Palm Beach County
Paul Fireman, former CEO of Reebok, and his wife Phyllis were cheated out of more than $50,000 by a couple they hired to work at their Palm Beach home, according to police. The billionaires hired Fernando and Maria Ferreira as head chef and housekeeper, respectively. The couple was provided with credit cards to buy supplies and to cover other expenses. An audit of the Firemans’ finances revealed questionable expenditures. It was discovered that the Ferreiras used the credit cards for personal expenses and to obtain cash, police said. Their son and daughter-in-law also used the credit cards to make unauthorized purchases, the report said. Fernando and Maria are facing fraud and theft-related charges.
Kevin Lee Campbell, 20, of Boca Raton was charged with selling marijuana near the campus of Lynn University and faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence if convicted. Campbell’s plight will be in the spotlight after the November election when a measure to legalize medical marijuana will be on the ballot. If it passes as expected, expect a push to empty state prisons of the people incarcerated for marijuana sales and possession charges.
WIFE KILLER CONVICTED
Slobodan Dragic, 49, of West Palm Beach was convicted of killing his wife and Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley immediately sentenced him to life in prison. Prosecutors said on Sept. 30, 2010, as his wife Jalena was preparing to leave for work, Dragic shot her in the back and fired another round into her head as she lay on the floor of their home. The couple had a tumultuous relationship and the murder occurred two weeks after Dragic was served with divorce papers. A neighbor told jurors Dragic had said he would kill his wife if she ever left him. One of the couple’s daughters, Suzana, testified against him.
Walmart has a small store located at 3312 N. University Drive in a shopping center in Sunrise. Now, the world’s largest retailer has purchased the entire shopping center for $3 million and will expand its store into a Super Walmart. The expansion is expected to create dozens of jobs during construction and more than 100 permanent positions when the larger store opens.
The Seminole Tribe of Indians has petitioned the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to designate 10.6 acres it owns in Davie as sovereign property. Approval of the application will take the land off the property tax rolls. Mayor Judy Paul and a majority of Davie city officials are opposed to the move. The property borders the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Stirling Road and State Road 7. The tribe purchased it in 2006 when it was home to the Stirling Road Mobile Home. Tribe officials have indicated they intend to build homes on the land but, if the sovereignty application is aproved, they are basically free to use it as they please.
A Broward Sheriff’s Office investigation into an auto theft led detectives to Franklin Lopez and gift cards he had in his possession that were purchased through the unsuspecting victims’ bank accounts, according to a BSO report. Deputies said when they pulled over Lopez while he was driving the stolen car, they found 20 Visa, Mastercard and American Express gift cards. He was also wanted on unrelated credit cards fraud warrants.
HOME FOR SALE
Former Chicago Bulls basketball star Scottie Pippen is selling his Fort Lauderdale waterfront home for $11.8 million. The property, which is located in the Harbor Beach section in the beach area, has six bedrooms, eight baths, three garages, a pool and a full-sized basketball court.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will cut more funds from the county’s library system. Officials lowered a special tax rate that funds the library system, which has resulted in a projected $20 million shortfall. Critics have complained libraries in minority neighborhoods have been unfairly affected by these cuts.
North Miami Beach Councilwoman Marlen Martell put forth a measure to fire City Attorney Darcee Siegel and the council voted 4-3 in favor of the termination. Siegel worked for the city for 17 years as an assistant city attorney before being appointed city attorney in 2008. Council members did not give specific reasons for firing Siegel, who is highly respected. She earned a $188,000 annual salary. Assistant City Attorney Dotie Joseph was appointed acting city attorney.
Mayor Jeff Porter and the other Homestead city officials were informed that the city’s police station is contaminated. Tests results confirmed the building, located at 4 South Krome Avenue, has high-levels of radon and mold. The facility also has other problems, such as leaking pipes, cracked walls and clogged plumbing. Last year, it was City Hall that was found to be contaminated, forcing a relocation to a temporary facility.
Jason McCain, 19, who was arrested in Broward County on outstanding child molestation warrants in Monroe County, was returned to Key West. He is accused of assaulting a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy left in his care at various times. The allegations came to light after the girl told her mother about the alleged incidents.
MEDIC IN TROUBLE
An internal audit could not determine what happened to narcotics that are missing from a Monroe County Fire-Rescue Department’s air ambulance hangar. But firefighter and flight medic Orlando Merced, 43, could be fired for failing to report the missing drugs immediately, as required. Monroe County Medical Director Dr. Sandra Schwemmer has already revoked his license to practice over that finding.
BOARD MEMBER ARRESTED
The Marathon Code Compliance Board member Alun Stephen Pearson was arrested on forgery charges. He is accused of signing the name of a 70-year-old man, who suffers from dementia, on a document. Authorities said Pearson obtained a duplicate copy of a boat title belonging to the man and forged his name on it, transferring ownership to himself. He also submitted two forged power-of-attorney documents to the Monroe County Tax Collector’s office, police said.