Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corruption Case Snares Former Coral Springs Florida Mayor Scott Brook

Mayor Scott Brook
 When Former Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook dropped out of a state House race in September, he cited family reasons.
But there was something else brewing in the background.
Brook is apparently another politician dragged down by the dirty developers, Bruce and Shawn Chait.
The Florida Ethics Commission staff is recommending commissioners find probable cause to believe Brook broke state ethics laws.  He is alleged to have accepted a boat trip, food and drink from the Chaits while voting on their controversial golf course project.
Brook was a member of the Broward County Planning Council, which was considering the Chait’s plan to pave over two Tamarac golf courses.
According to ethics commission documents obtained by

In 2006, Brook asked the Chaits for use of their 74-foot Viking yacht to watch the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show on May 6.  The developers  said the yacht was not available, but offered Brook a 27-foot boat instead.
    • Brook accepted and took his wife, children, another couple and their children to view the show.  He was given free drinks and snacks.
    • Less than three weeks later, Brook voted to approve development of 161 acres the Chaits owned in Tamarac with 931 homes.
  • The staff report indicates that Brook admitted accepting the 3 1/2 hour boat ride and refreshments.  The staff put the trip’s value at $750.
    Staff investigators concluded Brook broke state laws forbidding unauthorized compensation and soliciting unauthorized compensation. 

 Non-lawyers call that accepting and soliciting a bribe.The commission will consider the staff’s recommendation next month.
The complaint was filed by Tim Donnelly, a chief investigator of public corruption in State Attorney Mike Satz’s office.  I have no idea why Donnelly did not file a criminal complaint against Brook.
Any punishment would be a fine, but not jail since it was a civil ethics complaint.


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