Mandy Dawson: First Black Female Legislator, Health Care Chairwoman, Jailed Again | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Mandy Dawson: First Black Female Legislator, Health Care Chairwoman, Jailed Again

Cops arrested Mandy Dawson, Broward County's first black female legislator, and took her to jail in Daytona Beach last Friday.

It was, hopefully, the last stop in the downhill slide for the woman who represented central Broward County for 16 years. Dawson improperly took money from disgraced Hollywood lobbyist and power broker Alan Mendelsohn. She then failed to pay tax on $29,000 of it and went to jail.

It was one of the ugliest scandals in Broward County history, and Dawson was the only politician charged.

Dawson spent six months in federal custody after her first arrest in 2012. After her release, she tested positive twice for cocaine use and went back to jail.

She has acknowledged not only having cocaine and drinking problems, but also suffers from Lupus, arthritis and back pain. In December 2003, she finished a drug rehab after being arrested on a felony prescription fraud charge.

Drug abuse while in office? Yeah. In 2006, she was chairwoman of the Senate's Health Care committee.

She was arrested Friday after being put on probation four months ago. She tested positive for coke in April and then acknowledged using again. She also failed to make payments on the money she owes the IRS from the Mendelsohn scandal. She will face a judge in Miami soon.

As for Mendelsohn, who by the way is a medical doctor, he is scheduled for release next year.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse

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