TAMARAC, Fla.: The manager of a South Florida city has been charged in a corruption scheme involving the attempted extortion of $3.4 million from an investment company.
Tamarac City Manager Michael Cernech was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering with two developers by allegedly trying to extort the money from 13th Floor Investments.
Court records Saturday did not list an attorney for Cernech, 52.
The state attorney general’s office said in a statement that Cernech, the developers and two others harassed the company over property the company acquired in default over 10 years ago.
The SunSentinel reported Cernech is accused of pressuring 13th Floor Investments into paying over $3 million after leaking false information that the propertys soil contamination levels were dangerous.
The developers, father-and-son team Bruce and Shawn Chait, were each charged in March with extortion and organized fraud for their role in the scheme. They have pleaded not guilty.
Cernech has been Tamarac city manager since January 2011 and had worked for the city since 2001. His base salary this year is more than $272,000.
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