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Russ Klenet Is a Former Tax Deadbeat

Yesterday we got the first official whiff of it when eye doctor and felonious political operative Alan Mendelsohn told a U.S. District Judge William Zloch while pleading guilty that it was Klenet who showed him how to take gifts from clients and not report them to the IRS. More important, he claimed that Klenet himself received gifts from lobbying customers that he didn't report to the government.

In short, Mendelsohn claims he got in with the wrong crowd and the wrong lobbyist, Klenet. The 54-year-old Klenet denied it to the Sun-Sentinel, calling Mendelsohn's claim a "bald-faced lie" and writing in a statement, "Isn't this also the person who was using some of his illegal money to support his mistress?"

Figured he'd throw that in there -- the Broward corruption crowd is very adept at the art of defending themselves by attacking others. Not that Mendelsohn isn't a fair target.

The truth, though, is that Klenet has a history of playing loose with the IRS. In fact, he was hit by the IRS for about a quarter-million dollars in tax liens during the 1990s regarding returns mostly from the '80s. The IRS hounded Klenet for years until he satisfied the liens in the year 2000, according to Broward County public records.

In that year, the same one in which he married Ritter after years of dating and both went through divorces, records indicate Klenet paid a whopping $244,902.69 to the IRS to settle his tax problems.

Now one big gift from a client that stands out that Klenet and Ritter received was the $100,000-plus renovation of their Parkland home from Mutual Benefits fraudster Joel Steinger. Ritter has insisted that they reported that properly to the IRS.

One other thing, speaking of the marriage, sources say the reason that Ritter missed the commission meeting on Tuesday was because she and Klenet were celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary. I really do hear they were on a cruise, but that hasn't been confirmed. They were married on December 3, 2000, according to court records.

Inside, enjoy a classic song that could have been written in their honor (and a lot of other denizens of Broward Town). If nothing else it's a great listen on a Friday.

Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.
And when your hand is on your heart,
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost a joker,
With your head down in the pig bin,
Saying "Keep on digging."
Pig stain on your fat chin.
What do you hope to find.
When you're down in the pig mine.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost worth a quick grin.
You like the feel of steel,
You're hot stuff with a hatpin,
And good fun with a hand gun.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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