By: Sharon Aron Baron
It was announced today that the taxpayers of Tamarac will compensate Patte Atkins-Grad’s defense attorney $69,469 for representing her while she faced corruption charges and 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 were also included which were for court reporters, transcripts and process services.
In February, residents were hit with a bill for $123,000 in back pay that was 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.
Residents in Tamarac have already started a petition to legally recall the commissioner after failing last month 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.Petition Drive Woodlands Section One Clubhouse 5220 Rock Island Road (Just South of Commercial Blvd) 10:00 am – 3:00 pm