Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs will not investigate allegations that Gov. Rick Scott fired Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey for refusing to work on Scott’s reelection campaign. But Charles Swofford, a resident of The Villages, has filed an ethics complaint alleging the governor may have held secret meetings related to the issue and other violations of the state’s Sunshine Laws.
Palm Beach County
Three Riviera Beach men, Reginald Washington, 26, Kendrick Coley, 22, and Demarcus Mucklin, 21, are in the attempted murder of another man. It occurred on Dec. 16 where they allegedly beat the man, who dived into a canal. When they saw him later, they began shooting again. The man reportedly hid in a dumpster. A bystander later put him in the back of a flatbed truck, and took him to his brother in order to get to a hospital.
DaJuan Johnson, 35, was attacked by Davonte Shanard Johnson, no relation, at Weaver Community Park in Pompano Beach where she works as a custodian. Johnson attacked the woman inside a bathroom and began stabbing her. She was able to fight him off after he dropped the knife and she picked it up and began swinging it. The suspect fled, but was later captured. The victim was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds, including one to the eye.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held where a park was named in honor of Rev. Willie “WJ” Ford. He is the senior pastor of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach. Ford has worked tirelessly in the city on behalf of the community. Rev. W.J. Ford Linear Park is located along the south side of Northwest 10th Street between Third and Fifth avenues. A well-deserved honor and recognition.
American Express has notified state officials that more layoffs are coming at its South Florida locations. This times it’s 27 workers at the company’s Weston facility, which handles global billing. The company is outsourcing those duties and now the total number of layoffs in at its Broward County location in recent years has topped 400.
Deerfield Beach District 2 city commission race pits incumbent Ben Preston against challenger Gloria Battle, who also served on the dais when her mentor, former Commissioner Sylvia Poitier was suspended from office in 2011. In a special election to complete the remainder of Poitier’s term, Ben Preston was elected over opponents Andre Samuels, Anthony Davis and Battle. Preston is a retired city firefighter, the first black in Deerfield Beach’s history. Battle served as director of Broward County’s Human Rights Department for years.
Miami-Dade’s historic and troublesome Liberty Square public housing project located in the Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood is being demolished. The 243-unit development that was built in the 1930’s as part of the New Deal, will be razed and rebuilt. Mayor Carlos Giminez revealed the $74 million plan, which is expected to create more than 2,290 jobs.
A suspect robbed the Chase Bank branch in Homestead. The suspect was wearing what appears to a wig and sunglasses, walked up to a teller demanded money and got away with an undetermined amount of cash. Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI at 754-703-2000.
David Hernandez Sordo, 48, and Pedro Suarez, 59, are facing charges after being caught with the tail of a federally protected loggerhead turtle. Sodo was driving a truck that was towing small fishing boat that ran allegedly a red light. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers Jeremy Foell and Mitchell Robb pulled the truck over. They found the turtle tail and two sharks, also caught in violation of regulations, inside the boat. The truck, boat and trailer were seized along with the sharks and turtle tail and both men were arrested.
Monroe County may be getting additional funds to help with sewer construction in the county. In his $77 billion budget, Gov. Rick Scott is proposing $50 million to help protect coral and other marine life by installing a sewer system in the Keys.
John Wesley McKenzie, 51, the former pastor of St. James Missionary Church in Key West, has been sentenced to a year in the county jail and then 15 years’ probation. McKenzie was convicted of stealing over $54,000 from his church. McKenzie was arrested in 2013 and has a prior conviction in the 1980’s for passing bad checks.