CORRECTION UPDATE: Broward Commissioner LaMarca Faces Foreclosure, Conflicts of Interest

CORRECTION: When SouthFloridaReporter posted this story on Wednesday,  the date of the original story was overlooked.  
This story was originally published October 25, 2013 by 
We apologize.

WEDNESDAYS POST: Broward County commissioner Charles “Chip” LaMarca is facing foreclosure on his Broward County home, court records show. In May of 2012, Wells Fargo Bank initiated court proceedings in an attempt to collect more than $385,000 from LaMarca and his wife. A Media Trackers Florida review of court records reveals how lobbyists, professional sports franchises, and the proliferation of campaign cash have played a role in this case.

Court records show LaMarca failed to make payments on a line of credit issued by Wells Fargo bank in June of 2006. Bank statements show LaMarca stopped making payments in August of 2010, just before winning the 2010 county commissioner election. As the lone Republican on the Broward County Commission, LaMarca often touts his fiscal responsibility and business experience. LaMarca is running for re-election in 2014.

When Palm Beach columnist Jose Lambiet broke the news of the foreclosure in July of 2012, LaMarca said nobody’s perfect. “I’ve been on the phone with the bank and I’m hoping they’ll work with me,” LaMarca explained to Lambiet. LaMarca said he pays “religiously for his $240,000-first mortgage and property taxes.” LaMarca, owner of a construction company, blamed his financial problems on the sagging economy. “We took out a second mortgage on the house to put money in the construction business,” he said. “In 2006, the business was headed in the right direction but things became very difficult.”

As a Broward County Commissioner, Chip LaMarca receives a $92,097 annual salary. Financial disclosure forms filed with the State of Florida show LaMarca received $26,000 from LaMarca Construction Corporation in 2011 and 2012. Documents filed with Broward County show LaMarca Construction paid him more than $35,000 since the foreclosure case was filed in May of 2012.

By Tom Lauder, MediaTrackers Florida, April 6, 2016