Stephanie Kraft, It's Time to Plead Guilty

The most resounding message sent by the conviction of former Deerfield Beach Commissioner Steve Gonot is this: 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for krafttongue.jpg
Not this time, Stephanie.
​Juries, at least those in Broward County, don't buy politicians' convoluted explanations for apparent wrongdoing. So those of you now facing corruption charges -- I'm looking at Stephanie Kraft, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, and half of Tamarac here -- beware. 

They will see through your nonsense. 

Gonot's crime didn't involve public policy; it was all about $5,000 in campaign money that he was accused of steering toward himself during a bitter divorce in which his personal bank accounts were emptied. This may or may not be the first corruption case initiated by a 
politician's estranged spouse (I have a feeling it probably isn't). 

The tough part is that Gonot, in terms of his actual public service, was a pretty decent commissioner who listened to residents and fought against big developers (anybody remember Pete Boinis?). That puts him a step above the politicians so far charged by the State Attorney's Office who are all accused of personally profiting from developers themselves. 

Don't underestimate the importance of this rather small conviction in the big picture. It once again shows (anybody remember Keith Wasserstrom?) that the State Attorney's Office can and will win these cases in the courtroom. This time, it was ASA Dave Schulson who came out victorious.  

The jury didn't hear the excuses -- they looked at the bottom line. Stephanie Kraft's defense is that she didn't know her husband was on the payroll of a developer while she was trying to get that same developer a huge discount on a School Board fee. Wasserman-Rubin's defense falls along the same lines. She says she didn't know her husband wrote a grant for Southwest Ranches that she voted on, securing him a $25,000 bonus. 

I may be wrong, but I think their pleas of ignorance will fall flat on a jury of their peers (and no, those peers won't include the influence peddlers who financed their campaigns). If they gamble in court, they'll likely lose a couple of extra years of freedom. And no lobbyist or developer or lawyer will be able to get that back for them.

-- The St. Pete Times reports that one of the Tea Party-funding billionaire Koch brothers managed to buy the hiring of two conservative economics professors at Florida State University with a $1.5 million donation to the public school. See it here -- it's a must-read.  
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70 comments
Web Development Company
Web Development Company

Virgil ... If you do not know everything ... I'll say it again .. Virgil you are the best.I wish you good things and hope to continue to coment on the new blog of Bob. .Net Development

Longtime fan
Longtime fan

Diana W-Rubin knew her husband was making money from the grants she was voting on. Proof is in the note she wrote in heavy marker to staff on the cover sheet for the agenda item with his grant. Law enforcements who can do something about it have the paperwork.

Score Keeper
Score Keeper

Yeah, I think it's about time that a lot of corrupted officials and appointed officials just get it all over with. We, the taxpayers, would be much more forgiving of them in the long run if they would do the right thing and not cost us more money on a trial. There is no honor among thieves, but the only way to redeem one's self is to hold one's self accountable and the rest can take care of itself.

Come on; think it over Ms. Kraft. You knew this was coming; even before you were asked to turn yourself in. Now begin your personal, professional and spiritual rehabilitation.

Just remember when you look around, those people who made the most off of your actions are not even close to the fire that burns all around you. Throw them under the bus too, as you clear your own conscience. We go way back on these blogs and I told you way back then, it was only a matter of time. I was giving you good advice then and I'm giving you better advice now. If my track record means anything to you, think about it. The Pulp is right...do the right thing.

Joe6
Joe6

Commissioner Steve Gonot>>>>>>

He only robbed his own campaign fund, the taxpayers were not affected. I have some sympathy for why he did it

The bribed and bought off hacks on the school board

put the Broward taxpayers on the hook for millions and millions and millions in bond payments for the next 25 years to pay for unnecessary school construction. They were bribed by contractors and it was other Broward hacks too. Not just the school board

Trolilocks
Trolilocks

Goldilocks you freaking massive TROLL shut the fuck up for a bit.

Amazing_Karnack
Amazing_Karnack

Karnack says in all the Pulp move hub bub we musn't forget the moral of this story. Karnack says the train still goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack. Karnack says Pulpman also correct about much more to come and how important all of you have been to fueling the locomotive.

Anonomyte
Anonomyte

I checked into Channel 10 and left my comment on Bob's announcement article. Bob Norman's Blog. Has a nice ring to it. What is the approximate start up date for the new blog Bob. Don't worry NT Pulp reporters, I'll be reading and comenting on your stories too.

Chaz Stevens
Chaz Stevens

Holy Christ Bob;

I hope that you are taking a vacation before your WPLG endeavor, because it's readily apparent by your Steve Gonot's a good guy comment that you need a timeout.

Allow to me retort:

1) This is the same Steve Gonot who used 54,000 minutes on his city supplied cellular phone, calling his girlfriend and bookie, only to indicate he "overlooked" a few items -- requiring him to reimburse the tax payer $11.00.

2) Speaking of banging his girlfriend, you will recall his actions destroyed two families.

3) Or perhaps the banging of a 2 liter bottle of cola off his ex-wife's chest.

4) The same ex-wife that he, his brother, and sister attempting to screw out of her rightful money dued to her in the divorce.

And speaking of Boinis, Gonot barely skated by with the previous SAO investigation -- surviving only because of a he said, she said. Knowing now what we know, do you believe he wasn't guilty before?

Then again, we could talk about the 2001 $500 campaign donation to an charitable organization that (a) doesn't exist and (b) operated out of his parents home address.

But Gonot taking advantage of his extra money isn't out of the norm. In 2009, the $10K left over was donated to an extremely sketchy 501(c). An organization suggested to Gonot by the Sylvia Poitier camp.

Best to you.

Chaz

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

I don't think the new writers are sophmoric or cartoonish. Thorpe is writing from a point of view. He has acknowledged he is gay. While not speaking for the entire gay community he is writing stories that he feels represents his beliefs. What he missed in his "exorcism" piece is that the Evans trinity are Gypsies. He would have been better off to add the Gypsy lore and other gypsy crimes like Moonface Rick, the PBSO Detective, and Gabby Tennis. All great Gypsy stories.

Deirdre's piece on Bob didn't really do him justice. I'm not sure if I'd agree that they are his "greatest hits."

Lisa Rab is on top of the crime stories. Bob has respect for her as he has referred to her articles a few times.

Stephan seems eager, humorous, and possibly the greenest of the bunch.

None have the contacts that Bob has. Any idiot can write a blog (do I need to remind you?). I think what has set Bob apart is his true disgust of the corrupt and witty headlines (he could be a writer on Jeopardy).

Bob didn't have the contacts when he started either. He wrote from the heart.

So to the new writers. Write from the heart. Tell the stories you want to tell. Get it right. If its not interesting to us so be it... We'll be at Channel 10. If you can keep it interesting we'll stop by here every now and again too.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

[copied from previous blog post]Hail to Bob. Thanks for all of your hard, driving work uncovering and revealing the intricacies of greed and corruption in Broward. Thank you for providing a forum for many of us to ruminate on it all. Thanks for providing a place where hot tips would receive due review and follow up. Thanks for your good motives, good action and always entertaining writing. Best of luck to you, always. Guess I will have to start watching some television now. [B_tan: feel free to jump in with your follow-up post.}

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Pulpsters ... Have you yet noticed that the blog known as The Juice is not longer on the drop-down menu roster? It would appear that Bob's Pulp blog is being transitioned over as the new Juice, under the name of The Pulp.

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

You got a closeup of that Stephanie Kraft pic Bob - I'm trying to see if she got a tongue stud. Pretty gal like that with a tongue stud would do ok in prison.

Pulp, am I gonna be able to say silly crap like this on your new gig or are you gonna moderate me out of existence?

(not that there is anything wrong with that)

Guest
Guest

I know I'll be going through a withdrawal until Bob Norman's Blog starts up again. It was written he'll start at WPLG Ch 10 on May 23rd. I hope all the posters, I feel almost as familar friends, follow you to your new site. I agree with Anon... Thanks for all the laughs and news. it was a GREAT Run. I hope you take a vacation Bob and enjoy yourself until your new job begins. I'm looking forward to taking up where I left off. Loved you all fellow PULPSTERS!

Anon
Anon

Bob; We bid you adios/adieu/bon voyage/ari verderci/saiyanora/avidelsay/so long.Thanks for all the news and laughs. We enjoyed ourselves. Laughter and sarcasm are the best medicine. Sheriff LamdirtiCowboy Ronnie BRev. CuntiniSon of SantucciFake Judge GardinerAnonFrank the Socialist OrtizCastilloMariam Its racist OliphantJudge HomelyDave BenjaminusMike Shatz

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

I agree with AlexB. False Goldilocks: please go away! Get over yourself, Troll (disguised as me) and go away.To my friends on this blog: please accept no substitutes. First it was the False Virgil, now it is the False Goldilocks.And Bob -- wishing you and your family all things good.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Hello all. Sorry I am too busy today to provide a detailed comment about this story. I have had two meetings already today, going to lunch now, and have a phone conf this afternoon. Just wanted to keep you all posted. I will provide my comments tonight when I get home AFTER I finish my Excel spreedsheet for a report due in the morning. Bye.

parkland man
parkland man

Hey is Stacy Ritter still in town,if go nuts can get up to, 15 years for his crime, Stacy and Russ could get life,lol its time for them to make a deal,i really think the soa was waiting to see how they would do with gonot and now it will be, Here comes Stacy!

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Bob,

I viewed the New Times as a "Commie Rag," filled with anti-cop, anti-establishment, slanted stories written by bomb throwing malcontents. I had read a few of your stories prior to the SR implosion. Then, like many others, I stayed to see what you were going to write next.

I learned that you were none of the above. I found that you aren't anti-cop, anti-establishment... You are simply anti-wrong, anti-corrupt (not sure about the bomb throwing malcontent part yet). You are just a guy with a voice that shares the sentiments of many of your readers (soon to be viewers) with a platform.

Along the way you were attacked, like only the corrupt political establishment can do. They started rumors. There are so many that I cant remember them all. If only half are true, I'd love to go to your parties. But not once did they say you were a liar. They would use words like half-truths or taken out of context. Which means it was exactly true and these ass clowns didn't like reading about themselves.

In my recent career change, I have met some high profile and not so high profile people and inevitably your name comes up. Did you see what Bob Norman wrote about ...? Did you read the comments that so and so wrote? You truly have changed the political landscape in Broward.

In the middle ages it was not uncommon for people to oppose the Pope and elect a new Pope. That Pope was called the anti-pope. He lead a large sometimes greater faction of the empire than the actual Pope did. So here's to you Bob Norman, the Anti-Pope of Broward County (Hey if Rothstein can be the Jewish Avenger you can be the Anti-Pope. Now we'll just see if we can get a politician to spring for the hat)

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Hey, why don't you take a leak on the 3rd rail, then report back on your experience!

Guest
Guest

The article mentioned May 23rd

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

"Or perhaps the banging of a 2 liter bottle of cola off his ex-wife's chest"

Pretty reprehensible, but, all things considered, I would rather be banged by a bottle of coke than a jar of piss. Clearly, a matter of the jar of piss calling the bottle of coke black.

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

Death frog,I am not saying that the writers are not eager or earnest. What comes across to me, at least, is a rushed effort to produce quantityy over quality- with half researched, sensationalized cheese puffs offerd up as "newsworthy". It's why I stopped reading The Juice after Francis left. Hard to be served cheese puffs when you are used to filet mignon.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

I don't think "cartoonish" is the right word either. HOWEVER ... The Pulp as a column was positioned in two areas: initially, covering the covering of news (or journalism), and then increasingly, corruption in Broward and contiguous counties, which eventually amounted to the rooting out of corrupt politicians the their cronies who were the schema of a system and a culture.

With no ill feelings towards the other writers, and as you, DF3, pointed out: each has their "beats", perspectives, contacts and areas of interest. Trying to morph the "Pulp brand" into a catch-all vehicle for these other journalists is disingenuous at best, and not a sound marketing move.

By the way, DF3, I really liked your previous post and tried to write you to that effect about three times, but Disqis wasn't buying it. It was a good post!

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

Trust me we have noticed...Bob's last couple of posts have been buffeted between the cartoonish sophmoric writing exercises of The Juice "writers".

skydove
skydove

"Hell hath no fury like a coolly received postmodernist." --David Foster Wallace

Guest
Guest

Hi Irving...The pic didn't show a frontal view. I believe her tongue in split down the middle. She speaks with forked tongue. Maybe she has tongue studs in both halves. I hope you continue to be your humorous loveable self on Bob's new Blog.

AlexB
AlexB

Actually, I am tired of both of you. All goldilocks GO AWAY! You all suck.

AlexB
AlexB

Get over yourself. We are tired of you goldilocks. Go away.

Pulp
Pulp

DF3, you and a whole lot of other people made this blog what it is -- I was just resident investigator and emcee. The ride has only just begun; bigger things to come at 10. I'm going to be writing a last post in the next few days, so I'm not done here yet either.

Out of Line
Out of Line

It is the job of police to investigate allegations of crime. It is the job of prosecutors to bring cases where chances are strong that a jury will convict based on a presentation of evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt. Is it the job of juries to weigh the evidence presented. It is the job of a judge to fairly oversee the proceedings and charge the jury with the law. It is the job of defense counsel to vigorously defend their client. It is the job of the press to cover the news. It is not the job of any journalist to offer legal advice or for any reader with half a brain to conclude that them doing that is ethical. It is not.

Guest
Guest

Excellent post DF3! Thank you for all your comments.

B_tan
B_tan

Beautiful post, DF3.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

You still have so much to learn, so keep up the good work DeathFrog. I am very proud of you for admitting that your preconceived notions were proven false.

Now, if you can only figure out why a union member consistently votes for the union busting Republican party, then you really will have come a long way in your educational evolution.

You know what they call union member cops who consistently vote Republican?

Traitors to their class.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

I think that you've written a GREAT post. It's true...politicians and elected and appointed officials QUAKE when they hear that, "....Bob Norman wants to talk to you..."

I'll stay with the New Times, because they obviously encourage the type of investigative reporting that Bob Norman is famous for. As of tomorrow, I will be switching my local news allegiance to WPLG, Channel 10.

Bob Norman, godspeed. You've opened the eyes of many of Broward's silent majority. Keep up the great work!

Guest
Guest

Just ignore that Jerk. There's obviously something wrong with that person. Sounds like a pimplefaced teenager.

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

Frankly, I think NT should just go back to using these writers on The Juice and dissolving the The Pulp for good or at leasrt someone of exceptional caliber comes along...

Judge Roy Bean
Judge Roy Bean

Like I said yesterday. Chaz would be better than most of what they have written in the past few days. Beleive it or not I'm not a fan of his, just a comparision of what has been written latley. Plus he did take some action.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Augusta: Why don't you just admit that you don't agree with the politics of the juice writers, and that is why you just disparaged them. What do you think Bob Norman is, a conservative?

If you don't like it, you can always become a regular reader of an equally clever rightwing news site which covers the South Florida area.

Oh, that's right. There is no such thing.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

It is that type of disingenuousness that could cost the New Times some readers, especially among this crowd.

Guest
Guest

Not Nice...Not Nice at all!

Guest
Guest

You're kidding Right? The real Goldilocks is terrific. I'm looking forward to continuing to see Goldilocks on Bob's new Blog. I'm sorry he coudn't take The Pulp name with him. It will be called Bob Norman's Blog.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

I agree with AlexB. False Goldilocks: please go away! Get over yourself, Troll (disguised as me) and go away.

To my friends on this blog: please accept no substitutes. First it was the False Virgil, now it is the False Goldilocks.

And Bob -- wishing you and your family all things good.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Stealing a line from Sgt Hulka, "Lighten up Francis"There is no way in hell that this column, Bob's opinion can possibly be construed as legal advice.

I have said before and I still believe the state will have a tough time getting a conviction in the Kraft case. Ken Padowitz is a good lawyer. My opinion is no better or no worse than Bob's just different. He may be right, I may be right. Either way, the facts of the case tell me that even if unprovable as a crime, the Krafts are dirty and unethical. They took money from a dirty developer.

Even as a cop I never felt defense attorneys were scumbags. I believe in the presumption of innocence, IN COURT, and the right to a rigorous defense. I work for a criminal defense firm.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

What in the FUCK are you talking about? I have never seen Bob offer legal advice. Bob has written "INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS" He has provided his opinion as a lay person as to the legality of certain actions. That does not constitute "legal advice."

I am very familiar with the criminal justice system and the roles of each of the players. You have overly simplified the roles of each. For instance the police role is to PREVENT crime not just investigate it. They are also to take on investigations where no allegations exist. prosecutors, judges, media all have more expanded roles than what you have described.

(I fear my professional use of FUCK is winding down as well)

Guest
Guest

Virgil...If you didn't know it all along...I just want to say it again..Virgil you are the Best.I wish you all good things and hope you continue to coment on Bob's new Blog.

Anon
Anon

This is the last comment to be posted by Mr. Douchebag Starkwell. Thank you God.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

I vote my conscience EVERY election. Sometimes its R sometimes its D and I'm not registered as either.

Not to get into to this but until Rick Scott the R lead legislature are the ones who passed most of the pro-LE benefits. right or wrong the most significant and most rewarding pension changes came under Jeb. Jeb and Charlie Crist (as well as most of the legislature) were on speed dial with the PBA leadership. This went south when the PBA endorsed Sink (who was clearly the better candidate).

Guest
Guest

Great Comment Patti Lynn...It was a pleasure meeting you. We all have to do it again.I've already made ch. 10 my station of choice as prep for Bob Norman.I second that...Keep up the Great work Bob..."Expose The Bastards"

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

I have advocated for Wanda DeMarzo. She would be an excellent choice as a non-partisan polictical corruption investgative reporter. NT she's available and bet she'd work cheap. I would like to see her working again.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

I agree NT should keep The Juice with its gaggle of writers. I also think, though that The Pulp should be accessible as an archive, allowing for running commentary (new posts), plus a place for Bob to post new blog columns from time to time (assuming it is within his purview/agreement).

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

There already were exceptional writers over at the juice, who are now located here at The Pulp. The main difference is they often cover stories with a political side to them, while Bob concentrated more on investigating corruption in a non- partisan way.

Substantively, you are comparing apples and oranges.

skydove
skydove

That may well happen. For now, however, NT is giving their less well known writers a chance to get a wider audience by means of the Pulp brand. It would have been a big kick in the head for NT to tell those kids, "You guys couldn't begin to fill Pulp's shoes, so don't expect us to let you try." But humanitarian motives aside, to simply fold the Pulp blog now that Bob is gone would mean a big drop in revenue for NT. They had to fill the space, and they went with what they had. Do all these writers, who've suddenly had the prospect of greatness thrust upon them, totally have their game on? You've answered that. Am I going to be there every day until it clicks for someone? 'Fraid not; I'll wait to be told.

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

Hey wild thang,I often did not like a lot of Bob's politics and opinions....I don't believe that pot should be legalized, i thought the post about The Judge and the Wiseguys was inappropiate, ruminating on whether Crist is gay or not I found offensive, and don't even get me started on the post about Melissa Britt Lewis and her suspected sexual liasions with SR.....

But, I value well researched information and insightful commentary . None of which I have seen from The Juice Redux team.....

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Hi ATG - This a-hole is not me either. But you know that.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

You are pretty cool yourself, ATG. You too, Virgie.And Bob -- you are the bestest.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Don't worry Goldy. Anyone with a brain knows to look for the Disqus picture, along with the name.

Out of Line
Out of Line

Yea right, police prevent crime. How's that coming along? When a reporter suggests legal advice in public to anyone that is accused that's over the line. Elements of a crime involve intent. Intent has to be proven and prior knowledge is part of establishing that element. I don't know if any of these people are guilty or not. I know that I used to be quick to judge others that were accused. Then somebody accused me of something I never did. Suddenly I became a big fan of innocen until proven guilty. Suddenly criminal defense attorneys were not such scumbag as I thought. I hope it never happens to you. I don't need Bob Norman or anybody else telling me what to think. I can do that myself. I just need the honest facts. His legal advice isn't worth a lump of shit and it is unethical for any journalist to report on a case that way. Channel 10 won't allow it so he's in for a change. Neither should this rag.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

@ Irving,@IrvingFeiner:disqus A lot of things that happen at the Broward County Courthouse aren't fit for TV, blog or otherwise and thats just from the people who work there.

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

Try substituting the word Fuk for Fuck. If its good enough to fly over the Broward County courthouse, its good enough for TV guy blog comments.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Actually, I intend to be douching around here for quite some time.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Did I touch a nerve, Lamdirti? Are you another one of those who collects a union pension, wages and benefits and votes Republican?

Didn't you get the recent memo yet from your union leadership?

You're on our side now, you big dummy!

SheriffLamdirti
SheriffLamdirti

DF3 being preached to by the sanctiminous socialist. What a way for PULP to end his reign.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Even though you won't admit it, I know that deep down, you know what I mean. Many of my law enforcement friends have finally awakened, especially now that their union leaders have educated them.

Do you know what a liberal is? It's a conservative law enforcement officer that finally realizes that the Republican party is trying to take food off his family's table, and healthcare benefits away.

Welcome to our side. I'll see you at the future protests....you hippie freak. ; )

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