Best Local Boy Made Good Miami 2008 - Eric "Rick" Sisser
Five years ago, on a cool September evening, Miami Police stopped Sisser while he was driving in Coconut Grove with a known drug dealer in the passenger's seat. The cops found four bags of crack cocaine and a homemade glass pipe used to smoke the drug. Sisser was charged with third-degree felony coke possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. At the time, he was the most powerful lobbyist at the Miami-Dade School Board. Following his arrest, he entered a 30-day detoxification program in Tucson. It wasn't easy after his return. During a court appearance in January 2004, Sisser admitted he would not pass a drug test because he had used cocaine. But he overcame his addiction and dedicated part of his life to helping other people like him. In 2006, he hosted a luncheon to benefit Miami-Dade's "Friends of Drug Court." The invitation described him as a "Proud Graduate of Drug Court." With then-Gov. Jeb Bush, Sisser raised tens of thousands of dollars for the program. He's also bounced back in the political landscape, recently holding fundraisers to re-elect Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein.