73ºF

Jury finds former Hallandale Beach mayor not guilty on all counts

After lengthy FBI investigation, trial for Joy Cooper ends with not guilty verdicts

The trial of a former Hallandale Beach mayor accused of corruption has come to an end.

On Tuesday, former mayor Joy Cooper was found not guilty on all charges.

Earlier in the day, Cooper told the judge that she would not be testifying in her own defense.

The jury heard closing arguments early Tuesday afternoon and began deliberations soon after. It took them less than three hours to reach a verdict.

“I’m just thankful that I have peace in my life back,” Cooper said after leaving the courtroom.

Cooper was arrested in January 2018 on charges of official misconduct, exceeding limits on campaign contributions and soliciting contributions in a government building.

Her arrest came on the heels of a six-year FBI investigation.

According to the Broward County state attorney's office, FBI agents posing as wealthy land developers met with Cooper, former attorney Alan Koslow and other undercover agents posing as business owners over the course of several months to discuss a business project in the city.

Investigators also said Cooper solicited campaign contributions for herself and others that exceeded the legal limit and falsely reported the contributions in campaign reports. According to investigators, Cooper solicited contributions in the amount of $1,500 each for then-Commissioners Bill Julian and Anthony Sanders.

Throughout the investigation and trial Cooper has maintained her innocence.

“I’m glad I had justice,” she said.

One question Cooper has yet to answer is whether she will attempt to get back into politics.

“I’m going to go spend some quiet piece of mind with my family and loved ones, enjoy Thanksgiving,” she said.


About the Author: