Mary McCarty

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Not to be confused with the Trapper John, M.D. actress.
Mary McCarty
Education University of Florida
Occupation Politician
Spouse(s) Kevin McCarty

Mary McCarty (Born December 8, 1954) is a politician and former County Commissioner in Palm Beach County, Florida, and served in office from November 1990[1] until resigning for corruption, announced on January 8, 2009.[2] McCarty resigned from the Board of County Commissioners after she pleaded guilty to one count of honest services fraud.[3] The charges stemmed from votes on projects that indirectly benefited her husband, Kevin McCarty a former employee of Raymond James, without the required disclosure and she received reduced hotel rates from a company that did business with Palm Beach County.[1] Previously she was also City Commissioner and Vice Mayor of Delray Beach, Florida from 1987-1990.[3] In December 2000 McCarty became the Republican Party Chair for Palm Beach County[4] and served two years.[5]

Early life, education and family[edit]

Mary Ballard McCarty was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 8, 1954, the eldest of six children.[6] The family lived there for a time in Arlington Heights and Northbrook, both suburbs of Chicago.[6] In 1969, McCarty's family moved to Spooner, Wisconsin,[6] where McCarty graduated from Spooner High School in June, 1972. In the same month, McCarty's family moved to Delray Beach, Florida.[6] McCarty started attending the University of Florida in 1973.[6] She began her career in politics as an intern for US House Majority Leader Tip O'Neill in Washington D.C. in 1974[6] and helped to monitor the Watergate Hearings. She worked as a waitress to help pay for college.[7] Her interests were primarily in the public relations aspects of journalism. She graduated from the University of Florida[3] in August, 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.[8] McCarty went on to work in many capacities in the restaurant industry including, waiting tables,[7] bar-tending,[9] and management.[8] McCarty is married to Kevin McCarty[7] They met in 1978 and they were married June 9, 1980[3] in Delray Beach, Florida.

In 1986, McCarty co-chaired the Delray Beach 75th Diamond Jubilee,[8] a month-long city anniversary celebration.

Public office[edit]

From 1987 - 1990, she was a City Commissioner and Vice-Mayor of Delray Beach. From November 1990 until her 2009 resignation, she was a county commissioner of Palm Beach County. In 2002, CEO Magazine named her as one of the "100 Most Powerful People in South Florida".[10]

Federal Felony Conviction[edit]

While elected as a Palm Beach County Commissioner for 18 years, Mary resigned her office on January 8, 2009,[11] and pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud.[11] The charges stemmed from votes on projects that indirectly benefited her husband’s employer without the required disclosure and failure to disclose that she received reduced hotel rates from a company that did business with the county*[1].

She was remanded from the courtroom and sentenced to 42 months in Federal Prison and completed 22 months at the Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Texas in March 2011*[2]. Mary’s incarceration included a week in the County Jail, 5 weeks in a Maximum Security Federal Detention Center,*[3] transported by Conair to Texas where she completed the RDAP (Residential Drug Assistance Program) and as a result, received 9 months off of her sentence. She was under halfway house supervision for 6 months and completed her 3-year probation period on September 18, 2014.

Her husband, Kevin also pleaded guilty to a Misprision of a Felony for not reporting his wife’s crimes to authorities. He was sentenced to 8 months [12] and spent 5 months in Miami Federal Prison Camp, serving the remaining time under Halfway House supervision.[13]

Honest Services Fraud was redefined by the United States Supreme Court in June 2010 to include crimes only relating to bribery or extortion[14] Mary was never charged with those crimes.


  1. ^ a b James, Meg (November 7, 1990). "Big Spenders Take 3 Seats Roberts, McCarty Foster Win Close Race". The Palm Beach Post. 
  2. ^ Reid, Andy (January 8, 2009). "Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Fraud". The Palm Beach Post. 
  3. ^ a b c d Diaz, Missy (December 21, 2012). "Mary McCarty: 'I don't call them, they call me'". BizPac Review. 
  4. ^ Bennett, George (December 7, 2000). "McCarty to Head Palm Beach County Republican Party". The Palm Beach Post. 
  5. ^ Briefs "County Commissioner Mary McCarty one of three volunteers" "The Palm Beach Post", July 3, 2003.
  6. ^ a b c d e f James, Meg (April 12, 1992). "Mary Mary, Quite Contrary". The Palm Beach Post. 
  7. ^ a b c Minor, Emily J. (May 5, 2011). "Interview: Mary McCarty reflects on life after prison". The Coastal Star. 
  8. ^ a b c James, Meg (November 1, 1990). "Growth, Environment Central to County Race". The Palm Beach Post. 
  9. ^ James, Meg (1990). "Wilkens, McCarty Trade Compaign Jobs". The Palm Beach Post. 
  10. ^ "McCarty Piles up Another Honor" "The Palm Beach Post", June 1, 2004.
  11. ^ a b Reid,Andy "Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty Resigns,Plans to Plead Guilty Fraud","The Palm Beach Post",January 8, 2009.
  12. ^ Dargan,Michele "McCarty Pleads Guilty;Husband gets eight months" "Palm Beach Daily News", March 28, 2009.
  13. ^ Lambiet,Jose "Kevin McCarty finishing sentence in Halfway House", December 2009.
  14. ^ Liptal,Adam "Justices Limit use of "honest services" law against fraud" "New York Times", June 24, 2010.

External links[edit]