NEW GOP LEADER
The Republican Party of Florida has elected former state legislator and now lobbyist, David Bitner as its new chairman. Several candidates were vying for the post, including Palm Beach County Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein, who garnered the least votes and came in last. The previous chairman, Jim Greer, is awaiting trial after being charged with allegedly stealing party funds.
Palm Beach County
Earlene Jordan Weston, 75, a former Riviera Beach city councilwoman, NAACP president and school principal, has died. Weston, who was born in Pahokee and raised in the rugged projects of Pahokee and Belle Glade, went on to earn degrees from several colleges, including a master’s in Education from Florida Atlantic University. She remained active in Palm Beach County politics, civil rights and community issues until falling ill.
NUT CASE ARRESTED
Brett Bull, 33, of Jupiter is sitting in jail after killing his two dogs. Authorities say Bull and a woman were sitting on the porch of his home located in the 9300 block of Whippoorwill Trail, when she began commenting about how cute they were. That’s when Bull retrieved a rifle from the house and fired a round into each dog’s head, killing them. He told the woman what he had done and when she found them on the side of the house dead, she became distraught. Bull and his mother told the woman not to say anything about the incident and they buried the dogs in the back.
Margarette Dubois-Jean, 58, of Plantation, has been charged with organized fraud and grand theft over an alleged investment scheme that targeted people of Haitian descent. According to Florida Attorney General Pam Biondi, DuBois-Jean’s company, One Creative Idea, allegedly bilked unsuspecting people out of $145,000 in 2009 by putting on seminars and getting them to invest in a plan that guaranteed a 100 percent return on their money in a few months. There were no such returns and Jean-Dubois allegedly used the money to pay her rent, travel and other personal expenses. If convicted, she could spend up to 30 years in prison.
Bruce and Shawn Chait are the developers who allegedly paid bribes to numerous politicians and public officials for support of their development of two golf courses in Tamarac. The bribery investigations are ongoing but those developments, which are at the center of several public corruption scandals, are in foreclosure. SPL Holdings Inc. has filed a foreclosure lawsuit targeting the 34 homes already constructed in the Monterey and Sabal Palm developments.
Russ Klenet, the husband of Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter and one of the most powerful lobbyists in the state has been fired by the city of Sunrise. For months Mayor Mike Ryan has questioned whether the city was getting results for the $120,000 it paid Klenet annually. He has been replaced by another high paid lobbyist, Ron Book who will get $50,000 or less per year.
Tracy Bray, 25, and Clifton Lockhart, 20, were arrested after Broward Sheriff’s deputies, acting on a tip that drugs were being sold out of Bray’s apartment located west of Fort Lauderdale, also found two emaciated and starving pit bull dogs. The men have been charged with animal cruelty and growing and selling marijuana.
Roberto Caridad Garcia, 72, is sitting in jail after, police allege, he brazenly molested a 4-year boy while patronizing a coffee shop the child’s family owns. Police say Garcia, who regularly visited the shop, entered it on Monday and ordered an espresso. The boy was sitting behind the counter and, when his mother went to prepare the order, Garcia reached over the counter and began fondling the child, police said. When Garcia left the store, the boy told his mother what happened. After reviewing the complaint and finding the incident was captured on video, police were called. Garcia was arrested and confessed under questioning. Police are looking for other potential victims and are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 305-603-6300.
Benthola “Benzoe” Sincere, 27, is wanted in connection to an alleged scam where he posed as the landlord at the King Apartment Complex, 13055 NE 6th Ave. in North Miami. He collected cash down payment deposits of $1,000 or more from families seeking a place to live. He also illegally changed door locks of empty apartments and connected the electricty. The scam was exposed recently when the real landlord evicted several families who were the victims of Sincere’s con game. Sincere remains on the loose and he drives a gold colored Mercedes Benz. It has a Florida plate, numbered BEZ7G. Other victims or anyone who has information on his whereabouts are asked to call detectives at 305-891-8111.