‘Clerical error’ blamed for questionable Chris Smith donation to Barbara Sharief
Barbara Sharief is forced to walk back a questionable donation, blaming it on an accounting error.

sharief
The error will be fixed soon, Sharief’s campaign says.

Former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief accepted $1,000 in April from a supposed Fort Lauderdale-based company called Chris Smith LLC. The problem is, there is no company with that name active in Florida.

Sharief’s campaign told Florida Politics on Monday the issue is due to a soon-to-be-corrected “clerical error.”

Sharief, a health care executive in private life, is mounting a Primary challenge against Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book. Last month, Sharief’s campaign accepted 70 donations, not counting a pair of self-loans totaling $500,000.

Chris Smith LLC was one of three maxed-out donations of $1,000. The address listed next to the donation is for a property belonging to former state Sen. Chris L. Smith, who now works as a lobbyist for Fort Lauderdale law firm Tripp Scott, and his wife, Lauderhill City Manager Desorae Giles-Smith.

The Florida Division of Corporations lists no active company in Florida named Chris Smith LLC.

There was a Jacksonville-based company called Chris Smith LLC that dissolved in 2018. Another company, Chris Smith, LLC, was registered under someone named Christopher B. Smith in Deltona and dissolved in 2015.

There are two other companies called Christopher Smith LLC. One was in Brooksville, the other in Dundee. Neither is active.

Smith and Giles-Smith are both listed as principals of a company called 1134 LLC, which is not listed as a donor to Sharief’s campaign.

It should be, said Sharief’s campaign manager, Amy Rose.

The company’s name is a reference to the street address of Smitty’s Sistrunk Wings, a restaurant Smith and Giles-Smith own and operate in Fort Lauderdale.

Sharief said her campaign held a fundraising event “a few weeks ago” at the restaurant. She and Rose said that while Smith did not give to her campaign directly, his wife and mother, Helen Hinton, did.

Hinton gave Sharief a check for $500. Giles-Smith gave $1,000 through 1134 LLC, which is what should be listed as the donor on Sharief’s campaign contributions ledger, according to Rose, who said both checks came in the same envelope with Smith and Giles Smith’s names handwritten on the back.

“Whoever was inputting the donations must have seen Chris Smith’s name on the envelope with his wife and accidentally put his name as the name of the company,” she said. “When they were trying to attribute who the money came from, those two checks came at the same moment, in the same envelope, at the same event.”

The error will be addressed by Monday evening, Rose said.

Florida Politics reached out to Smith but received no response by press time. The phone number Sharief’s campaign gave for its treasurer, Suzette Spalding, is not in service. Spalding’s LinkedIn page lists her as the administrator of South Florida Pediatric Homecare, a company Sharief founded in 2001 and still operates today.

Requests for information sent Monday morning to the Office of the General Counsel in the Florida Department of State remained unanswered by late afternoon.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected]aPolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


2 comments

  • Nancy

    May 16, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    $16,000 or even more is very simple and easy to earns while staying and working online. start receiving paychecks every month simply by doing work online.lli i recently received $17493 in my bank of my last month’s working. i just gave this job 2 hours maximum from my day. simple and easy home based job.

    Go here for info………… 𝐁𝐮𝐳𝐳𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  • Nick Ireland

    May 17, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    But never has FloriDUH Poly-ticks ever questioned the GEO Group blood money raised by the corrupt Lauren Book.

Comments are closed.


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