Former Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin is accused of felony public corruption. Investigators say her husband made $1.1 million off of taxpayers for writing grants that she helped approve, which we first wrote about back in 2005.
The affidavit that went along with Wasserman-Rubin's 2010 arrest claims that "between 2003 and 2008, the Rubins paid for artwork, vacations, trips to Europe, cruises, home renovations, and furniture with the money he received from the Town," and notes that "three days after Wasserman-Rubin's votes [to approve one of her husband's grant proposals] the Rubins embarked on a $150,000 home addition."
She could face up to 55 years in prison for the money-grab -- except the Broward State Attorney's Office has offered to let her plead out and get two years of house arrest, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The worst part? Her lawyer says she still might not do it.
Just like back in December (when prosecutors offered her eight years in prison), she shot down the offer.
"My client is of the opinion that she's done nothing wrong," her lawyer said earlier this week. "The issue is that even with a [no-contest plea] she might still lose her pension, which is of prime importance to her."
Ah, yes. There's nothing wrong at all with helping your husband make a million dollars off of Southwest Ranches by pushing through his projects. (For what it's worth, the Florida Commission on Ethics disagrees: They fined her $15,000 in 2007.) It's a scam that's lasted years -- as Buddy Nevins points out, Wasserman-Rubin was siphoning off contracts to her husband before they were even married, tossing him a $5,800 contract while they were dating and she was on the Broward County School Board. It's remarkable how his contracts follow her around.
It would be helpful to ask him about it, but Richard Rubin has been in jail since last year on a tax evasion conviction. He's scheduled to get out later this month.
And even after all this, Wasserman-Rubin would rather risk going to prison herself than give up her $4,895-a-month pension checks.