Another One Falls: Arrest Warrant Issued for Commissioner Wasserman-Rubin

Wasserman-Rubin with husband Richard.

Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin -- the first Latina commissioner and the first appointed mayor in Broward County's history -- is set today to be charged with crimes of corruption by the State Attorney's Office.

SAO spokesman Ron Ishoy sent out this release:

Wasserman-Rubin with Wasserman-Schultz, Obama, and Nan Rich.
The Broward State Attorney's Office has obtained a warrant for the arrest of Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin.

The warrant lists seven counts of Unlawful Compensation for improperly advocating for, and benefiting from, numerous government grants written by her husband, Richard Rubin, on behalf of the Town of Southwest Ranches.

The arrest warrant, signed by Broward Circuit Judge Michael A. Usan, was filed with the Broward Clerk of Courts on Tuesday afternoon. Usan set the total bond at $24,500.

Three of the seven counts are third-degree felonies and the other four are second-degree felonies. A second-degree felony carries a maximum 15-year sentence and/or a $10,000 fine, while a third-degree felony carries a maximum five-year sentence and/or a $5,000 fine.


Wasserman-Rubin after being appointed Broward's first mayor on December 9, 2002.

The charges relate to Wasserman-Rubin's votes regarding grant work done by her husband, Richard Rubin. I wrote about her votes on Rubin's bond work back in 2005, which led to a state ethics conviction for Wasserman-Rubin, who was fined $15,000 by the state in 2007. We learned that the State Attorney's Office was investigating Wasserman-Rubin back in January.

In her resignation letter, posted by the Sun-Sentinel, she writes:

"I intend to vigorously defend myself against these charges and see myself vindicated in court. To do so; however, will require that I devote myself full-time to working to prove my innocence in the months ahead. This, combined with my debilitating illness, will require every measure of physical and emotional strength I can muster... For that reason, I regret that I must tender my resignation..." 

Rumors were hot and heavy in May that Wasserman-Rubin -- who spent 12 years as a Broward School Board member before elected to the commission in 2000 --  would be charged then. The reason for the delay isn't known. Wasserman-Rubin, said to be shocked at the investigation, aborted her reelection bid earlier this year. Richard Rubin also worked for county lobbyist George Platt's firm Shutts and Bowen and the government-contract-snaring engineering firm Craven Thompson while his wife was a commissioner.

When I contacted her attorney, Bruce Udolf, earlier today, he refused comment.

After the jump, some telling photos from Wasserman-Rubin's campaign kickoff.

Here's Wasserman-Rubin with lobbyist Neil Sterling, who along with cohort Barbara Miller, got a stranglehold on the Broward County School Board, where Wasserman-Rubin previously served.



Here's Rubin with developer and longtime supporter Ron Bergeron:



It was on that day that she also celebrated her birthday:



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