Broward County watchdog details how Pompano Commissioner misused campaign funds
Beverly Perkins has some explaining to do.

Findings of felony and misdemeanor mishandling of money sent to State Attorney and state Division of Elections.

A Pompano Beach City Commissioner publicly apologized earlier this year after video showed her mistreating a Fort Lauderdale police officer. Now she may have more explaining to do for “criminal” mishandling of campaign money.

Broward County’s watchdog released a report Tuesday alleging Beverly Perkins’ successful 2020 re-election campaign for City Commission committed a third-degree felony and first-degree misdemeanors in mishandling thousands in campaign funds, including an $800 “swearing-in celebration” at J. Mark’s Restaurant.

The Office of the Inspector General is referring the case to the Broward County State Attorney and the Florida Division of Elections for further action.

“Commissioner Perkins and her treasurer engaged in numerous, various acts of campaign finance misconduct that were criminal in nature, including willfully certifying as true campaign treasurer’s reports known to be incorrect, incomplete, or both,” says the 53-page report released with 383 pages of attachments.

The OIG found 22 post-election expenditures totaling $7,381.92 that weren’t for the election nor legally allowed disbursements of surplus campaign funds.

Perkins’ lawyer chalked the problems up to “nothing more than bookkeeping errors.”

“Commissioner Perkins has not benefited financially in any way,” said Larry Allen, a Hollywood lawyer.

Perkins began representing the city’s northwest district in 2016, and was subsequently re-elected in 2018, 2020 and 2022. She’s been a longtime community activist, working on the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and the city’s first Black Mayor, E. Pat Larkins, who served 19 years as a City Commissioner and seven terms as Mayor.

One of the issues the OIG cited involved cashing a $9,500 check and using that to make cash payments rather than making expenditures through the campaign treasurer by bank check. Much of that money was disbursed to campaign workers without worker-signed receipts, the report says. Perkins told investigators Hastings’ and Larkins’ campaigns had both done it that way, the report says.

“She further stated that the workers wanted their money right away,” the report says.

The OIG also found the campaign never reported payments totaling $3,322.72 to New Creation Baptist Church of Christ after the final campaign report was filed and after the deadline to dispose of surplus funds. Robert Holmes, who served as Perkins’ campaign treasurer, also handles the Pompano Beach church’s finances and he transferred the campaign money to the church, anticipating that he would decide what to do with it after the election. The money was still in the account 457 days later, the report says.

Perkins is not the only Pompano Beach City Commission member to face a finding from the OIG. Mayor Rex Hardin was rapped twice for not handling campaign finances correctly. He disputed the allegations but paid two separate fines.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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