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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The rise of a political rainmaker: Helping mayors of Miami-Dade, Broward find big money

Brian Goldmeier, right, and clients Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
Since helping elect Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez three years ago, Brian Goldmeier is South Florida’s least known, yet most sought after political rainmaker.

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Audit finds property tax appeals in state appear rigged; Broward among counties cited

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By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A state performance audit of county boards that hear property tax appeals by unhappy homeowners and businesses says appeals appear to have been rigged by local government officials more interested in safeguarding tax revenues than fairly valuing real estate.

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Federal judge: ‘Bullying’ by Florida JQC threatens independence of state judges

U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, left, former Palm Beach State Attorney Peter Antonacci, center, and Palm Beach County Judge Barry M. Cohen

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
In unusual public criticism, a South Florida federal judge has accused the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission of “bullying” that threatens the independence of the state’s judges.

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FBI search can’t find any more info on Sarasota Saudis, even its own investigative reports

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By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
The FBI told a federal judge Friday that its page-by-page review of more than 80,000 pages of records from its 9/11 investigation turned up “no additional substantive information” about connections it has said existed between Saudis in Sarasota and 9/11 terrorist figures.

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Fear stifles complaints of wage abuse

Fast-food workers in Seattle accused employers of wage theft last year.

By Myron Levin, Stuart Silverstein and Lilly Fowler
Fair Warning
Karim Ameri allegedly decided to play hardball after learning that his Los Angeles recycling business was under investigation for failing to pay the minimum wage or overtime to workers putting in 60-hour weeks. Court records say Ameri pressured employees of Recycling Innovations, a string of bottle-and-can redemption centers, to lie to federal officials about his company’s pay practices.

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Democrats skirmish over open Broward House seat

Florida House candidates Steve Perman and Kristin Jacobs

By Buddy Nevins
BrowardBulldog.org
Broward County political campaigns run on food. Bagels and cream cheese, Danish, hummus, spaghetti, barbeque and fruit salad for vegetarians who might show up at a political event – all paid for by candidates.

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Possibility of catastrophic Cuban oil spill stokes push to alter trade embargo for safety’s sake

Dolphins swimming through oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo: NOAA

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
South Florida’s fragile coastal environment and multibillion-dollar tourist industry are threatened by Cuba’s apparent plans to restart its offshore oil-drilling program next year without adequate safety measures in place to prevent or contain a catastrophic spill.

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Miami Marlins to pay clubhouse workers back wages to settle U.S. labor investigation

First Pitch at Marlins Park, April 4, 2012 Photo: Roberto Coquis, Creative Commons

By Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein
FairWarning
The Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to settle a Labor Department investigations into possible violations of U.S. wage standards by agreeing to give back wages to underpaid workers.

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Florida revenue department files, then yanks tax lien against Gov. Scott and First Lady

Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Like 96,412 other Floridians, Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott were hit last year with a lien for unpaid taxes by the state Department of Revenue. Unlike most other taxpayers, however, the Scotts’ tax warrant was voluntarily withdrawn, and the lien released, by state revenue officials one week after it was recorded with the court clerk.

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