According to a treasurer’s report submitted last week, the Broward Republican Executive Committee paid controversial former board member Michael George DeGruccio nearly $2,500 in January and February 2013. The payments were during Rico Petrocelli’s tenure as Broward GOP Chairman. In January, RED BROWARD reported records from the Federal Elections Commission showed De Gruccio was paid $4,500 from the Broward GOP Federal PAC.
The Federal PAC (ID# C00502823) reports show De Gruccio received fifteen payments of $300 each. The first payment appears on July 30, 2012. The last one was made on November 5, 2012. One payment from September 3, 2012 shows an amount for $0; One would assume it to be a clerical error. The payments were made for “consulting.”
De Gruccio was party secretary until January 2013. Petrocelli created a new position for De Gruccio, “Director of Party Development.”. Petrocelli gave him an office in the new BREC headquarters even though the duties of this new positions were vague and undefined.
The new report lists six payments totaling $2,478.14. The reason listed for the payments is “partial reimbursement gen election expenses.” On January 8, 2013 DeGruccio received $350. On January 18 and 29th he received payments of just $150. On February 7 he picked up a $600 payment, while on February 15 he got a measly $200. But DeGruccio hit the jackpot on February 28th with a big fat check for $1,028.14.
Last month, RED BROWARD broke the news DeGruccio was suspended indefinitely from the Florida Federation Of Young Republicans (FFYR) due to an investigation of finances during his tenure as FFYR Treasurer. Multiple sources told RED BROWARD the suspension stems from questions regarding DeGruccio’s handling of $1,600 of FFYR funds.
Peret Pass, chair of the FFYRs, said her organization did everything to correct this issue and prevent it from ever happening again. Pass said, “Michael has a now proven track record of being non-trustworthy over the last year whether it has been with the YRs or BREC and therefore shouldn’t be trusted going forward with any type of leadership position. He abused a position of trust given to him by his peers and due to his refusal to address any of this in good faith and a satisfactory manner he has been suspended indefinitely by the FFYR.”
Pass said DeGruccio can no longer hold any office with the YR organization nor have any benefits of YR club membership. “He is owed no deference of silence or good references in regards to this situation. Obviously this isn’t an ideal situation and something we never dreamed of having to deal with, however we take our reputation seriously and that includes how we handle our finances. Our oversight found this immediately and we have reacted in the best interest of the organization and I’m proud of my team for that, otherwise this situation could have been much worse.”