The investigation into how “scholarship” money collected by the Broward Black Elected Officials, Inc. was actually spent is ongoing, but the probe may be headed down another road. According to sources, prosecutors are asking questions about money solicited from firms that had measures pending for a vote before the Lauderdale Lakes City Commission at the time. At one point, all members of that city’s commission belonged to the group, and commissioners Hazelle Rogers and Levoyd Williams were senior officers in the organization.
Margaret Haynie Birch, chairwoman of the Sistrunk Historical Festival, will soon celebrate her 70th birthday. Instead of accepting gifts, she is asking that donations be made to the Sistrunk Historical Festival Scholarship Fund. I hope that others will follow her noble gesture. The bash will take place Saturday, April 26, 2008 at The Penthouse, which is located at 4322 N. State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, from 4 to 8 p.m. Call 954-735-0687 for more information.
A number of people have inquired about having the South Florida Times delivered to their favorite barber shop, beauty salon, or church each week. The newspaper is in the process of having its circulation audited, and therefore will no longer provide free newspapers. All distributions are paid, and for businesses, getting 50 papers delivered for your customers costs only $12.50 per week. For more information, please contact our
circulation coordinator, Robert Beatty II at 954-356-9360.
KIDDIE PORN ARREST
Daniel Eassey, 49, of Deerfield Beach, is being held on $180,000 bail after being arrested for possessing 18 photos of adults having sex with children. Acting on a tip, Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators found them at his home, and have now seized his computer
after Eassey admitted they were emailed to him. Book’ em, Dano!
It’s over. Sen. Hillary Clinton has lost the race to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee to Sen. Barack Obama, but she continues to throw slime. Now it’s affecting a lot of other people. Radio personalities Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley have apparently fallen out over the Clinton vs. Obama debate. Smiley’s kissing up to Clinton has resulted in his losing credibility and the support of many people across the nation. Joyner announced this week that Smiley would be leaving the show. Good. Here locally, Alan Brown, president of the Broward chapter of the Democratic Black Caucus, announced the organization would hold a press conference in front of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings’ Fort Lauderdale office, calling on him to reconsider his support of Clinton. Similar incidents are taking place all over the country, and it’s clear Clinton intends to see to it that Obama loses, at all costs. This is disgraceful. Instead of behaving like a political witch whose broomstick has run out of gas, she should exit gracefully, because it’s over.
The Rev. Mack King Carter and his wife, Patricia, are suing MetLife as well as several other companies for more than $1 million, alleging that they have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that were invested through the firms. The investments were made through former broker Byron S. Rainner, who is now serving time in federal prison for defrauding the Fulton County, Ga. Sheriff Department in an investment scheme, unrelated to the Carter lawsuit.
Mae Smith, president of the St. Georges Civic Association in Lauderhill, is hot under the collar with Broward County District 9 Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion. Smith contends that the commissioner has failed to respond to area residents on any number of issues, and when he did show up at a recent meeting, he showed no respect by giving a campaign speech instead of addressing their issues. At another meeting, she says he sent a staff person to speak on his behalf, and that staffer talked about his campaign as well. Now the association wants to know if it is proper for a county employee to campaign for his or her boss, while working.
In the midst of skyrocketing property insurance, higher taxes, escalating costs for municipal services, a bad economy, and dwindling jobs, the geniuses in Deerfield Beach have implemented crippling increases in fees for services, including water bills. To make matters worse, the politically influential Century Village retirement development has been spared the increases. Century Village residents already pay lower rates than others in the city, and this thing smells like a rat. Elections will be held next year and hopefully voters will not surround city hall with pitch forks, but they should send any commissioners who have supported this nonsense packing.
IT’S A SMALL WORLD
The Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, is a good man. For years, he has counseled me on my errant ways, and we have debated politics and just about everything else. We are both from the same area around Lake City, South Carolina. While discussing the reunions that will take place in that area over the coming months, we discovered that we are related, on both sides of our families! After he recovered from the shock, I told him that now I have an excuse to come to his church events…and eat up his food.
For several years, Pablo Martinez Gehr, 31, completed the income tax returns for his fellow parishioners at St. Brendon Catholic Church in Miami-Dade County, at no charge. He claimed he was a volunteer Internal Revenue Service tax preparer. Apparently, it was a lie, and he has now been charged with 19 counts of forgery and one count of fraud. It was allegedly discovered that Gehr was forging signatures to have tax refunds diverted to bank accounts he set up. When confronted with the whereabouts of the refunds, he would give the victims only a small portion of their
money. The Miami-Dade Police Department estimates he defrauded his victims of more than $191,000 over the past several years.
Three years ago, Broward voters approved slots at horse tracks and jai-alai frontons under a promise of good-paying jobs and money that would flow into neighborhoods for new homes and more. To date, the Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park in Pompano Beach reported to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering that it has earned $99 million in slot revenue. The Mardi Gras Gaming in Dania Beach made $62 million, and Gulfstream Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach has taken in $30 million. As for those surrounding communities, they have not gotten a dime. So much for promises.
ELGIN JONES. EJones@SFLTimes.com