A federal judge in Miami has ruled labor unions have the right to challenge Gov. Rick Scott's executive order requiring state employees to be drug-tested. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the challenge on behalf of Jeanette Wynn, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union which represents thousands of state employees.

Palm Beach County

David Thomas Austin, 28, of Lake Worth, employed by the city of Boynton Beach, was arrested on allegations of stealing city equipment and pawning the items. He is charged with grand theft, dealing in stolen property and using a false name to pawn goods. The specific items he is accused of stealing have not been released and the investigation is ongoing. 

Todd Wilson Bush, a 35-year-old teacher at Lake Worth High School, has been charged with possession of child pornography and attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a child. Authorities allege Bush asked a woman to find an underaged girl to have sex with him. He offered to pay $120. The woman told him she did know someone but she in fact reported his request to police. A sting was set up and, through a series of text message exchanges, Bush allegedly arranged to meet a woman and her daughter behind a strip mall to complete but he canceled. The reason has not been stated. The woman was an undercover police officer. Bush was arrested the following day at the high school where he works.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a woman who they believe used an identification and bank card stolen from a car during a burglary to attempt to withdraw money from the owner’s bank account. It happened on Oct. 21 at the Bank of America in the Pine Trail Plaza in West Palm Beach. The woman had a child in a baby stroller with her at the time and was photographed on bank surveillance cameras. She is believed to have left in a gray compact car. Police are asking anyone with information on the identity of the suspect to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.

Jon Rashotsky was a top agent with Mizner Grande Realty, a Boca Raton company known for its high-end luxury listings. He was fired last week and sued for allegedly having an estimated $1 million in 17 clients’ deposits diverted from an escrow account to private accounts. Police are investigating.

Broward County

Michael McGruder, 27, of Fort Lauderdale, is charged with using a fraudulent credit card to purchase thousands of dollars worth of copper wire. An electrical supply company reported McGruder to police after $6,500 in copper wire was delivered to McGruder and later finding out the credit card used was fraudulent. McGruder was arrested when he placed a second order for copper wire.

Lamont Mayweather, 25, has been arrested and authorities are still looking for Charles T. Moye, 25, in the robbery and murder of Lataurus Randall. Randall and his cousin, Melvin Philpart, were golfing at the Deerfield Country Club on Jan. 13 when two men jumped out of the bushes and robbed them. The men jumped a fence and ran off into the Allwood Homes neighborhood located next to the golf course. Randall, who was shot, died the next day. Police are asking anyone with information about this case to call Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.

Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman and Police Chief Frank Adderley have deployed an innovative strategy to fight crime. They are using the Peace Keeper, a decommissioned armored vehicle that has been outfitted with sophisticated surveillance and recording equipment. It is a highly visible, fully marked police vehicle. Its lettering informs people they are under surveillance. The Peace Keeper is being parked in locations known for criminal activity and it has already resulted in the arrest of several drug dealers in the Dorsey Riverbend neighborhood. When the Peace Keeper is deployed, criminals know they are under surveillance and they scatter from the particular area. 

Miami-Dade County


Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd., a Bahamian company that represents the late Bob Marley’s widow Rita and nine of his children, filed a lawsuit against the late reggae superstar’s half-brother Richard Booker. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami seeks to have the businessman stop using the family name, music and likeness unless he agrees to a licensing agreement. He said he intends to fight the lawsuit.

North Miami Mayor Andre D. Pierre will attend the grand opening of a Smash Burger fast food restaurant on Dec. 20 in his city. The rapidly growing hamburger chain is based in Denver. Its signature products are thick hamburgers quick-pressed or “smashed” on superheated grills. Smash Burger, founded in 2007, has 140 locations around the country, including one in Coral Springs. Other locations are scheduled to open in South Florida in 2012.


Attorney Sean O’Connor has filed a lawsuit against his former client, Jenna Maldonado, claiming she is refusing to pay his legal fees. Maldonado, 29, is the daughter of former Homestead mayor and current Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell. Maldonado, who was a reserve Homestead police officer, was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm in 2010. She was accused of going to a house party while off-duty and pulling her service weapon on her boyfriend. Maldonado was fired by the department. O’Connor defended her in the criminal case and was able to get the state attorney’s office to drop the charges. He said she refused to pay $2,500 in outstanding legal fees.

Photo: Elgin Jones