A judge ordered Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi to end their stonewalling in a public records lawsuit. A number of organizations and individuals alike have been denied access to various records by the Scott administration, particularly email communications conducted via Google’s GMail service. The accounts were discovered following the governor’s former Chief of Staff Steve MacNamara’s exit from the administration. There are allegations of the governor asking his staff to use Gmail accounts to circumvent Florida’s public records statutes, which the administration denies.
Palm Beach County
The family of the late Mary Anderson arrived at Stephens Lakeside Chapel in West Palm Beach for her wake only to discover the woman inside Anderson’s casket and dressed in clothes was not her. Funeral home staff had made a terrible mistake. Over an hour later a casket containing Anderson’s body arrived, but distraught family members were not pleased. The viewing went on, but not as planned. Expect to hear more about this. Stay tuned.
Isabelle Schillo, 57, of Royal Palm Beach, is the caretaker of her 77-year-old neighbor. When other neighbors didn’t see him for a while and noticed Schillo had ditched her dilapidated 10-year-old car for a new Porsche Panamera, they became concerned and contacted authorities. The investigation determined Schillo had spent $855,000 of the man’s money. His home was filthy and he was located in a nursing home, hardly able to speak. Schillo offered explanations, but was arrested on multiple charges including fraud and elderly exploitation.
Gheorghe Andrei, 53, of Hollywood, is serving a four-year prison sentence. He is the clown who installed “skimmers” on ATM machines at banks in Broward and Palm Beach counties to steal customers’ money and identities. He then used the data to withdraw thousands of dollars from victims’ accounts. An investigation revealed he had committed the same crime in Canada and California. Andrei, who speaks little English, is a Romanian citizen who sought asylum in this country. U.S. District Judge James Cohn handed down the maximum sentence and ordered that he pay restitution. Andrei could also face deportation back to his native Romania once his sentence is completed.
Coral Springs police officers Doug Williams, his wife, Officer Sherry Williams and Detective Michael Hughes were executive board members with the local chapter of their Fraternal Order of Police union. They all have been arrested and charged with grand theft over money allegedly stolen from their union and used to buy personal items. Williams is a former Deerfield Beach police officer who was charged with murder in the killing of unarmed, 20-year-old Willie “June Bug” McDonald on April 3, 1980. McDonald and other youths were allegedly gambling at tables at a city park when Williams and another officer approached on foot. McDonald and the other teens scattered, but Williams grabbed McDonald and the two landed on the ground. According to witnesses, Williams pulled his gun and McDonald pleaded for his life, but was shot and killed. Williams was later acquitted by an all-white jury, which sparked violence in the streets of Deerfield Beach.
Attorney Al Milian, who specializes in representing police officers accused of crimes and personnel matters, has been elected to the bench in Miami-Dade County. Milian, an Aventura resident, is now a circuit court judge. He is a former prosecutor with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. The issue of his ability to impartially preside over cases had been questioned because of his work as a prosecutor and police union attorney.
Acting on an anonymous tip, Miami-Dade police arrested Roderick Everett, 22, and Patrick Sullivan, 20, in the shooting and robbery of off-duty Miami-Dade Corrections Officer Juan Guellmes. Guellmes, 51, was washing a car outside of his home when several armed men approached. A struggle ensued and Guellmes was shot once in the shoulder and stomach. Everett allegedly was the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident and Sullivan allegedly shot and snatched a gold chain from Guellmes’ neck. Both confessed to the crimes, according to police. Guellmes is in stable condition and is expected to survive.
Owners Reinhard and Karina Schaupp have sold the iconic and storied Gilbert’s Resort and Marina. Jonathan Weisberg, owner Gator Park Airboat Tours, which operates in southwest Miami-Dade County in the Everglades, purchased the Key Largo property for $11.2 million. He plans to renovate and add modern amenities, like a swimming pool and beach, to the 38-room hotel.
Two miles of U.S 1 that runs from Tavernier to Key Largo has to be repaved because of bumps in the roadway. It is part of the $6.95 million improvement to U.S. 1 and will cost an additional $300,000 to repair. The question remains, exactly who is responsible for the poor condition of a newly paved road and why are taxpayers footing the costs? We’ll have to get to the bottom of this.