A city commissioner of Pompano Beach publicly apologized Earlier this year after video showed her manhandling a Fort Lauderdale police officer. Now she may need more explanation for the “criminal” misuse of campaign funds.
Broward County’s watchdog released a report on Tuesday claiming Beverly Perkins‘ successful 2020 re-election campaign for the City Commission committed a third-degree felony and first-degree misdemeanor mishandling thousands of campaign funds, including an $800 “swearing-in ceremony” at J. Mark’s Restaurant.
The Office of the Inspector General is escalating the case to the Broward County Attorney and the Florida Division of Elections for further processing.
“Commissioner Perkins and her Treasurer were involved in a wide variety of campaign finance activities that were criminal in nature, including the willful corroboration of campaign treasurer reports known to be false, incomplete, or both,” the 53rd statement said -page report published with 383 pages with appendices.
The OIG found 22 post-election expenditures totaling $7,381.92 that were not intended for either the election or for legal disbursements of excess campaign funds.
Perkins’ attorney attributed the problems to “nothing more than accounting errors.”
“Commissioner Perkins has not benefited financially in any way,” he said Larry Allena Hollywood attorney.
Perkins began representing the city’s Northwest District in 2016 and was subsequently re-elected in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Alcee Hastings and the city’s first black mayor, E. Pat Larkinswho served 19 years as city commissioner and seven terms as mayor.
One of the problems cited by the OIG was cashing a $9,500 check and using that for cash payments, rather than paying expenses through the campaign treasurer by cashier’s check. Much of that money was paid to campaign workers without receipts signed by workers, the report said. Perkins told investigators the Hastings and Larkins campaigns both did it that way, the report said.
“She went on to explain that the workers wanted their money immediately,” the report reads.
The OIG also found that the campaign never reported payments totaling $3,322.72 to the New Creation Baptist Church of Christ after the last campaign report was filed and after the excess funds disposal deadline. Robert Holmes, who served as Perkins’ campaign treasurer, also manages the finances of the Pompano Beach Church and transferred the campaign money to the church with the expectation that he would decide what to do with it after the election. According to the report, the money was still in the account 457 days later.
Perkins isn’t the only member of the Pompano Beach City commission faced with a finding from the OIG. mayor Rex Hardin was raped twice for improper management of campaign finances. He denied the allegations but paid two separate fines.
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https://floridapolitics.com/archives/577534-broward-county-watchdog-details-how-pompano-commissioner-misused-campaign-funds/ Broward County watchdog details how Pompano commissioner misappropriated campaign funds