What to Know
- Cooper was first elected to the Hallandale Beach City Commission in 1999
- The charges stem from an undercover FBI investigation
- Cooper was booked into Broward's main jail where she was being held on $12,000 bond Thursday afternoon
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper was arrested Thursday on multiple felony charges including money laundering and official misconduct, officials said.
Cooper is also charged with campaign financing/exceeding limits on contributions and campaign financing/soliciting contributions in a government building, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.
"She never accepted a campaign contribution for any quid pro quo, for any developer or any one in her 20 years of public life," her attorney, Larry Davis, told reporters Thursday. "We’re looking forward to our day in court and we’re looking forward to complete vindication of Mayor Cooper."
The charges stem from an undercover FBI investigation, officials said. The details of the investigation were unknown.
In a statement released Thursday, Cooper said she will "vigorously fight these allegations in court."
"I love being a public servant and have always been committed to the betterment of our community," her statement read. "I have dedicated my time and energy to focus on performing all of my duties with utmost integrity."
Cooper surrendered and was booked into Broward's main jail where she was being held on $12,000 bond Thursday afternoon, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.
"The City will fully cooperate with any investigation and will extend full cooperation with any law enforcement agencies," city manager Greg Chavarria said in a statement. "Residents should know that we will continue City Business as usual and operate under the processes defined by the City Charter."
Vice Mayor Keith London would become acting mayor if Florida Gov. Rick Scott suspends Cooper from office.
"We have a process in place which allows our vice mayor to step in to the mayor role and we will be able to then proceed with city business and to conduct whatever needs to happen for the city to continue in the manner of which it's continuing," Commissioner Michele Lazarow said.
According to the city's website, Cooper was first elected to the Hallandale Beach City Commission in 1999. She has served as commissioner, vice mayor and is the first directly elected mayor in the city's history.