Talk of Our Town

From Sins of South Beach: The True Story of Corruption, Violence, and the Making of Miami Beach: "The two women stood on the small cement patio wrapped in large colorful beach towels. Under the sensual moonlight, slowly they let them fall, revealing their nakedness . . . Their tongues, hands and young nubile figures dueled for my affection."

Best seller? Steamy romance novel? Nope. It's ex-con Alex Daoud, Miami Beach's former mayor, in a kiss-and-tell, spill-your-guts book about his political rise and fall. Daoud says the extramarital, three-way poolside romp with a law student and her gal pal was one of many mayoral ménages à trois.

Better than the "physical gratification," he writes, was "the great sense of power I garnished by having two women in the throes of passion vying for and using all of their female skills to captivate my emotions. The sensations were intoxicating." He also had flings with a bevy of women including a condo tennis pro, two campaign workers and a married aerobics instructor, he claims.

Power and kickbacks are prevailing themes. He names the allegedly crooked people who supposedly sought favors and delivered kickbacks. He also throws in names of highly reputable people he encountered on the job.

Politicians: Janet Reno, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; former Govs. Bob Graham and Lawton Chile; former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez; former state Rep. Hal Spaet, along with former state Sen. Al Gutman, who did federal time for Medicare fraud conspiracy.

Beach politicos: Harold Rosen, Leonard Haber, Murray Meyerson, Norman Ciment, and Malcolm Fromberg, all ex-mayors, and Barbara Capitman, Art Deco preservationist.

Lawyers: Tom Tew, Joe Kaplan and Russell Galbut; from the Beach city attorney's office, Lucia Allen (Dougherty) and Arnold Weiner; and Alan Weinstein, Roy Black, and David Garvin, who helped defend Daoud after his 1991 indictment. Federal prosecutor Bruce Udolf and Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King also get ink.

Bankers: Arthur Courshon and Barton Goldberg, along with David Paul and Abel Holtz, both of whom went to prison. Daoud says Holtz paid him his first bribe. "He handed me a white envelope, which I put in my jacket pocket. I walked out of his office ... a corrupt politician . . . I was peddling influence."

Publicists: Gerald and Felice Schwartz, and Scott Ross. Lobbyists: Chris Korge, a first cousin of Daoud, and David Kennedy, a former Miami mayor.

Wealthy philanthropists: Egmont Sonderling, Maxwell Dauer, Norman Braman and Stephen Muss.

Cops: Lou Reilly, Chuck Hayes, Charles Serayder and Dennis Ward, and former chief Ken Glassman.

Daoud got hit with a 63-month sentence, but cooperated and did 18 months.

The 493-page hardcover is printed by Pegasus Publishing House, a label Daoud created with his buddy J.P. Morgan, founder of citydebate.com.

Daoud, 64, a disbarred attorney, says he lives on Social Security and resides with daughter Kelly Daoud, 38, a Ford & Harrison lawyer. Son Alexander, 18, attends Emory University.

Don't bother checking the back of the book for familiar names. There's no index.

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