Best Local Girl Gone Bad - 2010
Beverly Gallagher began her career in politics as the big-time PTA mom, that most wholesome if at times terribly annoying position. Then she was swooped up by lobbyists Neil Sterling and Barbara Miller, who took her under their wings and helped her win election to the Broward County School Board. Perhaps her fate was sealed right then and there. Sterling helped get her a job at the Community Blood Center even as she was steering projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars to his construction clients. Then she fell into an FBI sting and, in an image that will haunt (and entertain) Broward for years, she took illicit cash from an agent at a restaurant and stuffed it into her doggy bag. She ultimately pleaded guilty and will be going to federal prison for a few years. You can bet that Gallagher didn't join the PTA with the goal of one day taking bribes over lunch, but that's the way it worked out. And unfortunately for us, it says more about the culture of corruption at the School Board than it does about Gallagher herself.