Hallandale Beach commissioner rebuffs mayor’s apology for ‘sphincter bleaching’ comments

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London apologized in person to a commissioner weeks after he made controversial comments about her and her family, but the conciliatory remarks did not go the way he planned.

London attempted to say sorry to Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub during a commission meeting on Monday.

“I want to apologize for my remarks and the embarrassment they caused you and your family,” he said.

It was the second time in two weeks London tried to extend an olive branch to Lima-Taub, but Monday’s apology was the first time he did so in person.

However, Lima-Taub refused to even look at the mayor. Instead, she indicated no apology would make up for his comments.

“The damage, mayor, that you have caused my family is irreparable, and you will be held accountable for it,” she said, “but I’m no longer going to speak about my family or what you’ve done to my family.”

London made the controversial remarks during an Aug. 13 meeting on the city’s $140 million budget, when he commented on Lima-Taub’s family business.

“Put in a public records request or just go online because it’s online and see where my earned income came from last year? I’m sure you do. Was it getting my sphincter bleached? Is that what I earn my income for?” he said at the meeting. “Oh, OK. No, that would be you and your family business.”

Lima-Taub’s mother owns a spa business where they perform those types of cosmetic procedures.

Things became even more heated at the next commission meeting.

“You said I’d do it. You said I’d bleach my anus,” said Lima-Taub, who was sitting next to London.

On Aug. 20, despite the commissioner not being in attendance, the mayor said he was sorry for his comments.

“Commissioner Taub, my comments at last week’s meeting were inappropriate and unprofessional, and there’s no excuse for them,” said London. “I apologize for my remarks and the embarrassment they caused you and your family. I also want to apologize to the residents, my colleagues and the city staff.”

Commissioners met Monday to discuss whether to keep a police force in Hallandale Beach or hire the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Over the weekend, the Police Benevolent Association drove a box truck around demanding the mayor’s resignation. A large sign on the side of the vehicle read, “Mayor London … resign today,” with check marks next to the words “racist,” “sexist and “bully.”

“We believe the comments he’s made have been racist, sexist and he bullies people,” said a Police Benevolent Association spokesperson, “so we’re just telling the public, ‘Listen, all these things that he’s doing, he needs to resign.'”

London, the city’s former vice mayor, was appointed mayor when the previous one, Joy Cooper, was arrested, accused of being involved in a kickback scheme. She was caught on camera on two occasions meeting with FBI agents posing as developers.

Before the “sphincter bleaching” comments, London had a run-in with a city worker that was captured on cellphone video.

“How many times did you go to prison?” he is seen asking the worker. “What was it? Did you like it? Did you suck [expletive]?”

Now, with a budget to finalize and elections looming, some are calling for the mayor’s resignation.

Hallandale Beach’s mayoral race will be on the ballot in November.

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