Tus­sle over con­fi­den­tial de­lays Joy Cooper trial files

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Local - By Su­san­nah Bryan South Flor­ida Sun Sen­tinel

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.”

MICHAEL LAUGH­LIN/SUN SEN­TINEL

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.

SU­SAN STOCKER/SUN SEN­TINEL

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