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Gov. Suspends Hallandale Beach Mayor After FBI Sting Arrest

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HALLANDALE BEACH (CBSMiami) -- Governor Rick Scott has suspended longtime Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper.


Thursday, Cooper was arrested on public corruption charges including three third degree felonies.

According to court documents, FBI agents posing as wealthy developers gave Cooper money in exchange for political favors back in 2012 during a campaign season.

Joy Cooper
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Cooper has served on the city commission nearly 20 years.

She bonded out of the Broward jail Thursday night.  Her attorney said she would fight the charges.

At her home Friday, her son Matt Cooper told CBS4, "She will be vindicated."

City commissioner Anabelle Taub is not so sure.

"I am really afraid for the state of our city," said Taub.

Taub wrote an explosive letter to the governor that reads in part: "I am a first year and first time elected commissioner in Hallandale Beach; plagued by corruption, unethical behavior by all of our elected officials and the current City Manager, Roger Carlton. The City of Hallandale is in disarray. I am truly worried about the years of greed and back room deals by all the current or past city commissioners. In fact, if your office would bring in a body to run the city, I would be more than willing to resign."

"You are talking about alleged kickbacks hefty campaign contributions when we should be serving the underprivileged," said Taub.

From unfounded accusations that mayor Cooper was drunk on the dais last year to the vice mayor cellphone taping people at commission meetings, the political infighting in Hallandale has reached a new low.

City Manager Roger Carlton says despite the turmoil residents can be assured that all services will continue.

He says the city is financially sound and he doubts the Governor will step in.

"The city makes payroll and pays its debt. I'm sure the governor will reject that position."

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