New sheriff suspends deputies tied to Rothstein

Broward Sheriff suspends Dave Benjamin, Jeff Poole

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:43:55 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 16 2013 11:12:52 AM EST
BSO Speeders Broward Sheriff
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

The new Broward County Sheriff suspended two deputies allegedly tied to convicted ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein on Thursday.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel suspended BSO Lt. Dave Benjamin and Det. Jeff Poole with pay. The new top cop made the decision after his administration was briefed by federal officials on the Rothstein investigation.

“Pursuant to a request I gave Colonel Jack Dale to advise me of any briefings he received from outside law enforcement entities regarding any criminal investigations involving BSO personnel, I felt it was prudent to suspend Lt. David Benjamin and Dep. Jeff Poole," Israel communicated in a written statement to the media.

Benjamin, once former Sheriff Al Lamberti's executive assistant, has been under investigation regarding ties to Rothstein, including accepting more than $20,000 from the convicted Ponzi schemer in an outside business venture and escorting him through customs at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Poole was under investigation for a dubious arrest that may have been tied to Rothstein, Local 10 reported in Sept. 2012.

Because both men rank under captain, they are protected under union rules. Israel made Rothstein a key part of his recent campaign, lambasting Lamberti for accepting major campaign money from the Ponzi schemer in 2008. He specifically spoke of both the Benjamin and Poole cases as examples that were, as he put it, "shameful." More on this one as it comes in.