LOOK AT CLARENCE!
On Friday, Jan. 29, Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Clarence V. McKee, 67, of Parkland, to serve on the governing board of the North Broward Hospital District (NBHD), a taxpayer-funded medical services provider. McKee is an attorney and lobbyist, and owns a consulting firm. He has served on numerous corporate boards, and is the former owner of WTVT-TV channel 13 in Tampa. He is also member of the Judicial Nominating Committee (JNC) for the 17th Circuit [Broward County], which makes recommendations to the governor for judicial appointments. McKee is the only black person on the JNC and NBHD, and his term on the hospital board ends on Dec. 13, 2012.
IT’S ABOUT TIME!
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has implemented a toll-free tip line at which anyone can report crooked politicians and provide details about public corruption, anonymously. It’s about time. There are a lot of politicians who should be worried. Some of them I can name, but I won’t, at least not yet. The information will be investigated and then forwarded to the statewide public corruption grand jury, which will surely begin indicting people within the next few months. The number to report public corruption is: 1-800-646-0444.
WAL-MART, AND NOW SUNOCO, TOO!
Last week, South Florida Times Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II completed our sales rollout inside Wal-Mart stores throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. I am proud to announce that the South Florida Times is also available in select Sunoco gas stations and convenience stores, as well. The newspaper now has the largest distribution footprint of any newspaper in South Florida. Get your copy at Winn-Dixie stores, Publix supermarkets, select Walgreens, CVS stores, Sunoco gas stations, Wal-Mart stores and hundreds of other locations throughout the tri-county area.
Palm Beach County
Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Shores police are seeking information on the whereabouts of two girls who disappeared without a trace on Friday, Jan, 29. Myah Knighton-Black, 14, was last seen between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m., when she was hanging clothes in the back yard of her home in Riviera Beach. She was wearing black jeans and a black Florida Marlins jersey. Charrida Smally, 15, of Palm Beach Shores, was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black sweater. Police believe the two friends may have run away together to South Beach in Miami-Dade County. Anyone who may have seen the girls is asked to contact Riviera Beach Police at 561-707-3596, or the Palm Beach Shores Police Department at 561-441-1749 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.
Jason Frayne Brown, 30, of Delray Beach, has been charged with one count of DUI manslaughter, two counts of DUI with serious injuries, one count of failing to render aid, and one count of hit and run in a fatal crash. On Jan. 30, he ran into the back of one car, pushing it into another vehicle. Five people were injured, and a 3-month-old toddler was killed. The accident happened near the intersection of Forest Hill and Haverhill roads near West Palm Beach. Police say Brown ran a red light, then slammed into the other cars. He left the crash scene on foot, but was caught a short distance away.
INJURED WORKER FIRED
Acting Deerfield Beach City Manager Burgess Hanson has fired employee Clifton Coach, who was injured on the job after Burgess decided not to give him a light-duty position until he recovers. The coach worked in the city’s parks department as an equipment operator. This may be legal, but there are other issues at play, and taxpayers should hold onto their wallets, because the lawsuits might be coming. When the details of this case are revealed, taxpayers might show up at city hall and polling places with pitchforks. I’m on the case, so stay tuned.
CHIEF FACING ETHICS COMPLAINT
Just after being cleared of wrongdoing in an administrative review related to his showing up at a vehicle accident alongside disgraced con-man Scott Rothstein, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley is facing an ethics complaint. The complaint was filed by watchdog blogger Chaz Stevens of Deerfield Beach. The complaint asks the state Commission on Ethics to investigate the $220 Adderley listed on his gift disclosure form for a roundtrip flight on a private jet to New York in 2008. Adderley flew to an NFL football game, on a jet owned by the Morse family, which owns automobile dealerships. He was there to watch the Miami Dolphins play the New York Jets. The flight cost thousands, but state law requires the value to be listed for that of a commercial flight, not the actual cost.
The long-awaited showdown between the residents of the city of Pompano Beach’s predominantly black neighborhoods and its Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is about to come to a head. Residents complain that their neighborhoods are being taken over and developed with projects in which they have no input and do not want. The city has hired former Fort Lauderdale CRA Director Kim Jackson-Briesmeister’s company to run its CRA. Jackson-Briesmeister is also a lobbyist for developers, and is the CRA director for the city of West Palm Beach. She has hired former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore and former Fort Lauderdale City Manager Floyd T. Johnson to work on redevelopment projects in Pompano Beach. Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc. is suing Fort Lauderdale over its redevelopment practices in black neighborhoods during the tenure of Jackson-Briesmeister, Moore and Johnson, and the agency is eyeing the situation in Pompano Beach.
RECALL FALLS SHORT
Lazaro Gonzalez’s effort to place a recall of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez on the ballot fell short by more than 3,000 of the required 52,108 signatures, as of the 4:30 p.m. deadline on Monday, Feb. 1. Alvarez has been under fire for his management, budget proposals and other issues.
NEW DIRECTOR NAMED
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez appointed interim director James Loftus, a 26-year veteran, permanently to head the Miami-Dade County Police Department. The position became available after former director Robert Parker retired, suddenly, on Oct. 30, 2009.