RedBroward Podcast: Corruption 101

Newest episode of the REDBROWARD Superpower Hour Podcast is now available. It’s a short history lesson on how corruption can infect local government.

Click HERE to listen.

Someone Stole $8,000 In Cash, City Documents From Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton’s Car

On the afternoon of June 18, 2018, Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton became the victim of a crime. Bolton called the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) to report “that an unknown person(s) stole a brown leather bag, possibly from his unlocked vehicle, the bag contained about $8,200.00 cash and other miscellanious items.” The items included a Blackberry, a checkbook, keys and unknown city documents.

Bolton said he had the brown leather computer bag in his car as he spent the early afternoon traveling to different banks to make deposits and pick up foreign currency. Bolton told BSO he visited two Chase Bank branches as well as a Citi Bank branch. Bolton said brought his bag with him at each bank.

But Bolton said he did not bring the bag into a restaurant when he stopped to pick up lunch.

When Marlon Bolton arrived at Tamarac City Hall he realized the bag was missing.

Bolton said the bag contained a $2,000 cash payment from an “unknown client for work done.” Bolton said the remaining $6,000 was “gifted” to him by members of his Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church in North Lauderdale.

REDBROWARD obtained video Bolton posted of the gifting of the $6,000 from churchgoers.

Two women approach Bolton with a large brown bag which contains his birthday present. The women encourage Bolton to look inside the bag.

Bolton squeals with delight as he unzips bag to reveal it is stuffed with cash. He dances around as he screams “money!”

If you have any information about this crime, please call Broward Crimes Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or submit information here. You will remain anonymous.

“I WAS HEATED.” Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton Arrested On Felony Grand Theft Charges In 2010

Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton was charged with Felony Grand Theft (Third Degree) for using a forged check to withdraw $4,120 from his employer’s bank account. REDBROWARD obtained portions of the Miami Beach Police Report along with copies of his booking information and mugshot. REDBROWARD also obtained copies of an email Bolton sent to the victim two days after the crime.

According to a Miami Beach police report, on Thursday, February 25, 2010 Marlon Bolton presented a forged withdrawal slip at the Wachovia Bank on Lincoln Road. Bolton allegedly forged the signature of Steve Benz, the owner of No. 23 Model Management, on the slip. Bolton was an employee of No.23 Model Management.

Bolton was given $4,120 by a bank teller.

When he saw the transaction Benz, who lives in Tampa, immediately called the bank. Benz, “was told by a bank employee that Mr. Bolton had approached the counter in person, and was given the funds by a bank employee.”

On Friday, February 26, 2010 Benz called Miami Beach Police. The case was assigned to economic crimes division.

The police report states, “surveillance video available.”

“I WAS HEATED”

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, Marlon Bolton sent a rambling, self-serving apology filled with misspellings to the victim. Benz told REDBROWARD Bolton was unaware he had filed a police report when he sent the email. While he gives brief mention to the pain his action caused Benz and his wife, Bolton goes on to lament how his actions affected himself.

“On Friday, I was heated. Again self-absorbed, ready to fight a legal battle and be tough, alluded (sic) myself to think that I was right,” Bolton wrote.

Bolton continued, “This morning I got up and realized I was wrong. I know it’s a day late and a dollar short, and the damage has been done, but I believe that all is not lost. For this time, I thought of the many peopele (sic) before I think about myself.”

“It is funny how I made myself believe that I was doing myself justice, stamping my feet like a little child to get what I wanted, but nothing has happened but a child whom has run out of his father’s luck,” Bolton wrote. “I am not asking you to continue to invest, but asking for your forgiveness, I am asking for sometime to proove (sic) that I can actually bill (sic) and change the models lifes (sic), I am asking you for the time to use my knowledge of booking to generate income to pay you back.”

Then Bolton scolds Benz with, “Being heated and upset flashing your majic wand and changing telephone numbers to teach me a lesson will only further break me down devastate my life, but in the end you would still be out of money….”

“I am humbly asking that you and I be humble and come to some mutual understanding to make this work,” Bolton wrote. “I do not have the lump sum you asked for, but I am confident that we can come to some understanding where it is repaid over time. I am willing to try again.”

Three months later, Bolton was charged with felony grand theft and booked into a Miami-Dade jail on May 4, 2010.

On May 5, 2010 Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle’s office sent a form letter to the victim. The letter asked Benz to contact her office to provide information on the case.

Benz told REDBROWARD he was unhappy with the way the Miami Beach Police Department handled the investigation. He felt the investigation was not a priority for them. Benz said he made repeated phone calls to detectives about securing the bank surveillance tapes.

Weeks later, the Miami-Dade State Attorney informed Benz the case would be dropped because the bank surveillance tapes were not secured in time. The bank’s security system recorded over the Bolton incident.

The Bolton case files are not found on the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts website. It is likely Bolton had records sealed and/or expunged.

Marlon Bolton did not respond to requests for comment.

But the Miami Beach PD and Miami-Dade State Attorney were not the only ones to drop the ball.

Both Benz and others told REDBROWARD the media, including the Sun-Sentinel, had this information in January 2020. Bolton faced re-election in November 2020 and the Sun-Sentinel never said a word?

Guess Tamarac voters did not deserve the truth, right.?