Embattled Hallandale commissioner ready to quit ‘toxic’ dais

Commissioner Anthony Sanders plans to resign in the coming days, he told the Sun Sentinel, as he fights accusations of financial misconduct and ethics violations.

“My family didn’t want me to run the last time,” said Sanders, a longtime commissioner and pastor at Higher Vision Ministries in Hallandale Beach.

Sanders, 56, said Monday he believes he did nothing wrong and will be vindicated of the allegations made last month by the Broward Inspector General’s Office.

He also said he won’t miss the in Hallandale, where he has been a commissioner since 2008.

“It’s too toxic, too volatile,” he said of the commission meetings. “Everyone’s out to get you. It’s just not worth it to me, for a city commission seat.”

Still, he said he has already lined up a political ally he would like to see replace him, although he declined to say who.

According to the preliminary , Sanders used his position as an elected official to award nearly $1 million to a nonprofit that made monthly payments to his church and family.

As a commissioner, Sanders failed to disclose the payments he, his wife and two sons received from the Palms Community Action Coalition. At one point, Sanders’ wife served as executive director of the nonprofit, which had a mission of job training, job placement and community outreach.

The Inspector General plans to refer the matter to the Florida Commission on Ethics and also promises to file a Broward County ethics complaint against Sanders, the report said.

Sanders said his attorney, James Stark, was planning to file a response to the report by Monday. Stark was out of the office and unavailable for comment.

In a prior interview, Sanders said the Inspector General’s report was “not so much incorrect but incomplete.”

Sanders’ term expires in November 2018. If he leaves office early, the city charter requires a special election be held within 60 to 90 days of his resignation.

Sanders has already missed two commission meetings in a row since the news of the investigation came to light on July 10. If he were to miss the next meeting on Aug. 16, it would be considered a forfeiture of office under the city’s charter rules, a Hallandale official said.

That, too, would trigger a special election.

 

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