FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The relief could be seen on Joy Cooper’s face as the verdict was read. The former mayor of Hallandale Beach was found not guilty on six counts of corruption.

As she left court accompanied by her husband Cooper said she’s grateful her two year nightmare is over.

“I just like to thank my husband, my family and everyone who has supported me, my attorney Larry Davis and everyone,” she said. “I’m just glad I got peace in my life back.”

Cooper was arrested in January of 2018 as part of an undercover FBI sting operation, charged with soliciting and accepting $5,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

The state’s star witness Alan Koslow, a onetime powerful lobbyist and attorney, introduced Cooper to the agents posing as developers seeking political favors.

“It feels great, couldn’t be happier,” said Davis.

As for what swayed the jury, Davis said the jury “had doubts, especially when it came to the state’s witness Alan Koslow.

During the trial, Cooper’s lawyer grilled Koslow on his cocaine habit and felony conviction on conspiracy to commit money laundering – charges that sent him to prison for a year.

Cooper served as mayor of Hallandale Beach for 13 years until her arrest in 2018. She has declined to answer questions about whether she might run again.

For now, Cooper is just grateful that she can relax now.

“I’m going to enjoy my family, and enjoy Thanksgiving. I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. And, remember, enjoy what’s important, your family and God. Thank you,” she said.

Eliott Rodriguez

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