Fort Lauderdale’s ex-auditor wins seat on body that fired him

Firing of longtime Fort Lauderdale independent auditor still raising questions

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale’s former longtime city auditor, controversially fired earlier this year, has won a seat on the city commission.

Commissioners voted to fire John Herbst in February after conducting a probe into former police Chief Larry Scirotto’s work hours, on and off duty, relating to his second job as a National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball referee.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis argued that Herbst worked on behalf of the commission not supposed to be conducting independent investigations.

Now, with nearly 40 percent of the vote against three challengers in the District 1 race, he’ll be working on the commission.

Candidate

Votes

%

John Charles Herbst
6,62340%
Ken Keechl
3,77123%
Christina Nicole Disbrow
3,18719%
Chris Williams
3,11519%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(13 / 13)

Herbst had filed a formal complaint under the Whistleblower’s Act for retaliation and improper dismissal shortly after his firing.

He campaigned on his experience in city government, highlighting his role in the city during the Great Recession and COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the City Auditor for the last 16 years, I have been involved in every financial decision that the City has made. That includes reviewing every agenda item of City business before the City Commission votes on them,” Herbst said on his campaign website. “I also review and advise the City Commission as the in-house expert on the financial viability of proposed public-private partnerships. The City will continue to face decisions with enormous economic consequences and no one is better prepared to address those issues than me; I have no learning curve!”

In a statement to Local 10 News, Herbst thanked those who voted for him.

“I’m humbled by all the support I received during my campaign.  I’ve spent months knocking on over 4,000 doors, meeting the voters and walking their neighborhoods,” he said. “I’ve had great endorsements, including the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Firefighters, among others.  I was blessed with amazing volunteers and a long list of people that contributed both time and money to helping me get elected. I’m relieved to see that hard work can still yield results.”

The Fort Lauderdale city council race was nonpartisan.


About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."