Here in South Florida, our threshold of expectations is so low that when a local politician turns down a bribe, it’s front-page news. The mayor of Pembroke Pines, Frank Ortis, resisted the temptation of a grant application kickback from two FBI agents posing as facilitators — a scam that already snagged a couple of Ortis’ Miami-Dade counterparts.
To read his account, Ortis was too smart to “take the bait.” I’m willing to assume that it was Ortis’ integrity as a public servant that impelled him to decline the offer, rather than a suspicion that the scheme wasn’t kosher. For that reason, he deserves front-page recognition, and should stand as an example to others.
Sure, it’s the least we ought to expect from our elected leaders — but let’s remember, we’re talking about Broward County. Let Ortis have his 15 minutes of fame.