Barbara Sharief is a Florida politician, served as the mayor of Broward County from November 19, 2013 to November 18, 2014. She was the county's first black female mayor.

Early life and education

Sharief grew up in Miami, one of eight children of a self-employed clothing salesman and a retired schoolteacher. [3] [4] He was shot and killed by a 15-year-old robber in 1987, when Sharief was 14. She began work soon after this to support her family. [3] [5] [6] Sharief attended North Miami High School. For university she attended Miami Dade College as well as Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, obtaining a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in Nursing and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner degree from Florida International University. [7]

Professional career

Following her graduation, Sharief worked for Jackson Memorial Hospital, followed by a national home health agency. [5] In 2001, she founded South Florida Pediatric Homecare, Inc. (SFPH). [8] The company provides home healthcare services for children who would otherwise need to stay in a hospital or intensive care environment. [9] Sharief also serves on the health steering committee for National Association of Counties. [10] She is also a member of the National Democratic County Officials, the Urban League of Broward County, Miramar/Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce's Governmental Affairs committee,the Caribbean American Democratic Club and Minority Women Business Enterprises. [2]

Political career

In 2009, Sharief was elected to the Miramar City Commission, where she served as Vice-Mayor in 2010. [12] While serving on the Miramar City Commission, she donated her annual salary to charities. [13] In May 2010, she filed to run for Broward County Commission, seeking the District 8 seat being vacated by Diana Wasserman-Rubin. [2] She was elected that November, to serve residents of the cities of Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Park and West Park. [2] In 2012, she was named vice mayor of Broward County. [2] In November 2013, she was named mayor of Broward County, after the commission tasked with selecting the mayor voted unanimously. [2] The decision made her the county's first black female mayor. [2] [2]

Over the course of her political career, Sharief has been focused on the issue of the financial health of her constituents, enacting programs to provide foreclosure assistance and programs related to getting through the economic slump. [2] She created Commissioner on a Mission, program focused on elderly, foreclosure, and unemployment issues. [21] In 2013 Sharief proposed a county-wide pit bull ban. [22] She later withdrew requests for the ban in favor of calling for regulations on dog owners and new funds for animal control. [23] [24]

Financial issues

In 2013, the Florida State Agency for Health Care Administration concluded in an audit that Sharief's firm overbilled Medicaid for patient services by close to $500,000. [25] The audit found that from June 2007 to March 2011, SFPH was overpaid for some services that were not covered by Medicaid. [25] In May 2013, Sharief signed an agreement to repay $540,328 over three years, an amount that includes the Medicaid overcharges as well as additional fines and costs. [25] As of September 2013, the State Agency for Healthcare Administration was continuing to investigate SFPH in a different, undisclosed case. [25]

In April 2014, the Florida Commission on Ethics announced that it had found probable cause to believe that Sharief violated state ethics laws and the state Constitution by failing to properly disclose her financial interests for three years. [26] An ethics commission investigator recommended that the Commission rule against Sharief, finding that she had filed false financial disclosure forms in 2010, 2011 and 2012. [26] Specifically, Sharief failed to disclose that she owned several properties, including her own home, listed conflicting information on her own salary, did not reveal her personal savings account, failed to disclose loan balances, overstated her income as a commissioner, didn't include one source of income, and incorrectly listed her business interests. [27] The Office of the State Attorney is also considering whether to pursue criminal charges of perjury against Sharief in connection with this incident. [28]

Personal life

Sharief and her husband Max share five children: Amanda, Zach, Alyssa, Meia and Hailey. [29]