Tamarac Mayor Faces Charges After Appeals Court Reverses Ruling

Mayor Beth Talabisco at Tamarac's 50th Anniversary Celebration last week

Mayor Beth Talabisco at Tamarac’s 50th Anniversary Celebration last week

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco could face suspension the second time after The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a Judge’s decision to drop the State’s case against her.

This means that the case that was ruled by Judge Cynthia Imperato last year will be heard by a jury.

In 2011, the state alleged that Talabisco received financial assistance in her mayoral campaign from two developers in exchange for her favorable vote to approve their highly controversial development project after the elections. The development proposed turning a golf course into a residential community and drew vocal advocates both for and against the plan.

In 2006, Talabisco was running for the office of mayor when Bruce and his son, Shawn Chait, who owned Prestige Homes of Tamarac, Inc., sought government approval to build their project in the city. Prior to her campaign, the Chaits believed that Talabisco supported the project and would vote in favor of it.

According to the ruling, Shawn Chait recognized that Talabisco’s support for the project was clear from the beginning of his involvement in her campaign but both Chaits wanted to be part of the effort to ensure her election and show support.

“Whether [Talabisco’s] support for the Chaits’ project was contingent upon their support of her is a question of intent. [Talabisco’s] intent is a question of fact for the jury,” said the ruling released today.

In February 2006, Shawn Chait met with others to discuss ways in which they could get involved in the Tamarac mayoral race to influence the outcome. The first thing they did was conduct a poll which discovered that Talabisco was tied with her opponent. The Chaits then decided to create and fund an ECO campaign (electioneering communications organization) for Talabisco. The ECO was named “Tamarac Residents for Good Government,” and the Chaits financially contributed to it by way of two conduit entities, which the Chaits later reimbursed, to create political advertisements including campaign flyers.

Talabisco claimed that her vote for the project was never contingent upon the Chaits’ financial support of her mayoral campaign. Talabisco further claimed that she “received no payment, financial benefit, or anything of value from the Chaits.”

If Mayor Talabisco were temporarily suspended from office, Vice Mayor Harry Dressler would take her place.

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac and to give resident's a forum. We are not affiliated with the City of Tamarac. That's why this site can be occasionally opinionated and obviously open.

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  • David

    Great. I go on vacation and one good thing happens and Tamarac gets enough sigs to get rid of Atkins-Grad but then now this happens. When does it stop?

  • Disgusted

    Another potential hefty legal bill for
    the residents of Tamarac. The system is flawed in so many ways… but this is a
    particularly insulting affront to the tax payers. The only time that residents should
    be on the hook for a lawsuit brought against an elected official is if it is an
    obviously frivolous one brought on by a resident. But, one brought on by the State
    Attorney, one based on, at the very least, compelling and questionable actions
    should be borne by the elected official. If she is convicted, is
    there a way that the residents can sue her for repayment of the previous legal
    fees we paid out? I hope so.

  • B S Buster

    Beth needs to resign. Her term is tainted and most of the citizens of Tamarac are sick of the corrupt officials. She claims that she was unaware of the donations, BULL, it sounds like a stupid Patti comment. Maybe a deal could be made where she resigns to avoid prosecution. First hand, I know how very insensitive she is. Never the less, I believe most of the citizens would be relieved if she just GOES AWAY, FAR AWAY .
    Maybe she could take her good friend Greg Warner with her.

  • commenter8

    Dressler would become the new Mayor but there still needs to be a replacement for Talabisco’s seat on the Commission while she goes on trial. And Glasser should be ousted also. Another recall effort is needed!