OFFICER TO BE CLEARED
Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Christopher Young-Tem apparently will be cleared in the vehicular death of Donald Perry, a pedestrian he struck while speeding to a call along Sistrunk Boulevard. His vehicle was unmarked and had no siren, but prosecutors are finalizing formal closeout documents, in which they concluded that Perry’s drinking impaired his judgment in walking into the street. They will also report that due to conflicting state statutes, there is no explicit requirement that Young-Tem’s unmarked police vehicle have a siren.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office has requested massive amounts of Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson’s emails. The move comes after a former Hutchinson supporter filed a complaint asking prosecutors to investigate whether she misused more than the $4.32 in city postage. Hutchinson used the postage to mail out invitations to a campaign fundraiser. At first, Hutchinson lied about using any taxpayers’ resources on her fundraisers, but relented in the face of confirmation and evidence from staff.
E. Pat Larkins, 66, has said goodbye to his years as an elected official after more than 25 years of service. He was Pompano Beach’s first black commissioner, and served several terms as mayor. One thing I can say about Pat is that he was never in the game to line his own pockets, and you never heard any untoward whispers about him. He is a shining example, and South Florida is better off for his service. We wish him well in his endeavors, and let’s just hope other public officials use his legacy as an example of what public service should be. Take care, Pat.
Tyrone McLeod, 29, was shot in the torso outside the B & C Nightclub on the corner of East Eleventh Street and Broadway in Riviera Beach. He underwent surgery and is expected to fully recover. Police are looking for suspects.
After more than 32 years with WPLG Channel 10, Dwight Lauderdale has left the anchor desk. When Lauderdale first joined the station in 1976, he was one of the few black reporters in the local market. He quickly became an anchor and has never looked back. He says he and his wife will travel and continue to be involved in charitable events.
The redevelopment of the Monterey and Sabal Palm golf courses in Tamarac were the subjects of much discussion, and the target of concerns leading up to commissioners’ approval of the projects last year. Those green spaces are being transformed into more than 700 homes. Questions about traffic congestion and the impact the project will have on area schools persist. Even so, with the help of lobbyists, the project is moving forward.
AT YOUR SERVICE
The South Florida chapter of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) has recog-nized Miami-Dade County’s director of finance, Rachel Baum, as the organization’s Public Administrator of the Year. Baum and other honorees received the official recognition at the group’s annual reception in Miami this week.
Prosecutors are not talking, but according to well-placed sources, Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Steve Gonot has been granted immunity in the case in which a complaint accused him of fraud. It was alleged that he improperly received reimbursements for travel to a League of Cities convention in Orlando earlier this year. While there, he allegedly also spent time at the vendor’s booth of his brother’s consulting firm, PMG Associates. Gonot does work for the firm occasionally, but the fact that a private investigator was hired to follow him may have changed the focus of the probe. Gonot has been described as a key witness in the ongoing public corruption investigations into city hall business deals, and there are questions about whether this is the reason for the complaint.
During this campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have been nothing short of disgusting. The latest remark from Sen. Clinton about remaining in the race because the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy wasn’t assassinated until June 1968 is disgusting! Anyone running for president faces any number of dangers, and for Clinton to repeatedly raise this issue is cause for concern about her emotional state. I wonder if the strain of the campaign and the reality that a black man has obliterated the vaunted Clinton political machine has taken its toll. In any event, her conduct is unacceptable, ridiculous, and just plain stupid.
STRIP CLUB VIOLENCE
A man who was thrown out of Coco's Lounge strip club in North Miami returned with a gun and shot the bouncer four times before fleeing. Police are not releasing much information, but witnesses say the unidentified culprit fired at least seven shots during the 3 a.m. melee on May 27. Four bullets hit the bouncer in the arms and legs.
Hollywood City Commissioner Beam Furr is under investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Broward State Attorney’s Office after he was caught allegedley using sick leave time and pay from his job in the library at Flanagan High School, in Pembroke Pines, to campaign for re-election. The agencies are also looking at whether or not he used his city position to obtain information from confidential city records on his campaign.
The first cricket tournament was held this week at the new stadium in Lauderhill, and the turnout was disappointing. Jules Schneider, one of the organizers of the event, said they will now embark on an aggressive marketing program to get the word out about future matches and events held there.
Lauderdale Lakes commissioners have expense accounts, and the people have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent. City Manager Anita Fain-Taylor refuses to explain why her staff has processed the expenditures, and this level of arrogance has only raised more suspicions. As I said before, you are not going to believe how some of this money is being used. This week’s example is Commissioner Hazelle Rogers, who has used her expense account to donate money to the Rev. Mack King Carter, pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Church, for his annual appreciation bonus. “Why?” is the question, and we are waiting on her explanation. I’ll let you know what she says.
‘TIS THE SEASON
Freda Stevens, is a candidate for the District 100 state House seat currently occupied by former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne’s son, Evan. The district includes parts of Dania Beach, and winds across the county westward through portions of Pembroke Pines, Davie, and Southwest Ranches. Unlike most politicians, Stevens is actually doing things. This weekend she is coordinating the free, ‘Take the Challenge Health Fair’ at Delevoe Park, located on Sistrunk Boulevard west of Fort Lauderdale. It’s refreshing to see a politician campaigning while at the same time providing something beneficial in the process. In other news, Ellen Brodsky, the longtime elections and voting rights activist, has announced she is running as an independent in the Broward Supervisor of Elections race, where she will try to unseat incumbent Brenda Snipes.
Suzan McDowell, CEO of Circle of One Marketing, is offering two free tickets to the “Shakin the Mess Outta Misery” stage play. The tickets go to the first person to call our office, at 954-356-9360, with the correct name of the South Florida Times’ new radio program, “Elevating the Dialogue with the South Florida Times.’’ The play is sponsored by the World Literacy Crusade of Florida Girl Power program, and directed by the organization’s founder and president, Thema Campbell. The play tells the story of an African-American girl growing up in the Deep South during the 1940s, and how older black women mentored her into womanhood. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, at the Byron Carlyle Theatre in Miami Beach. For information, call 305-576-3790.