The two articles below describe the resignation of the Broward County Sheriff due to corruption. He took bribes or kickbacks of about $80,000 from vendors.
It seems to be a trend in government corruption that much of the problem comes from weak purchasing controls. If they had a waste, fraud & abuse hotline, one of the vendors might have reported him. There was no details whether any internal audit agency had oversight of the Sheriff's department.
Fla. Sheriff Resigns in Corruption Probe
By CURT ANDERSON – 16 hours ago
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne resigned Tuesday after agreeing to plead guilty to federal tax evasion and mail fraud charges after a corruption investigation uncovered crimes in his outside business dealings, federal prosecutors said.
The plea deal came as Jenne faced a possible grand jury indictment on more serious money-laundering charges, and it likely will mean at least a year in prison for the longtime force in state Democratic politics.
Under the agreement signed Friday, Jenne will plead guilty to three counts of tax evasion and one count of mail fraud conspiracy, U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said.
"Ken Jenne has been a staple of South Florida government for decades. For many years, he served Broward County well," Acosta said. "But he stayed too long, and in the end, he lost sight of what it means to serve the public."
The total involved in the wrongdoing amounted to more than $80,000, including payments made from sheriff's office vendors to Jenne's secretaries, who arranged for the money to go to his personal accounts.
Jenne made his resignation official Tuesday morning in an e-mail to his employees and in a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist.
"I need to turn my attention to myself and my family," Jenne wrote in the e-mail.
Jenne, 60, has been sheriff of Florida's second-most-populous county since his appointment in 1998 by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2004 to run an agency that has about 6,300 employees and an annual budget of nearly $700 million.
On Tuesday, Crist named as acting sheriff Maj. Alfred Lamberti, a 29-year veteran of the sheriff's office. The governor told reporters he would look for a permanent replacement to serve the rest of Jenne's term through 2008.
"This is a huge job," Crist said. "I mean, the sheriff of Broward County is a big deal, and I want to do what's right by the people of Broward County."
Jenne was due in federal court Wednesday, though he might not enter the plea until a later hearing.
The resignation and guilty plea means that Jenne also would likely lose his license to practice law and would be barred from seeking public office in the future. It could also affect his state pension.
Jenne's attorney, David Bogenschutz, did not return two telephone calls seeking comment.
State and federal investigations were launched after news reports of Jenne's outside business activities.
Among the witnesses called before a federal grand jury was developer Phillip Procacci, who owns a building that leases space to the sheriff's office and to a federal-state drug task force.
According to court documents filed Tuesday, Procacci loaned $20,000 to one of Jenne's secretaries, who in turn loaned it to Jenne to help the sheriff pay his income taxes in 2004. Procacci's attorney, Edward O'Donnell Jr., said that his client thought the money was for the secretary and that there was no link between the sheriff's office lease and the loan.
Procacci and Jenne's two secretaries are not charged with any wrongdoing.
Associated Press writer Bill Kaczor in Tallahassee contributed to this story.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Ken Jenne gone as sheriff but signs of presence remain
September 5, 2007
The disgraced sheriff was gone, his office emptied over the holiday weekend. But Ken Jenne's name was still everywhere at Broward Sheriff's headquarters on Tuesday.
It was on the faded, limp Sheriff's Office flag that hung outside. It was on the agency insignia plastered on the lobby information booth inside. It was on the logos that adorned nearly every piece of stationery and every business card.
This was a sheriff who clearly wanted to be remembered.
Now the Jenne name, and the stain associated with it, won't easily be erased.
At the District 1 office in Pembroke Park, Jenne's name was in the logo displayed grandly on the building, on the decals on the double doors at the entrance and in insignias printed on every sheet of the visitor's log book.
"I'm guessing it's going to cost the county a couple hundred grand to get rid of all the supplies and equipment with his name on it," said the desk clerk, who didn't want his name used because he's not authorized to talk to the news media.
The clerk pointed at the logo on his polo shirt.
"Sheriff Ken Jenne," it read.
Now he is fallen Ken Jenne.
Because of his plea agreement, soon he will be felon Ken Jenne.
He's gone from Broward's top cop to self-convicted criminal, a former corruption prosecutor who became a corrupt politician, a mighty power broker who lorded over an empire with 6,300 employees and a $712 million annual budget to a solitary figure awaiting federal imprisonment.
"Sad," said U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta on Tuesday, announcing the plea agreement in which Jenne admitted guilt to mail fraud and tax evasion. "That he would sell out his public office for a few thousand dollars is … perhaps the saddest part of this case."
I've been a fierce critic of Jenne for a while now, because I thought it was absolutely unacceptable when Jenne began hiding behind "confidentiality clauses" and other obfuscations after the blurred lines of his private business and public position first came to light in spring 2005.
But there is no joy or satisfaction in seeing a denouement so swift and stunning.
The investigation was 2 1/2 years in the making, but the ending was jarringly abrupt, like Jenne's anti-theft video that became a YouTube sensation.
Gone in four seconds.
It was hard to believe some of the details Acosta laid out on Tuesday. Jenne's unreported benefits dated to his first days in office, Acosta said, when his old law firm kept paying for his Mercedes and auto insurance. It was Jenne, Acosta said, who initiated a $20,000 desperation loan from a Sheriff's Office vendor to pay a tax bill, funneled through the sheriff's secretary.
And Jenne, Acosta said, directed his secretary to make deposits of $3,000 and $2,500 into his personal bank accounts after getting payments from another Sheriff's Office vendor.
Such nickel and dime stuff.
"He stayed too long and in the end he lost sight of the meaning of public service," Acosta said.
I thought back to the occasional lunches I'd have with Jenne before scandal turned him into a Nixonian recluse. When former Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant was at the height of her troubles, he told me how he reached out to help but she rebuffed him.
"How do you help somebody who doesn't want to be saved?" he said.
The last time we spoke was soon after Gov. Jeb Bush launched the state inquiry into his business deals in April 2005, after a chamber of commerce breakfast in Weston.
"I'm not the devil you think I am," Jenne said.
I never thought he was a devil, just a human being who lost his way.
He began as "Robin" to Bob Butterworth's "Batman" in the Broward State Attorney's Office in the 1970s, two crusaders against corruption in the county's building department. He enjoyed immense popularity and power as a Democratic state senator in the 1980s and 1990s. He was tapped to replace the late Ron Cochran as Sheriff in 1998, after Cochran died of brain cancer.
He did much good in his decade with the Sheriff's Office, making the agency bigger and in many respects better, more open and more professional.
The plan was for Jenne to burnish his liberal Democratic resume with a law-and-order stint and possibly end up in the Governor's mansion.
It wasn't supposed to end like this, with Jenne almost certainly headed to the federal pen.
"Karma is a funny thing, isn't it?" said a Broward Sheriff's deputy who was among the 29 transferred in the wake of the crime statistics scandal that Jenne said arose without his knowledge. The deputy didn't want to be named because his internal affairs case is still pending. "He was out there calling us bad apples. What does that make him?"
Not rotten to the core. Just the latest politician who couldn't resist the bites of temptation.
Michael Mayo can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4508.
Copyright © 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel