So I got former Mutual Benefits czar and current federal indictee Joel Steinger on the phone this afternoon.
I didn't know what to expect from a guy with a past like his, but the Brooklyn-bred Steinger seemed ... laid-back and funny. He said he couldn't answer questions directly, but when I brought up Stacy Ritter and Russ Klenet, he couldn't help but making a play on Ritter's recent crack about him.
"So tell me, does Stacy Ritter give you the creeps?" asked Steinger, who is under close watch by the feds as he awaits his fraud trial.
We both laughed. I asked him what he thought of the Broward County mayor, whom he treated to a $117,000 home renovation, vacations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more to her lobbyist husband Klenet.
"She just can't seem to tell the truth," he said.
I asked him if she was telling the truth when she recently said she'd only met him once or twice. "I think you know the answer to that," Steinger said.
He was right; I know that Steinger met Ritter a lot more than once or twice.
Unfortunately I couldn't get much more out of him, except this tease: "There's more to this than you have any idea."
It's official: This is the already best political scandal in Broward County history (or maybe not; read comments below).