FORT LAUDERDALE – A former member of a Pompano Beach redevelopment advisory board has been arrested in connection with charges that he allegedly used his official position for personal financial gain.
Vicente Thrower, 30, of Pompano Beach, is charged with three counts of unlawful compensation and one count of bribery, all felonies. His attorney, Michael Hursey, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
“Someone who is elected or appointed to a governmental position has a duty to serve the public, not himself,” Broward State Attorney Michael Satz said in a Monday, April 12 statement shortly after Thrower surrendered at the Broward Main Jail in downtown Fort Lauderdale. “Otherwise, our society suffers. This is an example of a public servant who clearly was not there to serve the public.”
Thrower, a former member of the city of Pompano Beach’s West Community Redevelopment Agency (WCRA) advisory board, turned himself in to authorities on Monday morning. His arrest came just days after the South Florida Times published details of the investigation and Thrower’s pending arrest in its Friday, April 9 edition.
The unlawful compensation charges stem from Thrower’s alleged acceptance of over $50,000 in consulting fees from developers in exchange for his support of deals that the companies had pending before the WCRA.
The state attorney’s investigation found that Thrower allegedly accepted, and never disclosed, $25,000 in consulting fees he received from Habitat for Humanity of Fort Lauderdale, a non-profit affordable housing organization. The money was in exchange for his help in convincing the city to purchase a parcel of property from the organization for $1.6 million.
There is also $22,000 in consulting fees that Thrower allegedly received from developer Lavish Homes [Midtown Village LLC], which was seeking $1.05 million from the WCRA for an affordable housing development.
Thrower also allegedly received $3,250 in consulting fees from Pompano Beach Living LLC for his efforts in helping the company obtain a zoning change, according to investigators.
The bribery charge involves Thrower’s alleged solicitation of a $2,000 monthly payment from International Enterprise Development, a firm that manages the city’s micro-loan program, as a condition of his support for renewing the firm’s contract.
The four felony charges each carry up to a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $10,000.
Pictured above is Vicente Thrower.