Embattled Tamarac Commissioner Resigns
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Facing a recall election next month, embattled Tamarac Commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad has announced she’ll resign.
In a letter submitted to the mayor, her fellow commissioners and the city manager, Atkins-Grad cites her battle with cancer and the need for changes in her life.
“After much consideration I have concluded that my health must come first; a decision which causes me to no longer feel that I can give the focus and attention the citizens of Tamarac and Tamarac’s District 2 deserves,” she wrote.
Atkins-Grad went on to say her resignation would be effective after she received a settlement of $8,000 from the city.
After being acquitted of corruption charges last year, Atkins-Grad was targeted by a committee who wanted her out of office, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Atkins-Grad had been accused of soliciting bribes from developers Bruce and Shawn Chait in return for her favorable vote in a development deal. Prosecutors claimed the Chaits paid Atkins-Grad $6,300 for a party and a lease down payment for a BMW in 2006 and 2007.
Her attorney argued that she was “over her head” but never corrupt.
Also accused of receiving unlawful compensation from the Chaits was Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco who was cleared of all wrong doing in the end.
The State Attorney’s Office claimed Flansbaum-Talabisco secretly accepted $21,000 from developers Bruce and Shawn Chait to support her 2006 campaign. In exchange for the contribution, the state claimed that she voted favorably for the Chaits’ company, Prestige Homes, which wanted to build more than 700 homes on two former golf courses near Florida’s Turnpike and Commercial Boulevard while avoiding paying big money in development fees to the city and Broward School District.
Former city commissioner Marc Sultanof was charged in 2010 with six felony counts for reportedly accepting $30,000 from the Chaits in exchange for his commission votes on their project. According to his arrest affidavit, Sultanof received money from the Chaits between March 2006 through January 2007. His improper relationship with the Chaits reportedly continued through November 2008. He reportedly used the bribe to help pay for a 2006 Honda Accord.
Also implicated in the Chaits corruption probe are suspended Broward School Board member Stephanie Kraft and her husband Mitch.
The Krafts are charged with unlawful compensation, bribery and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation. Stephanie Kraft is also charged with official misconduct. Both have pled not guilty.