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The long running lawsuit against church pastor Rev. Mack King Carter is moving forward. Broward County circuit court judge Ronald J. Rothschild has denied a motion filed by the plaintiffs (Kevin Mitchell and other former board members of Fort Lauderdale-based New Mount Olive Baptist Church) that sought to have church attorney Eugene Pettis removed from case. At the same time, Rothschild also ruled the lawsuit that accuses Carter and his wife of improperly taking church funds for their own personal use will proceed.
Paula Russell, a long time prosecutor who is running for the democratic nomination for Palm Beach County state attorney, is alleging that her opponent, Michael McAuliffe, and his campaign manager, Mike Edmondson, may have committed crimes. She is asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida's Elections Commission and Commission on Ethics to investigate whether Edmondson, who is the spokesperson for outgoing state attorney Barry Krischer, has been campaigning for McAuliffe while on duty and at work. Both McAuliffe and Edmondson deny the accusations.
Valjean Marguriet, an embattled 27-year veteran reading teacher with the Broward school district has resigned her position amid allegations that she regularly showed up in the classroom drunk. The Pompano Beach High School teacher had been on leave since Jan. 14, pending the outcome of a public hearing that was scheduled this week, where superintendent Jim Notter was expected to recommend that she be fired.
CASH STRAPPED CHURCH
With a pending lawsuit that seeks to foreclosure on its vast amount of properties, Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, one of Fort Lauderdale’s largest black churches is facing new problems. The Internal Revenue Service has filed multiple liens against the church seeking unpaid taxes that total $33,079.85.
The Florida Democratic Party has been sending out emails criticizing Sen. Mel Martinez for his pushing to have the John McCain for President campaign spend advertising dollars with Hispanics. Talk about the footstool calling the boot white! Florida Democrats were the targets of a boycott implemented by black-owned media outlets in 2004 after the state party decided there was no need to do any business with the black owned media. The Democrats would be better served by getting their own house in order, instead of lobbing nonsensical barbs at Martinez. While Martinez should be advocating for all ethnic groups, the Democrats lack any credibility whatsoever, on this issue.
Lt. Lawrence Brush, a commander with Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, who had been in charge of Belle Glade, South Bay, Pahokee and other high crime communities located on the western edge of the county, has been fired. The 18-year veteran was let go after a three month internal affairs probe concluded he spent too much time at a restaurant instead of patrolling, disobeyed orders, and lied to investigators. A GPS device was secretly installed in his squad car to track his whereabouts over the course of the investigation.
City manager George Gretsas did not return calls, but surveillance cameras have reportedly been placed throughout city buildings and GPS tracking devices installed in vehicles to monitor secretaries, code inspectors, police officers and other employees. Code inspectors are also now required to meet quotas established for conducting inspections and issuing citations. At this same time, city police officers are receiving counseling slips if they do not write a certain number of traffic tickets during their shifts. In an unrelated development, a lawsuit has been filed in Broward County circuit court by the Fraternal Order of Police union, aimed at gaining access to years of email and text messages sent between Gretsas and other managers.
STUN GUN RAPE
Two teens, ages 13 and 15, have been arrested in the case where they allegedly broke into a woman’s home and attacked her with a stun gun before raping her. Her infant child, who was in an adjacent bedroom was unharmed, but the home was ransacked and valuables stolen.
Less than a week after the last of Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade’s restaurants, D. Wade's Sports Grill, closed, his partners in the venture, Richard von Houtman and Mark Rodberg, have filed suit against him in Miami-Dade circuit court. The complaint alleges breach of contract and claims that Wade did not do enough to promote the business.
Law enforcement officers from around South Florida participated in a course offered by Tactical Energetic Entry Systems, Inc. on the use of explosives to gain entry into a building to take down criminals. The 8-day session took place at the site of the old Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, where more than 50 minor explosives were detonated. The training is aimed at situations that may involve school shootings or hostage situations.
While it happens during every local elections cycle, the stealing of campaign signs may have dipped to a new low. More than 300 signs that were placed in private yards by the campaign of former state representative Chris Smith, who is seeking the district 29 state senate seat, were stolen and then dumped on the side of a roadway. A suspect is being questioned, and reportedly said he was paid to remove the signs. Wait until you see who is allegedly behind this stupidity.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) team has arrested Paulette Noble, 62, of Tamarac on elderly abuse charges. Noble is accused of placing a sheet over the head of a 63-year-old woman whom she was caring for while she worked for a private agency at the Delray Medical Center. She then allegedly struck the woman about the head and face, numerous times. The attack was caught on video surveillance and Noble is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on one count of abusing an elderly person. The third-degree felony could impose up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if she is convicted.
The cities of Delray Beach, Lake Worth and other municipalities are hurting financially, so they are considering doing away with their own police departments and turning over law enforcement duties to the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is already facing budget issues of his own and citizens are taxed to the limit, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Imogene Ferguson has announced she is running for a city of Sunrise commission seat. Ferguson is a businesswoman and long time community and political activist who is hoping to capitalize on the city’s growing number of black voters. If she is successful, she will follow in the footsteps of Broward school board member Phyllis Hope, who was elected in 2006 to a district that includes a large swath of the city.