Race Horse Owner Places $20K Bet On Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London Political Committee

New campaign filings with the State of Florida show a local “horse supplier” placed a big bet on Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London. Eduardo Cartaya, an owner of thoroughbred horses, made a $20,000 contribution to the 27th State political committee. Last week, REDBROWARD reported the political is operated by London.

According to State records, London’s committee is funded by Hallandale Beach developers and entities tied to the Gulfstream Racetrack and Casino. Horserace betting websites indicate Cartaya’s horses race at Gulfstream Park.

Why are gambling interests betting big on Mayor Keith London? Hallandale Beach voters deserve answers, right?

Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London Introduced Lobbyist To Gaming Company Executives

While the average citizen may think lobbyists introduce politicians to their special interest clients, sworn testimony shows Hallandale Beach Keith London introduced his lobbyist ally Evan Ross to Gulfstream Park Casino executives. As REDBROWARD reported, London and Ross gave sworn testimony to the Broward State Attorney’s Office in early 2017. Their testimony was part of the State Attorney’s Office investigation of former Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian. The probe started after London and Ross leaked recordings of Julian to a local television station. The Broward State Attorney believed Julian was the victim of a political dirty trick and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

In his February 20, 2017 sworn testimony Keith London said Evan Ross was “helping” him with a Diplomat Hotel development project at the time the Julian recordings were made. London said he was not paying him. Asked how Ross was helping, London testified, “By exposing Bill Julian’s–exposing Bill Julian to be the patsy that he is, and the guy that really didn’t care about the city and just was there to be Joy Cooper’s lap dog.”

London explained he met Evan Ross in 2014 at a campaign event for Florida House Representative Joe Geller. “Evan was helping his campaign,” London said. Schulson asked what triggered Ross’ interest in Hallandale Beach.

“We became friendly in 2014 after we met at the Joe Geller event,” London said.

Soon after their meeting, Evan Ross became involved in Hallandale Beach politics although London could not tell when Ross started coming to meetings.

LONDON INTRODUCED ROSS TO GAMING INDUSTRY BIGWIGS

In his March 2017 sworn testimony, Evan Ross gives a more detailed version of how his relationship with Keith London began.

Ross told Assistant State Attorney David Schulson he worked on Joe Geller’s 2014 campaign for the Florida House. Ross could not recall if he was paid by the Geller campaign. “He may have paid me, but if he did, I don’t think it was anything of note,” Ross said. “[B]ecause Joe is somebody I’m very close to, and I told him to save the money for things he needed, and if there was anything left over at the end, I’d be happy to be paid.”

Ross confirmed he met Keith London at a Joe Geller fundraiser in North Miami Beach in 2014. Ross said he gave London advice during his 2014 Hallandale Beach campaign, but he “didn’t play a major role”in London’s campaign.

Ross said he became friends with London. “We enjoyed bouncing ideas off of each other and developed a friendship,” Ross testified. He testified London introduced him to Commissioner Michele Lazarow to discuss supporting Joe Geller.

Ross said he began attending Hallandale Beach City Commission meetings in 2014.

Schulson asked Ross if, prior to meeting Keith London, he had any affiliation to Gulfstream Park. Ross said his grandfather worked in the admissions department for twenty-five years.

Schulson asked Ross about the people Keith London introduced to him. “I believe the first person that Keith introduced me to a Gulfstream was Alon Ossip,” Ross said. “He is the CEO of The Stronach Group, which is Gulfstream’s parent company.” Ross said he met Ossip at a community meeting hosted by Keith London at a Gulfstream Park restaurant in 2016. Ross said it was the first time he met anyone involved with Gulfstream Park.

Ross said he met Michael Fucheck, Gulfstream Park general counsel, at a City Commission meeting.

Asked about his relationship with Alon Ossip, Ross testified, “We developed a relationship. We stayed in some level of communication.”

Schulson asked if Ross discussed forming political action committees (PAC) with Ossip. Ross said he discussed Hallandale Beach politics with Ossip. Ross said, “[Ossip] was not the person that I dealt with when it came to discussing money, generally for campaigns.”

Ross said discussions about the PAC were with Michael Fucheck and Tim Ritvo, the COO of The Stronach Group. Ross said he helped form the Ethics Matter political committee which ended up “being involved exclusively was [sic] issues surrounding Hallandale Beach.”

Ross said, “Gulfstream funded that PAC almost exclusively.”

Asked why Gulfstream funded the Ethics Matter PAC, Ross said, “Gulfstream felt very strongly that they were not being treated fairly by the City Of Hallandale Beach, that they were being almost extorted by the city and they wanted to see a change in the way that the city was run.” Ross said Gulfstream contributed $75,000 to his political committee.

Ross said Gulfstream made contributions to other political committees he created including Public Service, Good Government, Citizens For Public Service and Progressive Principles.

When asked to describe Keith London’s relationship with Gulfstream, Ross said, “Commissioner London…had a reasonable view of the issues and just wanted to treat Gulfstream fairly.”

GULFSTREAM BACKED PAC FUNDED LONDON ALLIES

REDBROWARD previously exposed Ross’ role in shadowy political committees funded by gaming interests in Hallandale Beach.

According to April 2016 campaign treasurer reports, Lazarow received $3,000 from the Village At Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park and Orchid Concessions. Taub received the same exact contributions in September 2016.

In October, Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub recorded large contributions from out of state gaming interests.

Just days before the November election, Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub received maximum contributions of $1,000 from several political committees created by Evan Ross. On October 31, Lazarow received a $1,000 contribution from each of the following committees: Good Government, Public Service, and Progressive Principles.

On November 3, Anabelle Taub received $1,000 contributions from Good Government, Public Service, Progressive Principles.

Lazarow and Taub also received $1,000 each from the Ethics Matter political committee.

In a November 5, 2016 “Dirtiest Election In Broward County“ editorial, Evan Ross told the Sun-Sentinel that Gulfstream wanted to work with Hallandale Beach. “[T]hey just don’t want to be strong-armed into giving it away or pressured into getting a deal done in an unreasonable amount of time,” Ross said. He declared a deal could be reached within 12 months if Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub won the election.

In his sworn testimony, Evan Ross said Keith London was Anabelle Taub’s campaign manager.

Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London Said Fellow Commissioner Was A “Migrant Worker”

In sworn testimony to the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London said fellow Commissioner Bill Julian was a “migrant worker.” London gave a statement to Assistant State Attorney David Schulson who was investigating Julian for bribery allegations. The allegations arose when London and his lobbyist ally Evan Ross leaked recordings of Bill Julian to WPLG reporter Bob Norman.

As REDBROWARD reported, London and Ross concocted a plan to attack Julian via a robo-call to Hallandale Beach residents.

In his February 20, 2017 testimony to Schulson, Keith London called Bill Julian a “very simple guy.” London said Julian was “not particularly sophisticated. Doesn’t really understand the issues.”

“Bill’s a simple guy,” London said.

Schulson asked London if he was referring to Julian’s background as a horse trainer at Gulfstream Park. “Yeah. Basically, he was a migrant worker.”

Schulson asked if London was talking about Julian or Julian’s father. London said, “Bill and his family.”

[Bill Julian] doesn’t own any property. He’s never owned anything,” London said, “They follow the horses around from track to track….You know, I don’t know if you can settle if you don’t own anything.”

London said he found it “bizarre” Julian would vote on taxes when he did not “have any skin in the game.” London claimed renters could not have an impact because they lacked “skin in the claim.”

When Schulson asked if working in Hallandale Beach gave a person some skin in the game, London attacked Julian’s work history.

[Bill Julian] would follow the horses around, so I–You know, I’m sure he worked at Gulfstream part of the time,” London testified. “But once his father passed away I don’t believe he was in the horse business anymore.”

“HOW ARE YOU EMPLOYED”

Seemingly annoyed with London’s condescending tone towards Julian, David Schulson said, “I didn’t even ask you. How are you employed?” London said, “me?”

London said, “I am a City Commissioner.” Schulson said, “Okay. And?” London said he does “some consulting work.”

London said he specializes in “community”consulting. He said he once owned small businesses including food distribution, export and import business dealing in Chinese products and a process server company.

London said he sold he businesses. Schulson asked if he was retired. London said, “I’m not retired. I’m a city commissioner.”

When asked if he attended college, London said he moved to Florida with his family after completing high school.

HOW RUDE!?!

According to numerous published reports, Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London is no stranger to rude behavior.

Just days after his testimony, REDBROWARD got a taste of Keith London’s anger. In a brief video interview with REDBROWARD,  London could not recall whether he hired private investigators to help him find a GPS tracking device placed on his vehicle.

London complained REDBROWARD and our “ilk” accused him of committing perjury. REDBROWARD never accused London of anything. At the time, REDBROWARD reported there was no reason to doubt Commissioner Keith London was being followed. London seemed more concerned with why REDBROWARD was interested in Hallandale Beach.

When asked how he knew to check underneath his car for a GPS tracking device, London said,”numerous people told me you might want to look under your car.” When asked who these “numerous people” were, London said he could not recall. When asked if he hired McGarry and Associates, a private investigation firm, London said he could not recall.

When asked if he could recall hiring any private investigator, fellow Commissioner Michele Lazarow tried to interupt the interview. She also refused to answer any questions about private investigators.

Keith London asked REDBROWARD if we had any evidence he hired McGarry and Associates. When pressed, London said he could not “remember” if he hired any private investigator.

In May 2017, London was caught on video hurling vicious, homophobic slurs at an African-American Hallandale Beach resident. London’s bizarre, profane diatribe was posted Von Thomas, a City of Hallandale Beach employee, on his Facebook page. WSVN Channel 7 included snippets of London’s disgusting performance in a bombshell report that revealed Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators were looking into Hallandale Beach corruption.

In the full video, a clearly upset Keith London exited his vehicle while recording the encounter. The unidentified citizen called London  “prejudiced” and “the biggest clown in town.” Instead of trying to calm things down, Keith London went on the attack.

London made references to drug dealing and prison terms. “How many times did you go to prison,” London asked.

Then, London launched into homophobic slurs.

“Did you like prison,” London asked. “Did you suck d*ck? Or did you take it in the a**?”

Back in February 2015, a special counsel was hired to investigate Hallandale Beach City Attorney Lynn Whitfield’s allegations of racial discrimination against Keith London. Even though London was cleared one year later, the Sun-Sentinel reported, “While investigators cleared London, they took him to task for rubbing people the wrong way. They quoted his critics, who accused him of being aggressive, intimidating and rude.”

Earlier this year, Broward Beat reported on Keith London’s behavior at city commission meetings. Video posted by fellow Commissioner Anabelle Taub showed London recording members of the audience during a meeting. Broward Beat reported London has a “history of immature, divisive antics.”

Keith London will be on the ballot this November. Will he have a hard time winning the “migrant worker” vote? Stay tuned.