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Deerfield Beach Commissioners Violated Federal Conflict of Interest Voting Laws

New York, New York, October 6, 2010-

HUD investigation finds organizations with ties to Commissioners Sylvia Poitier and Gloria Battle received housing grants

The United States Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General has ordered the City of Deerfield Beach (Florida) Community Development Division to pay back $224,662 in grants received. The money must be reimbursed because HUD's audit determined Commissioner Sylvia Poitier and former Commissioner Gloria Battle violated Federal Regulations 24 CFR 570.611 and 92.356, guidelines intended to curb special interests, specifically the practice of favoritism in the awarding of funds.

HUD's interest in Deerfield Beach was a consequence of Kessler International's own audit of how the city was dispersing public funds and the blogging of Chaz Stevens earlier this year. Following an in-depth investigation, Kessler's team of forensic accountants discovered evidence of suspected fraud, conflicts of interest, unaccounted-for money, and a lack of internal controls.

At the time of its publication in April, Kessler recommended our 189-page review be referred to HUD's Inspector General, the United States Attorney, the Florida Attorney General, and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. Kessler has since been retained to carry out an investigation of Festivals paid for by the Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation Division and the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority.

"Kessler International is pleased that HUD has mirrored our own findings, and we would also like to acknowledge and applaud the dogged work of blogger Chaz Stevens tackling the culture of corruption in Deerfield Beach," said Michael G. Kessler, founder and President of Kessler International. "Over the past two years, Stevens has been shining light into the darkest corners of political life in this city through his blog MyActsOfSedition.com, and has made our own work there that bit easier."

The multidisciplinary staff of Kessler International includes experts in forensic accounting, high technology crime, asset tracking and fraud and corruption investigation. This diversified staff includes former state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents, attorneys, forensic accountants, CPAs and analysts. For more information please refer to the firm's website: www.investigation.com or call (212) 286-9100 or (800) 932-2221.


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