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The Miami-Dade School Board’s recent superintendent selection, Alberto Carvalho, 44, could be in a real mess. New e-mails have surfaced that appear to indicate he had a romantic relationship with former Miami Herald reporter Tania deLuzuriaga, who covered the district. Carvalho denied a romantic relationship with the reporter after some emails between him and the reporter were leaked to board members last month. He claimed they were doctored. But new emails have surfaced, and they appear to contradict his previous denials. If proven authentic, they raise questions about his truthfulness and integrity, and could jeopardize his new job, which is expected to pay him over $275,000 annually.
More information has come to light over an incident in which law enforcement officers entered the home of 77-year-old civil rights leader John Green and his wife, with weapons drawn, on Sept. 23. I regret the error, but instead of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Squad (as I reported last week), the deputies involved were actually from BSO’s Tamarac district. The deputies burst into Green’s home, with guns drawn, to serve an arrest warrant on their grandson, 27-year-old Anthony Green, who allegedly failed to return wheels he had rented from a tire store. The grandson had stopped making payments on the wheels. While Anthony Green had not lived with his grandparents for nearly a year, BSO said the grandparents’ address is the one listed on the grandson’s driver’s license. Deputies also had a tip that he was inside the home. The entire matter was investigated by BSO’s internal affairs unit, which closed out the matter this week after finding no wrongdoing. John Green has requested copies of the warrant, and other information, because he says he could not find any record of a warrant for his grandson’s arrest in court files.
Earlier this year, an independent audit could not account for $16,400 in the city of Deerfield Beach’s $12 million, much-delayed, public works project. Mayor Al Capellini and some city commissioners brushed it off as peanuts, which is ridiculous. Deerfield Beach’s city hall continues to reek of scandal, even amid several ongoing criminal probes. All the while, residents are burdened with crippling increases for water and other services, but commissioners believe the $16,400 is not worthy of concern. If they truly believe this, why don’t they replace the money from their salaries? In any event, there are now questions about the accuracy of the information city staff provided to the auditors, and whether or not it was complete. Not to worry, though, because prosecutors with the Broward State Attorney’s Office are on top of it.
A DONE DEAL
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved and authorized the sale of WTVJ NBC-6 television station to the Post Newsweek Corporation, which is the parent company of ABC affiliate WLPG Channel 10. The only remaining hurdle is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is also expected to approve the deal. Post Newsweek has said there will be some consolidation of operations, which has raised speculation about job cuts. A number of people, including former Fort Lauderdale NAACP President William McCormick, Jr. have expressed concern about the pending sale, citing the possibility of job losses and reduced minority news coverage. Once completed, the sale will give Post-Newsweek two TV stations in the South Florida market.
Joel Anthony McPherson, 28, of Pembroke Pines, is in custody after reportedly admitting that he shot into a crowd of people this past weekend. Two women and a man were hit at a party in Hallandale Beach. The senseless attack followed an argument. Thankfully, all the victims are expected to survive their injuries. McPherson is being held on multiple counts of aggravated assault and aggravated battery, as well as weapons violations.
The long arm of the crime laboratory has caught up with at least two accused rapists in as many weeks, and more arrests could be on the way. DNA laboratory testing led to the arrest of Deerfield Beach native Steven Feagin, 38, after tests linked him to armed rapes in 1993 and 1995, in Illinois. Feagin was attending the University of Illinois on a football scholarship at the time. His DNA also matched evidence from the 2007 rape of a Pompano Beach woman. Then there is Alfredo Hernandez, 27, who is already serving time in state prison for aggravated battery. Hernandez was charged in a 2003 sexual assault in Jupiter, after evidence taken from that crime scene matched his DNA. In that case, a woman was snatched from a sidewalk by two men, and dragged into the woods, where she was raped for hours.
A federal jury returned a verdict in favor of Celeste Bruno, 41, in her sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Monroe County. Bruno alleged that Commissioner and former Mayor Charles “Sonny” McCoy sexually harassed her. The 80-year-old McCoy was accused of telling Bruno, who was his executive assistant for 13 months in 2005 and 2006, humiliating jokes and details of his raunchy sexual encounters. McCoy lost his reelection bid in August, and denies the accusations. Still, the jury awarded Bruno $38,000 in lost wages, moving expenses and $10,400 for emotional distress. This old geezer should be ashamed of himself.
LUXURY CON MAN
Brett Cormier, 47, the owner of four Procida Tile stores that cater to rich people in St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties, has been jailed on fraud charges. Police say he swindled nearly $2 million from investors in his businesses. He allegedley spent the money on lap dances at strip clubs, expensive jewelry and lavish vacations instead of opening new stores. Book’em, Dano!
The scuttlebutt in the Broward County Governmental Center surrounds the future of the city of West Park. With budget cuts, less revenue from the state, foreclosures, and falling real estate prices, plus the increase in the Homestead exemption, the city may not be able to remain afloat by itself. City Manager Russell Benford has completed this year’s budget, but next year will be touchy. The time has come for the state Legislature to act, and to begin the process of merging West Park with the Town of Pembroke Park. It makes sense, and only racism will prevent it from happening.
IDENTITY THIEVES ARRESTED
Federal indictments have been unsealed against four Broward residents accused of fraud and identity theft. Prosecutors say Fitzroy Carter, 30, of Plantation; Kearn Matthew, 23, of Lauderhill; Tabitha Castro, 25, of Pompano Beach; and Franz Gayle, 32, of Sunrise stole the identities of victims in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, then went on a $300,000 spending spree. If convicted on all counts, each one could face 20 years in prison.
Incumbent Republican Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti has rolled out a series of TV ads. His Democratic opponent, North Bay Village Police Chief Scott Israel, is expected to do the same in the coming weeks. To date, not much attention has been paid to this race, but expect it to heat up, and rather quickly. Both candidates have been reaching out to black leaders for their support, and we should know who is backing each of them soon enough. Crime is a blistering issue, and therefore so is this election. So pay attention and vote.
Pictured above: Elgin Jones