'Extremely paranoid' city council candidate told cops he was involved in drug trade

Reports paint disturbing picture of self-proclaimed 'God-fearing conservative


PLANTATION, Fla. – In his bid to become a Plantation councilman, Jesse Walaschek portrays himself as a patriotic family man, a Trump-supporting, "God-fearing conservative."

But a trail of police reports paints a disturbing picture of the candidate. In a bizarre encounter with police in a bank parking lot at about 11:30 p.m. in October 2016, an “extremely paranoid” Walaschek allegedly complained to an officer that he’d gotten involved in the illegal narcotics business and was being followed by both drug dealers and police. 

Walaschek told the officer, Jennifer Tofexis, he had trafficked narcotics but was quote "out of the game now,” according to the report.  

"[Walaschek] said, ‘He was approached by unknown persons who are really bad people to traffic narcotics on his boats,’” Tofexis wrote in her report. “He couldn't say no and couldn't stop because they threatened his family. When he stopped he started being followed to see if he would go to the cops."

He allegedly told Tofexis he has “multiple boats and uses them for rehabilitation through a fishing program his church started for victims of different mental illness backgrounds.” 

A police check found that he’d had a criminal history, including a narcotics arrest, in his home state of Pennsylvania and that in March 2016 BSO’s Child Protective Investigations Section came to his home to investigate a report that he was using drugs in his home with his children present.

After one of his children said Walaschek was using prescription pills and a liquid form of marijuana in the home, CPIS visited on March 2.  Walaschek was not arrested, but a man staying at the home named Jesse Badger, described as a roommate, was found with crack cocaine and marijuana and taken to jail.

Badger later pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to three years probation. 

Officers detained Walaschek for a psychiatric evaluation with the help of the Baker Act at one time, according to the report, and attempted suicide on March 25, 2016. 

“When I asked about his suicide attempt, Walaschek informed me that he was under tremendous pressure to assist a local law enforcement agency with information of the daily narcotic operations he was involved in,” wrote Tofexis. “The pressure became too great and he attempted to end his life.” 

In a more recent incident on Aug. 25 of last year, police were called by a former associate named Thomas Correa who reported that he’d been tipped off by Walaschek’s sister-in-law that Walaschek blamed Correa for business troubles and was “on a rampage.” Correa told police that Walaschek was a “cocaine addict” and that he feared for his safety. 

Walaschek refused to speak about the allegations on camera but said in a phone conversation that he did believe he was being followed at one point, but denied that he told Plantation police anything about the drug trade, saying the story was evidence of how “out of control” the city had gotten. He also said he owned no boats. As for his past criminal history, he admitted that he was charged with simple assault in 2006 in an incident involving his ex-wife and that he’d been arrested for drugs while in college. His record also shows a DUI conviction in 2001. 

Despite the revelations, Walaschek said he would stay in the campaign and later said he would tell his side of the story to the public “when the time comes,” though he gave no indication of when that would be.