Will Consultant’s Testimony Torpedo Corruption Cases?



And State Attorney Mike Satz gave the ethically challenged campaign consultant Bev Stracher immunity for this kind of testimony?

Stracher testified that one of Satz’s key witnesses in several Tamarac corruption cases is a liar.  It’s all in the Sun-Sentinel this morning.

She told prosecutors that crooked developer Shawn Chait “likes to brag and exaggerate. You don’t believe half the stuff he says.”

That’s helpful!

Chait is expected to testify how he bribed public officials while getting approval of a huge project in Tamarac.

The rest of Stracher’s testimony reprinted by the Sun-Sentinel is as expected.

County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman’s “vote is not for sale,” she told prosecutors.

Since her livelihood depends on Lieberman, I dismiss anything that Stracher says about the county commissioner.

What annoys me and many others is that Lieberman put Stracher on the county payroll as her aide in the midst of a recession last year. Lieberman and Stracher have been friends for years.

Forget about the corruption cases.  The idea that Lieberman would hire a friend at the same time the commission was considering layoffs is a disgrace.

Stracher most likely would have gotten the job regardless of the Chait trial.    When Stracher’s marriage was crumbling and she  needed help, her friend Lieberman threw her a life line.  A life line built with our money.

That life line will lead to many questions from the defense. The only question that really counts is whether Stracher’s testimony stands up or creates a reasonable doubt in juror’s minds.

I hope that Satz has some better witnesses.

(Personal disclosure: Bev Stracher was a reporter on the Sun-Sentinel when I was working for that newspaper. )

4 Responses to “Will Consultant’s Testimony Torpedo Corruption Cases?”

  1. Git R Done says:

    Why would State Attorney Mike Satz give her Immunity? That’s the major Question???… Afterall, she was behind most of this, helping her husband who was representing the “Chait” boys @ that time. Setting it up for them to meet several elected Officials who sat on the Planning and Zoning Board and also the Tamarac City Commission. Besides, Lieberman knew of most of this as well.
    The Chait Boys haven’t been arrested as well, but, several are awaiting their time in Court. WTH???

  2. Fort Lauderdale Lawyer says:

    From what I have read, I don’t see Satz has winning cases in a lot of these prosecutions. The evidence appears weak.

  3. Floridan says:

    The only question should be is Bev Stracher qualified for the job she holds?

    The statement that Stracher is being paid with taxpayer dollars, or that she was hired when the county was laying off other employees, is a non sequitur.

    Lieberman had an open position on her staff that would have been filled and paid for with taxpayer money no matter who she hired.

    County commissioners have staff, as do state legislators and members of Congress. These positions are part administrative, part political. That’s the way the system works.

    Who knows if she is qualified? Did she take a test? Was she judged against any other applicant?

    Maybe Lieberman and the rest should do something really revolutionary — cut their staff. After all, they are asking every other county employee to make sacrifices. Why not them?

    By the way, School Board aides are picked by members from a pool of School Board employees hired by the administration. The salaries are set by the salary schedule, not by the member.

    Commission aides jobs are patronage jobs. Some commissioners have handed them out to friends and supporters. Commissioners also set the aides salaries and even give them bonuses.

  4. Rules of Evidence says:

    I don’t like these Chait people one bit and hate that any of our officials might be taking money in exchange for votes. But an important point is very clearly made by these facts.

    Testimony from suspected co-conspirators against one another makes for inherently untrustworthy evidence, especially when immunity is offered in return for the testimony, therefore it should be considered inadmissible.

    This is the law in many states yet this seems not to be the case in Florida. Are there any criminal lawyers out there that can comment on that point?