Canada's family hold on the town was nepotism and violated the rules of good government. But the town's attorney, Gary Poliakoff of the Becker & Poliakoff law firm, allowed it to happen. Poliakoff and son Keith, who's the deputy town attorney, are reaping profits. They charged the town $175 an hour for up to $200,000 a year for legal work, and on top of that, they garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra fees on other legal matters.
The Poliakoff firm is also a major lobbying force in Broward, often representing private firms before the County Commission and cities like Hollywood. Well-known lobbyists Bernie Friedman and Alan Koslow work for Becker & Poliakoff. And Friedman served as Wasserman-Rubin's campaign manager.
It's some ugly stuff, and it's about time the State Attorney's Office took it seriously. A lot of it happened five years ago, after all, and it has been more than two years since Wasserman-Rubin was fined for it by the ethics commission. Canada was run out, as were Rubin and Cor. The Poliakoff firm somehow remains employed as the town's attorney.
It seems that a fire has been lit under Broward State Attorney Michael Satz since the feds came in and rattled his turf with the arrests of Eggelletion, Broward School Board member Beverly Gallagher, and others. It's a welcome development, and if Satz, who has held his position since 1976 (yes, since America's Bicentennial), plays his cards right, he could transform his legacy in a dramatic way.
Read Bob Norman's column first on the Daily Pulp blog at BrowardPalmBeach.com.