76ºF

Former Margate vice mayor appears in court

Attorney claims David McLean is being treated unfairly

photo


MARGATE, Fla. – Former Margate Vice Mayor David McLean has been on a legal roller coaster. At one point he was convicted of two federal crimes, but got the convictions thrown out on an appeal.

His attorney said Thursday that the government's harassment of his client continues on the state level.

McLean appeared before a judge Thursday on new state charges of unlawful compensation, bribery, official misconduct and grand theft. McLean, a bar owner and Elvis impersonator, was convicted of two federal charges last year, but those convictions were thrown out over a legal technicality.

The government alleged that McLean received $8,000 in rent breaks and $6,000 in cash for doing special favors around city hall for his landlord. The state wanted restrictions on his bond because they claim that he visited three ATMs Wednesday and took out large sums of money. His lawyer said the money was to pay his legal fees.

Local 10 News obtained surveillance video that allegedly shows McLean taking what a jury determined was a bribe. His lawyer insists that it's a witch hunt and his client is being unfairly targeted.

"The only way to get past this is to buckle up the chin strap and keep fighting, and that's what lawyers who represent citizens do, because our government is no longer of and by and for the people," McLean's attorney, Ed McGee, said. "It is against the people."

A capias warrant was issued Wednesday by the Broward County state attorney's office for McLean's arrest.

Police said McLean was arrested without incident.