Pembroke Park commissioners censure ‘toxic’ ex-mayor; he replies they’ll ‘end up in jail’

Colleagues take issue with Commissioner Geoffrey Jacobs calling town a ‘s---hole,’ accuse him of calling HR director a ‘Nazi’

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Drama on the dais continued in Pembroke Park as commissioners voted to publicly reprimand outspoken former mayor and current Town Commissioner Geoffrey Jacobs after he was accused of creating a “hostile work environment” in the small Broward County town.

He did not take Wednesday’s censure vote quietly.

The official censure resolution, claiming Jacobs violated the town’s code of conduct, lists a number of of instances described as “misconduct,” passed unanimously.

Complaints included Jacobs referring to the town as a “s---hole” and “s---show” prior to his election, sending what was described as a “homophobic and misogynistic” TikTok to former Town Attorney Melissa Anderson, who is openly gay, and allegedly calling the town’s human resources director a “Nazi.”

He also referred to fellow Commissioner William Hodgkins, who sponsored the censure resolution, as “stupid” and “ignorant.”

“The truth hurts sometimes,” Jacobs said Wednesday. The truth really does, because you’re speaking about things you don’t know anything about.”

“Look, I’m not gonna stoop to your level of—” Hodgkins replied.

“Wait, this is my chance to talk, so zip it,” Jacobs said.

Wearing a T-shirt that said “First Amendment,” Jacobs said he’s the one being harassed and issued a threat to his colleagues on the commission.

“There will be commissioners here that are going to end up in jail or prison,” Jacobs said during Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s going to happen. Along with former employees and commissioners. There was a lot of illegal activity going on.”

Jacobs wasn’t, and subsequently hasn’t been, specific about what he thinks commissioners have actually done to earn time behind bars.

In an email to Local 10 News, he said he believes the commissioners are “illegally” trying to remove him from his position.

“I am flattered that the Mayor, Town Clerk, HR director, IT director, and the new commission from Pembroke Park are displaying a significant interest in me. Nevertheless, their excessive focus on me is concerning, as they are actively and illegally working together in an attempt to remove me from my position. They appear to be creating false information and distorting the truth to align with their own objectives. It is worth contemplating their reasons for engaging in such behavior.”

Pembroke Park Commissioner Geoffrey Jacobs

Jacobs denied calling the town’s HR director, Babette Friedman, who the resolution describes as a “decedent of Holocaust survivors,” a “Nazi.”

“I don’t remember ever saying that and I don’t think I have called anyone a Nazi before,” Jacobs said at Wednesday’s meeting. “But there are other choice words, four-letter words that I would use to describe you.”

Jacobs also denied being homophobic or misogynistic, calling that claim a “lie.”

“Last meeting, the mayor said I have a problem with women,” he said. “I don’t. I have a problem with people, people that don’t do their job. People that abuse their position of authority and corrupt politicians.”

But he doubled down on one of the statements that earned him a censure.

“As for calling the town a s---hole or a s---show, that is 100 percent true,” Jacobs said Wednesday. “I do not and will not say otherwise. Because it was.”

Jacobs claimed he got the town on track as mayor, but following recent municipal elections, a new majority took over on the dais.

“This town is going to fall apart because of the commission,” he told colleagues. “The state is going to take over at some point, the way I see it.”

Jacobs later told them: “You will not silence me. You will not violate my First Amendment and I will always be here to clean this town up after you guys are gone.”

The public reprimand and censure doesn’t come with any penalties.

The town has hired an outside firm to investigate the allegations that Jacobs created a hostile work environment.

The investigation remained ongoing as of Friday, officials said.

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.