Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mike Satz: Ethics Commission or Judge and Jury...hmmmmm???

Have you heard of Scott Brook??

Well, neither had I until a friend pointed me to a blog post by Buddy Nevins entitled:

“Corruption Case Snares Former Coral Springs Mayor”

Which can be read here.

Scott Brook is the former Mayor of Coral Springs, who up until September 2011 was running as a Democratic Candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 96 for Northwest Broward County open seat in the 2012 election.
Brook’s was a Coral Springs Commissioner from 2002-2006 and then was elected Mayor there in 2006 where he served until 2010.

Brook voluntarily ended his candidacy for the House seat in September, citing “family reasons”, but in the above,, post from November 17, 2011, Buddy Nevins indicates that Brook may have had other reasons to resign.

Those other reasons being a possible public corruption case being brought against him by Florida’s Ethics Commission for “gifts” he solicited in 2006 from the “dirty developers” Shawn and Bruce Chait, who have become infamous in Broward County for bribing political officials involved with their land development deals.  In essence, they were buying votes from local and other politicians and political players to ensure that their deals passed committee and commission votes.

Brooks is not the first and I am sure will not be the last to be named in the Chait Circle of Corruption, but what makes Brook’s interesting here for this post is the fact that Assistant State Attorney, Tim Donnelly, filed this complaint with the ethics commission, instead of prosecuting this political corruption criminally, after receiving information that in 2006 Brooks called the Chaits to borrow their 74-foot Viking Yacht for himself, family, and friends to view the Ft. Lauderdale Air Show and actually received from the Chaits their 27-foot boat instead At the time of Brook’s request to the Chaits, he was part of the Broward County Planning Council that was deciding upon one of the Chait’s land deals to build 931 homes on a 161-acre development.  Three weeks after asking and receiving the Chait’s boat he voted to approve that deal, effectively breaking Florida Ethics laws forbidding public officials from soliciting and accepting unauthorized compensation, as concluded by staffers who submitted their recommendation to the Florida Ethics Commission who will be considering the recommendation next month.

This is what we laymen call, asking for and accepting a bribe or in other words, he sold his vote on that land deal project for a boat ride, receiving unlawful compensation (which staffers valued at $750) for his official performance (the vote) with the land deal.

Unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior under F.S. 838.016 states:

(1)  It is unlawful for any person corruptly to give, offer, or promise to any public servant, or, if a public servant,  corruptly to request, solicit, accept, or agree to accept, any pecuniary or other benefit not authorized by law, for the past, present, or future performance, non-performance, or violation of any act or omission which the person believes to have been, or the public servant represents as having been, either within the official discretion of the public servant, in violation of a public duty, or in performance of a public duty. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude a public servant from accepting rewards for services performed in apprehending any criminal.

For which in 2010 the Nineteenth Statewide Grand Jury of the State of Florida in their first interim report recommended that any public official who is guilty of the above should be prosecuted both civilly and criminally, if intent can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This Grand Jury was commissioned to perform a study of public corruption in Florida and provide recommendations. 

The report can be read here.

Sylvia Poitier, Convicted Criminal
Scott Brook, Ethics Violator
Now, the rub here for many people of District 2 in Deerfield Beach including myself, is that State Attorney Mike Satz and Tim Donnelly choose to file this complaint of an obvious corrupt politician (Scott Brook) who is, more likely than not, guilty of selling his votes for personal gain, resulting in unlawful compensation, to the ethics commission where he will face a fine and no jail time. 

Unlike, the case and charges they filed against Deerfield Beach City Commissioner, Sylvia Poitier, who was recently found guilty of falsifying public records under Florida Statute 112.312, by not disclosing that her brother paid off the tax deed for a low and extremely low income housing complex that requested funding from the City of Deerfield Beach to pay water bills and a mortgage on that property. 

Now, many including the individual, Chaz Stevens, who bought the situation to light, have indicated that Poitier’s was a victimless crime and I believe the term he used was “soft-corruption” because no one gained or lost from this supposed “moral” crime.  However, in the case of Brook, it was not a victimless crime.  (I’ll let you do the mental gymnastics to determine the difference.)

So I, like many others in my community are asking ourselves why would Mike Satz and Tim Donnelly prosecute Poitier and not Brook.

Some say it was because the statute of limitation had run out and they could not prosecute criminally.  The statute of limitation runs out 2 years after the individual leaves office.  Brook made the votes while acting in dual capacity as Mayor of Coral Springs (2006-2010) and as a member of the Broward Planning Council (2002-2007), so I am not sure which term date would apply. 
Some say that, Mike Satz and his staff are just soft on political corruption and that they pick and choose which politicians they go after depending on political pressure and career benefits.

Mike Satz, SAO 
I don’t know which camp is right, but I do think that the States Attorney’s Office of Broward County of the 17th District, Mike Satz, owes the Broward public an explanation as to why Brook and others get off with an ethics violation and paying a fine or are offered deals, especially given the circumstances of the Chaits and their political benevolence…whilst others are prosecuted.  

What is the test?  What is the criteria his office uses to determine which public corruption cases face the Florida Ethics Commission and which face a judge and jury?

But something ain't right!!!

Ironically, Sylvia Poitier and Scott Brook will both be in Tallahassee facing the Ethics Commission on December 2, 2011, my birthday.

Please note the Sun-Sentinel has an article on the Scott Brook case, which can be read here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Update: Pedestrian Safety in Deerfield Beach, District 2

Just an update...from my original post 

City of Deerfield Beach Commissioner on Pedestrian Safety: "At Some Time in the Future the City May Take On That Project." When after a District 2 resident pedestrian or bicyclist is killed...

which can be read here.

On October 18, 2011 I approached the Deerfield Beach City Commission about promoting pedestrian safety in my community.  Namely at the intersection of Hillsboro Blvd. and Martin Luther King, which is in the primarily minority district of the city.  

Well, the City took it under-advisement and after a month and many emails to them asking for an update, my City Commissioner (D2), Ben Preston, advised me that there was nothing the City could do and he even basically stated that Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) may not be interested in fixing this problem and that the City may possibly look into it in the future.  Ben even suggested that I am more than welcome to come and argue my points with the City Engineer, Charles DaBrusca or come before the City Commission, again.

So, seeing that my Commissioner, Ben Preston, and the City of Deerfield Beach could care less about the safety of the many pedestrian and bicyclist residents that traverse that busy intersection, I contacted FDOT directly myself.  

For government people, they were surprisingly nice, understanding, responsive and actually nothing like I thought they would be from the depiction my elected official, Ben Preston, and City Manager, Burgess Hanson, painted for me of them.   

From the conversations and emails, you would have assumed that FDOT was all about the bottom line and if it cost a cent more than zero then they would not do it.  The City of Deerfield Beach Commission and the City Manager have painted that picture of FDOT for us.  They did it to me and they attempted to do it to longtime Deerfield Beach District 2 resident Laurie Dickens at the November 15, 2011 Commission meeting when she asked for the City to re-strip the roads, so she could be safe while driving down the many residential streets in district 2 that do not have the yellow stripping to identify the lanes.  

You can read about it here.

The City Manager, basically tried to pacify Ms. Dickens all the while advising her that she would basically have to drive on those residential roads at here own risk because there was nothing the City could do because FDOT had disbanded the re-stripping program 4 years ago.  He then kept saying a very patronizing "it's sad!".  Only after seeing the disgust in Ms. Dickens face and seeing that this would not go away did he suggest using CDBG funding to re-strip the degraded district 2 residential roadways.  The Mayor, Peggy Noland, even chimed in and offered this little nugget, "it's not us, it's the County".  I said it then and I every time I think of this incident I will say it...WOW!!!

So anyway, after one conversation with FDOT they sent someone out to look at the possible problems, within a week (even with the Thanksgiving holiday) they were working on a resolution, and on today- Tuesday November 29, 2011 I received an email response from FDOT advising me that a determination had been made and the "detectable warning surface" or yellow truncated domes would be installed at all three intersections that were requested within the next 2 weeks.

Now, I have no idea if my City Commissioner, Ben Preston, or anyone else from the City helped to grease the wheels on this entire affair and made what Ben called "The Process" go so smoothly, but the fact remains is that it did.  It was not the big ordeal that the City made it out to be, so my only regret is that I had not just contacted FDOT back in October instead of wasting over a month waiting on a response from a City who from the looks of things could have cared less.  If something had happened during that time, I would not have been able to live with myself.

So to the staff over at FDOT District 4, Barbara Kelleher (Public Information Director), her staff member Richard Evans, Thomas Reynolds (Maintenance Supervisor), and anyone else who helped in this project,  the residents of Deerfield Beach District 2 say, "Thank You for helping to protect us".

Now, all we need are actual street lights at that intersection and a turning signal and we will be all set.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"The Broward Post", Chaz's New Venture Up and Running. Good Luck!!

So Chaz Stevens has changed his My Acts of Seditions into a full blown investigative reporting news source The Broward Post, offering his stories to traditional news media free of charge.

After advising its readers the statistics on how many media sources do not  have investigative journalist and its reason why the Broward Post indicates  
"Carrying forward the best traditions of American journalism, the Broward Post will be entirely non-partisan, non-ideological, and will adhere to a strict principle of impartiality.  We won’t ally with politicians in charge or any advocacy groups. We will be persistent in our efforts, as long as there is a tale to be told, we will stay with it."
The above is a direct quote from one of the first stories out the gate from Chaz's new venture.

Personally, I agree with Chaz and having a news media outlet that will actually perform investigative journalism is something that this City, this County, this State, and this Country is in dire need of.  A news media outlet to shine a light on political misdeeds that help to bankrupt the "public trust" in our government. Especially, if the investigative journalist does not have to answer to an Editor, stock holders, or any type of board that will exert their power to determine which stories need investigating and killing others, all with the "public interest" in mind.

Click to Enlarge
So, when I read the above statement I thought "Great, it's about time".  Then I noticed on the "HOME" page to the immediate right of the article was an ad indicating it as paid advertisement promoting the campaign to "Re-Elect Keith London", a current City Commissioner in Hallandale Beach.  So, obviously I became a little leery of this because I had just read that this investigative news source would not "ally with politicians in charge".  So an ad for Keith London, a politician seemingly in charge, is concerning.  

With City of Hallandale Beach Commissioner, Keith London, trying to erode the Council-Manager form of government in Hallandale Beach, which a post about it can be read here. I wonder what he thinks of the Commission-Manager form of government here in Deerfield Beach and if he were a Commissioner here in Deerfield Beach would he employ the same tactics to give our Commission the authority to question City Staff who felt their opinions and suggestions weren't adequately considered by our City Manager.

Is Keith London the same Hallandale Beach Commissioner that drove all the way to Deerfield to speak on Chaz's behalf during the whole DBHA Commissioner Chaz Stevens debacle and the same Keith London who frequently commented on post and possibly provided Chaz with inside information about Hallandale Beach's Mayor, Joy Cooper.  

Then I looked at the other ads, which there were basically two for Kessler International.  Which is the forensic auditors that Chaz admittedly suggested to the City of Deerfield Beach City Manager, Burgess Hanson, which found wrong-doing.  That's not to say that any thing that the auditing team found should be disregarded as suspect, it is just pointing out that maybe there was a financial or other reason that this particular firm, who has a, well, you can say a spotty past in forensic auditing, at least the ratepayers of Cape Coral and the Cape Coral Daily Breeze think so, which the post can be read here.  No one is suggesting that maybe Kessler International is "gun for hire" for politico's to root out their competition or get rid of dissenting commission/council votes that are hindering special projects.  I wouldn't suggest such a thing, but that's not to say that it's not a possibility that an investigative reporter may find interesting enough to look into.  All the cities that Kessler International has "audited", City Managers and certain politicians have handed specific cases with seemingly inside information pointing at specific departments and elected officials, creating conjecture, innuendo, suspicion, and blame sometimes while many times providing no proof to substantiate their claims.  If Kessler is so good, why have they not audited an entire City, why only specific departments, when it would make more sense to audit entire city functions, especially if your goal is to root out corruption and the misuse of Federal funds and taxpayer dollars.  It's not like the suspicion isn't there or that a real audit wouldn't serve the public trust!!!

Oh, by-the-way didn't Kessler International honor Chaz Stevens with a reward award for all his hard work and dedication in fighting public corruption.

Then there is an ad for none other than Chaz's best legal buddies, the law firm of  "Siegal Siegal & Wright".  We may all remember that Chaz's relationship with at least two individuals at this law firm (Silver, Wright & Siegel listed attorney's on previously posted legal documents) has helped him possibly commit legal stalking, blackmail, and possible extortion against some of his e-victims.  Victims of Chaz's own brand of cyber-stalking and cyber-menacing can attest that these letters from an attorney, go a long way into helping to scare someone into submission even when you have done nothing wrong, but just wanting so desperately to make  a menace go awayread post here.  I guess if I ever have legal problems maybe I will contact them about utilizing their legal services, it's obvious they are brilliant attorneys because they have basically carved out their own niche of clients right here in Broward County, stalkers, cyber-stalkers, and those that commit cyber menacing acts like Chaz Stevens.

Now, all of the above is not to say that the Broward Post won't help Broward County to root out corruption and other aspects of the political arena that help to bankrupt the public trust.  It is to say that rooting sometimes, when done with a nefarious purpose only tills the soil making it easier for a more parasitic weed to take root.  Is that really what Broward needs?  Especially, since Broward seems to be becoming the hub for political corruption, starting at its northern most city, Deerfield Beach.

So, Broward Post I would like to be one of the first Deerfield blogs to publicly wish you good luck and I hope that you utilize the platform that you have created to do good that actually benefits the people of Broward County and not just a self-serving mission that will only lead to the eventual total degradation of the public trust, that should be held so sacred by all. 

Go Get em' Broward Post!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Today let's forget our animosities and anger and be thankful for each other and the things that we have.  

I am saying a prayer for all those who have and all those who have not!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

City of Deerfield Beach Commissioner on Pedestrian Safety: "At Some Time in the Future the City May Take On That Project." When after a District 2 resident pedestrian or bicyclist is killed...

Recently, in blog post entitled “City of Deerfield Beach: What's Going On?????”, which can be read here, I detailed a situation of pressing concern to many people in District 2.  A concern regarding pedestrian and motorist safety at the intersection of Hillsboro Blvd. and Martin Luther King that I had previously notified our City Commissioner, Ben Preston, as well as our City Commissioners and Mayor about at the October 18, 2011 City Commission meeting, as well as via email.


My Commissioner, Ben Preston, agreed to look into the situation, but from his initial comments I had already had the feeling that they (Deerfield Beach City Commission) was uninterested in really pursuing this project.  However, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited for a response.


Almost one month later (November 17, 2011) I had finally received a response from Commissioner Preston.  I do think that it is funny that I had submitted three emails prior requesting an update and I had gotten no response, but as soon as I submitted an email (November 16, 2011) calling into question the Commissioners priorities because of actions and statements he made, I received my response one day later along with other information that apparently, City Manager, Burgess Hanson wanted me to know regarding the City`s position and justification on why they broke their own rules regarding the Memorial Committee and the memorialization of street names process, but that really was unrelated to this story at hand.


Anyway, so in the initial response from Commissioner Preston on November 17, 2011 he provided me with the crash analysis data for Hillsboro and MLK, which indicated that there had been no pedestrian involved accidents at that intersection reported, yet. (THANK GOD!!!)


Please note: The data he provided does not indicate if the analysis is for this month, November, this year or all time. It doesn’t even indicate what entity provided the info, whether DOT or BSO.


So, I promptly responded to Commissioner Preston and asked directly, “So what does that mean in regard to the City requesting the “yellow pavers” for the crosswalk?”.

In my response I pointedly asked him if he was going to fight for the pedestrian safety of his constituents and Deerfield Beach residents and visitors that traverse that intersection.  I further advised him that Hillsboro and MLK, unlike Hillsboro and Federal, does not have street lights illuminating the crosswalk or potential pedestrian or bicyclist crossing it.  I also pointed out that since the City Manager is always suggesting the re-scheduling of CDBG funds from Home rehab and community outreach programs for any project involving District 2, which ultimately robs the moderate and low-income individuals those funds were intended for to make needed improvements to their home and/or needed programs for those individuals to better their lives. (please note the City has already re-scheduled over $250,000.00 in funds from those programs and has yet to allow any person to apply for the funds for their initial intended purpose.)  Just so the City can utilize the actual collected tax revenue and other City funding sources to give out hefty raises to Management staff and build unnecessary parks in other sections of the City, should not be a consideration.

So after not hearing from him, I sent another reminder email on November 21, 2011 to which he responded reminding me that he is busy and thanking me for taking his schedule into consideration.  He then went on to say that “safety is always important”.  He then advised me that the yellow mats we discussed would cost $2,000.00 per project per location and that DOT (FL Department of Transportation) would not take on this project.  He then stated that the City may one day take on the project.  He then went on to “school me” on the purpose of the mats stating that they are for the blind to feel a different surface at the intersection.

Me not being one to trust the information of someone else, especially a local politician from a local government that has had so many cases of corruption and mismanagement, was prompted by that email to do a little research of my own. So, I went straight to Google and I found out that the yellow pavers in question are really called “detectable warning surfaces” (DWS) or truncated domes and are a required measure by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to be installed at all public right-of-ways.  Now, understand that with the laws and regulations because I know they change all the time, so it is possible that when the curb was installed these DWS’s may not have been a requirement, so I looked further and contacted the FDOT District 4 which has jurisdiction over Deerfield Beach and spoke with Barbara Kelleher, Public Information Director FDOT District 4, and her staff put me in touch with Thomas Reynolds, Maintenance Supervisor FDOT-D4.  After speaking with Mr. Reynolds and advising him of the current condition of that public right-of-way he indicated that FDOT would look into it.  So, as of the time of this post, I have not heard back from FDOT.  Granted it is the day before Thanksgiving and they have only been aware, as far as I know, since yesterday so we can wait until after the holidays to see what the outcome will be.

Whatever it is I just hope all concerned do what is right!  It may not be required, but it is only right to provide a more safe crossing intersection at Hillsboro Blvd. and MLK than what is currently there.  No street lights and a degraded and gray truncated dome system, which does really does nothing to provide for the safety of the pedestrians or bicyclist of any ability at the intersection. 

Let’s be proactive and fix it now before we are fixing it after a life is taken. 

City of Deerfield Beach Commissioners, will it be worth the cost then????

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sylvia Poitier Guilty of Counts 1-4: What the State and the Media Doesn't Want You to Know...

I am reposting the below post from July 2011 because I think it is important that everyone understand what has happened here in the Court Case of Sylvia Poitier and how the law had nothing to do with her conviction.It is is certain under the law that the mere fact that Lionel Ferguson, Sylvia's brother, loaned the WDBA money that is not sufficient enough reason to declare a conflict of interest under the law.  She would only have to declare according to the law (as you will see below) if she knows that her vote on a measure presented to the Commission would inure her relative a direct and immediate "Special Private Gain".The State in her case never even attempted to prove that Lionel or Sylvia would gain anything directly or immediately from the 4 measures that she filed the form 8B on, but did not list the relationship of herself and Lionel.Mere speculation as to a possible gain is not enough under the law, it has to be a direct and immediate gain for Sylvia to even have an obligation to declare the relationship. In her case did the prosecutor prove a need to declare and therefore an intention to deceive by not listing the relationship.  NO!!! He didn't.So, this is why I have attempted to point out that this case nor it's subsequent verdict had anything to do with the law, as she had broken none.  People want to believe that a law was broken, but legally that is not so.  Public perception is not an excuse to convict someone who has not broken the law, but it happens all to often in this country.  This case is a testament to that.Count one was based on a measure before the Commission to transfer land to the WDBA-where is the direct and immediate special private gain for Lionel?  There is none! Speculative, yes, but direct and immediate, NO.  So no legal obligation to declare and therefore nothing could be falsified, so NOT GUILTY Count One.Count two was based on a measure before the Commission to clarify the language in the previous vote for the land transfer to the WDBA from count one-where is the direct and immediate special private gain for Lionel?  Here, there is none, so again no need legal obligation to declare and therefore nothing could be falsified, so NOT Guilty Count Two.Count three was based on a measure to grant the WDBA $30,000.00 of which the group and the City had agreed upon these funds to pay an outstanding City of Deerfield Beach water bill that the group owed on the property whose residents are low to extremely low income individuals-where is the direct and immediate special private gain for Lionel or Sylvia? Again, Speculative hell ya, but direct and immediate, hell no. There is none and actually in this case the State and it's witnesses and exhibits proved that the funds were awarded to the group for this purpose and the funds were paid to the where is the need to declare under the law??  There is none so NOT GUILTY count three.Count four is based on a measure to grant the WDBA another $30,000.00 to also pay an outstanding water bill to the City of Deerfield Beach for the same property that had become due...everyone was aware of what the funds were for and the need for the funds...Where is the direct and immediate special private gain for Lionel, Sylvia or anyone except the poor individuals residing int he property who the City was threatening to shut the water off if the bill wasn't paid...So again no need to legally declare and therefore nothing falsified..NOT GUILTY Count Four.  Speculative most definitely, but direct and immediate...hell the State didn't even try to prove it because it knew that there was none that his case was purely circumstantial and speculative, which under the law for which she was charged was not enough for a conviction.Hell, David Schulson himself asserted that Sylvia would do anything to keep the WDBA afloat so eventually, possibly her brother could be paid back.*Please note David Schulson himself and all of the States witnesses confirmed that the group never paid Lionel back, never attempted to pay Lionel back and no attempts were ever made to collect the debt for the last 6 years...Nothing about the votes providing or inuring a direct and/or immediate special private gain to Sylvia, her brother, or anyone else for that matter.And yet the jury found a verdict of guilt under the law...HOW???  Did they the jurors understand the law? Did the State prove or even attempt to prove a legal obligation to declare and therefore by not legally declaring falsified the records under the law? These are questions the jury should have asked themselves and we have to ask ourselves.  Should individuals be convicted under the law for crimes they didn't commit based on perception and not fact, evidence, testimony, or the State proving their case or even attempting to prove that an actual law was broken?If you answered yes to this because you think Sylvia is guilty of something, then you too could be the next to fall victim to speculation and perception and not for breaking the law.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Suspended Deerfield Beach City Commissioner, Sylvia Poitier: 4 of 5 Charges Possibly Meritless

On Wednesday July  20, 2011 Sylvia Poitier`s lawyer, Johnny McCray, filed a motion for dismissal of 4 the charges brought against his client, Suspended Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, which you can read about here.  Charged brought about after local blogger, Chaz Stevens, filed 25+ complaints against Sylvia Poitier for a laundry list of offenses, which many say may have been encouraged and assisted by individuals at The City Of Deerfield Beach along with other entities with a vested interest.  However, after investigating Steven's many complaints the Broward State Attorney's Office came up with 5 charges, all misdemeanors, to bring against then Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, who was then promptly removed from office by Governor Scott on April 14, 2011.  
Is it a coincidence that Assistant CODB City Manager, Keven Klopp was in Tallahassee on April 12, 2011, two days before Governor Scott handed down his suspension sentence, lobbying and meeting with the Governor on City of Deerfield Beach business.  (Yeah,yeah, I know it was officially about the Pier...)  A suspension which conveniently removed a major obstacle to the City Staff's plan to impose a Utility Tax that they tout will help to improve upon our parks and create new ones, which many developers and their elected, appointed, and non-governmental friends could possibly benefit from.

* The Governor does have the power to remove any elected official from office for indictment of committing felonies or misdemeanors in relation to their office, but this power has been rarely utilized for cases involving misdemeanors of municipal or county elected officials. 

With that being said, let's talk about the case against Sylvia Poitier, which also mysteriously keeps getting postponed.  Allowing the City and all vested parties ample time without the biggest obstacle to their plan. (I may have mentioned my opinion on that subject here on my blog once or twice.)

By now, we should have all read the Arrest Affidavit issued on April 11, 2011 .  You should have noticed that the mandate of a form 8B-Memorandum of Voting Conflict...was predicated on FL Statute 112.3143 which states:
(3)(a)  No county, municipal, or other local public officer shall vote in an official capacity upon any measure which would inure to his or her special private gain or loss; which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which he or she is retained, other than an agency as defined in s. 112.312(2); or which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer. Such public officer shall, prior to the vote being taken, publicly state to the assembly the nature of the officer's interest in the matter from which he or she is abstaining from voting and, within 15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his or her interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes.

Basically, if the elected official votes on an agenda item that will benefit or cause to benefit a relative then they must either not vote on the issue and declare the conflict or vote and declare the conflict.

This is the basis for the States case.  Is that part clear?

The State goes on to say that because Sylvia's brother, Lionel, was one of many creditors listed for the WDBA she should have filed a form 8B within 15 days after the vote if she believed that a "conflict of interest" could arise.  The State contends that because she did not file said form she violated FL Statute 839.13 which states:

(1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), if any judge, justice, mayor, alderman, clerk, sheriff, coroner, or other public officer, or employee or agent of or contractor with a public agency, or any person whatsoever, shall steal, embezzle, alter, corruptly withdraw, falsify or avoid any record, process, charter, gift, grant, conveyance, or contract, or any paper filed in any judicial proceeding in any court of this state, orshall knowingly and willfully take off, discharge or conceal any issue, forfeited recognizance, or other forfeiture, or other paper above mentioned, or shall forge, deface, or falsify any document or instrument recorded, or filed in any court, or any registry, acknowledgment, or certificate, or shall fraudulently alter, deface, or falsify any minutes, documents, books, or any proceedings whatever of or belonging to any public office within this state; or if any person shall cause or procure any of the offenses aforesaid to be committed, or be in anywise concerned therein, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Basically, if an elected official knows a conflict exist and still votes on an issue without declaring the conflict on 8B willfully with the intention on "dooping" the electors then they have falsified or caused to be falsified official records and it's a misdemeanor of the 1st degree.

Are you guys still with me?

The States whole case is based on Lionel receiving a "special gain or loss" from any of the votes Ms. Poitier abstained from or voted on from 2006 through 2010 with regard to the WDBA.  The possibility of Mr. Fergusan receiving a "special gain or loss" is adequate to satisfy the statute(s).  

So it is left for the State to prove that Lionel Fergusan or Sylvia Poitier would reasonably have made a "special gain or loss" from those votes in question per the Arrest Affidavit.

According to George Levesque, General Counsel for the Florida House of Representatives in a letter concerning "conflict of interest" he opined that because it appeared that "no Florida state court" had addressed the meaning of "special gains or losses" and since the Commission on Ethics had approached it and determined the following to be the meaning by rule and by statute:

"From a review of the Commission's opinions it is clear that the operative term is "special."  It is not enough for a member or one of the member's conflict relations to receive a benefit or adverse impact from passage or non-passage, they must receive a disproportionate impact compared to the rest of those affected by the measure in a large class or be part of a small impacted class."

He goes further and gives an example to the individual he was providing the opinion for and states that if the relative is paid an hourly rate and this rate would not change rather the vote is passed or not, then no conflict exist; therefore, there is no need to disclose.

Basically, unless the terms of repayment of Lionel's loan to the WDBA were dependant on Sylvia's vote(s) cast as a Commissioner, then no special gain would exist and therefore no need to disclose.

It is my contention that no "special gain or loss" would have been made by neither Sylvia Poitier nor Lionel Fergusan because the loan in question made to the WDBA by Lionel would have had to be paid back, regardless of any vote Sylvia Poiter made.  The WDBA would have had to come up with the money no matter what to repay Lionel's loan at the agreed upon interest rate.  And he nor Sylvia would have gained "special" or otherwise from the repayment of that loan.  The point about Ms. Poitier voting or abstaining is therefore mute and irrelevant because the statute was not broken and all charges stemming from said statute should be dropped.

Now this is just my contention and I am sure her lawyer has already figured out the legality of this arrest.  I will refer to the General Counsel's letter about the following in regard to public opinion.

"The Law grants some latitude to members based upon the recognition that they are citizens legislators with employment and lives outside their public service.  That concept sometimes may get lost in public discourse, and what may be legally tolerated conflict of interest may be viewed as inappropriate or corrupt in the court of public opinion."

With all that said, again I remind you that I am no lawyer, and do not hold a law degree.  I have not talked this over with a lawyer and is my interpretation of an opinion given to someone else specific to their case.  Please do not take this a legal defense, I am just making a point!

read.  I read. I read!

I have attached links to other cases for you to read regarding "Special Gain or Loss".

Is there a bigger scheme at play here, working against the citizens and residents and solely benefiting leagues of citie's elected officials, city managers and staff, developers, and their friends. Taking full advantage of the fact that many people do not read the facts and then develop informed opinions, do not get involved so they are educated to the real issues, and do not vote and basically accept things and do not fight.

Did Sylvia Poitier fall victim to a political landscape that she herself helped groom and nurture?? 

This is a question that you have to ask yourself.  One things for sure, at least to me, that something strange has, is, and will be going on in the City of Deerfield Beach, County of Broward, and State of Florida.