Rick Scott and allegations of corporate spying and theft by a company he helped oversee

Rick Scott celebrates his Republican primary victory over Bill McCollum at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina on Aug. 24, 2010. One month earlier, Envestnet, a company where Scott was an investor and board member, settled civil charges of corporate espionage and theft.

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Most Floridians know that before Rick Scott was governor he headed a hospital chain that paid $1.7 billion to resolve criminal and civil charges of healthcare fraud. Less known is the story of Scott’s involvement as an investor, director and paid consultant at another firm that settled civil claims of corporate spying and theft a month before Scott’s 2010 victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary propelled him towards the governor’s mansion.

Amid rising inquiries, Gov. Scott files and makes public 2013 income tax return

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A day after aides refused to say whether Gov. Rick Scott had filed his 2013 federal income tax return, or say whether he would release it, the governor made the 34-page document public Wednesday afternoon.

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Amid rising deaths, a warning that heroin epidemic has begun in South Florida

heroinpic

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A new report sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has determined that a heroin epidemic is underway in South Florida. “The key issue identified in 2013 is the outbreak of a heroin epidemic in South Florida and particularly in Miami-Dade County,” the report says.

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Guards may be responsible for half of prison sexual assaults

State prison inmates
Photo: Florida Department of Corrections

By Joaquin Sapien
ProPublica
A new Justice Department study shows that allegations of sex abuse in the nation’s prisons and jails are increasing — with correctional officers responsible for half of it — but prosecution is still extremely rare.

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Senate leaders want special districts covered by state lobbyist registration laws

Senate President Don Gaetz, right, and Sen. Jack Latvala, chairman of the Ethics and Elections Committee

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Key lawmakers in Tallahassee say they will introduce reform legislation this session to require lobbyists at independent special districts to publicly register and disclose who they work for and how much they’re being paid.

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Independent special districts: Where lobbyists ride free and the public is in the dark

Florida's sprawling water management districts spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year, but do not require lobbyists to register. Photo: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Nearly 1,000 special-purpose governments across Florida that raise and spend billions of dollars in public funds every year do not require lobbyists who appear before them to register, pay fees or disclose any information about themselves or their clients.

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Oakland Park commissioners likely to decide soon on controversial psychiatric hospital

The former North Ridge Medical Center Photo: BrowardBulldog.org

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
UPDATE: Jan. 16 — Shot down unanimously by Oakland Park’s planning and zoning board on Monday, a Delray Beach drug rehab operator’s controversial plan to develop a 300-bed psychiatric hospital on the site of the old North Ridge Medical Center is expected to go before the city commission soon for a final decision.

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Patient Harm: When an attorney won’t take your case

Ernie Ciccotelli takes a phone call inside his law office in Norwich, Vt., on Dec. 31, 2013. Ciccotelli suffered complications after he donated a kidney to his brother in January of 2006 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Ciccotelli was unable to find a malpractice attorney to take on his case. Photo: Matthew Healey for ProPublica

By Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce
ProPublica
Ernie Ciccotelli was trying to do a good deed when he donated a kidney to his brother. But within days of the surgery, his incision was oozing green fluid and his guts were rotting.

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The Fix Isn’t In: Why a Safety Device That Can Stop Overdoses by Kids Isn’t Widely Used

Dr. Daniel Budnitz, at his office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Budnitz has campaigned to have flow restrictors -- safety plastic devices fitted into the necks of medicine bottles to slow the release of fluid -- added to all liquid medicines, but so far he’s had limited success. Photo: Bryan Meltz for ProPublica

By T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth
ProPublica
This story was produced in collaboration with Consumer Reports…
Starting in 2007, Dr. Daniel Budnitz, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, began tracking an obscure but unsettling statistic about children’s health.

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Hallandale commissioners approve taking from the city, giving to themselves

Commissioners Anthony Sanders, Bill Julian and Michele Lazarow

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach city commissioners have created a new policy they can use to boost their take home pay by allowing them to pocket up to $10,000 a year in unspent funds from their individual travel accounts.

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9/11 “cover up” could collapse as Saudi Arabia restored to victims’ lawsuit, says Bob Graham

towersbridge

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
With an unusual acknowledgment of a mistake in a high-profile case, a federal appeals court in New York City has restored Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by thousands of 9/11 victims, their families and others.

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