For all the talk of "the crime issue" in Fort Lauderdale's recent municipal campaign, the city's safest, wealthiest neighborhood -- on either side of Las Olas, near the Intracoastal -- can lay claim to some of the region's most loathsome criminals.
Today U.S. Marshals headed to Fort Lauderdale Beach, where Bernie Madoff kept his yacht. Two weeks ago we told you about disgraced Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent Fumo, who kept a $2.5 million home near Las Olas and who was convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges. Now another corrupt East Coaster with a pimped-out pad in beach-side Fort Lauderdale is headed to the slammer. Yesterday Department of Labor investigator Joseph Rivera entered a guilty plea to charges that he took $1.86 million in bribes from temp agencies that were breaking labor laws.
When you're an investigator on the take, it's best not to flash lots of cash. Rivera, it seems, didn't get that memo.
Rivera faces up to 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. He will also forfeit three pieces of property -- two along the Jersey Shore in Ocean City and one on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- a 2008 Lexus Es350 and five gold plates, along with $120,400 in cash, investigators said.
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I couldn't find a house on Fort Lauderdale beach registered to Rivera. He must have had it in another name.