Suspended Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion is accused by federal authorities of taking his first payment of tainted money on the golf course -- a wad of cash stuffed into his golf bag by a co-defendant.
Now FBI agents are looking into the finances of a nonprofit charity, founded by Eggelletion, that seeks to introduce underprivileged youth to the sport of golf. In 2006, the Golf Oriented Leadership Foundation's revenues spiked.
Two GOLF board members, Larry Hagan and Dwight Reynolds, told the Sun Sentinel on Monday that they met voluntarily with FBI agents last week, but said they didn't want to talk about what was discussed.
GOLF's accountant, Clifton Rodriguez, also declined to give details about the organization's activities to a reporter.
"I'm not telling you squat," he told the Sun Sentinel.
On other fronts, federal investigators continued to question potential witnesses in their public corruption probe of Broward County officials and area business people, with a grand jury expected to hear evidence this week.
Eggelletion, School Board member Beverly Gallagher and former Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman were arrested last Wednesday on charges of criminal conduct. All three are now free on bond, with Eggelletion and Gallagher suspended from public office.
Eggelletion's charity was the recipient of a March 2006 donation of $5,000 from an undercover FBI agent seeking to win Eggelletion's favor, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. government.
The foundation's 2003 tax return shows that from January 1999 through December 2003, seven checks totaling $10,960 were written to Eggelletion. The documents shed no light on what the money was for.
In 2004, the foundation's revenues dropped to $444, but rebounded the next year to $20,699. In 2006, the year undercover FBI agents say they were introduced to Eggelletion, the foundation's income peaked at $72,919.
In 2006, GOLF reported spending $55,601. The biggest outlay, $10,600 was for "social function expense," followed by $9,750 for "commission salary expense," though neither Eggelletion, the president or the five board members receive any pay.
Income dropped back down in 2007 and 2008 to $39,689 and $28,300 respectively.
Reynolds, a physician, said he could not explain why foundation revenues shot up so dramatically.
"I wasn't really paying attention to what the revenues were doing," he told the Sun Sentinel.
Reynolds said he was often too busy to attend board meetings. But he said that around 2006, more children joined GOLF, and that the increased membership may have led to heightened fundraising.
Only Garretson subpoenaed
Broward Schools Superintendent James Notter said Monday that he's not aware of any school district employees besides Michael Garretson -- deputy superintendent for facilities and construction -- who have been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury.
Garretson was asked to turn over any documents related to the AshBritt Inc. contract for hurricane repairs to portable classrooms.
On Tuesday, the School Board will meet for the first time without Gallagher, for a workshop meeting. The agenda includes discussion of a policy for district employees and board members receiving gifts. Gallagher is accused of taking $12,500 to steer construction contracts to undercover agents.
School Board attorney Ed Marko sent a memo last Thursday --- the day board members and district administrators were first questioned in the Gallagher investigation --- outlining employees' options for dealing with agents' interviews.
The memo told employees they could provide a statement to the FBI, decline to speak or talk to investigators with legal representation paid for by the district.
So far, Notter and three School Board members have obtained outside counsel -- Michael D. Weinstein. The district is providing names of attorneys to school district employees who want legal representation, Notter said.
The superintendent said the district is paying legal fees because he and board members are being questioned as part of their official duties, Notter said.
Six apply for two open seats
Six people, four Democrats and two Republicans, had officially applied for caretaker appointment to Eggelletion's and Gallagher's jobs by Monday, according to Gov. Charlie Crist's spokesman, Sterling Ivey.
The County Commission applicants are: Allen B. Jackson and Tim Smith, both Democrats; and Art Kennedy, a Republican.
The School Board applicants are: Democrats Joel Smith and Patricia Good; and Carmen Zaldivar, a Republican.
Staff Writers Brittany Wallman and Tonya Alanez contributed to this report. Paula McMahon can be reached at pmcmahon@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4533.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun