It was only last year that Setti formalized his role with the district.
The contract, signed Nov. 6, put into writing what “has formerly been verbally agreed upon as astandard of the district doing business” with him, the document says.
It calls for him to be pai
d a project administration fee, which is “built into each project whensubmitted for funding,” his contract says. He also is paid “the net proceeds (balance of project funds)from each project upon completion.”
In 2000, Setti was paid $76,698, followed by $82,989 in 2001 and $71,902 in 2002. In 2003, records
show he wasn‟t paid. He received $235,972 from the district in 2004, and then he is shown as being
paid nothing the past two years.In total, he has been paid $467,561 by the district since 2000, acc
ording to information that Setti‟s
assistant provided to The Miami Herald.Setti, who holds a real-estate license and now lives in Hollywood, said that he makes a living as abroker, and did not receive retirement benefits or health insurance from the soil and water district.The district does not have an annual budget. It operates out of U.S. Department of Agriculture officesin Davie, with Setti and two employees who have contracts for specific jobs.Setti said much of the money he was paid in 2004 came from grants through federal programs heoversaw for the South Florida Community Urban Resource Partnership.The federal program fared poorly across the nation and was abandoned after a U.S. Department of
Agriculture audit in 1999 found that it hadn‟t been
properly authorized by Congress. Grants from thefederal program closed out in2005, Setti said. The projects included environmental educationprograms aimed at minorities.
“Everything was accounted for. Everything was approved. All the agreements were
signed by the
board of supervisors,” Setti said.
LITTLE SUPERVISIONYet, he acknowledged that the supervisors were not aware of every program he was doing for theurban resource partnership in the name of the district.
“It was paid through the soil distric
t, as a pass-through agency, but the majority of that money was
federal funds,” Setti said. The soil and water district, he said, “did not have oversight of the projects.They had no oversight or responsibility. They did not review the projects.”
Setti was angry when the urban resource partnership fell apart, said Terry Mock, a Lake Worth land
developer and conservationist who was involved from the program‟s early stages. The program had a
lot of potential, but it was difficult to work with Setti, Mock said.
“At the end,” Mock said, “it was really nasty. He was trying to manipulate people into following hisdictate.”
Setti‟s political history in Broward County dates to 1973, when he served two terms as mayor of
Cooper City. He made an unsuccessful bid for state House of Representatives, then was reelectedCooper City mayor for a third term in 1977. He lost a bid for a fourth term in 1979.ETHICS VIOLATIONSTwice the Florida Commission on Ethics found Setti guilty of failing to disclose conflicts when voting oncity matters, but he was never penalized.In 1983, he was fined for letting vines grow all over the home that he and his wife were fighting overin their divorce. And in 1987, he made another failed bid for Cooper City mayor.Those who worked with him in Cooper City describe him as an abrasive and unpleasant leader whobullied people until they capitulated. City meetings would stretch into the wee hours, said SuellenFardelmann, a fellow commissioner before she was elected mayor.