Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion (left) and former Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman were arrested at their homes this morning in what is apparently the beginning of the long-awaited federal corruption sweep.
Salesman's attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, told me that Salesman was arrested at his home at 6 a.m. by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He will have his first court hearing at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer.
"They showed up at his door and told him to get his clothes on and get dressed," Schwartzreich told me. "I don't know the details at this point, but the charges deal with public corruption, wire fraud, and money laundering. I don't have the specifics yet."
Schwartzreich defended Salesman in an aggravated-assault trial this spring after the former commissioner pulled a gun on a customer in a grocery store. Salesman was acquitted of the felony charge but convicted of a misdemeanor gun offense.
Eggelletion's charges revolve around an alleged scheme to launder money through contacts in the Bahamas. His arrest, however, will undoubtedly send shock waves throughout theBroward political establishment. I left a call with lobbyist Judy Stern, who has shepherded Eggelletion's career and run many of his campaigns.
Eggelletion is a former state legislator who was elected to the County Commission in 2000. He has been the subject of several criminal investigations and a scandalous paternity suit involving a former student of his at Dillard High School. He weathered those storms but is now in federal custody.
There are expected to be more arrests as the day goes on. School Board Member Beverly Gallagher, who is represented by attorney Steve Rossi in the criminal investigation, has also been hit with bribery charges. I have a call in to Rossi. Stay tuned.