Miramar commissioner charged with DUI, eluding police


MIRAMAR--City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman on Thursday was formally charged with fleeing or eluding a police officer and driving while under the influence after the Broward State Attorney's Office determined there was enough evidence to move forward.

Because eluding an officer is a third-degree felony, Gov. Jeb Bush could suspend Salesman from office. Such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.


"I'm sure the governor is an intelligent, wise and prudent man. He has the responsibility to look at all the details and make his decision," said Salesman, the owner of a loan brokerage business, who won his second four-year term in March.

Miramar police arrested Salesman, 48, early April 30 for driving while under the influence, speeding and running two stop signs. Police said Salesman was going 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, and that he increased speed when a sergeant sounded his sirens.

A Breathalyzer test showed Salesman was driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. His blood alcohol level registered a little over .16; the state's limit is .08.

If he's found guilty on the felony charge, the most serious violation, he could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Salesman said Thursday the case is "in the hands of the court," and that his attorneys advised him not to comment further.

An outspoken force on the commission, Salesman became the first Jamaican-American to hold office in Miramar four years ago, and many credit him for energizing the Caribbean voting base in the city.

The divorced father of five is known for speaking out for diversity and fair representation on city boards.

He said making the city more user-friendly was one of the things that motivated him to run for office.

This is not the first time Salesman is in trouble with the law. He was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence in 1998 after an incident at a Miami-Dade County tavern.

In 2002, he was fired from his teaching job at Miami Lakes Technical Education Center after being linked to a profanity-laced video students made under his supervision.

A few residents have been posting questions and comments about the commissioner's plight on their homeowner's association Web sites.

Mayor Lori Moseley said while she wasn't making any judgments, elected officials are expected to set an example.

"No one should get behind the wheel drunk, especially an elected official," said Moseley. "We should have a higher standard."

Former commissioner George Pedlar, who campaigned in the past with Salesman, said, "While it's a public situation, I'm sure the law will handle it in a responsible manner."

(source) Sun Sentinel (Georgia East) 5-13-05





Miramar commissioner faces charge of DUI


MIRAMAR--Miramar Police charged city Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman with driving under the influence early Saturday morning after he allegedly fled from a police sergeant trying to make a traffic stop.

Salesman had a blood alcohol level of just over .16, according to an arrest affidavit. The legal limit in Florida is .08. In addition to DUI, he was charged with speeding, violating two stop signs and fleeing and eluding police.

Salesman, 48, was elected to his third term in March. Two calls to his home were not returned Saturday.

According to the affidavit, a police sergeant clocked Salesman at 61 mph in a 40 mph zone around 5 a.m. in the 7200 block of Miramar Parkway, then watched as he failed to stop at two stop signs. The commissioner also increased his speed when the sergeant activated his emergency lights and siren, the report said.
Salesman eventually turned into his driveway, where he met with officers. After failing three field sobriety tests, he submitted to a breathalyzer test.

The commissioner was cited in 1999 for driving too fast for conditions and was later acquitted on the charge, according to court records. He was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence in 1998 after an incident at a Miami-Dade County tavern.


(source) Sun Sentinel 5-01-05