FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Margate City Commission David McClean faced a judge Wednesday in federal court as he was charged with three counts of bribery.
McClean, 50, made his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow in Fort Lauderdale.
In January 2012, McClean reportedly agreed to help the owner of strip shopping center where he leased space for his bar obtain an occupational license from the city. He also allegedly agreed to help with a $24,000 lien the city had placed against the property.
The shopping center owner, identified as “cooperating witness #1 in the indictment or “CW-1”, “had experienced a number of adverse contacts with members of the Margate city government,” according to the indictment.
The following month CW1 accompanied McClean to City Hall where he met with city officials over getting his license and was released from the lien.
In exchange for his help, McClean accepted $1,000 in cash and was released from the $8,000 he owed in back rent for his bar.
The indictment also alleges that McClean and CW-1 discussed getting federal dollars from city in the form of a Margate Community Redevelopment Agency grant to make improvements to the shopping center. McClean sat on the MCRA board and reportedly told CW-1 that he could control the way the vote went.
According to the indictment, the pair inflated the bid for the repairs and agreed to split any money left over after the construction was complete.
McClean abstained from voting when their application came up, but did “orchestrate” the vote, according to the indictment. CW-1 was granted $25,000 of which $17,000 would be needed for the repairs and upgrades.
On November 2, 2012, McLean allegedly accepted $3,000 in cash in exchange for his influence in connection with the grant. On January 30, 2013, McLean accepted another $2,000 in cash from the left over MCRA grant money, according to the indictment.
“Public officials who sell their office and their influence to line their own pockets with cash undermine the good work of all hard-working public servants, who labor for the public good,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. “That is why corruption in government, at any level, will simply not be tolerated.”
If convicted, McClean faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 10 years on each count.