(BSO, Sun Sentinel / June 25, 2010)
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Read the arrest affidavit against Tamarac commissioner Patricia "Patte" Atkins-Grad (PDF)
Tamarac City Commissioner Patricia "Patte" Atkins-Grad was arrested Friday on charges she took $6,300 in illegal payments from developers to lease a BMW and pay for her election victory party in exchange for voting for their project.
, 64, a Democrat elected to the commission in 2006, turned herself in at the main jail Friday morning after the Broward state attorney's office obtained a warrant for her
arrest on public corruption charges.
was released on bond in the afternoon and Gov.
lawyer said Atkins-Grad
is dedicated to her
city and her
job, and that she
will fight the allegations.
Reached Friday afternoon at her
home, where a silver BMW
bearing a blue "Positively Patte" bumper sticker was parked outside, Atkins-Grad
arrest was a miserable experience that was undeserved because she
"I'm not the average elected official," she
"I never felt like a politician, I just felt like giving back to my community."
is accused of letting the Chaits
support with campaign donations, some of which she
returned, even before she
was elected on March 13, 2006.
In December 2006, prosecutors say, Atkins-Grad
expressed an interest in a luxury car and Shawn Chait paid $2,300 of the $3,100 or so due on the lease of a BMW
525i three months later.
During that time, Atkins-Grad
voted in favor of the Chaits'
massive construction plans at City Commission meetings without disclosing the payments or potential conflict of interest, as required by law, prosecutors alleged.
Dave Bogenschutz, the attorney representing the Chaits, who are named as co-conspirators in the court documents filed against Atkins-Grad, said there's a lot more to come, but wouldn't name names.