Boynton Beach City Manager Kurt Bressner will be replaced on an interim basis by Assistant City Manager Lori LaVerriere. City commissioners will now begin the process of finding a permanent replacement, who may end up being LaVerriere. Bressner surprised commissioners when he announced his resignation last month, saying it was time to move on.
Pedro Roman, Matthew Heinly, Sean Wilson and Andre Banks have been charged with first-degree murder and auto theft in connection with the disappearance of West Palm Beach resident Timothy Bell, 45. Bell has been missing for more than a week and his body has not been recovered. Police are not saying what evidence led to the arrests, which is odd.
Patrick Toole, 34, of Lantana is facing multiple charges after being arrested for allegedly fighting with a store clerk and police officers during an attempt to steal a 12-pack of beer. Toole allegedly placed the beer in a baby stroller with his child. During a struggle, Toole reportedly bit the clerk in the face, lip and ear.
Bishop Jack Williams, pastor of True Faith Church of God and Christ, is celebrating a $500,000 jury award in his successful lawsuit against the School District of Palm Beach County. The Riviera Beach congregation contends the school district reneged on parts of a real estate deal. The church’s attorney, Michael Brown, argued that the district purchased the church for $1.3 million in 2008. As part of the deal, the church would get land in another location to rebuild and the district would provide temporary portables for the congregation to operate its daycare and hold services. The portables never arrived and the new church has yet to be completed. The 400-member congregation dwindled to 40 and the daycare went out of business. School district officials will appeal the verdict. They claim a miscommunication was responsible for the portables not being delivered.
Marcelo Riveros, 41, has been sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years, after being convicted in April of repeatedly raping a girl since she was 9 years old. Riveros was a family friend and when the child eventually told relatives about the molestations, they reported it to police.
Claudia Fenton, a 42-year-old licensed caretaker, has been charged with neglect after an 88-year-old woman she was paid to take care of was rushed to the hospital with severe infections, sores and numerous wounds over her body. The woman’s son hired Fenton a year ago and the alleged neglect was discovered after advisors with a senior healthcare agency made an unannounced visit to the woman’s home.
West Palm Beach has only a two-month supply of drinking water left and the South Florida Water Management District has authorized the city to draw water from emergency reserves. Drastic water restrictions have been put in place but unless the rain picks up, Mayor Jeri Muoio says, the crisis will worsen. The reserve reservoir contains high levels of salt, which could harm vegetation, equipment and the environment.
AUDIT FLIM FLAM
Lauderdale Lakes is broke and there are millions in unaccounted funds missing from its Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and other departments. City commissioners hired the forensic auditing firm of Michael G. Kessler & Associates for $60,000 but they have quietly limited the scope of the audit and restricted it to a single year, which is ridiculous. Years of incompetence and mismanagement led to this financial collapse and it looks as if city officials don’t want the facts brought to light. According to sources, Kessler is not being given access to financial records, e-mails and other critical information.
HONORING A HEROINE
Fort Lauderdale will commemorate events of the civil rights movement that led to the desegregation of the city’s whites-only beaches. The late Eula Johnson led groups of blacks to city beaches despite threats and police who tried to enforce “no blacks allowed” ordinances. Johnson, who was president of the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP, will have July 3 named in her honor and a ribbon cutting ceremony will open her former home as a museum. The dedication will take place on July 4 at 1100 NW Sistrunk Blvd. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and it will be followed by a trek to the beach, where a marker will be unveiled to commemorate her civil rights work.
Racial tensions are brewing in Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti’s department but he may not even be aware of it. Black sheriff’s department employees met recently to discuss the issue and some are upset over the press conferences they say Lamberti holds when black employees are accused of violating work rules or committing crimes. Any public official or employee should be held accountable for thier, regardless of race. However, the black employees insist white employees are not given the same public condemnations when they get into trouble. This kettle is boiling and it could explode.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell is allegedly the target of several racial discrimination complaints filed by a former political supporter who became her employee. Lois Jones has resigned as Bell’s aide and has filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Neither Jones, who is black, nor her attorney will reveal the basis for the complaints but they said details would be forthcoming. Bell’s chief of staff Eddie Borrego said the complaints have no merit and referred all question to the county attorney.
Luis Fumero, 21, is charged with impersonating a police officer and grand theft after he allegedly pulled a woman over and coerced her to have sex. Police said Fumero was driving a stolen Mercedes Benz when he pulled the woman over on June 6 and showed her a gun and badge. She had a suspended driver’s license. She called the police after Fumero contacted her numerous times after the incident.
Photo: Elgin Jones