SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
A shady developer who got a Florida congressman to steer millions of federal dollars to his flawed inner city project has been arrested and charged with felonies for illegally reimbursing employees for campaign contributions to various elected officials.
The developer, Dennis Stackhouse, made headlines in south Florida earlier this month when the media exposed his suspicious relationship with Democrat Representative Kendrick Meek, who helped him get public funding for a failed biopharmaceutical park in a predominantly black and poor section of Dade County.
Not only was Meekâ??s mother a highly paid consultant for Stackhouse when the legislator steered the taxpayer dollars his way, the developer had a delinquent past and no experience constructing high-tech facilities. Meek, who represents Miamiâ??s neediest neighborhoods in the U.S. House, claims he didnâ??t know Stackhouse was crooked or that his mother, Carrie Meek, was receiving tens of thousands of dollars and a luxury car from him.
Carrie Meek had spent a decade in Congress as one of Floridaâ??s most influential black lawmakers and her friendship with the troubled Boston developer opened plenty of doors for him in south Florida. But the grandiose $250 million biopharmaceutical park that was supposed to revive the inner city never got built and the failed effort ended up wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
Now Stackhouse is in jail for making illegal campaign contributions to various public officialsâ??including a county commissioner who strongly pushed for his project and a judge–during the time he was seeking public funding for the facility.
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