Written by Elgin Jones
By ELGIN JONES
FORT LAUDERDALE — The former treasurer of the Broward County Democratic Party’s Council of Club Presidents is facing arrest in a case involving the group’s finances, according to several sources close to the investigation.
Percy Johnson, 41, of Fort Lauderdale, is the immediate past treasurer of the organization. He was scheduled to surrender on Wednesday, according to his attorney, Johnny L. McCray Jr., and several other sources.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office said the investigation is ongoing and no warrant has been issued for Johnson’s arrest.
Nonetheless, Johnson reportedly has been telling friends and acquaintances that he would surrender this week. That has now been delayed and the reasons are unknown.
Johnson is being accused of writing several checks to himself from the organization’s bank account.
His attorney, McCray, said, “He is being charged,” but he wansn’t sure what the charges are.”
Copies of those checks obtained by South Florida Times shows that Johnson wrote a check to a relative, and more than $2,100 worth of checks to himself. He is also accused of making cash withdrawals and failing to deposit an unspecified amount of cash recieved into the council’s bank account.
Members of the organization’s board had been in talks with Johnson to reach a resolution. Those discussions reportedly broke down, prompting Johnson to hire McCray to represent him in the case. Some members of the organization then filed a complaint with Fort Lauderdale Police, who opened the criminal investigation.
McCray is a high-profile attorney who has represented several politicians, including former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion and former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore, and former Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Sylvia Poitier.
In an earlier interview with South Florida Times, Johnson acknowledged writing checks to himself and making cash withdrawals. He said at the time that he believed the money was used for “official council business.”
The Council of Club Presidents is a political organization comprised of more than 30 top officials of Democratic Party clubs and caucuses in Broward County.
Johnson served as treasurer for eight years and did not seek re-election in the April 2011 elections. During the transition, the newly elected officers requested the financial records. Johnson was slow to turn over those records and the group threatened legal action. At that time, he acknowledged they would find some “discrepancies” in the financial books.
With permission from the South Florida Times
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