By: Sharon Aron Baron
It was announced today that the taxpayers of Tamarac would compensate Patte Atkins-Grad’s defense attorney $69,469 for representing her while she faced corruption charges and was ultimately found not guilty.
Atkins-Grad’s attorney, Kenneth Malnik, who represented Atkins-Grad for over two years, provided invoices referencing 221 hours spent on her case at $300 per hour. $3,139 was also included, which was for court reporters, transcripts, and process services.
In February, residents were hit with a $123,000 in back pay owed to Atkins-Grad for her salary, phone, insurance, car allowance, and retirement plan. She was entitled to the benefits she would have received because, under Florida law, she was found not guilty.
Although never denying taking bribes from father and son developers Bruce and Sean Chait, who gave her $6,000 for a down payment on a BMW and $4,000 for a victory party, Atkins-Grad used the defense that she was too “dumb” or “naive” to know that she was being bribed.
After failing last month, residents in Tamarac have already started a petition to legally recall the commissioner by 18 signatures. The petition started last Saturday, and volunteers can only collect signatures for 30 days. Organizers will be holding a public event at The Woodlands Country Club’s Section One Clubhouse this weekend, where District Two residents can come and sign if they choose.