Surprise! Surprise! Yet another Broward politician is arrested on public corruption charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This time, it is Tamarac city commissioner Patricia “Patte” Atkins-Grad. According to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office spokesperson, Atkins-Grad is facing eight felony charges in total: one count of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation, two counts of unlawful compensation, two counts of bribery, three counts of official misconduct. Atkins-Grad is facing a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison as a result.
Following her arrest, she was released on bond while her case remains pending.
Atkins-Grad is accused of accepting $6,300 from Shawn and Bruce Chait to pay for her campaign victory party and a new lease on a BMW 525i. In exchange for the money, Atkins-Grad is accused of voting for the Chait’s real-estate projects while she served as a city commissioner.
While Atkins-Grad’s attorney said it was too soon to respond to the specific allegations, he did state that the Chaits have credibility issues given their own pending criminal cases and his belief that they were given a sweetheart deal from prosecutors in exchange for making cases against others.
As this case unfolds, I am sure a whole slew of unexpected information will come to light. Public corruption cases have a drama of their own, especially in a county like Broward.
In any event, it will be interesting to see how this one unfolds…