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Former Jamaican-Born Florida Commissioner Among Others Charged

CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Thurs. Sept. 24, 2009: Former Commissioner of Miramar, South Florida, Fitzroy Salesman, was yesterday arrested and charged along with two public officials and three other persons.

Salesman, 59, was yesterday arrested along with Broward County Commissioner, Josephus Eggelletion Junior and School Board member, Beverly Gallagher by FBI agents for allegedly engaging in the illegal exchange of more than $40,000.

The three were slapped with a variety of charges including bribery, fraud and money laundering. All three appeared during an afternoon hearing before federal Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow and were granted personal surety bonds. They were in the process of being released last night.

Also charged were Joel Williams, 54, of North Miami, Ronald Owens, 62, of Hallandale and Sidney Cambridge, 45, of Nassau, Bahamas. The defendants  appeared before U.S. Magistrate Snow for Cambridge, who remains in the Bahamas.

Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order Wednesday afternoon suspending Eggelletion and Gallagher.

The long-term undercover corruption investigation was led by the FBI, the South Florida District Attorney`s office said yesterday. During the operation, FBI undercover agents purported to represent contractors seeking to obtain construction contracts with local government entities or seeking to hide proceeds from purported criminal activity.

Salesman is said to have accepted more than $3,000 from FBI agents posing as contractors attempting to land business with the city of Miramar while serving as Miramar commissioner. He then agreed to cooperate with the FBI in their separate investigation of Eggelletion.

`As a community, we must do all that we can to ensure that our public officials do not give into the temptation to betray their public trust for quick cash. Our work in Broward County will continue; we are not done,` said Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman Wednesday.

It is not the first time Salesman has been in trouble with the law. In June 2005, Salesman was suspended as Commissioner after he was charged with driving under the influence and eluding a police officer. He was also suspended in 2007 after he was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.