Davie residents Robert and Harley Lewin, owners of the “411 Pain” attorney referral service, have agreed to resolve concerns of the Florida Attorney General’s Office that its advertisements were misleading. In its television commercials, a man dressed like a police officer tells viewers to call “411 Pain” after dialing 911 following an accident. It also promises to get victims a certain amount of money in settlements. In lieu of imposing fines, Attorney General Pam Bondi agreed to allow the Lewins to donate $225,000 each to Broward General Medical Center and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to benefit indigent pediatric patients.
Palm Beach County
Michael James Wallach, 22, a fugitive, was shot multiple times by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday after he was cornered in a residential neighborhood. His injuries are not life threatening, authorities said, but he was last reported in critical condition. Authorities allege Wallach stole a car and when officers attempted to pull him over, he ran and began shooting at deputies.
Sgt. Michael Custer, an undercover Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detective, shot and killed Seth Adams, 24, on May 16. Adams lived in a trailer on the property of his family’s gardening supply business in Loxahatchee Groves, where the shooting took place. It is unclear why or what happened but Adams was shot several times.
A sheriff’s department spokesperson said the deputy fired after a confrontation in which he feared for his life. Records show Adams did not arrive at the hospital, which is 15 miles away, and where he died, until 47 minutes later via helicopter. There are many questions and the family is right to demand an independent investigation. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct that investigation.
LOAD OF GARBAGE
Palm Beach County Inspector General Sheryl Steckler is investigating Waste Management to determine if the refuse hauler diverted waste to a Broward County landfill to avoid paying fees to the Palm Beach Solid Waste Authority. Now the authority is accusing Republic Services, another waste hauler, of doing the same thing. It is alleged that Republic diverted 2,838 tons of waste into Broward County. At $42 a ton, that means Palm Beach county would have been paid more than $119,000 in fees. Several county commissioners are calling for an investigation into the alleged practices.
Qualifying began this week for municipal elections in Cooper City, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Parkland, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston and Wilton Manors. Some of the most interesting contests will be in Lauderdale Lakes, where Mayor Barrington Russell and three incumbent commissioners are up for reelection. In Hallandale Beach, Mayor Joy Cooper is expected to seek reelection and one of her challengers could be Commissioner Keith London. It will be an intense election season.
STEFFEN SEEKS RELEASE
Kenneth Steffen was arrested in 2003 for allegedly selling prescription painkillers to undercover Broward Sheriff’s detectives on two occasions. He was released from jail in 2004 on a pre-sentencing agreement and allowed to return to his Oklahoma home to be treated for cancer. Over the next four years, his sentencing date was reset several times. When his court date was set, Steffen said his attorney at the time told him not to appear. During that time, Steffen was arrested for allegedly driving without a license and police discovered a warrant for his arrest in Broward County for failing to appear for the sentencing court date. In 2008, Broward Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato sentenced the terminally ill man to 15 years in prison, essentially a life sentence. He has consistently said his two previous attorneys misrepresented him and that Imperato was not informed of what actually happened in the mixup. Steffen also says that at his sentencing, Imperato, his former attorney and prosecutors listened to a recording of some type but no one informed him what was on the recording. His current attorney, Jason Foreman, has filed motions seeking to have Imperato reconsider her sentence, which has not happened. Foreman has also filed a habeas corpus motion in federal court seeking Steffen’s release from a Miami prison. U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch has yet to rule on his motion.
Miami Heat forward Mike Miller is auctioning off his $6 million waterfront mansion in Pompano Beach. The 9,000-square-foot, six bedroom, 10-bath estate home will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction scheduled for June 30. Miller earns $15 million a year with Heat.
Janus Saintil Jr., 24, of Deerfield Beach, is charged with murder, armed carjacking, four counts of kidnapping, battery and murder. He is accused of kidnapping three acquaintances and his 2-month-old son after getting into a dispute with the child’s mother. He allegedly threatened to kill the child and, when police caught up with him, the child was found dead in the trunk of the car, still strapped inside a car seat. Saintil is being held without bond.
Truck driver Michael Krasozski, 32, of Sunny Isles Beach has been charged in New Jersey after being accused of using fake license plates on his rig. Authorities allege Krasozski was driving a car carrier with 10 vehicles on board when he was pulled over. Upon closer inspection, officers said, they found the Maine plates were actually hand-made fakes. His tractor trailer and the vehicles he was transporting were impounded.
Director James Loftus and his Miami-Dade Police Department are dealing with the brazen killing of a woman in a drive-by shooting. It occurred outside JR.'s Food Store located in the 4800 block of Northwest 27th Avenue near the Brownsville community in unincorporated Miami-Dade County. Police say the woman, whose identity has not been released, was standing outside the store when she was shot in the head. Authorities have not said if she was the intended target. Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-8477.
The killing of pet horses for their meat is continuing. The latest slaughter was discovered near Okeechobee Road in Hialeah Gardens, where a 15-year-old horse was found stripped of its meat. The Hialeah Gardens Police Department is investigating and Police Chief Van Toth is confident those responsible will be caught. Horse meat sells for more than $25 per pound on the streets.
Photo: Elgin Jones