Pompano Beach Vice Mayor Beverly Perkins is accused of financial misconduct during her November 2020 campaign.
A preliminary report released by the Broward County Office of the Inspector General on November 16, 2022, validated an allegation that Perkins and her campaign treasurer Robert Holmes used funds earmarked for pre-election purposes for post-election activities and services such as an election worker Christmas party, holiday gifts, a New Year’s Celebration, and other items prohibited by Florida law.
According to Florida campaign law, if campaign funds are not used by the time the candidate is elected, they must be disposed of. These funds can be either given back to the donor, donated to a 501c3 non-profit or political party, used for “thank you” advertising for up to 75 days after the election, pay for items needed to close down the campaign office or items that were promised payment before the candidate was elected.
Other allegations in the report include: reporting violations, falsifying public records, accepting contributions in the name of another, contributions not reported, late, or received after the deadline outlined by the state, excessive cash contributions, and contributions not made directly to the campaign.
The findings of the Broward County Office of the Inspector General range from first-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies.
Perkins was elected for her third term on November 3, 2020, and was recently reelected to represent District 4 on November 8, 2022. Perkins began her career in politics in the 1980s working with the late Congressman Alcee Hastings and former Pompano Beach mayor E. Pat Larkins. She first ran for the District 4 seat in 2014 and lost. She ran again in 2016 and won, and was reelected in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Holmes, 68, is her long-time friend and mentor. He worked as a math teacher for Broward County Public Schools. He served as her campaign manager for several years.
The report found that Perkins and her campaign treasurer made more than 20 payments after winning the election totaling $7381.92, including payments to J. Mark’s Restaurant, The Lion Press, Costco and Dollar Tree.
There was also more than $3,000 in unreported funds sent to New Creation Baptist Church, a church where Holmes managed the books.
Perkins and Holmes stated that they were not aware of the campaign finance laws, although Perkins signed off that she read and understood the rules in April 2021.
Perkins said in the report, “I do put my trust into him (Holmes), and I think some of the things that you are mentioning are pretty minor to me. Just things that perhaps he or myself should have known or maybe overlooked – not a biggie to me.”
Holmes said in the report, “To be honest with you, as the treasurer, I didn’t think…I had a reason … to suggest to her how she wanted to spend funds that were left over.”
The report concludes that “much of Vice Mayor Perkins and her treasurer’s conduct was criminal in nature…” The case has been referred to the Broward State Attorney and the Florida Division of Elections. The November 16 report is a preliminary report, and all implicated officials and parties will have a chance to respond in the Office of Inspector General’s final report.