Florida has 27 licensed gambling operations and if Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent has his way, there will be 28. Nugent is floating an idea to bring casino gambling to the Florida Keys Marathon Airport. State Rep. Ron Saunders, the Democratic House minority leader from Key West, is supportive of the idea and Neugent has discussed his proposal with Gov. Rick Scott. Neugent believes the gaming operation could generate revenue for infrastructure improvements and the local community.
Palm Beach County
Capt. Rick Curtis is the former West Palm Beach firefighter who was fired after being arrested and convicted for refusing to take a sobriety test during a traffic stop in January 2010. He says he was not drunk, but refused the test because he had a sore back. Judge Marni Bryson sentenced him to 3 days in jail. Curtis is one of several black firefighters who have pending racial discrimination lawsuits against the city saying they were denied promotions because of their race. His conviction was overturned after he appealed on the basis the judge allegedly had an undisclosed intimate relationship with a rival firefighter and union official in his department. City officials are still refusing to reinstate him to his old job.
BUTTER KNIFE BATTERY
Jeffery Waites, 57, of Lantana is facing aggravated battery charges after police say he allegedly threw a butter knife at his wife during a fight. The knife lodge in her face and when police arrived, she was lying on the floor bleeding. The woman was taken to the hospital and will survive her injuries.
Joy Widener, 51, of Boca Raton is facing multiple charges after being arrested for allegedly forging prescriptions at a dental office where she worked. She is facing two counts of prescription fraud, one count of organized scheme to defraud and one count of practicing medicine without a license. She had been allegedly forging prescriptions under the dentist’s name since at least 2009, according the police report. Records show Widener was convicted in 2002 and 2007 for similar prescription fraud incidents.
Goldfinger Gentleman's Club is closed and its owner says because he has had enough, he may shutter the strip club for good. Goldfinger’s opened in Riviera Beach in 2007 and has been the scene of countless violent acts. Last week shots rang out at the club again, and two people were shot, suffering non-life threatening injuries.
Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters is proposing a new ordinance banning saggy pants where underwear is exposed. Riviera Beach passed a broad ordinance in 2008, but a judge ruled it unconstitutional. The new ordinance would be restricted to city-owned buildings and on city property such as parks. Masters is giving the idea another look after state legislators passed a law banning the disgusting practice in Florida public schools.
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association union is holding an event to urge its members to leave the Republican Party. The union is upset with Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican controlled state legislature for passing pension reforms and new laws restricting how union dues can be collected. Law enforcement officers have traditionally supported Republicans, but PBA vice president Jeff Marano say they are now urging members to switch their registrations and abandon the Republican Party. The party switch rally is scheduled to take place on July 16 at the PBA Union Hall, located at 2901 SW 26 Terr. in Fort Lauderdale, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staff from Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes office will attend to assist with the registration change forms.
Fort Lauderdale Police cited Broward Sheriff’s Office detective Carol Singstock, 47, for hitting a parked car and leaving the scene in her unmarked BSO vehicle. The accident occurred on June 12 when a pizza delivery person was stopped while making a delivery at a residence in Singstock’s Fort Lauderdale neighborhood at 1 a.m. According to the police report, the delivery person waved her to go around his stopped vehicle and Singstock hit the rear corner of the car and then swiped the front corner. Instead of stopping, she kept going and the delivery person jumped in his car and followed her to her driveway, where she was parked. Police were called and BSO officials were summoned to the scene. Singstock was issued citations, but a sobriety test was not given and she was not arrested.
Todd Sorren of Coral Springs confessed and pleaded guilty to molesting his adoptive daughter when she was 13-years-old. The girl is now 17, and the abuse came to light after she confided in a school principal about what happened. Sorren married the child’s mother and later adopted her. Her mother has since gotten a divorce. Sorren was facing over 200 years in prison, but accepted a plea agreement of 15 years and 20 years probation.
David Hebert, the former assistant city manager of Fort Lauderdale now holds the same job in Homestead. Hebert has been hired by city manager George Gretsas, who himself is Fort Lauderdale’s former city manager. In Fort Lauderdale, the two had testy relationships with some commissioners and were feared by department heads. Homestead should be interesting if Team Gretsas implements its brand of management there. However, they may have to deal with a mini scandal brewing in Fort Lauderdale first. According to several sources, Fort Lauderdale’s new city manager, Lee Feldman, had a security sweep conducted on his new digs and several security cameras were discovered. The question of who installed the devices remains.
Homestead city council members voted 4-3 to approve a $250,000 settlement with former city manager Mike Shehadeh. Mayor Steve Bateman, Vice Mayor Judy Waldman, and Councilman Elvis Maldonado voted against the settlement. Shehadeh was terminated in February 2010 after a private investigative firm concluded he visited risqué websites, solicited campaign support for former Mayor Lynda Bell, and exchanged steamy text messages with his subordinate, Johanna Faddis. Shehadeh filed suit and denied the allegations. Shehadeh’s attorney alleged that he was fired because of his race and for his cooperation with an ongoing probe into city hall corruption.
Photo: Elgin Jones