Will Ilene Lieberman's Scandal-Skirting Past Affect Her Run for Circuit Court Judge?
If you vote in next week's Broward primary election, you'll be able to pick from a number of judges who are up for election. One of them is Ilene Lieberman, a Broward County commissioner who nearly fell to corruption charges before testifying against her friends for prosecutorial immunity.
She's also the attorney for the mother of disappeared boater Guma Aguiar, who is trying to gain control of her likely deceased son's assets.
Lieberman gained attention in late 2010 for not showing up to Broward Commission meetings. Apparently during this time, she was deep in the midst of a corruption investigation.
Lieberman agreed to testify against her former friend, Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco, in trading her vote for $21,000 in contributions from developers Bruce and Shawn Chait. The Chaits traveled all over Broward County buying votes for pathetic amounts of money (or a golf cart). Former Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion was recently released from prison after taking the Chaits' bait.
As Bob Norman described it here last year:
Lieberman saw talent and political promise in the statuesque and well-polished Talabisco, a trusted neighbor and friend and chosen successor. And in Lieberman, Talabisco found someone who could open all the right doors -- and raise for her obscene amounts of campaign money.
So what was Lieberman avoiding by agreeing to testify? Here's Bob again:
Lieberman is all wrapped up in the Chait scandal. Remember, she voted for their project too. And her husband, outgoing Sunrise City Attorney Stuart Michelson, worked for the Chaits. Michelson represented the developers in a code enforcement matter and represented Shawn Chait to at his initial deposition with prosecutors in the criminal matter in 2007.
She currently works at Michelson's private law firm, under her married name of Ilene Michelson. There, she took on the Guma Aguiar case -- another high-profile twist in her career. Now she's running for judge, against Katie McHugh.
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