Broward Schools construction program woes cloud vote on $800 million bond issue

Nathalie Lynch-Walsh

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
hree years after a scathing grand jury report about the Broward school district’s construction program, community activists are raising concerns about the management of future construction projects should voters approve an $800 million public schools bond issue in November.

Gov. Scott had stake in pipeline firm whose $3 billion venture he and his appointees backed

Florida's existing and proposed pipeline routes. Gov. Scott invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in companies that own all three. Illustration: NextEra Energy

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Shortly after Gov. Rick Scott was elected, a Florida Power & Light executive on his transition team pitched the idea of building a major new natural gas pipeline. Last year, Scott signed bills to speed up permitting for the project and the Public Service Commission approved its construction. Not known at the time: Scott owned a stake in the company that will build the $3 billion pipeline.

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Major contributor to Gov. Scott is silent partner in Bob Butterworth’s $44.8 million deal with DCF

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Another political insider – this time a major contributor to Gov. Rick Scott – has cropped up in a $44.8 million-a-year government-business deal to manage mental health services in Broward County.

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Hallandale’s ex-top managers collect fat pensions from retirement plan they pushed a decade ago

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
A short-lived, perk-laden retirement plan has paid off big for some top Hallandale Beach officials who helped set it up a decade ago – but today it’s costing city taxpayers extra millions of dollars.

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Feds to examine whether doctors are using electronic health records to pad Medicare bills

By Fred Schulte
The Center for Public Integrity
The nation’s top health information technology official has launched an internal review to determine if electronic health records are prompting some doctors and hospitals to overbill Medicare.

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More bullying alleged against fired cheerleading coach; Coral Glades High did nothing

By Buddy Nevins
BrowardBulldog.org
Three years before cheerleading coach Melissa Prochilo was fired for ignoring bullying in her program at a Parkland high school, faculty members and parents at a nearby Coral Springs high school where she used to work leveled the same complaint against her.

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Romney benefits from post-Citizens United spending; American Crossroads top spender since Labor Day

By Rachael Marcus
The Center for Public Integrity
Since Labor Day, the once-unofficial start of the election season, 70 percent of outside spending on the presidential race made possible by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has benefited Mitt Romney, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.

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Years later, Water District eyes suing Hollywood pump maker to recover lost taxpayer dollars

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Five years ago, the South Florida Water Management District took a $1.5 million bath when a Hollywood company sold it 15 large electric pumps that quickly failed, then refused to honor its warranty. Now, the top lawyer for the budget-challenged independent taxing district is recommending it sue the Hollywood company that manufactured the pumps.

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Butterworth skirts state lobbying laws to land $44 million-a-year contract in Broward

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Ex-Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth lobbied heavily this year to convince his former agency to award his nonprofit company – and its for profit partner – a $44 million-a-year state management contract.
Butterworth, however, is not registered to lobby.

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What we still don’t know about Mitt Romney’s taxes

By Theodoric Meyer
ProPublica
With the documents MittRomney released recently, we know a bit more about his taxes. We know, for instance, that Romney paid a rate of 14.1 percent on $13.7 million in income on his 2011 tax return, which he achieved by purposely overpaying.

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Feds indict pair in $164 million ‘Ponzi’ scheme tied to South Florida

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Two figures at the center of an alleged $164 million real estate scam marketed out of South Florida have been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on mail fraud and conspiracy charges.

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