FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Former Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin was in court Monday to plead guilty in her best interest to misdemeanor charges of falsifying public records.
Prosecutors dropped more serious felony charges against Wasserman-Rubin that alleged she benefited financially by voting on grants her husband wrote for park land in Southwest Ranches that came before the Broward County Commission. Those charges alleged that Wasserman-Rubin and her husband benefited from the votes to the tune of $45,000.
Wasserman-Rubin will spend 3 years on probation and pay $3,000 in fines.
After court, Wasserman-Rubin didn’t speak about the charges but did talk to reporters about her health.
“It’s been very difficult for me,” Wasserman-Rubin said. “Physically very uncomfortable and stressed out and Parkinson’s is one of those diseases that reacts poorly to the stress.”
Attorney Fred Haddad, who represented Wasserman-Rubin, said the former commissioner could not stand trial given her deteriorating health. He defended her record saying none of the votes that she may have cast was a tiebreaking vote on any deal.
“She wasn’t the person that cast the deciding vote,” Haddad said. “Everything she did was unanimously approved by the county commission.”
The plea deal was expected after the judge overseeing the case said he would not imprison Wasserman-Rubin even if found guilty of more serious charges, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
There is a question as to whether Wasserman-Rubin will be allowed to keep her pension that reportedly pays her approximately $5,000 a month.
Attorneys for Wasserman-Rubin said they believed she would keep the pension, despite the charges on her record. However, neither the judge nor the prosecutors could guarantee the pension would remain