Sunday, September 09, 2007
Politicians Behaving Badly: Former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne
Fla. Sheriff Resigns in Corruption Probe
By CURT ANDERSON
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne resigned Tuesday [September 4, 2007] 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.
As St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Steve Bousquet put it here: "Jenne sold his office and his integrity for about $84,000."
I find Jenne's statement interesting. When Jenne was putting $84,000 from Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) vendors in his own greedy little pockets, where was Jenne's attention turned other than to himself and his family?
I think it is also fair to ask where was this egomaniacal scumbag's attention turned to other than himself when he plastered his name on practically every item of personal property and parcel of real property belonging to the BSO such that it is now going to cost Broward County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove his name?
When Jenne began the job as Sheriff, he had the BSO logo redesigned to include his name. Now, getting rid of it from the many places it’s located is a daunting task, BSO officials said.
The logo, which prominently featured the words ''Ken Jenne'', has been displayed throughout BSO's 14 district buildings, as well as on SWAT uniforms, supplies, stationery and promotional items.
“I’m 69 and was a journalist for 40 years and I never seen an elected official put his name on so many things, said John de Groot a former aid of Jenne.
BSO has already ordered 82,000 labels to cover Jenne’s name on binders, letterheads and envelopes.
Some SWAT team members have used masking tape on the back of their black T-shirts to cover Jenne’s logo and they’ve written in acting Sheriff Lamberti’s name. Others simply used black marker to scribble out Jenne’s name.
Lamberti said he has no intention of putting his name on such items. "It's not about me. It's about the men and women who work here. It's about them. The agency doesn’t belong to me."