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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, October 27, 2006

All fed up

Palm Beach Commissioner Tony Masilotti has resigned.

WEST PALM BEACH -- Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti on Friday said he plans to plead guilty in a federal investigation into abuse of power and secret land deals, admitting for the first time to wrongdoing and saying he is "truly sorry."

In a resignation letter to County Administrator Bob Weisman this morning, Masilotti said he will cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in their probe into a land deal in Martin County that enriched Masilotti and his ex-wife by $1.3 million.

"I will eventually plead guilty," Masilotti wrote.

Masilotti said despite accomplishing many of his political goals during his eight years in office, "I have fallen short and made serious mistakes of judgment for which I take full responsibility, and will pay a severe consequence. There can be nothing more important than the confidence a citizenry has in its government. I admit that my conduct has seriously eroded that confidence."

Masilotti did not specificy the charges he'll plead guilty to.

"I can only hope that my decision to resign, face my mistakes and cooperate with these authorities will result in mercy from the Court, and more importantly, forgiveness from the community I have served," he said.

The FBI investigation that led to Masilotti's dramatic downfall involved the South Florida Water Management District, which paid $43 million for almost 3,500 acres in southern Martin County owned by David and Jeffrey Lee. Tony and Susan Masilotti made $1.3 million through a complicated series of transactions related to the sale, but their stake was hidden. It came to light in divorce papers in January.

Masilotti was set to leave office Nov. 21, before abrupty ending his commission career three weeks short.
Chairman Masilotti is the second high profile Palm Beach County politician to resign in this disgrace in the last six month. Ray Liberti is the other.

Bob Norman at The Daily Pulp notes how it was Masilotti's divorce that brought to light the sordid land deals. That's just one more reason we don't need sealed court records. The truth comes out in the oddest of places.

Hope you like Federal prison Tony. You will deserve every minute of the time spent there.

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