Best Of 2006

Best Local Connection to the Jack Abramoff Scandal: SunCruz Casinos

All of America wants to claim its little piece of the Jack Abramoff affair. Some think that’s because it’s the most egregious example of the cynicism and selling of Capitol Hill ever. We prefer to think it is because of the sinister black Borsalino Jack wore on his head when he pleaded guilty. Lost in the influence shuffle is Tampa Bay’s connection to the Prince of Peddling: the SunCruz Casino boat that has sailed out of Pinellas beach locations for years. Abramoff and a business partner were indicted in Fort Lauderdale on wire fraud and conspiracy charges related to their purchase of the gambling fleet. The guy they bought the business from was later killed execution-style. That sucks. Almost as much as being sentenced to more than five years in prison and fines of $21 million.