One of Broward County's former politicians has almost done his prison time and will be coming home in 2012, while several local officials accused of wrongdoing are hoping juries will find them not guilty this year.
Former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion has just weeks left to serve of his two prison terms and is scheduled to be released Feb. 27 from the federal prison in Jesup, Ga.
Eggelletion was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for federal convictions for money-laundering conspiracy and filing a false tax return, and a state conviction for taking bribes from developers.
He went to prison in May 2010 and will be released just short of serving one year and 10 months.
Federal inmates generally serve about 85 percent of their sentences, with time off for good behavior. Eggelletion, who said he had abused alcohol, was able to shave off more time because he enrolled in a prison substance-abuse program. Inmates who complete the program are eligible for release up to one year early.
His attorney, Johnny McCray Jr., said Eggelletion, 62, asked to serve the last several months of his sentence at a local halfway house, which is common for federal inmates, but state prosecutors in Broward blocked it because they said it would violate the terms of his plea agreement.
"Joe wasn't looking for anything that other inmates don't routinely receive," McCray said. "Joe's done real well."
Two other former politicians caught in the same undercover FBI sting as Eggelletion are still serving time.
Former Broward County School Board member Beverly Gallagher, 53, who pleaded guilty to taking bribes, is serving three years and one month in prison in Greenville, Ill. She is to be released in March 2013. Former Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, 54, is appealing his conviction for bribery and extortion. He is serving four years and three months at the Miami Federal Detention Center and is scheduled for release in December 2013. In other cases involving politicians in Broward County:
Suspended Deerfield Beach Commissioner Sylvia Poitier is expected to be fined about $2,000 and sentenced to probation on Jan. 11 after she was found guilty of four misdemeanor charges that she falsified city records. Because of the less serious nature of the charges against Poitier, prosecutors will not recommend jail time, her attorney said.
Former Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin, 64, is expected to go to trial May 14 on five felony counts of unlawful compensation, accused of making money by voting for Southwest Ranches grant applications that her husband, Richard Rubin, wrote.
Richard Rubin, 66, who is serving 10 months in the federal detention center in Miami for tax evasion, is expected to testify at his wife's trial. He is scheduled for release in June.
Suspended Tamarac City Commissioner Patricia "Patte" Atkins-Grad, 65, wants a judge to find her incompetent to proceed with the criminal case against her because, her attorney said, she has memory loss and has suffered a minor stroke. She has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that she let developers lease a car for her and pay for a party.
Suspended Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco, 58, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that she secretly accepted $21,000 from developers that was used to attack her election opponents.
Former School Board member Stephanie Kraft, 55, and her husband, Mitchell Kraft, 59, are still awaiting trial on felony charges that they secretly received $10,000 in consulting fees to help developers win a $500,000 break on school district fees.
Former Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Cindi Hutchinson, 54, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she received home improvements in exchange for voting for developers' projects.
Former Deerfield Beach Mayor Albert Capellini, 63, is expected to go to trial this year on a charge of felony unlawful compensation. He is accused of being paid by a developer for engineering work while voting for the project.
Stephen Gonot, 55, a former Deerfield Beach commissioner, is appealing his convictions and one-year jail sentence for grand theft, official misconduct and falsifying records. He is free pending the outcome of the appeal.
Former state Sen. Mandy Dawson, 55, has pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion and failure to file tax returns.
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