Article Courtesy of The
By Skyler Swisher and Tonya Alanez
Published April 27, 2018
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie lied about money she
took from developers and hid more than $335,000 in income, according to
criminal charges filed Tuesday.
Charged with four felonies and three misdemeanors,
Haynie, 62, faces three counts of official misconduct, and single counts
of perjury in an official proceeding, misuse of public office, corrupt
misuse of public office and failure to disclose a voting conflict.
Acting on complaints, prosecutors began their investigation of Haynie
the same month she was elected mayor of Boca Raton, according to a
10-page arrest report. The investigation spanned from March 2014 through
Prosecutors subpoenaed bank records from an account held jointly by
Haynie and her husband, Neil Haynie.
Haynie was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Tuesday and
released late that night. Reporters approached her, but Haynie didn’t
comment. Haynie’s attorney, Leonard Feuer, told reporters his client is
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie: From election triumph
to corruption charges.
“We look forward to challenging these accusations,
and that’s all they are right now — just accusations,” Feuer said. “In
court, everything will come out, and I believe at the end of the day she
will be fully vindicated.”
The news of Haynie’s arrest stunned City Hall.
“We’re all shocked out of our seats,” said Boca Council member Andrea
O’Rourke, referring to Haynie’s charges. “What we have is a lack of
judgment and the erosion of trust.”
City Manager Leif Ahnell said Haynie had phoned earlier Tuesday to say
she was sick, so she wasn’t expected to attend a public meeting Tuesday
Haynie’s arrest report shows she didn’t disclose $335,018 in income from
her husband’s company and from real estate they owned from 2014 through
2017. The undisclosed totals amounted to $73,099.90 in 2014; $128,080 in
2015; $85,940 in 2016 and $47,899 in 2017.
The report also alleged Haynie voted favorably on issues that would
benefit developer James Batmasian and failed to disclose income she
received from him while conducting business with him and his companies
through Community Reliance, a property management company she owned with
Haynie was listed as a managing member of the company’s LLC in 2014 and
2015, but only her husband was listed in 2016 and 2017.
She told an investigator that she had not received any income at all
from Community Reliance between 2012 and 2016. But bank records showed
that Haynie wrote two checks to herself from that company’s bank
account, one for $1,500 on March 14, 2016, and one for $3,800 on May 26,
She also claimed to have not received any secondary sources of income,
but records showed she received approximately $72,600 from Computer Golf
Software of Nevada Inc., a company owned by her husband.
An investigator said Susan Haynie was a beneficial owner of accounts
linked to Community Reliance and Computer Golf Software. “Haynie
regularly wrote checks from all of the accounts, using funds to pay
personal and professional bills as well as to pay herself an income,”
the investigator wrote in the complaint.
Haynie’s arrest comes after documents were released last week showing
that she agreed to settle an ethics case. A county ethics commission’s
concerns stemmed from financial ties between Community Reliance and
Haynie didn’t properly disclose a conflict of interest with James and
Marta Batmasian, the owners of Investments Limited, a major commercial
property owner in town.
Community Reliance did thousands of dollars in business with the
Batmasians while Haynie cast votes benefiting their developments,
The mayor agreed to pay a $500 fine and accept a public reprimand as a
Haynie, a Republican candidate for County Commission, said she thought
the votes were proper when she made them because of advice she received
from the city attorney.
“This was unintentional on my behalf,” Haynie told the South Florida Sun
Sentinel last week. “This is a process that has certainly made me a
better elected official as far as making certain that I am following the
On Monday, Haynie recused herself from a city discussion over private
parking involving Batmasian-owned properties.
In such cases where elected officials are arrested, the governor
typically suspends them. But that’s usually a day or two after they are
The city manager said the city didn’t know whether the mayor would
resign. “We do not have a letter of resignation,” Ahnell said.
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie is accused of: Three counts of official
misconduct for allegedly falsifying financial disclosure forms for 2014,
2015 and 2016 by not revealing compensation she received from James and
Marta Batmasian and their businesses.