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Opa-locka’s former vice mayor, lobbyist, sentenced to two years’ probation


The case involving former Opa-locka vice mayor Terence Pinder and lobbyist Dante Starks, which began in 2007, concluded Monday after the two accepted plea deals from the state.

Pinder and Starks were each sentenced to two years’ probation and will have to pay fines of $2,500. Both pleaded no contest to four counts of conflict of interest and the rest of the charges against them — including racketeering and unlawful compensation —were dropped. The two will face up to eight months in prison if they violate probation.

The case is ending after a years-long investigation into public corruption and illegal financial exchanges in Opa-locka following the arrests of Pinder in 2006 and Starks in 2007.

Their fines, for the costs of investigation, will be applied to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Public Corruption Unit and the County Commission on Ethics, respectively.

-- LANCE DIXON, ldixon@MiamiHerald.com




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