The 2008 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, and a number of local, state and other national politicians should be concerned about “clawback” lawsuits by the trustees of the bankrupt Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (RRA) law firm. “Clawback” is the term for recouping money that was misused by a company. It could, in this case, include campaign donations that RRA founder and convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstien gave to numerous candidates.
NO TIME FOR TEA
Tea Party groups in Florida have held their first convention, Nov. 4-6 in Daytona Beach, and most top Republicans, including Gov. Rick Scott, did not attend. Many candidates do not want to be associated with the Tea Party, even though some of them heavily courted the organization not so long ago.
Palm Beach County
WE BUY GOLD
Justin Feitzinger, the 21-year-old owner of Citi Gold Buyers in West Palm Beach, was arrested for a second time in connection with allegations that Feitzinger and his mother, who works in the business, are not licensed and have bought gold without requiring sellers to provide identification.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is dealing with cattle rustlers operating in the Belle Glade and Wellington areas. The animals can fetch up to $1,000 each and rustling has become a problem in recent months. Detectives are looking for two men in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck pulling an enclosed aluminum trailer with a U.S. Navy SEALs license plate.
City of Deerfield Beach managers are negotiating with Legal Aid of Broward County to avoid legal action over its debt collection practices. Legal Aid attorney Janet Riley is representing Hezekiah Jones and other residents who discovered that old debts have been added to their current water and garbage bills. The city has found more than 6,000 accounts that were never billed and is trying to collect on those debts with little regard for the residents or debt collection laws. What a mess!
VOTE FOR EGGELLETION?
Former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion is scheduled to be released from federal prison on Feb. 27, 2012. He is serving time for money laundering and accepting bribes from developers in exchange for support for their projects. Prior to becoming a county commissioner, Eggelletion served as a state legislator and a Lauderdale Lakes city commissioner. As a convicted felon, Eggelletion can no longer vote but he can still run for and hold public office. There are whispers from supporters that he may run for a Lauderdale Lakes City Commission seat.
DEAD TO RIGHTS
Kennedy Stevens, owner of E.A. Stevens Funeral Home in Hallandale Beach, is facing six new counts of grand theft. He was arrested in April on similar charges in which authorities allege he used clients’ money intended for burials for his personal use. The money was supposed to be placed in trust accounts or pay for pre-need burial insurance.
Suspended Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, 76, was found guilty Wednesday on all four counts of falsifying official records. The trial lasted less than three days and jurors deliberated for less than 90 minutes. Gov. Rick Scott suspended Poitier in April after she was arrested on five misdemeanor charges, one of which was dismissed prior to the start of her trial. Her attorney, Johnny McCray, Jr., said he may appeal the verdict. Poitier faces a maximum of four years in prison and $4,000
Lauderhill Police Officer Kristopher John Bieger, 30, has been arrested on attempted murder charges. Police accuse Bieger of firing multiple shots at his former girlfriend, who is also a Lauderhill police officer, on Saturday night. The ex-girlfriend was working an off-duty detail when Beiger drove up in his personal car and began shooting at her. He was taken into custody at a pizza parlor in Davie.
The city of Wilton Manors is considering a merger of its police department with the Broward Sheriff’s Office. City commissioners will likely place the issue on the ballot for residents to decide in 2012. The issue is quietly being discussed by powerbrokers in the city. Police Benevolent Association union officials have reportedly met and explored a possible BSO merger. Mayor Gary Resnick and other city officials have said in the past that they want to keep their own department.
Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya announced that all employees will be forced to take varying amounts of unpaid furlough days as a way of helping the healthcare system stem the flow of red ink. Jackson is facing a budget crisis and the furloughs are expected to save $28 million.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa is looking to calm tensions between his officers and the Florida Highway Patrol. After a high-speed chase, FHP trooper Donna Jane Watts drew her gun, handcuffed, then charged Miami Officer Fausto Lopez with reckless driving on Florida’s Turnpike in Broward County in October. About a week later, another trooper’s cruiser was smeared with feces. Last week, a Miami officer, Tom Vokaty, pulled over a trooper on the turnpike in Miami-Dade County though he had no jurisdiction to do so. The feud between the two agencies has gotten out of hand and the childishness needs to stop.
GAMBLE ON TRAFFIC
Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Micky Arison has expressed opposition to the Genting Group’s proposed destination casino in downtown Miami. The project would create thousands of jobs and Tea Party groups are upset over Arison’s objections. Arison says his concerns relate to congestion and traffic flow, not the project itself. Genting Group is part owner of NCL Cruises, a Carnival competitor.