Just recently, a Democratic mayor in Florida was removed from office following a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) sting looking into corruption. Apparently, she was easily bribed, laundered money, and accepted illegal campaign contributions from Russians.
Specifically, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed an executive order earlier this week officially suspending Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (D). He did so shortly after the FBI charged her with felony “campaign finance violations, official misconduct, and money laundering“ for using bribe money that she laundered to illegally fund her re-election campaign.
According to reports, the FBI investigation into Cooper first began back in May 2012 when two undercover agents acting as wealthy landowners created a fake real estate company.
After doing so, they then hired Alan Koslow, a South Florida attorney and lobbyist, to reach out to Cooper and set up a meeting to negotiate a development deal in her area.
Upon meeting with Cooper in the mayor’s office at City Hall, Koslow, who had no idea the two wealthy landowners were actually undercover agents, told her that they would be willing to help fund her re-election campaign in exchange for her help getting a construction project approved through the city commission.
While negotiating a price, Koslow showed her a proposed number and asked Cooper if she thought it was a “good number.”
Shockingly, in response, she said, “No. Add a zero.”
Koslow did what she said and then asked, “Three zeros. Is that fine?”
After taking one look at the new number, which was now $10,000, she replied, “yes.”
A month later, the agents met with Koslow and reportedly handed him a “Dunkin’ Donuts bag filled with $100 bills totaling $8,000,” which was the first installment. Before doing so, though, the officers first made sure to get him to acknowledge that he “would channel these funds” to Cooper’s re-election campaign in exchange for her support with their fake construction project.
Since there’s a $500 limit on local campaign contributions, Koslow explained that in order to get around the limits, he was going to have to use their money and his connections to two Russian organizations to have a bunch of checks written to her campaign. A short time later, he followed through with the proposed crime and had roughly 20 $500 checks mailed to Cooper’s re-election campaign, which she ended up winning.
Despite the incident occurring in 2012, it took more than five years for Cooper to finally be arrested. This is because, shortly after the election, the agents revealed their identities to Koslow and turned him into an undercover assistant to help them investigate other politicians and lobbyists in exchange for a plea deal.
After their investigation was complete, they then sentenced Koslow to a year in prison. Once out, Koslow then agreed to give “a critical statement in the investigation into Cooper’s alleged misconduct.” Upon receiving his statement, the FBI then went out and arrested the corrupt mayor.
Cooper has since been released on a $12,000 bond while she awaits trial. Since she’s currently suspended from office pending the outcome of her case, Vice Mayor Keith London is currently the person in charge of her position.
Although Cooper’s misconduct is undoubtedly reprehensible, sadly, it’s not entirely surprising. This is because the Democratic Party is rife with corruption.
Several weeks ago, for instance, back in December 2017, US District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan sentenced former United States Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), who’s spent over twenty years in office, to five years behind bars and three years of probation for “lying on her tax returns and on her congressional financial disclosures,” fraud, and several other related charges.
This occurred after it was revealed that she had stolen over $800,000 in charitable donations between 2012 and 2016. According to reports, Rep. Brown took money from the One Door for Education Foundation, which is “a Virginia-based group founded in 2011 that purported to solicit donations to help with things like scholarships.”
Leading up Brown’s conviction, prosecutors detailed an extensive “pattern of fraud” by her that included spending hundreds of thousands of the charities dollars on “lavish parties, trips, and shopping excursions.” Shockingly, out of the nearly million dollars that the charity raised, only one $1,200 was reportedly given out.
Corruption of any kind must not be tolerated. If others are currently engaged in similar behavior, they too need to be identified and thrown in jail.
Because of this, the FBI and Department of Justice must continue actively paying close attention to our country’s elected officials.