Broward News

Also on the FBI Yacht: Linda Ferrara

Linda Ferrara, a former Cooper City commissioner and longtime School Board appointee and volunteer, was among what is really turning into a rogue's gallery of attendees for the party on the Intracoastal thrown by the FBI in December.

Funny thing is that Ferrara knows all about partying at the expense of taxpayers -- she was one of the Cooper City commissioners caught on tape by CBS-Channel 4 eating and drinking at a neighborhood restaurant on the public's dime before commission meetings (that's Cooper City Mayor Debbie Eisinger getting ready to swill at left). That report broke in 2006, and Ferrara was turned out of office soon thereafter by disgusted voters.

But even after that disgrace, she kept volunteering at the School Board, serving on a variety of committees, including the now-notorious Qualification Selection Committee (QSEC) that her good friend Beverly Gallagher supposedly rigged for bribe money from undercover agents. It was Gallagher, of course, who invited her good friend Ferrara onto the boat, which she didn't know at the time was owned, operated, and well-bugged by the feds.

I contacted Ferrara at Planet Fitness in Sunrise where she works. As instructed by the receptionist, I left a detailed message for her (just the basics -- "FBI boat, QSEC, Bev Gallagher"). Will update if she calls back.

Gallagher told agents that she'd fixed the vote for the $70 million Hollywood Hills High School renovation for Pirtle Construction. The company did, indeed, win the committee's recommendation. But here's an interesting twist: Her good friend and yachting partner, Ferrara, didn't vote Pirtle in the top spot. Instead she gave the company a close second to Weitz Co., another school contractor.  

Now what on Earth might have caused her to do that? Hmmm?  

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman