steve Gonot. Arrested for 2 counts of pinching money from his campaign funds.

    Three guesses who’s complaint lead to the eventual arrests of both of these scumbuckets?

    You’re welcome in advance…

    Chaz Stevens

  9. fanofdunning says:

    Not even the prosecutors accused Wasserstrom of taking money. He was convicted of not detailing enough on a form about why he RECUSED himself from a vote. The City Attorney’s the one who filled out those forms. He knew the whole story and filled them out according to the facts. They’re forms, not biographies, and Wasserstrom is innocent. The City Attorney called his case a “travesty of justice.”

    His prosecution was a form of corruption – while real criminals are left in office to steal from the public, which Wasserstrom never did. It was a show trial and anyone who looks at the simple facts knows how overhyped and wrong your piece is.

    Oh, pleeeze. “A travesty of justice!!”
    His law firm did work for a city vendor. That alone smells of inside dealing.
    The firm didn’t get paid?
    There are a million clients out there. Why did do work for a firm that received a city contract?
    You are right on one point. The formal charge he was convicted of was improperly filling out a required form.
    He still sold out his constituents. There should be absolutely no connections between their commissioners and the firms doing business with the city.

  10. I Disagree says:

    The charges against Keith Wasserstrom were hypertechnical in nature. He disclosed that he had conflicts. He did not vote on the project. He was up front about the whole thing.

    He filled out the form wrong. OK.
    But the substance of the thing was well disclosed and out there, by him himself. He took no city money, not one red cent.


    He has lost his elected office, and accordint to many his name and reputation, the latter two of which I hope he someday, somehow can get back because Keith is not an evil guy.

    He has lost his law license which is how he feeds himself and his family for three years at least. And now he has lost his freedom for two months in jail.

    All that because he failed to fill a form out correctly, that his own city attorney said was filled out just fine? That’s quite a price to pay.

    If he had stolen city money, I’d have no problem. If he had failed to disclose a conflict, likewise that would have been foolish of him. But the remedy for his situation should have been a fine, possibly even a stiff fine, and a strong warning. I would not have thrown him out of office for this, let the residents decide that. I would not have prosecuted him as a felon for this, that’s excessive.

    We are going overboard here with the way sentencing is being handed out to elected officials. Go hard after the ones that steal or take bribes, that’s OK. But failure to fill out a form just right? Punished so severely? That is just excessive and I always thought so.

    FROM BUDDY: I disagree and so did a jury.

  11. Ben says:


    One of the counts the jury convicted him on was a form that the City Attorney filled out. He recused himself from voting in Hollywood on any matter involving Swing. In the rarest of cases, the City Attorney publicly stated that what happened to him was a travesty of justice. Wasserstrom truly did no wrong. A form is a form, not a biography. One of the 2 forms was filled out by the City Attorney, the other checked by him. They were forms about why Wasserstrom recused himself – not why he voted (which he didn’t). The case is a travesty and there are many others in what have been far too many rushes to justice. It’s insane.