Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ken Jenne resigns, will plead guilty

From the Miami Herald:

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne -- at one time the county's most powerful politician -- has resigned and agreed to plead guilty to federal corruption charges involving tens of thousands of dollars he allegedly received from sheriff's office contractors and employees, sources said Tuesday.

After months of personal anguish, Jenne decided Monday to cut the plea deal on tax evasion and other felony charges to limit his prison time because he also was staring at an imminent grand jury indictment on more serious fraud and money-laundering offenses, sources said.

The U.S. attorney's office plans to file the charges, plea agreement and proffer statement involving the allegations against Jenne on Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. The plea agreement means Jenne, who earned $169,800 a year as sheriff, will surrender to authorities to face tax-evasion related charges as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Jenne will likely serve some prison time -- possibly between one and two years -- and have to pay back taxes and fines to the Internal Revenue Service, sources said.

Jenne, a lawyer who spent most of his life in public service, also will likely lose his Florida Bar license and sheriff's pension because of the felony conviction. His pension is estimated to be about $125,000 a year. In the plea, Jenne is expected to admit to abusing the public trust, sources said, a concession that will hurt his post-conviction effort to save his pension.

More commentary to follow once we see the plea agreement and the information. For now, here's his resignation letter to the Governor.

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