Politics

Broward Democrats Are Sticking With Disgraced Ex-Sheriff Scott Israel

Ex-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel is not going gently into that good night.

After being booted from office due to BSO's disastrous response to the shooting in Parkland and his own poor conduct in its aftermath, Israel has been showing up at condo meetings and Democratic clubs on a regular basis in what appears to be a quixotic bid to return to office.

And despite Israel's well-deserved downfall, many in Broward's Democratic Party are still supporting him. In fact today the Davie/Cooper City Democratic Club is holding a pro-Israel meeting at 7 p.m. — and they might want to rethink the guests of honor.

Invited to help make the case for Israel is former Capt. Ira Goldberg, who before he was sacked by the new sheriff epitomized much of what was wrong with Israel's administration. Goldberg was a lackluster jail deputy when he joined Israel's campaign in 2012 and when Israel won the election, he paid Goldberg for his political loyalty by promoting him all the way to captain.

Goldberg moved from job to job but mostly served as a loyal crony to the new boss. He oversaw the community affairs division, which seemed to essentially serve as a taxpayer-funded campaign unit for Israel, under the guise of official BSO business.

In 2015, he hosted a graduation party for Israel's children that involved campaign donors and BSO vendors gifting the family more than $15,000. The party was apparently legal because the gifts were reported but that didn't make it any less sleazy.

The following year I caught Goldberg campaigning for Israel during regular work hours. And last year he attacked gay Republican activist Gilberto Montalvo with a homophobic slur, claiming he had paid protesters at an Israel event. "I hope you offered them money instead of sexual favors," wrote Goldberg in a Facebook post. "Those men deserve better."

He was suspended for a day after that but kept his post in community affairs. In all Goldberg is a great argument for why Israel is unfit for office, not the other way around.

One Democratic activist, Michael Rajner, complained to the club that Goldberg was terrible. He cited last year's homophobic outburst. "Goldberg is nothing more than a thug who once had a badge," Rajner wrote. "Shame on Scott Israel for [putting] this person in the trusted leadership position." 

As of this writing, Goldberg was still scheduled to speak at the meeting. We'll update if that changes.
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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman