NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The North Miami Beach commissioner arrested this week on charges of bribery and money laundering made his first court appearance Friday and was later released on bond.
Frantz Pierre, 53, said nothing in court Friday morning.
Miami-Dade County Judge Renatha S. Francis cleared the way for Pierre to post a $35,000 bond. His attorney first had to prove the money being used was clean.
The judge also made note of the fact that Pierre's family was present for the hearing.
The embattled commissioner was released Friday afternoon. Family members covered his head as they walked him to an awaiting vehicle.
Pierre was arrested Wednesday on accusations that as a commissioner, he scored a $20,000 bribe from a strip club owner in North Miami Beach in exchange for a vote on an after-hours liquor license.
The state attorney said a text message showed Pierre asking for a check. Authorities also said Pierre used a bogus charity to collect some of the bribe and used taxpayers' money for an after-school program that did not exist.
Gov. Rick Scott has since suspended the commissioner.