[UPDATE: The FBI is holding a consensual search at the offices of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler tonight -- it's not huge news but worth knowing. There's a great number of agents -- I'm hearing about 35 -- crawling around the firm. Word is that Rothstein is still chilling out with federal prosecutors.]
When Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter needed to raise some dough to sponsor her Mayor's Ball, she called, you guessed it, Scott Rothstein.
Sources say Rothstein ponied up $50,000 to become the title sponsor of the event, held Saturday, October 24, at the Seminole Hard Rock. It was allegedly the most expensive Mayor's Ball (or "Charity Gala," as they call it now to make it sound less like the political whorefest that it is) in Broward history.
But Rothstein didn't even show up for the event, saying he was sick. Instead, his top lobbyist, Grant Smith, had to get up and say a few words to the crowd of 850. Ken Keechl emceed the event along with Ritter.
While up on stage with the microphone, the mayor told the crowd the story of calling Rothstein and asking him for the money, according to a source who was there.
"Scott said, 'Anything for you, hon, that's what I'm going to do,' " Ritter told the crowd. "I was so happy, I didn't even get mad that he called me 'hon.' "
Entertaining the politicians and influence peddlers that populate these rather vile events was a Billy Joel cover band and a comedian.
A week later, Rothstein fled the country to Morocco when his Ponzi scheme imploded. He has since returned to face federal investigators (several sources say he had a duffle bag full of cash; one tells me there was $3 million in it).
We don't know if the Mayor's Ball check cleared, though.
After the jump, a few more miscellaneous tidbits, including the "real" story on the "breakup" between Rothstein and Roger Stone and suspicions that Rothstein had attention deficit disorder.
-- I guess I'll just keep dribbling out pieces of my interviews with Roger Stone. First, he told me that Rothstein was the most dysfunctional human being he's ever met and that he once told him he should take medication for what he assumed was attention deficit disorder.
"I urged him to get medication to improve his ability to focus and follow through," Stone told me. "He told me he didn't want it to take away his edge. But he didn't have any edge. He was competely dysfunctional. You set up a lunch, an appointment, a business meeting, anything, he may show up or not. Here's an example. I had a group of New Jersey state legislators and their wives in town. It was recreational, just for R&R, you know, Miami Beach, the sun and fun. I invited Rothstein to join us. He showed up two and half hours late for dinner and drunk out of his mind. After a little while, he said he had to go to the men's room and never returned. That was Scott."
He said the relationship finally went kaput because of a critical piece of George LeMieux -- whom Stone loathes and calls "the little Frenchman" -- that Stone did on his blog, Stonezone. At the time, Rothstein sponsored the blog.
Here's the email Rothstein sent to Stone to take down the blog post about LeMieux:
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 17:17:27 -0400
Today I read the article you wrote about my friends Charlie Crist and George Lemieux. Take the article down. You have no reason to attack these people. They are my friends. The article is nonsense and is clearly meant to hurt people I care about and moreover, people who do not deserve to be hurt. I have no idea what possessed you to do this but you need to make this right. And keep my law firm's name off this kind of trash. You had no business connecting me to this kind of garbage. You are above this kind of crap. Take the article down....please.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this most urgent matter.
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Here's Stone's reply:
Needless to say I reject your characterization of today's article in the STONEzone. Your corporate log and sponsorship have been removed from the site. I have called you to discuss this material in the last 3 weeks but you have declined to return those calls.
Sadly Governor Crist's candidacy truly hurts the party. Rarely have I seen a more self-centered, self-absorbed "user" in American politics. I have no intention of being censored or having my first amendment rights abridged by you. Frankly, the STONEzone only touched on some of the corruption and backscratching in this Adminstration that our research has uncovered.
These matters will be an issue and I have simply reported that fact. Washington Democrats are aware of these issues and are certain to raise them.
I assume your e-mail was written for the consumption of both George and the Governor. Do me the courtesy of fowarding my reply.
PS- If you want to discuss this further let me suggest the telephone.
Stone says that Rothstein cut off sponsorship for the blog on that day and that their relationship, whatever was left of it, was over.
Yet I can't find that original blog post about LeMieux anywhere but here, and Stone did an over-the-top post in Rothstein's favor (actually urging Crist to appoint Rothstein as U.S. senator!) a month later.
Hey, Stone didn't get his reputation as one of the greatest dirty tricksters in American political history for nothing.