Embattled Hospital Commissioner Considering Legal Defense Fund

North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo, the subject of a pending criminal investigation for allegedly using his public position to help business in his private consulting firm, has asked the district's legal department for permission to establish a legal defense fund.

The answer, which Juice obtained through a public records request, is that he is allowed to do so, but only under a set of conditions that may be hard for Cobo to swallow.

Writing in a memo dated July 20, the interim general counsel, Sam Goren, said that the donations would be considered "gifts," meaning that Florida statutes on ethics would require that those in excess of $100 are disclosed in quarterly reports that are public record.

Another option, Goren wrote, is for Cobo to resign from the board, at which time he goes back to being a private citizen and is under no obligation to report donations to a legal defense fund.

For more on the Cobo case, see Juice coverage here.

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