UPDATE: Talabisco Arrest Affidavit Details Election Plot

Talabisconu.jpg
BSO
Talabisco's mug shot

UPDATED:

The arrest affidavit for just-arrested Tamarac Mayor Beth Flaunsbaum-Talabisco lays out an intricate plot to deliver the 2006 mayoral election to the 57-year-old politician.

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Blacktie South Florida
Talabisco and Lieberman before the scandal broke
It reads like a primer on dirty politics -- and it involves some big new names and one old one in Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who is deeply tied to the Chait scandal and testified against her former friend in the investigation. 

It began, according to prosecutors, in the law office of Parkland Mayor Michael Udine, where Prestige Homes developer Shawn Chait met with Udine and lobbyists Russell Oster and Alex Heckler to "discuss ways Shawn Chait could get involved in the 2006 Tamarac mayors race to influence the outcome of the election." 

Oster, a former close associate of convicted former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne, suggested that Chait finance a poll "to get the lay of the land." Chait agreed and wrote a check for $7,761 to the political firm Sonic One Strategies, owned by Oster and Coral Springs political mailer Michael Kaplan, for the poll, which showed that Talabisco was in a dead heat with her opponents, Karen Roberts and Mae Schreiber.

"[I]t became apparent it was necessary to do some type of

negative advertising against Beth Flaunsbaum-Talabisco's opponents," wrote SAO investigator Angelo Pazienza. "As a result of the poll it was determined a '527' was necessary to fund negative advertising."

chaits.jpg
A "527" is a controversial form of political committee that is often used to stealthily fund negative attacks. Once the decision was made, Talabisco's campaign manager, Beverly Stracher, contacted Chait to meet with Talabisco at Stracher's home. The meeting occurred on February 28, 2006, two weeks before the election.

At the meeting, Stracher asked Chait to contribute $21,000 to a 527.

"Talabisco was aware that Beverly Stracher had instructed Shawn Chait not to directly contribute to the '527,' so it did not appear as they though they coordinated their activities with candidate Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco," wrote Pazienza. "This was done in order to hide the support the Chaits were giving to [Talabisco] and to hide the relationship between them."

At that point, Stracher contacted Oster and Kaplan, an oft-used campaigner who owns the Coral Springs firm National Political Resources Group, to formulate the attack pieces. Stracher also instructed Chait to deliver the checks to Heckler.

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Barry Harris
Political operative Barry Harris was chosen to form the 527, apparently because of his friendship with Talabisco. As reported here in the past, they called it "Tamarac Residents for Good Government."

To hide the source of the funds, Chait solicited two of his Prestige Homes development firm's subcontractors -- James Starkweather of Allstar Electric and Michael Lucci of Wholesale Floring Center -- to pony up $10,500 apiece.

At the same time the negative ads were being made, Talabisco loaned her campaign $20,000 to fund positive campaign ads about herself. In those mailers, Talabisco boasted that she had sent $2,000 in contributions from the Chaits back to the developers. This was done at the suggestion of Stracher, wrote Pazienza, to "cloak the relationship between herself and Prestige Homes."

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Bev Stracher
Around that time, Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman had a discussion with her Woodlands neighbor and "friend" Talabisco about the 527 committee. Prosecutors obtained a sworn statement from Lieberman:

"Commissioner Lieberman stated that as a friend she discussed the '527' with [Talabisco] since the vote [on the Chaits' controversial housing project] was coming up so soon after the election," Pazienza wrote. "Commissioner Lieberman felt that Talabisco had a voting conflict because the Chaits put the money in the '527' and Talabisco was going to vote on their project after receiving the money. [Talabisco] told Commissioner Lieberman that she was still going to vote because she had made a commitment."

It is not known if Lieberman received immunity in her own investigation in exchange for the testimony.

Talabisco was apparently very concerned about the vote as well. She asked both Bruce and Shawn Chait to delay the vote. They refused because a key state approval would have expired, hence delaying their project.

Talabisco was elected mayor on March 14. Eight days later, she voted in favor of the project, but not before more pressure from the Chaits. With pressure mounting from citizens, Talabisco appeared to be wavering on her support on the dais.

The Chaits, sensing this, instructed Stracher to "remind" the mayor during a break in the proceedings of "all the money they had spent on getting her elected."

"Mayor Beth Flaunsbaum-Talabisco then returned after the break and voted in favor of the Prestige Homes items that came before the Tamarac Commission," the affidavit states.

Talabisco hired attorney Larry S. Davis to represent her. "When and if this case goes goes to trial, we will prove that the mayor received no illegal compensation whatsoever," he told the Sun-Sentinel

EARLIER: Tamarac Mayor Beth Flaunsbaum-Talabisco has been charged this morning with felony charges of bribery, unlawful compensation, official misconduct, and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation, the State Attorney's Office just confirmed.

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Talabisco, right, with Stacy Ritter and fellow arrestee Marc Sultanof
Mayor Talabisco "turned herself into the main [Broward County] jail shortly after 10 a.m. and is being booked right now," said Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Leljedal. "Her bond totals $9,000."

The 57-year-old politician faces up to 15 years in prison.

The charges are based on her involvement with the dirty developers Bruce and Shawn Chait. Specifically related to an electioneering committee secretly funded by the Chaits that unleashed a torrent of attack ads before her election in 2006. The story was broken here months ago. From a previous post:

Shawn Chait testified to prosecutors that during a meeting with Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco and her campaign manager, Beverly Stracher, at Stracher's home, he was told that he needed to finance a 527 campaign committee to help ensure Talabisco's election.

"I needed to get, I think, two separate checks and bring them to Alex Heckler in Fort Lauderdale," Chait testified.

The Chaits rounded up $21,000 in checks from two subcontractors and did just that. The money financed a last-weekend attack-mailer binge of the opponents of Talabisco, who voted for the Chaits' project shortly after her election to the mayor's seat.

Heckler [said] he served as the attorney for the committee after being approached about it by Democratic operative Barry Harris. There's no evidence Heckler did anything improper. "I think this is the [committee] that raised the least amount of money but has been the biggest pain," Heckler said.

I hear from a reliable source that one witness who testified against Talabisco is none other than Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who is deeply tied to the Chait scandal.

Talabisco is the third member of the Tamarac commission to be criminally charged in the Chait scandal, joining former commissioners Patricia Atkins-Grad and Marc Sultanof. Also charged in the Chait case is former Broward County School Board member Stephanie Kraft and imprisoned former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion.

The only two members of the 2006 commission who have not been criminally charged are Ed Portner, who is now out of office, and current Commissioner Harry Dressler.  


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71 comments
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Mitch Seizure
Mitch Seizure

Never trust a woman with a hyphenated surname. There's always an agend. Always.

Heynow
Heynow

Hyphenate political corruption in pklandPolfavforfriends--that's more the agenda

Azsolutionsforrecovery
Azsolutionsforrecovery

Check Coral Springs Forum everyone today to read the unacceptable ethics concerns has surfaced about Udine maybe they should investigate City of Parkland next

BigBaller
BigBaller

Alex Heckler is such an arrogant little dude.

Total561
Total561

Can someone tell me why the Chaits are not in JAIL ? How is it that they are still allowed to build on that property ? I am confused !!

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Maybe (this is a guess) they are a pivot point for lassoing in naughty elected officials.

Guest
Guest

Good Morning All!I'm always reminded of Pulp's famous words describing these people "They've been doing this so long they've become feral and LESS than human" These are the BAD people... These are "THE BASTARDS"

SuchCrap
SuchCrap

One more arrest for the FED's. I mean Satz...

WhiskeyForMyMenBeerForMyHorses
WhiskeyForMyMenBeerForMyHorses

Its great to see someone finally took sometime and put on some makeup to smile for the glamour shot! I mean seriously thank you Talabisco! I hope Stacy follows suit!

Funny still no statement from the last arrest – The Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale Trust issued nothing? I've been told it’s a "suspension" - Is Cindy still collecting a paycheck? Someone really needs to find out. That’s bad!

Christy
Christy

Will Ilene be going into the witness protection program?

Jack Carlo
Jack Carlo

Love the comment from Ritter when interviewed last night on ABC 11PM news about the cost of adding almost $900K artwork to the county approved new courthouse....She compared the Broward County Courthouse to ...... the White House! What an idiotic and moronic comparison?!?!? She is seriously stupid. Cuff her on the grounds of delusional governance...!!!!

ClearlyNow
ClearlyNow

Clear thought can prevail here. Lieberman was obviously giving immunity for snitching on Beth and a host of others, even Eggelletion and Wasserman-Rubin. She is the third biggest fish in the barrel behind the Chaits, and they got immunity. The immunity promise was solidified recently, that's why she is feeling so much better and surfacing again--no longer afraid of arrest in a public venue. Interestingly enough she didn't submit anything damaging about Ritter. She will not run again, because she would never win...and the beat goes on.

Dinepo
Dinepo

Good looking mug shot. She certainly had her hair and make-up done before turning herself in. She doesn't look stressed, or look like a woman who may be spending a decade in jail.

Windsome Lassie
Windsome Lassie

Many sociopaths are as happy inside jails and prisons as they are outside of jails and prisons. Where, but in good, old Broward County, would anybody get make-up and hair done for a mug shot?

Here is a thought. Why not dissolve the current county and municipal governments, reorganize the place and BrowardCo, LLC, and allow it to run as a RICO, Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupupt Organization. Seems like we are halfway there already and I understand Charlie Sheen is available to serve on the BrowardCo, LLC Board of Directors.

Windsome Lassie
Windsome Lassie

OK, a typo slipped past me. And I forgot to add, "Think of the tourist dollars!"

parkland man
parkland man

Wow it dont stop everywhere you see somebody getting arrested there is stacy ritter,when is it going to be her turn and she's a lawyer,so is her husband i will hand out the cigars and pass the wine that day,and i bet its coming sooner rather then later.This time nice party at bellasara without them,ok how do you guys like charlie sheens WINNING what a jerkoff he already lost lol

Christy
Christy

The corrupt politicians are beginning to look like sardines. Not enough oxygen.

gimmesamore
gimmesamore

Oh Christy, so naive, so full of life....

You actually think these people are oxygen breathing humans?

Americo Gomez
Americo Gomez

pulp, as much as i think the cast of characters involved are idiots (kaplan in particular), a little shady and full of BS (oster, heckler), or truly unworthy of holding public office (talibisco and lieberman), there is NOTHING ILLEGAL HERE.

i will bet you $1k she walks. i will give you 3-1 odds, too.

they must establish a clear quid pro quo, which is quite a hurdle.

setting up soft-money accounts and soliciting soft money from anyone (except foreign nationals or minors) is perfectly legal. even from vendors, those with pending issues before the incumbent or incumbent in waiting.

that's the law.

so, it's only a matter of time before this case gets thrown out. meantime, i do enjoy reading about it here.

gimmesamore
gimmesamore

Americo Gomez -- you are kidding right? Quid pro quo = payment of negative ads in exchange for a vote in favor of the bankroller's project.

Simple question -- if its SO LEGAL, why need two checks, from subcontractors, submitted at a strategic time, in a strategic manner, funnelled by a 3rd party to a 521?

Gee - if you take proactive measures to avoid the "appearance of impropriety," you are probably doing something illegal.

Hope you are not a juror on this case...

Yahoo
Yahoo

well, a response to my post! this is sure exciting....

my best guess why they did it the way they did was to remain under the radar, as best they could. there's a difference between what someone perceives as sneaky, and what the law considers illegal.

reminds me of the scene in absences of malice, when the prosecutor asks paul newman's character why he made a campaign contribution anonymously, setting off his little scheme to enact revenge on the reporter and prosecutor who ruined his life.

said newman: "because i wanted to remain anonymous." the judge and everyone else in the room winced, knowing there wasn't a crime involved.

toodles.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

Look on the bright side Beth, even if you serve the full 15 years , you will still be only 72 when you get out and in Tamarac that makes you jailbait.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Not to sound like Parkland Man, but I just read the affidavit. How are all of these people, Barry Harris, Udine, Stracher, Hecker, Lieberman not charged in the conspiracy? They ALL knowingly conspired to commit these crimes!!!!!

Lieberman I am sure received immunity for her testimony in the Talibisco fiasco and probably anything Chait related based on how use and dirivitive use immunity can be interpreted. No way the SAO conferred transactional immunity.

This is by far the worst set of facts we've seen so far as it involved so many people (some with duties to report unlawful activities) and THEY ALL LOOKED THE OTHER WAY... For parkland man most are lawyers.

Hey Dead Norm, huge shout out to you in the affidavit as well.

parkland man
parkland man

hey hey hey take it easy with the parkland man lol just kidding with you,however you we all see and have been seeing all kinds of shit bird stealing lawyers going to jail,there is an old saying the whole world can't be wrong,and yes the whole world hates lawyers,unless you are blind or not in bizz for yourself,now i will tell you i dont like them and have never been beaten by them in court,and had many fights with them,the part thats makes me the sickest is watching them talk with the white shit moving all over there lips,when the talk,almost makes me want to pueck,well keep going soa and the feds put the dog's in there cages.

Heynow
Heynow

check the coral springs forum to learn more about Udine shady dealings

anonymous
anonymous

She's turning in more of her "friends" as we speak. That's the word from insiders.

DeadNorm
DeadNorm

holy batshit, I forgot to comment 'bout beth's booking photograph!!!Man is she upset, I can see the fear and pain in dat mug, youse see with all that botox it is hard to see emotions, but if you look just above her adams apple, you can see the stress lines. I mean, what da fuck????? Do you go to glamour shots and say, give me a " I'm concerned but not overly worried look?" or how 'bout something that makes me look like " hey I young, hip and upbeat with just that lil' flirty, come hither glare" I mean, what da fuck, you could sell sponser advertising on dat forhead, I mean that fuckin thing is billboard size, you can sell NASCAR logos, I can see a fuckin ' TIDE LOGO on dat fuckin globe.......

Parkland
Parkland

Was Udine more involved or did they just meet in his office?

Heynow
Heynow

check the coral springs forum to learn more about Udine shady dealings

parkland man
parkland man

Hey why are you stealing my name,you dont want to be the parkland man some people might come after you and i dont get the chance to take em out,im just waiting and hoping some lawyer wants to settle something out of court,lol the real parkland man!!!!!!!!!!!.

Pulp
Pulp

I just got off the phone with Mayor Udine. He said the only involvement he had was holding a place for the initial meeting. He also confirmed that he has cooperated in the Chait investigation as well.

"I have known Chait for a long time," Udine told me. "My parents knew his parents. I knew him from his days in Woodmont. I think my office was an office that was centrally located and they had a meeting in my conference room. That's all I remember. Russ Oster is a friend of mine and I had introduced them and they wanted to meet in my office. I was running for election myself in 2006 and would have nothing to do with what was going on in Tamarac, they just needed a place to meet."

Heynow
Heynow

check the coral springs forum to learn more about Udine shady dealings he's the nextone who in my opinion needs closer scrutiny write the truth now bob you know more than your'e sharing about mickey

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

"A place to meet" ? How benevolent? Hard to believe anyone would turn over their "office" for a meeting and have no involvement in the meeting. So during the meeting, Udine stepped out to pick up a pack of cigarettes and dry cleaning? Did they call Udine to let him know the coast was clear and he could have his office back. I call "bullshit". You lay with dogs ...........

Parkland
Parkland

But from the article it sounds like Udine was part of the meeting. It does not sound like they just used his office space.

" in the law office of Parkland Mayor Michael Udine, where Prestige Homes developer Shawn Chait met with Udine and lobbyists Russell Oster and Alex Heckler to "discuss ways Shawn Chait could get involved in the 2006 Tamarac mayors race to influence the outcome of the election."

Nojoke43
Nojoke43

OMG Pulp that's the biggest crock of dung I've every heard. Here's a repo of Satz' FB next to be "photographed" list: LiebermanUdineHecklerRitter

Guest
Guest

That's HIS story and he's sticking to it!(Yea Right)

parkland man
parkland man

Hey pulp,you have to know when you call these people they start running like thives,i would have to say they dont want to hear from you,lol but you know if your not hidding anything pick up the phone,hey speaking about picking up the phone give stacy ritter a call today and see hows shes doing with all off her friends getting arrested,will she take your call try and see report back if yoiu get her,and tell her the parkland man says hello..

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Take a look at Ilene's "friends" list on FB. It kind of reads like a who's-who of names that have come up in the news/posts lately.

anonymous
anonymous

I can't get the friends list on FB. Could someone reproduce it and post it here? Just wondering, are there any city commissioners on her friends list?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Ilene Lieberrman

Don't know if intentionally misspelled, but there you go.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Just one more arrest is needed to make the Ritter-Sultanof-Talabisco photo a 3-pack of arrestees...

anonymous
anonymous

Did you hear that, Satz? You can get a hat-trick here! Go Mike!

DeadNorm
DeadNorm

Heeeellllllloooooooooooo everybody, it's me, Dead Norm Abromowitz!!!! betcha' thought I wasn't around, ehhhh? nah, just enjoying the good dead, man, does that photo of Ed's daughter, Lil M and Beth bring back memories, Lil M told me time and time again how he hit dat thang, Lil M youse to tell me and Crazy Ed, how he'd ride her like a pony while smaking her ass, screamin ' Yippie I Yo Ga Ahhhhhh" told us she really had it bad for him so he make her do all sort of shit, and if you know hoe twisted Lil M is, you could imagine, he said he had a three way with Beth and diane and it was going great until Diane broke her hip doing a inverted cowgilr position, holy crappola, anyway harry D been sweating bullets trying to tell everyone he knows he ain't involved, he may not be, we called Harry the short bus captain, he ain't da brightest of da bunch. Funny ya mention Kenny J, Lil M's original bitch-boy, him and Crazy Ed yoused to make KennyJ do all sorts o' shit, damn, they even got him to eats shit! Lil M yoused to smack him in da back of the head everytime kenny J would say " But I'm da Sheriff!!!" Lil M would smack him and sez, " who's da sheriff???!!!!" and Kenny say, " you are", Damn straight, now don't forget it you lil bitch, now come here abd rub my bunion you lil pisaa aint, before I cap ur ass....You shoudda seen Kenny come running, head down and shoulders rounded and slumped, but then I learned that was his normal posture, I heard he got raped repeatedly in prison, it's a shame, Lil M used to say he hit that as well, good kid kenny, stupid and not a physical speciman at all, kinda reminded me of Spider from Goodfellas", he had cgood intentions but was boarderline retarded, goes to show you even a retard can get elected in Broward, anyway, damn that beth, legs that go all the way up, Crazy Ed yoused to say, how he wanted to spank that ass and i always told him, Ed, you can steal more with a pen then with a gun, but did that asshole listen, no, had to be a badass gangsta, called it his " heater", fuckin moron, and speaking of morons, the acorn don't fall far from da tree???? Wonder what coffee tyme will be about this week, pretty soon with all des arrest they can hold it in a closet! OK, for now, I'll be back, I think Harry is hiding with Bin laden, just as hard to find these days......ah tamarac,who'd of thunk it....oh, and not a republican in da bunch, how 'bout dat!

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

You trashed your usually interesting remarks with the emphasis on carnal knowledge which never happened. If you can't be nice, stay dead!

LovinglyDeadNorm
LovinglyDeadNorm

Carnal Knowledge!!!!! Holy moly, I haven't heard that since Lil M's mom was placed in the stocks for having unlawful carnal knowledge, hence the birthplace of F.U.C.K, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge....Anyway, to poke a finger in da eye of some lowlife scumbag thief and cause dem a lil' verglemp is just my way of letting 'em know, somebody is watching.....Besides I'm always nice..as you warn me I'll warn you, please be nice before I print some of da stuff Crazy Ed sez you two crazy kids did, and Diane sez she held da camera!!!

Pulp
Pulp

Dead Norm, you should know you got your due credit for the Chait scandal in the Talabisco arrest affidavit. From the report:

"According to Bruce Chait, approximately 10 years ago, he received a phone call from then Commissioner Norman Abramowitz who wanted Prestige Homes to build in Tamarac. ... Approximately 2 years later Bruce Chait ... contacted now former Tamarac Commissioner Norman Abramowitz, who was still very involved in the politics of the City of Tamarac. After meeting meeting with Norman Abramowitz, Bruce Chait hired Abramowitz as a lobbyist to help him with approval for converting the golf course he had purchased into residential homes. ... This project was highly controversial with vocal advocates on both sides of the development issues.

"Before the 2006, Norman Abramowitz introduced Bruce Chait to Commissioner Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco ..."

And a future indictment was born.

GEORGIA ROBERTS
GEORGIA ROBERTS

For my next mug shot, I am gonna be camera-ready like former Tamarac mayor Talabisco: I'll wear nice make-up and have my hair puuurrrteee & combed for my next arrest! ...and NO ROOT CANALS like the November 13th mugshot, thanks to the arrogance in cereal aisle #7 of a Jennifer Fuhrman, whom I looker better than THAT ONE on on any given day...including after the root canal-mugshot I took re: my neighborhood Publix and seeing plain-jane Jennifer Furhman there.

I'll wear the right hair & makeup for the next arrest/ pictures. I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die...

DeadNorm
DeadNorm

and people ask, Hey Norm, why did 'cha drop dead????? I always sez, to escape the indictment!!!!!!

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