TARGETED FOR TINT
Like an increasing number of motorists, I was recently ticketed for allegedly having a window tint on my car that is darker than the law allows. The company that installed the tint insist it is legal. My case was dismissed, but I was facing almost $400 in fines, which is ridiculous. The cop boasted how he sometimes gives one ticket for each tinted window, but was giving me a break by issuing just one citation for unsafe equipment. I have now come to learn that the callous practice of issuing multiple tickets for each tinted window is commonplace. Most car owners have no idea what tint shade is legal, and expect companies to only sell legal products. The law should place more emphasis on the installation companies, instead of picking the pockets of unsuspecting consumers. I have asked state representatives Hazelle Rogers, D-Lauderdale Lakes; and Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, to take up this issue. I have also sent a request to state Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale. I will let you know how they respond.
FBI BRIBERY PROBE
The FBI is investigating city of Fort Pierce Human Resources Director Mazella D. Smith’s alleged bribery attempt on former City Commissioner Tom Perona. Details of the exact nature of the allegations have not been released, and agents have asked city officials not to disclose them. Smith has been with the city for over 20 years. She was placed on paid leave Monday, May 24. Herattorney, Cathleen Scott, said the allegations are in retaliation for her exposing racial discrimination in the city’s workplace. In a likely unrelated event, Perona was removed from office by a judge last week who ruled that his failure to resign from the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority violated the state’s “resign to run” law, which made him ineligible for the city commission office.
ANOTHER FIRED MANAGER?
Homestead City Manager Sergio Purrinos could be fired at the next city council meeting. Purrinos has only been on the job since November 2009, but Councilman Jimmie L. Williams III has requested that City Clerk Elizabeth Sewell place an item on the agenda to discuss his performance. Williams once supported Purrinos, but is now joining Councilwoman Wendy Lobos in criticizing his performance and management style. The last straw came before the Monday, May 23 council meeting, when Purrinos withheld backup materials on a controversial lease of city land to a charter school company just minutes before the start of the meeting.
Fallen politico Josephus Eggelletion is in a federal prison in Georgia as Inmate 91181-004. In addition to one count of unlawful compensation, Broward State Attorney Michael Satz could have hit the disgraced former Broward county commissioner with numerous other charges. Due to his “cooperation” and “information” he provided on friends and other politicians, Eggelletion got a slap on the wrist, in the form of a 30-month sentence. But has Satz been duped? In the next few weeks, closeout memos will be released in the Eggelletion case. Prosecutors will highlight information that the former leader provided to justify the soft hand he was dealt. But sources say new allegations about Eggelletion’s alleged transgressions may be on the horizon, and this could prove embarrassing to Satz.
RUMORED LAND GRAB
After 45 years of promises, the Florida Department of Transportation is finally moving forward with construction of a new bridge on North Dixie Highway in Deerfield Beach. The bridge will be built over the Hillsboro Canal and FEC railroad tracks at the Broward/Palm Beach County line. Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, who represents the predominantly black areas surrounding the project, is concerned that homes could be seized for the construction. For the most part, the land for the flyover has already been secured. Blacks own hundreds of acres of prime waterfront property just west of Dixie Highway, on the southern banks of the Hillsboro Canal. Developers want that land, not for the flyover, but to build hotels, a train station and retail shops.
HUSBAND GETS LIFE
Melvin Saulsberry, 51, reached a deal on Wednesday, May 26 to plead guilty to the 2009 murder of his wife. In exchange, he will not get the death penalty, but will serve life in prison with no chance of parole. Believing she was seeing another man, Saulsberry stabbed his wife to death in Lauderhill on July 12, 2009, in front of their 19-year-old daughter. He also cut the hand of his daughter, who tried to intervene, before fleeing. During a 2005 incident, he set the family’s home on fire, beat, then choked his wife over similar suspicions of infidelity. This guy clearly had issues, and ended up served two years in prison for those offenses.
Palm Beach County
SCAM ARTIST CONVICTED
During a Monday, May 23 court hearing, Terry Jean Kohlman, 55, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing over $3 million from her employer, Palm Beach Medical Group, over an 8-year period. She faced a maximum of 30 years. Prosecutors say that as an administrator, Kohlman forged signatures and wrote hundreds of company checks to herself between 1999 and 2007. She spent the money on a lavish lifestyle that included exotic cars, jewelry and even plastic surgery. Book’em, Dano!
DOG KILLER CHARGED
Kenneth Hall, 39, has been charged in the knifing death of his pit bull dog. Hall is accused of cutting the dog’s throat several times with a pocket knife, then repeatedly stabbing the animal after it fought with another dog. The incident happened in West Palm Beach while he and his dog visited a friend’s home on Saturday, May 22. Those friends told police that Hall said he “loved the dog” and wanted to stop it from suffering and “put it out of its misery.” Whew!
Wednesday, May 26 marked the 10th anniversary of the shooting death of Lake Worth Middle School teacher Barry Grunow. The popular educator was gunned down at school by Nathaniel Brazill, who was then thirteen. Captured on surveillance video, Brazill told police it was an accident. Brazill, now 23, is serving a 28-year sentence, and will be eligible for parole this year.