(WSVN) - A South Florida mayor is facing some tough questions after what was seen on surveillance video. It looks as though the mayor tried to get into some offices after hours. The incident is under investigation, and it’s a 7 Investigates exclusive.
This story is a continuation of a 7 Investigates from several weeks ago when we looked into a town employee accused of sending pornographic and harassing emails on town cellphone.
The mayor of Pembroke Park was found by the Office of Inspector General last week to have engaged in ethical misconduct. Now, she was also running for a statewide office in Tallahassee, and she has also told the town hall she is now going to resign on Nov. 4, one day after the election.
Now, the 7 Investigates team has obtained surveillance video that is raising even more questions about what was happening inside the town hall at Pembroke Park.
It’s Memorial Day, a public holiday, but that evening, security cameras show Mayor Ashira Mohammed arriving at town hall with a woman who, 7News sources said, is a town employee.
Around 7:30 p.m., they try to open a door to an administrative office where some town documents are stored, but they can’t.
Then, parks director Chris McKine arrives at town hall.
He gets a hammer and takes it to the door, but they don’t break in. Instead, they end up entering the office through another door using keys.
Later in the night, the mayor is seen going in and out of the public works office — at times with documents in hand.
She and the town employee she arrived with left town hall around 10:35 p.m. with a box and a stack of documents.
At the time, Mayor Mohammed was under investigation by the Broward Office of the Inspector General, which was requesting several documents from the town.
That investigation concluded last week found the mayor “…engaged in ethical misconduct by using the town’s resources and her official position to benefit her law firm…”
We wanted answers from the town but got this email: “Out of respect for the ongoing investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, we’re not able to provide further comment.”
BSO won’t confirm whether the mayor herself is under investigation, but we do know this surveillance video is mentioned in a BSO report after the cellphone of the town’s parks director, Chris McKine, was stolen in June.
7 Investigates confronted both the mayor and McKine last month regarding a different story.
Kevin Ozebek: “Would you like to say anything about why you were sending this on a town phone to one of your employees?”
Chris McKine: “I have no comment.”
7News learned Pembroke Park was being sued after McKine was accused of sending pornographic and harassing text messages on his town phone. He has now been terminated as parks director.
As for this Memorial Day video, Mayor Mohammed’s personal attorney said the mayor was in town hall making copies of resumes she wanted to send to the Office of Inspector General for a matter unrelated to the investigation into her.
Joe Geller, attorney: “I don’t think it’s particularly suspicious for the mayor to be going into town hall to perform her duty. It’s unfortunate that she didn’t get the right key, and only when she found she couldn’t otherwise access, did she call an on-duty town employee to assist her with getting access, so she could go in and make copies of public record. No originals were disturbed.”
But, 7 Investigates also has the time cards of both McKine and that other town employee who was with the mayor that night.
McKine did put down that he should get eight hours since it was a federal holiday, but the time card does not show him clocking in or out that day. The same goes for that other employee who was with the mayor that night.
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