elgin_jones_web_13.jpgELECTION WATCH
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink will be the Democratic nominee for governor and she has chosen former Gainesville State Sen. Rod Smith as her running mate… A recent poll shows Gov. Charlie Crist, Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, with a 43 percent job approval rating, one of the lowest for a Florida governor in decades. This slide coincides with likely Republican nominee Marco Rubio moving past Crist in the polls in the general election. On the Democrat side of the Senate race, Congressman Kendrick Meek campaigned with popular former President Bill Clinton at rallies in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties on Monday, Aug.16. His opponent, Jeff Greene, sought to steal some of his thunder by campaigning in Meek’s backyard, Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, that same day. He appeared at the African Heritage Cultural Center, where he said he would donate his $174,000 salary to charity if elected.

Palm Beach County

The Town of Palm Beach has settled an age and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by Christine Brexel, a lieutenant in the fire department, for $157,500. Brexel sued in 2008 after she was passed over for promotion. As part of the settlement, she agreed to retire. Brexel, 52, had been with the department since 1995 and earned an annual salary of $102,957.

Sherrie Arlisa Payton, 18, was arrested after she was caught allegedly shoplifting at the Wal-mart at 4275 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach, around midnight Friday, Aug. 13. Authorities said security cameras taped her stuffing $38 worth of items into a baby stroller she was pushing. Payton was babysitting the 1-year-old in the stroller and another 4-year-old at the time. She was charged with two counts of child neglect and one count of petty theft.

Broward County

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department held its annual “Back to School Backpack Giveaway” this week. The event took place at several public housing developments in the city, with students being provided backpacks and other school supplies. This year’s fundraising campaign was spearheaded by Officers Aaron Wright and Debora Burke, who brought in donations and also gave their own money to purchase the supplies.

Dave Montney, a 59-year-old minister and advocate for the homeless was found murdered in his Pompano Beach apartment on the night of Friday, Aug. 13. Montney's black 2002 Volkswagen Beetle was found abandoned in the 2400 block of Hammondville Road in Pompano Beach. Montney was known for offering prayer and assistance to the less fortunate and for volunteering at several church-run shelters. Anyone with information on Montney's death is being asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers, 954-493-8477.

Lauderhill City Commissioner Dale Holness has snared the support of the dean of black politicians in Broward County, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, in the Broward County district 9 commission race. Holness is challenging incumbent Albert Jones, along with Aude Sicar, Marie K. Leon, Carlton Moore and Margaret Bates.

The city of Deerfield Beach laid off more than 100 workers recently. Instead of working with unions and the affected employees to bring about a smooth transition in a difficult time, city officials surprised employees by letting them go without prior notice. Mayor Peggy Noland and the other city commissioners should have handled the matter differently instead of the indifference and lack of caring they demonstrated. Layoffs are taking place in numerous workplaces but only Deerfield Beach handled the task in such a callous manner. Among those receiving pink slips were Cassandra Moye and her supervisor, George Edmunds. Moye is the employee who was suspended and threatened with termination by Edmunds for not saying hello to Mayor Noland in 2009. In related news, long-time Assistant City Attorney Charles Seaman has resigned, though city officials are not saying why. Stay tuned, because I hear it’s a mess.

Former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, who is serving time in a federal prison in Georgia for public corruption, has been accepted into the prison’s substance abuse program. Eggelletion has also been assigned work as a prison barber. By being accepted into the Federal Bureau of Prisons substance abuse program, he will be eligible for a reduced sentence if he successfully completes the program.

The first 50 people to register as new fans and friends of the South Florida Times on Facebook will receive tickets for two to see the new movie Takers at a special premier on Saturday, Aug. 25.  This preview will take place at the AMC Sunset Place theater, 5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami. The action-packed suspense thriller stars Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Tip Harris and Chris Brown. After registering on Facebook, contact Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II at 954-356-9360 to receive tickets.

Miami-Dade County

A jury awarded former WSVN-Channel 7 healthcare reporter Marilyn Mitzel $937,000 in a gender and age bias lawsuit she filed against Sunbeam Television Corp. Mitzel had sought $2 million over her 2005 firing from the station, claiming that management thought she was too old to be on television. Mitzel, 56, was a 17-year veteran at Channel 7 and its highest-paid reporter, earning $158,000 annually, at the time. WSVN denied the allegations and vowed to appeal.

Homestead City Manager Sergio Purrinos has submitted his resignation. Four of the seven commission members voted to fire Purrinos at Monday’s city commission meeting, falling one short of the super majority of five required to end his contract. Commissioner Jimmie L. Williams III asked for a specially called meeting where only a simple majority vote was needed to fire him. That special meeting took placed on Wednesday, Aug. 17, and Purrinos was let go as manager. He will return to his former position of director of development services. Purrinos had been criticized for not returning calls, being non-responsive and failing to keep commission members abreast of city issues.

Elgin Jones may be reached at EJones@SFLTimes.com