Plantation Chamber of Commerce President Siobhan Edwards focuses on the positive these days.
She focuses on her four grandchildren, not the terrible situation that ended her marriage in what was then a hush-hush scandal that rocked Plantation City Hall six years ago.
It all happened so fast. Siobhan's husband, then-Councilman Bruce Edwards, filed for divorce against her in April 2005. Edwards' colleague on the council, Sharon Uria, had filed for divorce from her husband three months before that.
Then in June came Bruce Edwards' abrupt resignation from public office, just a few months after he'd been reelected to the position. That kind of an announcement doesn't happen often in politics.
We now know that Edwards and Uria had struck up a very close relationship. Uria won't say if they had become romantic before the resignation, but she says their feelings for each other put them in an untenable political situation.
"Both of us at that point wanted to progress in our relationship, and we both knew we couldn't do that with both of us on council," said Uria. "That was the right thing to do, even though people don't believe that. They don't want to know the truth."
Well, it wasn't like anybody was rushing to tell them at that point either. Edwards, who owns the pest control company Dead Bug Edwards, said only that he'd done it for undisclosed personal reasons. He now concedes that one of those reasons was his feelings for Uria, but he says there was more to it than that.
"One of the few regrets I have in life was
running for a third term," he told me. "I had already grown disinterested in the way that government was run. My dad was at the time beginning a battle with cancer. I wish I never ran for a third term. I wish I had never gotten involved in City Council, period. If I could do a takeback in life, I would never have run in the first place."
Uria spoke publicly about Edwards' decision in the media on the day it was announced.
"He was someone that was very fair in his decisions, he was there for the right reasons, and he was there for the people," Uria told the Sun-Sentinel.
Edwards and Uria then were free to date, but that was just the beginning of the troubles. Siobhan Edwards -- who actually ran that year to fill her husband's seat -- didn't take the split-up well. One night in September, three months after Edwards' resignation, she followed Edwards and Uria on the road and confronted Uria in her driveway. Police were called. The Sun-Sentinel reported briefly on the altercation at the time:
[Siobhan] Edwards "began swinging at [Uria] wildly, open-handed," and Uria struck Edwards in the face, the report states. Edwards struck Uria "with both hands in the chest area."
Former City Councilman Bruce Edwards, who is going through a divorce with Siobhan Edwards, was with Uria when Siobhan Edwards followed them into Uria's driveway, the report said. Bruce Edwards injured his arm while separating the two of them.
Siobhan "Edwards fell to the ground, losing her glasses and cell phone" when they were separated, the report said. Siobhan Edwards told police Bruce Edwards "pushed her with a sweeping motion."
Uria filed a restraining order against Siobhan Edwards after the incident that was later dropped by the court. "It was poor judgment on my part," says Siobhan Edwards today. "And I take full responsibility for that."
|Edwards and Uria today|
"Bruce is a great guy, and we don't have any issues," she said. "He is still very supportive, and I don't want to say anything bad about the guy. We have four beautiful grandchildren, and that is what is important. Not this stuff. This is politics. What can you do? The heart wants what the heart wants."
Because Edwards is the chamber president and Uria is councilwoman, they do see each other professionally, and both say they are intent on keeping it just that -- professional.
And Bruce Edwards? He's still happy he's out of politics.
"I'm much more a spiritual than I was then," he said, adding that he's an avid trap shooter. "People make mistakes in life. In order to be forgiven, you can't be judgmental of others."
Now that Uria is in a reelection battle with Jeff Holness -- cousin of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness -- people are once again whispering about the incident that occurred six years ago.
I heard political scuttlebutt about it recently because of the election, prompting this blog post.
"I didn't make him leave, just like I can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do," said Uria. "Nor can you manufacture feelings of love. You either love someone or you don't. I didn't make him leave his life. It probably always will be talked about. I wish it had happened differently. I'm sorry that it happened, because that's really not me. No matter how many times I apologize -- and I'll tell you I apologized to Siobhan -- people will probably think whatever they think about it."
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