Coral Springs Commissioner Shawn Cerra Subject of Ethics Complaint

Coral Springs Commissioner Shawn Cerra Subject of Ethics Complaint

Coral Springs Commissioner Shawn Cerra.

By Kevin Deutsch

Coral Springs Commissioner Shawn Cerra is the subject of an ethics complaint in his capacity as Director of Athletics and Student Activities for Broward County Public Schools, according to a published report.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Commission on Ethics received a complaint from Parkland resident Amy Shield, a moderator of the Facebook group Concerned Citizens of Broward, along with a second complaint from a different moderator. The complaints accuse Cerra and School Board member Donna Korn of ethical breaches related to a vendor for graduation caps and gowns.

Each faces fines of up to $10,000 if the state commission finds they violated Florida’s ethics law.

The Sentinel said the complaints result from their Nov. 19 investigation that revealed Cerra and Korn vacationed multiple times at the Naples area home of Chuck Puleri, whose company has been the Broward public school district’s longtime distributor of Herff Jones caps and gowns.

Naples area home of Chuck Puleri (second).

Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce

In her complaint, Shield said Cerra directed principals in the district to inform parents their kids can’t attend graduations unless they don Herff Jones caps and gowns during the ceremonies.

“Cerra is a ‘close friend’ of Puleri and has received gifts from Puleri and failed to disclose their relationship,” Shield wrote.

The newspaper previously found Broward parents were paying high markups for caps and gowns. At the same time, the district used questionable practices to ensure Puleri remained its sole provider of the graduation outfits.

Puleri also made campaign donations to Cerra for his City Commission seat and most Broward school board members, the paper reported.

Cerra and his wife stayed with the Puleris at least twice, in May 2019 and March 2021, according to the Sentinel.

Cerra has made multiple requests to the district to increase funding for Herff Jones and taken other actions to benefit the company, including pushing to ensure students can’t walk at graduation without the company’s products, according to emails uncovered by the paper.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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