(FT. LAUDERDALE, FL) 7/7/2010 – Diana Wasserman-Rubin resigned from her seat as a Broward County Commissioner yesterday, just before the Broward County State Attorney announced the issuance of an arrest warrant against her. Wasserman-Rubin turned herself in to the Broward County Jail at approximately 7:25pm Tuesday, after her bond had been set at $24,500, and was released
The arrest warrant charges Wasserman-Rubin with 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," said Ron Ishoy, a spokesman for State Attorney Mike Satz. These charges mark the second time corruption charges are being brought against a County Commissioner and the fourth time against a Broward public official in the past 12 months.
Although the State Ethics Commission had previously investigated similar claims and levied a civil penalty, which the Commissioner paid in 2007, it is unclear when the Broward State Attorney began his investigation. The State Attorney’s Office issued a statement in January suggesting that they had been investigating her for two years.
Wasserman-Rubin, whose district includes portions of Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Park, Weston and West Park, had announced in April that she would not seek reelection but would complete her term. She stated that her decision was based on her being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but there was no mention of the State Attorney’s investigation announced in January. As her seat would be filled through the November elections, the Governor is not likely to appoint a replacement. The November election season for Wasserman-Rubin's seat will likely see a fierce debate over public corruption.
In her resignation, she insisted that she intends “to vigorously defend myself against these charges and see myself vindicated in court," and has stated that she was unaware that her husband would receive a financial benefit if grant proposals written by him were approved.
63 year-old Wasserman-Rubin, born in Havana, was the first Cuban County Commissioner elected to office, and the first Mayor of Broward County.
The past year has seen federal public corruption charges against County Commissioner Josephus Eggeletion, School Board member Beverly Gallagher, both serving prison sentences, and former Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, who is due to be sentenced on Thursday.
For More Information:
Broward Commissioner Wasserman-Rubin resigns in wake of criminal charges
Ex-Broward Commissioner Wasserman-Rubin jailed on public corruption charges, released
Diana Wasserman-Rubin turns herself in to jail
Another Broward public corruption probe hits County Commissioners