Once again the state of Florida is in the news for a criminal court case surrounding an elected official - this time with a prominent female Democrat being arrested - after an undercover sting operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided evidence of a major money laundering scheme involving multiple felony counts.
Hallandale Beach, Florida Mayor Joy Cooper was subject of an undercover investigation by FBI Special Agents who became aware of her efforts for a pay-to-play scheme which first came to the attention of the FBI back in 2012.
The State Attorney's office says that 57-year-old Cooper, the city's first elected mayor, solicited campaign contributions not only for herself but several others in the Democratic Party and then later falsely reported those payments on several campaign reports.
Undercover FBI Agents posing as wealthy business owners met with Cooper on several occasions to discuss potential pay-to-play schemes and recorded the entire series of events.
Copper feverishly bragged of offshore accounts and manipulating the City Commission as well as the taxpayers of her city.
She accepted at least $5,000 in cash in one situation from the FBI Agents, unknowing that she was dealing with Federal Law Enforcement at the time.
Cooper is now being charged with money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding limits on campaign contributions, all of which are classified as third-degree felonies.
She is also charged with a first-degree misdemeanor of soliciting contributions in a government building.
The third-degree felony charges carry a three-year maximum sentence per count, and the first-degree misdemeanor having an additional one-year sentence.
Also charged in the scheme is 63-year-old Alan Koslow, an infamous and elite Florida Democrat who not only lobbies in his state but in Washington, DC as well.
"We look forward to our day in court and the mayor's vindication," said the Mayor's attorney, Larry Davis. "We're extremely disappointed that the Broward County State Attorney's Office is relying upon Alan Koslow, a disgraced and disbarred convicted felon, as the centerpiece of its case of alleged campaign finance violations."
As one of the most highly respected attorneys and lobbyists in the state of Florida, Koslow is known for specializing in representing ultra-wealthy developers inside the gaming industry.
Some suggest he's personally involved with the La Cosa Nostra crime family, who control many of the nation's casinos and have resorts as well as vacation homes deep in Florida.
Koslow himself pleaded guilty in August of 2016 to giving assistance to low-level gangsters that prosecutors claimed were "quasi-mafia" criminals hide the source of $220,000 linked to illegal gambling and drug dealing.
"At this time, Alan Koslow was unaware that he was interacting with undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents," investigators wrote.
Joy Cooper has been mayor since 2005, and her alongside Koslow were secretly recorded during numerous meetings and conversations with the Special Agents, court documents show.
Koslow said to the undercover agents that "he held influence with the mayor and city commissioners and that he had the vote of the mayor," the records show.
During the first meeting on July 10th of 2012 between Cooper, the undercover agents, and Koslow at City Hall, Cooper was recorded by the FBI saying that she and two other commissioners were a "team of three" and could ensure a favorable result for their project, according to the arrest affidavit.
"Alan Koslow showed Mayor Cooper a number representing a proposed contribution and asked her if it was a good number. She replied ‘No. Add a zero." Koslow confirmed ‘Three zeros, is that fine?' and Mayor Cooper replied ‘Yes,'" according to the arrest affidavit.
Later that month, Koslow told Cooper she would receive $10,000 in cash in two individual payments.
This began a nearly decade-long investigation into the criminal corruption surrounding those tied to the city.
According to federal court records, Koslow met at least 75 times with four different FBI agents between September 2013 and May 2016, though what he did remains secret because of continuing investigations.
The other individuals Cooper was caught soliciting cash for are also known career schemers, including disgraced Democrat Vice Mayor Bill Julian who was caught in a Scandal of his own back in 2016 that forced his resignation.
In that case, Julian had been recorded on audio agreeing to return favors in exchange for a $450 million condo and hotel development in the city, recorded in his office by <a href="https://www.local10.com/news/bob-norman/vice-mayor-admits-to-agreeing-to-accept-favors-for-vote">investigative journalists from Local 10 News</a>.
Another individual that Cooper is alleged to have taken pay-to-play cash on behalf of is Democratic Commissioner Anthony Sanders.
Just like the Vice Mayor and Mayor, Sanders has also been caught in previous scandals where he was forced to resign last year after using his position to approve over $1 million in payments to a nonprofit group that would, in turn, make donations to a Church he founded.
The levels of corruption from the Democratic Party continue to soar to new heights in Florida, and with the arrest of Cooper, it confirms widespread criminal activity in the state.
The Broward County State Attorney's office announced that Cooper was in the County Jail, where she later made bond.
"We're all very surprised at City Hall," Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michele Lazarow said. "It's a sad day for the city."
The FBI's sting began in 2012 and was turned over to state prosecutors in May 2017, said Constance Simmons, a spokeswoman for the Broward State Attorney's Office.
In November of 2017, Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper was in a City Commission Meeting where she was captured on film slurring her words, with Republicans accusing her of being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
<div style="width:100%;text-align:center;margin:0 auto;"><iframe width="360" height="202" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hbVsbw5c3qc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
A shocking as it was, she slurred her words so that the word history became "sistory," democracy was "dismocraphy," candid was "cannid" and insult was "intersult."
Republican Commissioner Michele Lazarow called out the intoxicated Democrat for her "incoherent babbling and rambling."
"You're an embarrassment, mayor," she said. "You don't know where to put a period."
This is the type of insanity occurring in Florida amongst Democrats. It should surprise anyone though since Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is also from the region.
Just for the personal satisfaction of residents on Hallandale as well as Republicans reading this, I've included a video of Mayor Joy Cooper being tased by police officers.
<div style="width:100%;text-align:center;margin:0 auto;"><iframe width="360" height="202" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UqmuyJDCbWM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
Florida is slowly becoming a tiny California, filled with corruption and white collar crime, all perpetrated by the Democratic Party.
Currently, Mayor Joy Cooper will remain in charge of the city, as shocking as that may be, until Governor Rick Scott decides whether to replace her under Florida state law.
"These charges are unacceptable," said Lauren Schenone, a spokeswoman for Scott. "We are reviewing our next course of action."
If she's replaced the Vice Mayor will assume the role as acting Mayor until a new election can be held in the imminent future.
<strong><span style="color:red;">Tips? Info? Send me a message!</span></strong>
<i>Follow Me On Twitter:</i>