Broward County Commissioner Chip Lamarca had really good 2015, but the important question is: will he have a really, really bad 2016?
Chip has had a rough few years. Since he went into foreclosure in 2012, his net worth as reported on his Form 6 has fallen from $544,264 to $424,422 on his 2014 form. He even reported that he sold off $20,000 worth of personal effects during this time period. He didn’t report any substantial rise in income or net worth of his business. He suggests from his reporting that his business made about $36,000 profit per year, with another $94,400 in commissioner income.
He was struggling and broke, so where did Chip LaMarca get $451,764 to pay off his house note in full and terminate his foreclosure in November of 2015? According to Chip’s disclosure form, he paid off $386,191.00 so Wells Fargo could release his Lien and Mortgage, and $65,538.33 to JP Morgan Chase for the same.
So where did he get the money?
In February of this year, the Sun-Sentinel reported that the state inspector general was reviewing a contract involving Zimmerman Advertising that “received partial approval last December , after meetings held outside public view. The approval involved the efforts of a Broward County commissioner [LaMarca] who was close friends with the chairman of the Broward Health board…” just one month after LaMarca paid off his mortgages.
The Sentinel report went on to say that the State Inspector General was looking into that contract. The same inspector general that the governor said had been having problems doing his job. Today, the Governor’s office Suspended Broward Health Board Chairman David DiPietro for interfering with his investigation.
According to the Broward Bulldog, part of the appearance of impropriety involves a fundraiser for Judge Nina DiPietro who is the chairman’s wife. Among those attending the fundraiser was County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, a Zimmerman employee and friend and Republican political ally of David Di Pietro and Broward Health Commissioner Darryl Wright, the other commissioner suspended today by the Governor.
Several reliable and independent sources have told me the FBI is poking around the government center and this isn’t over. Who was David protecting? Who will talk first? Most importantly, where did Chip LaMarca get the $451,764?