William F. Davis Jr., Palm Springs Village Public Services Director, was arrested on November 29 for allegedly receiving unlawful rewards in exchange for official favors. Davis faces charges for organized scheme to defraud and unlawful rewards for official behavior. He was held in lieu of $8,000 and has since bonded out of jail. The press didn’t name an attorney for Davis.
According to Palm Beach County State Attorney’s office, Davis reportedly received almost $20,000 in bribes from contractors Carlo and Luigi Basile of AKA Services over the past six years. The Basile brothers believed that the town would pay them faster for their sewage and water services if they bribed Davis to accelerate the process.
The state attorney’s office also claims that Davis received bribes from Aldo’s Construction, but only on one occasion. Both contractors reportedly wrote out checks for cash and discreetly placed them in Davis’ vehicle. The alleged scheme was revealed by Richard Reade, Palm Springs Village manager, a few months after he started managing the town. Reade purportedly noticed that the town’s finances had discrepancies.
“During the summer of 2014, we started noticing the number of irregularities and concerns . . . at that point, with the full support of my mayor and council, we brought it to . . . the state attorney’s office,” Reade told news sources.
Davis lost his job after working for Palm Springs for 25 years. The town has since made many changes, including installing electronic work order systems, purchasing cameras, and implementing fueling software. According to Reade, the town’s top priority is being transparent with residents when issues like these arise and maintaining public trust.
In less than a month, two other South Florida officials have been accused of receiving bribes. Jami Moore, former Deerfield Beach Parks superintendent, and Carl Ervin, former public works supervisor for Dania Beach, were arrested on November 7 on bribery charges.
Ervin and Moore allegedly received Walmart gift cards from businessman Robert Feldman in exchange for city tenders. Ervin purportedly bought chemicals worth more than $30,000 for Dania Beach and Moore allegedly bought fire ant killer worth $14,360 for Deerfield Beach Parks from Feldman.
The outrageous size of the purchases set off red flags that prompted Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Public Corruption Unit to look into the matter. The corruption unit’s investigation eventually led to the arrest of Ervin, Moore, and Feldman. All three men reportedly confessed their crimes. It is unclear if any of the accused have sought legal representation.
Source: 12.1.16 Davis Bribery.pdf