Broward County

Tamarac City Manager Fired Days After Arrest on Extortion Charge

Michael Cernech was terminated in a 4-1 vote during a city commission meeting Tuesday night

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The city manager for the City of Tamarac has been fired, just days after he was arrested for allegedly trying to extort millions of dollars from an investment company.

Michael Cernech was terminated in a 4-1 vote during a city commission meeting Tuesday night.

Cernech, 52, was arrested last week and charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering in connection with his alleged role in attempting to extort $3.4 million from 13th Floor Investments.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said Cernech and father-and-son developers Bruce and Shawn Chait harassed the company over property the company acquired in default over 10 years ago.

Tamarac City Manager Michael Cernech was arrested and charged in connection with his alleged role in attempting to extort $3.4 million from a Florida developer. NBC 6's Steve Litz reports

Prosecutors said Cernech helped the Chaits in pressuring the victim into paying $3.4 million by leaking false information to both the Tamarac Mayor and attorneys representing 13th Floor Investments.

The Chaits were each charged in March with extortion and organized fraud for their role in the scheme. They have pleaded not guilty.

Cernech had been Tamarac city manager since January 2011 and had worked for the city since 2001. His base salary this year was more than $272,000.

NBC 6 and AP
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