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Broward commissioner resigns amid charges

Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin told the Miami Herald she has resigned because she has learned from her attorney Bruce Udolf that she will be charged by Broward State Attorney Mike Satz today.

Wasserman-Rubin said she doesn't know what the charge will be but plans to fight it.

"I feel ready to defend myself," she said.

Satz announced in January that he was investigating the commissioner related to votes about grants written by her husband Richard Rubin for which he earned a $15,000 bonus. She paid a $15,000 civil penalty and restitution in 2008 for that violation investigated by the state Ethics Commission.

Wasserman-Rubin submitted her resignation letter today to County Administrator Bertha Henry:

"I have been advised by the State Attorney's Office that they intend to file criminal charges against me this date," she wrote. "I intend to vigorously defend myself against these charges and see myself vindicated in court. To do so; however, will require that I devote myself full-time to working to prove my innocence in the months ahead. This, combined with my debilitating illness, will require every measure of physical and emotional strength I can muster to focus on meeting this critical challenge and will necessarily prevent my ability to devote my full energy and concentration to the citizens of my district. For that reason, I regret that I must tender my resignation as Broward County Commissioner District 8, effective immediately. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of Broward County, and I wish you all the best."

With the November election just a few months away, Gov. Charlie Crist will not make an appointment or order a special election. That means the commission could split 4-4 on some votes and it's unclear if Henry can amass the five votes needed for her proposed tax rate hike -- something that Wasserman-Rubin might have voted for since she had announced in April she was shutting down her re-election due to Parkinson's disease.

No word from Satz or Udolf.

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