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Crist calls for statewide grand jury investgation of South Florida corruption

by Dara Kam | October 14th, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist called for a statewide grand jury to investigate political corruption in South Florida and around the state. Crist said he has removed 30 public officials from office around the state since he’s been governor.

“A recent rash of crimes committed by public officials in South Florida has led to a crisis of confidence among those who have elected them to office,” Crist said. “Today, I have petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to impanel a Grand Jury to investigate these crimes, bring indictments and provide specific recommendations to address fundamental problems within the system that may be cultivating a culture of corruption.”

Read the petition here.

Crist’s request for a grand jury comes after in the wake of the indictments of several Broward County elected officials on federal charges including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud. And prominent GOP fundraiser Alan Mendelsohn, a lobbyist who served on Crist’s transition team, was indicted last week on charges that he diverted at least $350,000 from campaign contribution and clients’ fees to pay for his mistress’ love nest, a luxury car and his kids’ private school tuition.

Palm Beach County led the public corruption scandal sheet in 2006 that resulted in three county commissioners and two West Palm Beach officials going to prison.

The corruption isn’t limited to South Florida, Crist said. He’s asked the grand jury to begin work by focusing on Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Lee and Hendry counties.

Crist, who is running for U.S. Senate, said he has removed 30 officials from their elected positions since he took over as governor 34 months ago.

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom is also currently being tried on charges of corruption charges after he steered money for an airport hangar to a Panhandle college that later hired him.

Statewide Prosecutor Bill Shepherd will head up the investigation jury if the Supreme Court signs off on Crist’s request.

Shepherd said it will likely take at least a year before the grand jury completes its work, which would coincide with next year’s general election.

Gov. Jeb Bush tapped an anti-corruption task force a decade that made recommendations to public corruption laws that legislators largely ignored.

“This is a new day and this is a different legislature,” Crist said.

Here’s a list of public officials suspended by Crist since he took office<.

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20 Responses to “Crist calls for statewide grand jury investgation of South Florida corruption”

  1. Jackie Says:

    It is about time someone started ‘minding the mint.’ Why do we have a Governor if he doesn’t watch what happens in his State. The article says a recent rash of crimes. There is nothing recent about it. It has been going on for years.

  2. LaQuishaniqua Jones Says:

    Burt”the bag man” Aronsons time is coming to an end. A crook from the very start. Him and his blow buddies at GL homes.

  3. bernie Says:

    this is how long it took, masilotti is almost out of jail, i mean it literally took 5 years from when they know we are getting ripped off, until he moves,

    taxes will drop like a rock, when he didnt drop the taxes like a rock in 6 months, i left, so glad i did

  4. CC Corruption Says:

    Time to start in Cooper City with the Mayor and pick up where Jeb Bush left off…

  5. npgator Says:

    Why else would someone go into politics to begin with?

  6. Corrupt Who Says:

    Lets add Tallahassee to the list. How does a state rep with a GED get appointed to the Top spot on the Public Service Comission making 130K? Inquiring minds want to know!

  7. patrick Says:

    Lets not forget Mayor Sam from Greenacres!

  8. goofy Says:

    We have the goofiest bunch of politicians in the world….

  9. mad Says:

    They need to also investigate the corruption of judges.

  10. mad Says:

    They also need to investigate the corruption of the judges.

  11. Mike Katz, Public Corruption Expert Says:

    I say that we behead them for good measure.

  12. Big Daddy Says:

    What a cynical campaign ploy! This is classic “pit Northern v. Southern Florida” stuff. Wonder why he didn’t call for statewide investigations or target other major metro areas like the 13th Circuit (Tampa), the 6th Circuit(St. Pete), the 9th (Orlando), or the 1st (Tallabama). DIVIDE AND CONQUER!!

    Turns out Charlie Christ is a friggin’ Republican after all. Don’t vote for Chuckles for Senator and definitely don’t vote for that fascist Marco Rubio. That guy is giving Jesse Helms a run for his money as “most conservative hypocrite”.

  13. sk Says:

    they need to give me a government job,il make sure shit runs smooth

  14. luckydog Says:

    These Yankee carpetbaggers are a gangof trash and need to be chained to a public whipping post.

  15. Retired Detective Says:

    Hey Charlie don’t forget to add Tallahassee to your list. Start with the IGs Office in the Department of Revenue. They covered up corruption in 1997-98 collecting millions in scam investigations done by their Broward County Criminal Investigation Office. When several legit agents reported it, they were all fired. My guess is the corruption still exists today. Charlie you are no more honest than Jeb and we all know how honest he wss.

  16. Bluewater Says:

    Also be sure to look here: TOM PELLAM and DCA up in Tallahassee.

  17. Hangman Says:

    Tom Pellam and the rest of the staff at DCA are big favor-givers. Corrupt to the bone….

  18. stillwaiting 4justice Says:

    I must say I was disappointed when I did not see the Eighth Judicial System listed as: County of Interest. FDLE conducting the investigations? Come On…Let’s get real here… Once again, our government is sending the fox to watch over the hen house.

  19. LRT Says:

    I am going to take a wild bet…They turn MANY more out right here in Palm Beach County..

  20. mike case Says:

    Wait a minute, if we put the corrupt officals in jail. Who’s going to run the goverment.

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