Florida’s chief justice and the hunt for goof-off judges

Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Florida’s chief justice has ordered the state’s 20 chief judges to monitor the work of each judge in their circuit looking for goof-offs – a move that’s unnerved judges in South Florida and elsewhere.

Slain al Qaeda chief tied to 9/11; Key figure in FBI’s once secret probe of Sarasota Saudis

Adnan Shukrijumah, left, and Abdulazziz al-Hijji

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A top al Qaeda operative reportedly shot dead in a weekend raid by the Pakistan army was a key figure in the FBI’s Sarasota investigation of a Saudi couple that declassified FBI documents say had “many connections” to the 9/11 hijackers.

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“Serious concerns” about court orders altered by BSO prompt Broward judges’ meeting

Broward County Court Judges Sharon Zeller, right, and Ginger Lerner-Wren

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Concerned that the sheriff’s office has altered the terms of misdemeanor probation orders without informing judges, Broward’s top county court judge has called a meeting of judges for next week to assess what’s happening.

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Broward’s criminal justice system failing mentally ill, too costly

Broward Chief Judge Peter Weinstein, left, and Public Defender Howard Finkelstein

By Howard Finkelstein
Special to BrowardBulldog.org
Editor’s note: Broward’s public defender writes to the chief judge to say the county’s mental health is backwards, cruel and unnecessarily costly and urges Broward to follow Miami-Dade’s lead.

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Hallandale commissioners cash-in on new travel allowance policy they approved

hallandalecityhall

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach’s new travel reimbursement policy has paid big dividends to city commissioners less traveled. Five Hallandale Beach city commissioners pocketed nearly $35,000 of their unspent travel allowances last month under the new policy they enacted last year. Previously, unspent travel funds were returned to the city’s general budget.

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Not yet sworn in, Curbelo facing FEC’s questions about campaign finances

Miami Congressman-Elect Carlos Curbelo

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
After running a campaign promising to restore public trust and integrity to the seat he won on Election Day this month, Congressman-elect Carlos Curbelo is already drawing scrutiny from federal regulators.

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They say “Drink Responsibly,” but what does it mean?

drinkresponsibly

By Stuart Silverstein
FairWarning
The “drink responsibly” or “enjoy in moderation” messages tucked into liquor and beer ads don’t impress Jennifer Romo. “Nobody actually takes that seriously,” said Romo, a 21-year-old political science major at UCLA. She added: “‘Drink responsibly,’ what does that even mean?”

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FBI probes whistleblower claim of $130 million scam; Plaza Health Network under scrutiny

Plaza Health Network's headquarters at 1800 NE 168th St., North Miami Beach. Witnesses saw FBI agents carting off computers and boxes of patient records there for several days last year.

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
Since being founded 64 years ago as a convalescent home for elderly Jewish people and war veterans, Plaza Health Network has nurtured a reputation for providing top-notch services to senior citizens of all denominations. But a little-noticed whistleblower’s lawsuit by an ex-Plaza executive alleges the non-profit company scammed the federal government for $130 million.

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An election result you likely missed: anti-corruption referendum wins big in Tallahassee

anticorruption

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Lost in the hubbub of a heated election season headlined by a down to the wire governor’s race, voters in Tallahassee approved a first-of-its-kind municipal anti-corruption referendum intended to limit the influence of big moneyed special interests in local politics.

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Bulldog Extra

By Kara Bradeisky and Sisi Wei, ProPublica 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D- Ca., outgoing chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D- Ca., outgoing chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

The Senate began investigating the CIA’s detainee program nearly six years ago. It completed a draft of its report two years ago. Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee has finally released the report’s blistering executive summary. (The full report remains classified.) What took so long? It’s a tale of White House indecisiveness, Republican opposition, and CIA snooping. Full Story »

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