Normally Chatty Patte Does Not Testify in Corruption Trial

Patte Atkins-Grad

By:  Patti Lynn

This is a series of reports from Patti Lynn who is covering the trial of Patte Atkins-Grad, the suspended Tamarac City Commissioner who is charged with eight felony charges for allegedly taking cash or gifts from father and son developers Bruce and Shawn Chait. Lynn ran against Atkins-Grad two times for the City Commission seat.

Atkins-Grad was arrested as a Commissioner back in 2010 because she failed to disclose payments for a $2,300 BMW lease and $4,000 for her victory party back in 2006 for her election as state law requires.  She has been charged with two counts each of bribery and unlawful compensation, three counts of official misconduct and one count of conspiracy to comimit unlawful compensation.

Day 6
Testimony Ends

Today was the shortest day of the trial of suspended City of Tamarac Commissioner Patricia “Patte” Atkins-Grad. The prosecution had one witness.

Jennifer Bramley, Community Development Director for the City Of Tamarac was called by the prosecution as the state’s last witness. Bramley was with the City of Coral Springs before working for Tamarac.

She has an extensive background in the field, and she is good at what she does.

Her testimony was direct and precise. The Sabal Palm/Monterey Development projects had begun prior to her employment with the City of Tamarac as her starting date was January 4, 2007. Patte Atkins-Grad voted on the project for the first time on March 22, 2006.

She stated, under oath, that she examined the plusses and minuses of the proposed development and added requirements, where necessary, to mitigate the impact to traffic, schools, utilities, to the neighboring communities. She was comfortable with the work her department did. She knew that there were stipulations in the agreement between the Chaits, the city, and the county. Most of those stipulations involved payments to several of the Mainlands communities. Those payments were the results of agreements that the Chaits made with several Boards of Directors of these associations which paid their recreation leases off, even giving them extra cash.

It did not come up in testimony, but those provisions involving payments to the affected associations, were carried forward with the land, not only with the Chaits. They could only be eliminated, or modified by the Board of County Commissioners, or the City of Tamarac Commission. It should be interesting to see if either governing board has dealt the Mainlands communities. Yet another blow regarding these pieces of land.

The jury was told that the plans that Prestige Homes of Tamarac had for the property, ‘went south.’ That is, Bruce and Shawn Chait did not get to develop the property, recoup their investment, or make the millions that they thought would be theirs once the land use zoning was changed.

Under cross-examination, Jennifer Bramley admitted that the Chaits were aggressive when dealing with her and her department. They yelled a lot; they didn’t want to comply with the code compliance issues that the Magistrate had ordered. The picture that she painted of Shawn Chait, was one of a bully; an entitled individual, one to whom people seldom said “No.”

Although it was state evidence, her portrayal may be of benefit to Atkins-Grad’s defense.

With the jury out of the room, defense attorney Melnick requested a direct verdict of acquittal. He went through each element of the alleged crimes, focusing on the corrupt intent, emphasizing Atkins-Grad’s lack of intelligence and experience in the political field.

The Assistant State Attorney countered each of his arguments with examples of the alleged official misconduct and corruption. Judge Bernard Bober denied the motion, determining that there is sufficient circumstantial evidence for the matter to be brought before the jury.

The prosecution rested. The defense advised that they had no witnesses. The judge was thorough, asking defendant Atkins-Grad if she had sufficient information to decide that she did not wish to take the stand. He advised that she was entitled to speak to the jury, but, however, with that entitlement came the state’s right to cross examine her. Ms. Atkins-Grad, upon further questioning by Judge Bober, advised the court that, “I cannot testify.”

Court was adjourned at 2:35 pm and will resume tomorrow at 2:00 pm where the attorneys will give their closing arguments, the judge will instruct the jurors, two alternates will be dismissed, and deliberations will begin.

About Patti Lynn

Patti Lynn has been a Broward County Resident since 1963 and a Resident of Tamarac since 2001. Retired as manager for the US Post Office, she is the mother of two children and has a grandchild. Patti is currently the President of the Broward Coalition which is a coalition of condominium associations, homeowner associations and community business organizations representing over 100,000 families in Broward County. She is also on the Board of Directors of Mainlands 8 of Tamarac Lakes 8.

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  • Alan Sloane

    Well Patti Lynn, it loooks like Patte leaves you standing with egg on your face ,yet again.At what point will you get over her continually beating you in elections,popularity and being a better person.She wa proved innocent and you need to move on.All of the negative energy you throw out in the universe just keeps coming back to you.And when offering beauty tips to others,please first look in the mirror and realize the 1980’s Bea Arthur drag queen look just doesn’t work for you!

    • Not innocent Alan, just not guilty. The I’m Stupid defense worked and we need to remember when elections roll around this woman was by her own mouth incompetant and unfit to stand trial. How can she represent us on the complex decisions made by our Commission? How can we trust her after she admitted to taking the Chait’t Money…What a shame this is for all of us. At least we won’t have to read anymore of Sharon and Patti’s crap on the subject. Not guilty by a jury of her peers.

  • Wow…

    Hey Patti Lynn. Albertson’s is having buy one 2 liter bottle of Popov Vodka, get three free!

    Seems a good way for you to, er…, move past this moment in your life.

    Normally, this would come as a big blow to a mere mortal, but thank goodness you are full of such self-righteousness, this will merely be a slight delay as you reach for another six pack of Zima!

    I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering what your next awe inspiring move in life will be…

    PS
    Just let me know where you’ll be driving … as I just bought a new ride, and I’d not appreciate you playing Car Frogger with my Lexus.

  • Weldon in KP

    I cannot foresee how Patte can serve Tamarac as a Commissioner once more since she has had a stroke, and from her defense, is naive and easily manipulated. She also cannot be relied upon to declare conflict of interest. Will she miraculously feel better this week, start serving again make budgetary decisions that affect our city again? This is a very scary possibility that no one is looking at here. Maybe this is perhaps why she didn’t testify, so as not appear to lie under oath for these very things.

  • Michael

    There must be something in the Tamarac water that causes memory loss, but only after you do something morally or illegally wrong. This case was not about if Patte took the money for her party or the car lease money, it was about if she were in her right mind or just incompetant or just plain dumb. Well dumb luck is what has resulted, however as Fox Mcshain and Welden in KP stated, do we want people like her and Diane Glasser making important decisions for us when they admit that they are not capable of making peoper ones for themselves.
    Imagine if we got a ticket because we didn’t know about the move over law, and we said we were innocent because we never heard of that law or we didn’t remember it, see where that would get you. A ticket and a class in defensive driving, I know because it happened to me.