Broward News

Salesman Campaign Reports Show Donations From Companies Linked to Newest Defendants

Celestine "Skip" Aniekwu and Luke Facarazzo Jr. are the most recent businessman to be charged in the federal sting against corrupt Broward County officials. They're accused of asking FBI agents posing as crooked businessmen for help funneling $50,000 bribes to Miramar officials.

It's not yet known whether one of those officials was former Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, who was arrested Wednesday. But his campaign finance treasurer's reports show that in January 2005 Salesman received a maximum campaign donation of $500 from Billy Scherer Productions. Bill Scherer the father of Jon Scherer, who is the president of Gulf Construction, which employed Aniekwu.

Gulf itself does not show up as a donor. But Bill Scherer's law firm, Conrad & Scherer also made a $500 donation that same month, followed by another $500 contribution in February 2005. That's at least a $1,500 investment by the Scherer family in Salesman. As has been mentioned in Pulp, Gulf partnered with D. Stephenson Construction in two major Miramar projects totalling $30 million. That firm's chief operating officer, Dinah Stephenson, the wife of ex-Dolphin and CEO Dwight Stephenson, gave $250 to Salesman's victorious 2005 campaign.

The Salesman reports show no donations, however, by any of the groups with ties to Facarazzo -- Continental Group, Luke's Landscaping, or FirstService Corp.

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Thomas Francis