Miami developer hires governor’s pal; Scott, Cabinet green light Watson Island project

Lobbyist William "Billy" Rubin, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
In late March, state emails show, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was poised to pull the plug on a long-delayed, contentious plan to build a resort and mega-yacht marina on Miami’s Watson Island. But developer Flagstone Island Gardens had an ace in the hole. A month earlier, the company hired Fort Lauderdale lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, a longtime personal friend, business associate and political supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott campaign ad touting jobs record stars convicted smuggler

A Rick Scott television ad features the governor shoulder to shoulder with flag-waving smuggler Maikel Duarte-Torres

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
A Cuban-born grocery store owner starring in a Rick Scott Spanish language television campaign ad touting the governor’s job creation record was convicted on human smuggling charges in St. Maarten four years ago. THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED

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Murder victims’ kin call out Mike Satz; seek Broward probe of police in miscarriage of justice

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
The arrest of Jerry Frank Townsend on Sept. 5, 1979 ended the hunt for a brutal serial killer and rapist who had terrorized a predominantly African-American neighborhood in northwest Fort Lauderdale.
But it began an enduring miscarriage of justice.

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Hallandale commissioners agree to be quizzed about business deals, handling of tax dollars

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
The Broward Inspector General’s probe of Hallandale Beach financial management practices has reached a critical stage: the questioning of the five members of the city commission this week.

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Body brokers leave international trail of questions, corruption; Florida company under scrutiny

By Kate Willson, Vlad Lavrov, Martina Keller, Michael Hudson The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Iwatch News by the Center for Public Integrity    On Feb. 24, Ukrainian authorities made an alarming discovery: bones and other human tissues crammed into coolers in a grimy white minibus. In April 2003, Robert Ambrosino murdered his ex-fiancée — a 22-year-old aspiring […]

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Carvel ice cream heiress’s trip to bankruptcy court ends in sticky mess; judge seeks her arrest

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Carvel Ice Cream heiress Pamela Carvel filed for bankruptcy last year amid a bitter, 17-year legal struggle for control over the assets from an estate once valued at $67 million. She got more than she bargained for.

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Fact-Check: How the NYPD overstated Its counterterrorism record

By Justin Elliott, ProPublica The NYPD is regularly held up as one of the most sophisticated and significant counterterrorism operations in the country. As evidence of the NYPD’s excellence, the department, its allies and the media have repeatedly said the department has thwarted or helped thwart 14 terrorist plots against New York since Sept 11. […]

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Radio pitchman’s investment empire under siege by financial regulators

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
David Lerner has made a fortune peddling controversial real estate investments for 20 years, but has left a trail of complaints, litigation and regulatory sanctions. Now his investment empire is threatened by charges that he and his company deceived customers – including thousands of unsophisticated, elderly South Florida investors.

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Broward IG questions former Hallandale commissioner about CRA deals, newspaper loan

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
A former Hallandale Beach commissioner said he voluntarily met with Broward Inspector General investigators Monday who questioned him about the city’s embattled Community Redevelopment Agency, its purchase of property once owned by group headed by Vice Mayor Anthony Sanders and a city loan to a local newspaper.

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ALEC faces new challenge to tax-exempt status; Group benefits private interests, complaint says

By John Dunbar, iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity  A prominent tax attorney has accused an organization of state lawmakers and corporations officials with improperly claiming nonprofit status, alleging the group’s role is to benefit businesses, the Republican Party, and legislators and not the public.

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Broward Inspector General hits first legal hurdle; Hallandale CRA says hands off

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency, run by the city’s five elected commissioners, has sent a message to Broward’s new Inspector General’s Office – you can’t touch us.

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