Bob Norman's Pulp

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Broward Sheriff Scott Israel

It appears that Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has had an ethics complaint filed against him.

According to Bob Norman, the complaint was filed by a former Broward Sheriff's Office commander over a five-day cruise to the Bahamas that Israel took his family on aboard a campaign donor's $35 million superyacht.

The yacht, which belongs to Israel campaign donor Robert Pereira, rents for $190,000 a week. Israel paid a total of $1,500 for five days.

The sheriff did not disclose his trip to the public.

According to Israel, Broward Sheriff's Office attorneys say state law only required him to pay the equivalent of an inexpensive cruise, which he did.

It was former Broward Sheriff's Commander Sam Frusterio who filed an official complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics on Wednesday, saying that what Israel did is against the law.

The main beef here is that an elected official failed to disclose the trip, which looks pretty shady, no matter how you slice it. Florida law requires elected officials to report all gifts valued at $100 or more.

According to Norman, Pereira contributed $245,000 to a pro-Israel PAC that aired attack ads against former Sheriff Al Lamberti before the election this past November.

But it appears that Israel ain't worried.

"I did the laudable thing. I did the honorable thing as the sheriff of Broward County," Israel told Local 10's Michael Putney during a taping for This Week in South Florida. "I could have claimed it as a gift, but I decided to pay for it."

Israel told WFTL-850 last week that he'd support an ethics investigation regarding his yacht trip.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph