Mayor Beth Talabisco again faces criminal charges

Fourth District Court of Appeal reverses previous decision


TAMARAC, Fla. – Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco is once again facing bribery charges after the Fourth District Court of Appeal on Wednesday reversed a Broward judge's decision last year to drop the state's case against her.

The court ruled that Broward Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato erred in dismissing corruption charges against Talabisco and that a jury should decide the case.

"The state should not be prevented from exercising its prosecutorial discretion," wrote the court in its opinion. "Accordingly, we reverse the order of dismissal and remand the cause with directions to reinstate the charges against Talabisco."

The ruling means that Talabisco, who returned to office last March to a standing ovation, will likely again be suspended by the governor. She is accused of secretly accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from two high-profile developers.

"They bribed everybody and that's -- my elected official should not be bribed," said Tamarac resident Patti Lynn. "We need to elect honest people in the city of Tamarac and we need keep politics out of elections."

"Let's just hand it to a jury, see what a jury thinks," said Tamarac resident Sharon Baron.

Talabisco's husband said his wife was disappointed in the ruling.

The Broward State Attorney's Office issued a statement on the ruling, saying: "We obviously concur with the 4th District Court's opinion that reverses the circuit judge's decision to drop the charges. With this appellate ruling, we now go back to the beginning and we are prepared to move forward again with this matter."