Former Gov. Jeb Bush is not mincing words over his desire to be Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice. During a recent interview, Bush said he doubts, however, that he will get the call.
A GREAT CAR
At its annual Earth Day event, Boynton Beach unveiled solar energy projects taking place in the city and electric two vehicle re-charging stations. The city also had a Tesla Model S on display. Tesla is an electric car manufacturer based in California that has developed an innovative electric motor the size of a watermelon. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 mph faster than most other cars, including Corvettes and Porsches. The Model S is a midsize luxury sedan that has a top travel range of 300 miles per charge. Tesla has several dealerships in South Florida, where it sells the Tesla Roadster, Model X, and Model S. The Model S starts at around $75,000 and it is one very nice and fast car.
Palm Beach County
The corruption-plagued Boynton Beach Police Department is considering a merger with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Police Chief Matthew Immler is cool to the idea but city commissioners are forging ahead to hire a consultant to evaluate the pros and cons of a merger. In the end, Boynton has budget issues and a merger will take place. Count on it.
Peter Antonacci, the newly appointed interim Palm Beach County state attorney, has fired some prosecutors and reassigned others. The operations and functions in the agency are being restructured. Antonacci was selected by Gov. Rick Scott to replace Michael McAuliffe who resigned to take a private sector job. Antonacci has said he will not run for the position.
John Dimassino, 54, is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bond after being arrested on multiple counts of sexual battery on underage boys more than a decade ago. The alleged victims, now in their 20s, told police Dimassino molested them when they were around 11 years old. They also allege that he showed them pornographic movies and magazines. Dimassino attempted suicide when he was first confronted about the allegations last year.
CUTS LIKE A KNIFE
Michael Bornstein began work as Lake Worth’s city manager last week. By week’s end he had fired Assistant City Manager Kathie Margoles and eliminated the city’s Office of Management and Budget. Bornstein was hired to replace Susan Stanton, who was fired last December. He is reorganizing some operations and more cuts are on the way.
Riviera Beach Police Officer Lee Ann Schneider signed the name of her sergeant, Pat Galligan, on dozens of arrest reports, property receipts and evidence cards and was charged on 172 counts of forgery and official misconduct. Now she has been found not guilty on all counts Her attorney told jurors she was following orders and that she never knew what she was doing may have violated the law. Schneider could have faced a minimum mandatory 28 years in prison if she had been convicted on all 172 counts.
Florida Atlantic University may close its campuses in Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale. Low attendance and $25 million in budget cuts are to blame. The campus closings are estimated to save the university about $3.5 million a year. A final decision is expected in June.
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating what happened to grants the federal agency provided to the city of Deerfield Beach. The city awarded the grants to community organizations but provided little, if any, oversight of how the money was used. It appears to be yet another example of mismanagement in the administration of City Manager Burgess Hanson. Stay tuned.
HOLD ON THERE
A shareholder lawsuit has been filed seeking to block BB&T bank’s acquisition of Fort Lau- derdale-based BankAtlantic. Attorney J. Phillip Max filed the lawsuit on behalf of BankAtlantic shareholders who are alleging the deal undervalues the bank’s shares, while granting CEO Alan B. Levan and other senior executives hefty non-compete payments and severance packages worth about $11 million.
Former state Sen. Mandy Dawson pleaded guilty to federal income tax evasions charges this week. Dawson, 55, was arrested in July related to payments she received from Republican lobbyist Dr. Alan Mendelsohn in 2004 and 2005. Dawson now lives in Daytona Beach but spent 16 years in the Legislature representing Broward and Palm Beach counties until being forced out by term limits.
Prosecutors in the Broward State Attorney’s Office are expected to charge Democratic party official Percy Johnson with several counts of theft. Johnson was treasurer of the Democratic Executive Committee of Broward County’s Council of Club Presidents. He admitted writing checks to himself from the group’s accounts. He is also accused of failing to deposit cash collected for dues and other items into its bank account.
Attorneys Roderick Vereen, Omar Malone and Michele Samaroo have filed papers to challenge Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle in the primary. Fernandez-Rundle held the post since first being appointed to take over from Janet Reno who went on to become the nation’s first female U.S. Attorney General in 1992. Fernandez-Rundle won election to the post in 1993 and has won re-election since. Malone and Samaroo are write-in candidates who won’t participate in the primary but whose names will appear on the fall ballot.
Vernell Reynolds, 46, former president of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $210,000 from the organization dating back to 2008. Reynolds was indicted on 16 counts of wire and tax fraud in January. She was elected president of the organization in 2005 and used the group’s debit card to take money out of its bank accounts.
Photo: Elgin Jones