Some nutcase mailed an envelope containing a white powder to the Boca Raton campaign office of U. S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale. Thankfully, the powder was not life-threatening. It was a hoax but still disturbing. A staffer collected mail from a Deerfield post office box and returned to the office, where the letter was opened and the powder discovered. The letter contained insults aimed at West and discussed anthrax. That is despicable. Hopefully, the culprit will be caught very soon.
FORMER DEPUTY SUES
Jason Rosen, a former Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired because he is white. Rosen was charged with battery in 2007 after a video that wound up on YouTube shows him dragging a 13-year-old boy on the ground. The incident occurred at Eagle Academy, a county-operated boot camp for troubled youth. Rosen was a drill instructor at the camp and was fired after being charged. The program has since been shut down and the facility closed. Rosen was acquitted last month but Palm Beach County Sheriff Rick Bradshaw refused to reinstate him to the department. Rosen alleges that black employees have been reinstated after being cleared of charges and he was treated differently because of his race.
Bill Malone will become the new superintendent of the Palm Beach County school district, at least for the time being. Malone has been the acting superintendent and board members want him to hold on to the job until a national search for a replacement is completed in 2012. He will earn $210,000 a year plus benefits. Malone, who retired as the district’s chief operating officer, came out of retirement for the temporary assignment. He said he does not want the job long-term.
Miriam Oliphant is the former Broward Supervisor of Elections who was removed from office by then-Gov. Jeb Bush for incompetence in 2003. She paid for her mistakes — or at least we thought. Oliphant was recently hired as a guidance counselor at the Dave Thomas Education Center in Coconut Creek. Jim Notter, the hapless superintendent of the Broward school district, fired Oliphant last Friday but for no clear reason. There was an outcry that Oliphant may have received preferential treatment when she got the job over other candidates, but that was not established. Even if that was the case, Oliphant did nothing wrong. She applied for the position and had no control over the hiring process. But that didn’t matter to Notter, who got his own job even though he doesn’t have a doctorate. Based on the findings of a recent grand jury investigation into the school district operations, Notter should be embarrassed to fire anyone without addressing his own sorry performance.
Six men are in the running for the Fort Lauderdale city manager position but former Coral Springs manager Michael Levinson has the inside track. The other finalists are Pasquale Digiovanni, deputy city manager of San Antonio, Texas; Lee Feldman, city manager of Palm Bay; Matthew Fertal, city manager of Garden Grove, Calif.; James Hartmann, city manager of Alexandria, Va.; and Daniel Kleman, an assistant to the mayor of Jacksonville. Levinson, the only local finalist, is somewhat familiar with the city and his record in Coral Springs is generally viewed as a good one.
THE MAYOR’S RAP
Luther Campbell, the Miami native and rapper, is running for mayor of Miami-Dade County. Campbell is best known as the lead member of the 2 Live Crew rap group that peaked in the ’80s and ’90s. The group’s hits include Me So Horny, and a raunchy song that led then-Gov Bob Martinez to spearhead legislation that outlawed vulgar music lyrics in the state. Then Broward Sheriff Nick Navarro reacted by arresting drivers who were found listening to the song on their car radios and merchants who sold the record. Campbell, who was known as “Luke Skywalker” then and later “Uncle Luke,” took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on free speech grounds and won. Today, he is a 50-year-old husband, father and high school football coach who is also a candidate for political office.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER ARRESTED
Ricardo Brutus, the nephew and campaign manager of North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, has been charged with allegedly accepting a $4,000 bribe. Brutus served on several city advisory boards and had considerable influence in City Hall. The payment was allegedly made in exchange for Brutus agreeing to remove an item from the commission agenda. According to police, Brutus was videotaped taking the bribe during an undercover sting. An unnamed witness recorded numerous phone calls with Brutus allegedly discussing the bribe. This doesn’t look good for Pierre, who appointed Brutus to the city boards. North Miami Commissioner Scott Galvin initiated police interest into Brutus’ activities. Book ’em, Danno!
Miami-Dade police officer Joey Ganem, 47, was arrested by his own department and charged with two counts of possession of cocaine. He was taken into custody after internal affairs detectives said they witnessed him purchase cocaine in a Coconut Grove neighborhood. The 27-year veteran officer has been relieved of duty.
A Liberty City man was shot and killed around 9 p.m. Saturday by an assailant who remains at large. It happened at the Northwest 60th Street and Seventh Avenue intersection. Police say the victim and a friend were standing near a parked car when the hooded assassin approached them and fired one shot into the stomach of the victim. Authorities have not released the victim’s identity. They describe the shooter as 6 feet tall and wearing a long sleeve black shirt under a Kansas City Royals tee shirt at the time of the incident. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 305-471-8477.