As further proof that the wheels of justice move at glacial speed, a complaint originally filed with the Florida Elections Commission (FEC) on October 14, 2015 against Phyllis Smith has finally made its way through the system.
In a Consent Final Order dated May17, 2017, Phyllis and the FEC
admitted stipulated that during her political campaign in the North Miami Beach May 19, 2015 election, she filed fraudulent campaign treasurer’s reports.
Even though a “stipulation” is an acceptance of the facts without requiring proof, the Florida Elections Commission did, in fact, find that Phyllis violated Florida Statutes 106.07(5) and 106.19(1)(c), both of which are misdemeanors of the first degree.
These first degree misdemeanors are punishable as provided in s. 775.082 [“by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year”] or s. 775.083 [a fine not exceeding “$1,000, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”]
The allegations in the complaint, which was filed by yours truly, claimed that Phyllis filed incomplete and untimely Campaign Treasurer’s Reports, as well as filing fraudulent information on a form required by Miami-Dade County to report the names of organizations and individuals who handle absentee ballots.
On Form MD-ED 26 dated August 15, 2015, which Phyllis filed nearly three months late, she claimed that she paid 23 individuals. Two of those recipients of campaign funds, Karry Joseph (Frantz Pierre’s nephew and housemate) and Polycarpe Guery (a/k/a Guerda Polycarpe), were not listed on any of her Campaign Treasurer’s Reports.
So how did she pay them?
And, lastly, Phyllis did not report making any payments to North Miami Beach resident Darrell Thompson, now deceased, even though he was clearly working on her campaign.
It’s quite apparent that Phyllis had absolutely no intention of filing Form MD-ED 26 to report paying absentee ballot brokers until she was sued by her opponent, Michael Joseph … for absentee ballot fraud.
Once Mr. Joseph filed his lawsuit on June 2, 2015, Phyllis quickly went into action to desperately cover her tracks.
First, she scrambled to file an amended return for the period April 18, 2015 through April 30, 2015, adding two payments she made on April 24, 2015 to Bob Campell’s company Kings and Queen for “campaign work,” which description she crossed out by hand and wrote “radio.”
It’s common knowledge in local elections that the “campaign work” provided by Bob Campbell is his “handling” of absentee ballots.
Then Phyllis also filed an amended return for the period May 1, 2015 through August 5, 2015, which she originally filed late, and at which time she conveniently “remembered” that she paid a slew of other people for the “handling” of absentee ballots.
Apparently, the Florida Elections Commission didn’t buy her excuses, or attempted cover up, and found her guilty of filing fraudulent campaign reports.
For these violations of the Florida Statutes, the FEC fined her a civil penalty in the amount of $1,400.00, and noted that “any factual stipulations made by either party are for this Consent Order only and shall not be considered as admissions against interest for any other purpose or in any other proceeding.”
Even though the Florida Elections Commission has no authority to charge anyone criminally, the State Attorney’s Office can and, hopefully, will.
Phyllis Smith may have had deep enough pockets to outspend Michael Joseph on legal fees in order to stall the civil lawsuit indefinitely. But she won’t be able to buy her way out of criminal charges.
In light of this new evidence (courtesy of the Florida Elections Commission), which will be added to the file already provided to the Miami-Dade County Public Corruption Unit, the State Attorney’s Office should now be prompted to step up its investigation of her absentee ballot fraud activity in the 2015 election.
With all of these dark clouds of doom hanging over her head, you’d think that Phyllis Smith would stay out of the spotlight and stop squawking on the dais like a deranged parrot.
Then again, as we’ve witnessed for the last decade, she truly can’t help herself. Her obsessive need to run off at the mouth, combined with her compulsive lying, is a sign of a serious mental disorder. She needs help.
Interestingly, while State Rep/Shady as F**k Lawyer Joseph S. Geller is representing Phyllis in the absentee ballot fraud lawsuit, she hired Joe’s Partner-in-Crime Brother/Broward County Commissioner Steve Geller, to defend her before the Florida Elections Commission.
Proving yet again that birds of a feather flock together.