Tussle over confidential delays Joy Cooper trial files
FORT LAUDERDALE Joy Cooper, the longtime Hallandale Beach mayor removed from office after getting caught in an undercover FBI sting, is eager for her day in court.
But her attorney, Larry Davis, says he’s not yet ready for trial.
Davis has argued he is entitled to documents the prosecution and federal government want to keep confidential.
“That’s really holding me up,” Davis told Broward Circuit Judge Martin Fein on Thursday.
Davis believes the files will shed more light on FBI targetturned-informant Alan Koslow, a disbarred attorney expected to take the stand as a star witness for the prosecution.
Prosecutor Catherine Maus turned the files over to the judge a few weeks ago.
He is expected to issue
aruling at the next hearing on Jan. 11. “If I think there’s anything
that needs to be turned over, I will instruct the state to do that,” Fein said.
“I just figure the real good stuff [is what] you have,” Davis told him.
Six years ago, FBI agents posed as out-oftown developers offering to funnel campaign money to Cooper through Koslow, then a prominent lobbyist. At the time, Cooper was fending off a challenge for the mayor’s seat from longtime nemesis Keith London.
Agents at one point showed up at Koslow’s home with $8,000 in cash stashed inside a Dunkin Donuts bag.
Koslow eventually became an informant, meeting with agents at least 75 times between September 2013 and May 2016, court records show.
He was disbarred after pleading guilty to federal money-laundering charges in August 2016.
Cooper was arrested Jan. 25. She was removed from office the next day.
She has pleaded not guilty to money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding the limit on campaign finance contributions.
If Cooper is acquitted before her term ends in November 2020, she can return to the dais as mayor, a post she has held since 2005.
Her trial is expected to get underway sometime next year.
Outside court, Davis says he should be ready for trial in late February or early March.
“I’d like to get an earlier trial date,” Davis said. “When you have an innocent client, you want to move it through the system as quickly as possible.”
Sabrina Saada, Michael Miller, front, and other guests enjoy a cruise Wednesday along the New River and Intracoastal Waterway during the Water Taxi Holiday Lights Cruise.