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Joy Cooper Suspended: Florida Mayor Arrested in Corruption Sting

Joy Cooper Suspended: Florida Mayor Arrested in Corruption Sting
This photo made available by the Broward County Sheriff's Office, Florida, shows Hallandale Beach Major Joy Cooper under arrest, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)

By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 09:40 AM

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper was suspended by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday afternoon her arrest on three felony charges.

The 57-year-old Democrat, who has served on the city commission for nearly 20 years, allegedly received money from FBI agents posing as wealthy developers to help finance her re-election run in return for political favors in 2012, CBS News noted.

According to a court document, Joy Cooper agreed to push a construction project, saying she could ensure votes for the project in exchange for campaign contributions that exceeded the legal limit of $500.

The investigations, which spanned years, formed part of the FBI’s "Red Chip" sting operation to target political corruption in South Florida, WPLG reported.

The first meeting took place in July 2012, when former attorney and lobbyist Alan Koslow introduced Joy Cooper to two developers, without knowledge that they were FBI agents operating undercover.

The trio would meet up on several more occasions, with each conversation being recorded, before Joy Cooper went on to win the 2012 election.

The Miami Herald noted that, at the end of the investigation in October 2012, she was still unaware that the FBI were targeting her and it would take another five years before Joy Cooper was arrested.

On Thursday she was released on a $12,000 bond as she awaits trial but Joy Cooper said she would "vigorously fight these allegations in court," according to CBS News.

Her son, Matt Cooper, said she "will be vindicated."

Meanwhile, Scott has ordered that Joy Cooper be "prohibited from performing any official act, duty or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension," WPLG reported.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott suspended Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper on Friday afternoon after her arrest in an FBI sting operation targeting political corruption.
joy cooper, suspended, florida, mayor
Monday, 29 January 2018 09:40 AM
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