Deerfield Beach Commissioner Sylvia Poitier Found Guilty of Falsifying Records

Sylvia Poitier found guilty on all four counts of falsifying city records

Suspended Deerfield Beach commissioner Sylvia Poitier was found guilty Wednesday on four counts of falsifying records.

A jury returned the verdict against the 76-year-old after just over an hour of deliberations.

"I never, never had a doubt that I'm innocent," Poiter was quoted by the South Florida Sun Sentinel as saying. "How that jury could bring back a guilty verdict on me."

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Poitier in April after she was arrested on five misdemeanor charges related to conflict of interest forms she had filed in 2009.

Prosecutors had alleged Poitier didn't reveal that her brother, Lionel Ferguson, had loaned $47,000 to the Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association that was still owed when she voted for a $30,000 grant to the group.

The three-day trial began Monday with jury selection and ended Wednesday with closing arguments.

Poitier had pleaded not guilty. She now faces up to four years behind bars.

Johnny McCray Jr., her attorney, told the Sentinel that he would file a request for the verdicts to be thrown out. Otherwise, he will appeal, he said.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor said the verdict  sends a message.

"The jury sent a crystal clear message to all elected officials in Broward County that they must be open and honest or there will be consequences," David Schulson was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

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