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Lawyer of Beating Video Cop Paid $ to State Attorney’s Campaign — After Charges Dropped!

Palm Beach

Lawyer of Beating Video Cop Paid $ to State Attorney’s Campaign — After Charges Dropped!

The lawyer of a former West Palm Beach Police officer charged in a nationally-covered, caught-on-video beating contributed to the reelection campaign of Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe — eight days after McAuliffe’s prosecutors dropped felony charges and allowed the officer to plead to a misdemeanor!

McAuliffe (via Facebook)

A Gossip Extra investigation of McAuliffe’s donors revealed that the firm of Michael Salnick, a criminal attorney who represented disgraced cop Kurt Graham, donated $500 — the maximum allowed – to McAuliffe’s campaign on Sept. 30, according to records.

Click here to view the Secretary of State’s Division of Elections’ records

The $500, donated in the name of Salnick & Fuchs, came on the last day of the reporting quarter, at a time when contributions to McAuliffe’s coffers plunged to just $6,400. He raised nearly $90,000 the previous quarter.

Salnick, who isn’t returning calls for comment, waited until Sept. 30 to contribute even though McAuliffe’s account was opened in March.

When asked for his comment via email, McAuliffe responded: “Not worthy of a comment!”

Charges of official misconduct were dropped in the three-year-old case against Graham and his former colleague Joseph Schwartz on Sept. 22. Graham pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery and agree to undergo anger management. He received no jail time or probation.

Despite in depth investigation by his staff and West Palm Beach Police Internal Affairs and the FBI, McAuliffe said he saw new evidence on a slowed down version of the incriminating video that Salnick presented to him: That the suspect supposedly tried to bite the officers!

Back in 2008, Graham and Schwartz, who are no longer policemen, were caught beating and kicking robbery suspect Pablo Valenzuela. Valenzuela was handcuffed and on the ground when Graham kicked him so hard that his body lifted off the ground. One of the police cars’ dashboard cams videoed the incident, and ended up on CNN. (Click here to see the video)

While many defense lawyers contribute to the political campaigns of candidates for sheriff, judge and state attorney, Salnick’s contribution adds a third wrinkle in what’s becoming a growing scandal for McAuliffe.

— Catch up with the story: Complaint Filed Vs SA Michael McAuliffe; McAuliffe’s Assistant Worked For Brutal Cop

Last week, ex-Riviera Beach cop and talkshow host Rick Sessa filed a complaint against McAuliffe with the Florida Commission on Ethics. It alleges that McAuliffe agreed to drop charges after a meeting with Police Benevolent Association boss John Kazanjian in which the union’s support for McAuliffe was discussed.

Earlier this week, Gossip Extra revealed exclusively that Scott Richardson, a criminal lawyer hired by McAuliffe to be his second-in-command, had represented police officer Schwartz just days before his hire.

McAuliffe called the ethics complaint “a vendetta” while saying that safeguards were put in place to prevent Richardson from working on the Schwartz-Graham beating. He didn’t elaborate

Cards on the table: I’m Rick Sessa’s co-host on his radio show, The Beat, Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. on Seaview 960 AM

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