Tony said he requested the audit because the agency did not have a consistent process for distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars seized during criminal investigations to community groups.
We have been reviewing and analyzing all expenditures in this agency,” he said. “I would be a fool not to.”
Tony is facing his predecessor, Israel, in the Aug. 18 Democratic primary. Israel led the agency from January 2013 until his suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019.
Trust fund dollars are passed on to charitable organizations, but auditors found the Broward Sheriff’s Office did not require grant applicants to disclose potential conflicts of interest with the sheriff or BSO personnel. In several cases, the agency did not perform conflict-of-interest checks.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants were handed out under the Israel and Lamberti administrations to nonprofit organizations with officers who had made political contributions to the sheriff, according to the audit.
More than $790,000 in grants were distributed to 14 organizations with officers who had given Israel’s campaign just over $17,100 in political donations, according to the audit.
The list includes several well-known charitable organizations in the community, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County and Women in Distress of Broward County.
Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit focused on child sex abuse prevention, received $10,000 through the trust fund.
That organization is headed by the powerful lobbyist Ron Book, who had given $3,000 to Israel’s campaign. His daughter, state Sen. Lauren Book, serves as the organization’s chief executive officer...