Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hallandale Beach mayor accepted illegal checks from Russians, prosecutors say

Hat Tip: Weasel Zippers

The following article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times on January 27th

By Martin Vassolo and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald

Joy Cooper knew the value of her political power.

On a summer day in 2012, the Hallandale Beach mayor met in her City Hall office with two men she thought were wealthy landowners from California as well as a close acquaintance, South Florida attorney and lobbyist Alan Koslow.
Joy Cooper
The landowners — FBI agents working undercover — would help finance Cooper’s re-election run. In return, she would push their construction project through the city commission.

Koslow showed the mayor a proposed donation and asked if it was a "good number."

"No," Cooper said. "Add a zero."

"Three zeros. Is that fine?" Koslow responded. "Yes," she said.

Cooper went on to win re-election in November 2012, after soliciting and receiving thousands of dollars that state prosecutors now say were illegal campaign contributions. Cooper, 57, who had served as mayor since 2005, was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday after she was charged with campaign finance violations, official misconduct and money laundering.

Cooper was released on a $12,000 bond Thursday as she awaits trial. Her defense attorney said the state’s case — turned over by the FBI to Broward prosecutors last year — was flawed because it was ultimately built upon the cooperation of Koslow. He’s now a fallen attorney who pleaded guilty to an unrelated federal money-laundering charge in 2016 and helped investigators make the case against Cooper.

Cooper’s attorney, Larry Davis, said he was "extremely disappointed" that the Broward State Attorney’s Office relied upon Koslow, whom he described as "a disgraced and disbarred convicted felon."

In a statement, Cooper promised to "vigorously fight these allegations in court."

A day after her high-profile arrest, details of Cooper’s alleged corruption have emerged in an arrest affidavit filed by state prosecutors in Broward County Circuit Court. Many of her words and actions were documented with undercover audio and video recordings.

(Article continues HERE)

Ed.  Do you know what word doesn’t appear in the rather lengthy article?

If you guessed DEMOCRAT, you’re right! Probably just an oversight.

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