Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hallandale Beach -An interpretive house of cards that falls apart at the slightest touch of rationality and evidence


Per my comments to some of you over the past few weeks and months, I'd really appreciate it if you'd finally take me up on my offer to get together somewhere to sit for a bit and talk about some matters here in the city and environs, perhaps with other liked-minded people genuinely interested in seeing real reform and democracy in the Ocean-side Duchy of Hallandale Beach.

Though I grew-up in South Florida, I've only lived in HB itself for the past five years, and I think some of you are in a good position to share some first-hand historical perspective on the longstanding problems around here that many people can't: truth and facts.

And the best forum for you to share what you know and share what you feel about the unsatisfactory way the city is being run can happen all in one place.
It's tonight's Hallandale Beach City Commission/City Manager 
Forum at La Mer Condo, 1890 S. Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach, starting at 6:30 p.m.


Over the past few months, I've already put together a rather informal-but-organized strategy of talking to folks hereabouts who could connect-the-dots on some issues I didn't have first-hand knowledge of, and it's proven quite helpful to me.

The first thing I do of, course before asking specific questions is let these folks unburden themselves of their own pet peeves and concerns about the city and City Hall.
Many of these common sense sentiments would ring familiar to those of you who, like me, pay close attention to local civics and public policy.

My general hope was that thru such efforts, we could begin to be better organized and channel that concern and outrage into some productive outcomes, including, actually
mapping-out some preliminary strategy for getting from here-to-there, beginning tonight.



I would really like to see a good turnout Tuesday night of
folks who not only receive my off-the-cuff emails, like many
of you currently do, or who also read Hallandale Beach
Blog from time-to-time, but also your friends and neighbors,
who have a very real sense in their gut that things here are
NOT being done on the up-and-up at HB City Hall.
Not by any stretch of the imagination!

Even worse, they tell me that they suspect that HB City Hall
already knows that and simply doesn't care about citizen's
legitimate concerns when nobody is watching.

This latter group of folks may not know the full extent of the
known facts as we do, but they know that something's
definitely NOT RIGHT.


They feel that when they show up at a City Commission
meeting or watch it on cable on the city's perfectly dreadful
govt. channel, and see how Mayor Cooper conducts the
meetings, constantly interrupting and always, always with
the ad-lib comments after anyone speaks, seemingly unable
to control herself.

She literally repels citizens and taxpayers and business
owners from appearing at the meetings, which is why I'm
often one of only a handful of people in the Chambers.

And we know that many of those who do show up are the
faithful sycophants of the HB City Commission Rubber
Stamp Crew, who always see the glass not only completely
FULL, but delicious, thanks to their pal, Mike Good.


I'd really love to see a good turnout of HB voters who will
directly ask City Commissioners Ross and Sanders to
fully explain how, given that they've voted the same as the
mayor 99.9% of the time since the election in November,
and the ethical questions that have continually come up
for YEARS about the unannounced votes on the second
floor, WHERE is the proof, exactly, that they are
either hard-working or independent?
Or even ethical?

Really?


What all these people I want to see in attendance tomorrow
have in common, though, is not only a real sense of anger
towards the leadership of HB City Hall, but also a desire for
real change, so, frankly, they can relax more and not have
to constantly keep their guard-up for the antics of this unsavory
and unethical Crew.

When you really know what's going on here, living in
Hallandale Beach really creates a lot more anxiety than
people living elsewhere have any real idea of.

And that's not just my sentiment but also one I hear from
many others in the HB community, too, when I'm out and
about.

They are tired of this city being SO much less than it clearly
ought to be, given its key location on the ocean and its
changing younger demographics.

And they are especially tired of seeing other places nearby,
like Hollywood, see positive change take place there due to
the election of Mayor Bober, where now, real debate can
occur based on facts, not hours-long grudge matches,
based on personalities and old arguments.

The positive difference over at Hollywood City Hall,
below, is like night and day, and is pretty self-evident
to anyone with a live pulse and a working brain.



The folks who I want to see in attendance are residents I've
spoken to who are esp. tired of being embarrassed by HB
City Hall playing the part of perennial regional laughingstock,
as well as a City Commission choir largely composed of
folks singing in unison, but completely off-key.

Yet that City Hall Crew is so hyper-sensitive to criticism,
that its claque of thin-skinned sycophants, many with ties
to the Police Dept., say in public that anyone who notices
their off-key singing, like me, is "hurting" the community.

No, routine apathy, incompetency, lack of attention to detail
and appropriate follow-though AND routinely breaking the
laws of the State of Florida are hurting the community,
and putting the city on the road to some very serious
consequences.

HB City Hall ought to be a place where real debate over
public policy and oversight takes place, like in junior high
civics books, but as you and I and others know full well,
that is the LAST THING Mayor Cooper wants for all the
obvious reasons we can both enumerate for hours.

For years, Mayor Cooper has had the very difficult task
of trying to 'spin' her confusing story about how this
city is, at once, both a "progressive, sophisticated"
community, located near lots of interesting places, and
ideal for affluent people from the Northeast to move
into pricey condos, yet somehow explain away how
she's run it in conjunction with City Manager Good
in a backwards manner that's worse than anything
in Dogpatch or Mayberry,

Her case is, to paraphrase Prof. Stanley Fish from an
essay he wrote earlier this month in the New York Times,
"an interpretive house of cards that falls apart at the
slightest touch of rationality and evidence."

So tell me, why would well-educated people of means
who have options, actually want to move themselves
or their business into a city that is so poorly-run,
poorly-maintained and dysfunctional?
What's the incentive?


Consider the following as but a small example of the
excessive pettiness and ego-tripping which has ruled
the roost at City Hall for years, which most of you
don't know yet.


About a week ago, while talking to him on the telephone,
I got the news that Comm. Keith London's colleagues
on the City Commission actually voted 4-1 to boot him
from that small City Hall room where he's hosted his
interesting Resident Forums for the past year, where
I first met many of the people whom I regularly interact
with now.
A room that can get, maybe, 18 people at most, if everyone
holds their breath?

So, why did Cooper crash at least 2-3 such meetings of his
last year, that I also attended?
Better yet, why doesn't she hold her own?
In fact, why has nobody but London on the Commission
EVER held a regularly scheduled monthly meeting for
residents?
Do the simple math:
Cooper + Julian + Ross + Sanders = ZERO regularly
scheduled meetings -EVER!

Could it be because Mayor Cooper doesn't really know
the answers to some pretty obvious questions, and has
no real awareness of longstanding city problems that
we've all been discussing for years?
Or more likely, both of the above scenarios, and she
doesn't want to appear somewhere in public without
Mike Good as a crutch to prompt her when she flounders
with an answer.

Joy Cooper in her own words:
"There is not technology to video record to all minutes
are taken."


Easy for her to say!

Well, never let it be said that Mayor Joy Cooper didn't
know how to add insult to injury at the worst possible
time, because she's done it once again in a way that only
she could.

Yes, the same person whose personal pique last Fall over
not being able to get her way with the City of Hollywood
City Commission and/or somehow extorting $1 million
dollars from the developer of The Beach One Resort project (according to their attorney) to simply walk away with their objections, by threatening to start charging all citizens to access the public beach at the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood border, was at it again at the beginning of March.

For those of you who may've missed it the first time around,
I've attached below her so-called "column" from the vanity
press South Florida Sun-Times, which as you all know,
will say anything you like them to say for a price.

(From what I recall hearing, the City of Hallandale Beach currently gives this for-profit enterprise about $20,000 a year, if not more, to run ads and pro-HB puff pieces that are cringe-worthy to actually read, and which always sound like the pure propaganda they are.)

In it, she digs an even bigger hole for herself while in
engaging in the sort of very clumsy and ultra-defensive
spin-control we've come to expect from her over the years,
this time by actually insulting the intelligence of the citizens
of this community by asking herself a question.
A question that she can't fully or truthfully answer.
In a word: Why?

The question the mayor literally asks herself -and yet fails
to adequately answer- is why are issues that DON'T involve
labor or executive meetings, the ones that have special status,
ALSO held AWAY from the scrutiny of the citizens of this city,
the press and the city's own govt. channel cameras?

She also can't honestly say (or explain away) what, specifically,
about those issues that have been voted on the past year away
from the scrutiny of the public, the press and the TV cameras
that was SO damn pressing that they couldn't possibly wait two
weeks?

You know, with proper legal notice AND on an actual printed
agenda AND with staff documentation AND with TV cameras
AND with citizen participation?
The way that citizens and business owners of this city have
a reasonable right to expect.

Mayor Cooper doesn't say, because there is NO logical reason.
She just wants it done that way, plain and simple, and has City
Attorney David Jove and his assistants on a very tight leash,
and will keep doing so until she is stopped, even though she
puts the city's taxpayers at risk of future litigation every single
time she does it.
She doesn't care what you think -or what the state law says!

Instead, as you know. she and some of her colleagues have,
among other things, voted on City Manager Good's
over-the-top, overly generous contract -without providing
any documentation of any kind- and the purchase of
Comm. Sander's group's property at 501 N.W. 1st Ave.,
Hallandale Beach

Also, her comments are not factually true, as I've attended city
meetings before that were NOT displayed on the city website's
own calendar even as the meetings were taking place, including
Planning and Zoning meetings.
In fact, I even mentioned it at the time at the actual meetings,
just for the record.

And let's be honest, we all know from personal experience how
terribly unreliable the city's website is for a whole host of issues,
yet we are forced to pay over $3,000 a month to some company
for third-rate quality.
In fact, Mayor Cooper's so-called column in the Sun-Times
recently had a headline and story that practically cried out for
someone to be fired.
Labeled: It was a very busy week around the community,

it was a classic example of HB incompetency and futility.

Her 14th paragraph begins:
In order to expedite many of our construction programs and projects City Manager Mike Good recommended the department be split between utilities and public works. Mr. John Chidsey was introduced as our new Director of Public Works. His duties will include but are not limited to; construction planning and supervision, facility maintenance, sanitation, fleet management, street maintenance and transportation. Mr. Chidsey has over 30 years of supervisory experience in construction, mechanical repair and maintenance. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from Nova, is a State Certified contractor having built over 100,000 million dollars in construction and holds a Broward County Engineering 3G Certificate.
The combined expertise of both these gentlemen will provide much better service to our community. Keeping with our goal not to increase costs and provide the same quality or improved services this staff change will create no additional costs. Recently Frank Hilemen Legislative Analyst/Grant Specialist left the city for a job with a private firm. This position was not filled in the city manager's department but transferred to create the new public works position.
So would you be at all surprised to discover that as of today, April 13th,
just as was true last week and last month on March 8th, after typing his
name into the search function box, the city's own website shows that there
is no such person -with or without using quotation marks- named
"Chidsey" working for the City of Hallandale Beach, as you can see for
yourself below.
And he's the Director of a Department!
------------------------------------------------------------
April 13, 2009
You are here: Home > Site Search


The site search allows you to look for specific items. The first three results are listed on the first page. Additional results are found by clicking “View Next”.

Search Results
Advanced Search
Your search: Chidsey
No Matches were found for your query. Please try again.

Not surprisingly, given what I've already told you, as of today,
as was true last week and last month, the city's website,
also still shows Mr. Brant as DPW Director
You are here: Home > Staff Directory
William Brant


Department of Public Works
Title: Director of Public Works
Phone: 954-457-1611
Return to Staff Directory



Looks like this guy Chidsey gets to join Sen. Sobel in the "Unbearable
Lightness of Nothing- Invisibility" club, too.



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Two months after taking over, his name is still absent from the
city's website.
In what other South Florida cities would that be deemed acceptable?

Given my particular interests, I plan on making Mr. Chidsey and
his Dept.'s continuing poor performance a hot subject of discussion
at the meeting tomorrow.

For myself, those issues of concern obviously include the awful
physical condition of the beach, the obvious lack of an adequate
number of blue recycling bins actually on the beach and at other
city facilities -another Mike Good lie!- longstanding avoidance of
city code enforcement due to City Hall cronyism, and the curious
case of the so-called "community center" underneath the HB Water
Tower, which on April 3rd, celebrated its 20th month as a city facility
that you CAN'T use.

The 19th Month Anniversary of the Wasted Beach Community Center, Thanks to Joy Cooper and Mike Good


The view of the Beach community center from Joy Cooper & Mike Good's
HB City Hall.
It's out-of-sight, out-of-mind!
Is that the ocean I hear singing its siren song? Getting a bit closer!

Closer still!

So in case you ever doubted what I've been saying about
this problem being self-evident, as I've been saying for what
seems like forever, 20 months AFTER taking title to the
property, the City of Hallandale Beach is SO incompetent
that they've STILL never removed this old information from
the front door of this facility.
This photo I snapped the other day proves that point rather
conclusively, don't you think?

There's your 'Smoking Gun!'
.
This beach-side facility belongs to ALL HB citizens, not
just to the HB City Hall Crew and their pack of cronies
and lackeys who make excuses for their unethical behavior
even as they deny it.

This property my friends is the real evil genius of Joy Cooper
and Mike Good in all its full flower!

They've essentially STOLEN something of great value from
you and every other citizen, taxpayer and resident of this city,
and yet many people who live and work here don't even know
they've been robbed.
And the people responsible for robbing it are pulling a con
where they say they're "working on it."

No they aren't, and this is proof positive of that!

Can you imagine Aventura, Hollywood, FTL or any other
ocean-side city in South Florida being given a property
just steps from the beach, and NOT allowing citizens
and taxpayers to actually walk thru it for 20 months to
see what they have, let alone, not convene a single
public forum to discuss the future of the site?
I can't.

And people actually wonder why more people don't know
that it's a city facility?
Could it be because there's nothing actually posted by the
city anywhere saying that it is?
Yes!!!

So, there's absolutely nothing saying who it belongs to,
what's going on, when it'll be open, whom to contact for
more info,,,


Looking east thru the other front door towards Surf Road
and the beach past those Palm trees.
Trust me, those City of HB barricades have been in the
same exact place for well over a year!


More of the same.

Looking thru the east window back towards the front door, with the reflection of the beach behind me.


Looking thru the south window towards The Beachside Cafe,
which continues to throw glass bottles into the garbage dumpster
rather than place them in their own recycling bins, which is
probably contrary to their lease with the city, oui?
That has been going on for YEARS!


Above, the infamous Beachside Cafe garbage dumpsters
with their fancy beach address but who've long lacked the
required fencing that HB Code Compliance insists on for
every other business in the city, but which has NEVER been
there in all the years since The Beachside Cafe has been
in its current location.

Yes, that is the official HB symbol on the dumpsters,

Just moments before I snapped the photo above, from last
weekend, I saw (and heard) a Beachside Cafe employee
walk over to the dumpster and fling a green garbage bag
full of glass bottles into the dumpster, as the sound of
glass ricocheting off steel is a sound you immediately
recognize.

So tell me, how exactly does HB's Code Compliance
Dept. continually miss this self-evident violation every day
-for YEARS?

Or, is that because of the relationship between the owners
and the powers-that-be over at HB City Hall, who never ask
any questions about the very curious and questionable things
that go on around there, which I've witnessed for years.
To the best of my knowledge, over the past five years,
the city has yet to have a City Commission meeting where
there was an agenda item where the public could
speak about any concerns they have about the bar's conduct
or lease with the city on their prime beach location.

You know, like they'll be doing Wednesday night for the
second reading of: An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale
Beach, Florida, Approving and Authorizing a Contract
Amendment with AAAA Crosstown Towing and Recovery,
Inc. ("AAAA") for Towing Service (First Reading), which
passed 5-0.

According to Comm. London's recent email, "The contract
was renewed for three more years with a fee reopener at
the end of year one."

And by curious, I specifically mean, among other things,
the restaurant making money off of people who park illegally
on Surf Road, either directly in front of No Parking signs,
with towing info, from AAAA Crosstown, or, thru parking
in spots specifically reserved for the HB Fire/Rescue Station
that's connected to the so-called "community center."

Speaking of parking...


Do you know who owns this Corvette below, which for YEARS
has been parking illegally, either in the six parking spots
reserved for Fire/Rescue employees working at the Beach
station on State Road A1A, or in the lone Handicapped Parking
spot?

That's FL license plate T218GP, and he has no Fire/Rescue
or City decals of any kind on the car, because I've looked,
but does have a "Horseman" card from Calder on his rear-view
mirror.

He always goes straight into the Beachside Cafe, never to the
beach itself, and is there -shocker!- for hours and hours!
The photos below are from last year but I have many more,
including recent ones, of this guy's mis-placed sense of entitlement,
including from last Sunday afternoon.


This car asks, "Don't you know who I am?
I'm a VIP in HB who knows people at HB City Hall and I get to park wherever I want,
including, if I want, in the parking spaces reserved for Fire-Rescue employees, or,
even in the Handicapped Access Zone, which for you is a $250 fine, but for me is
nothing."

On the day this photo of the car was taken, above and below, it was in the Handicapped
Access Zone, a fine of $250.
"But I don't have to worry about getting a ticket from the Police or having
my car towed by AAAA Crosstown Towing like you.
I'm connected to HB City Hall, capisce?
I'm an 'Untouchable.'
And I do it all right out in the open, directly under a HB Police Dept.-controlled
security camera! Ha-ha!"


IF the city doesn't want to actually enforce their very own laws,
I strongly encourage you to publicly ask that they ALL be made
Handicapped Reserved spaces, except for a space for an HB
truck to come by daily to clean up the public restrooms and
replace supplies, a longstanding problem as anyone who goes
to the beach knows.
NO EXCEPTIONS!

And anyone using the Handicapped spaces MUST pay the
same rate as anyone else using the nearby public garage:
$1 an hour.
I think there would be a lot of public support for such a move,
since the one Handicapped space is clearly not enough
in this city,
The only person who could be against that particular move would
be another person I can think of who has constantly abused the
beach parking spaces, too.

Another big difference between HB City Hall's attitude and most
South Florida governments is the way they approach public
safety and law enforcement, where here, there's a lot of darkness,
secrecy and spin and TONS of bad attitude.
And self-evident public corruption.

Whatever else Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor did that was
atypical as far as police administration goes, unlike Hallandale
Beach Police Chief Thomas Magill, he never actually used city
resources and personnel to try to frame two innocent people to
impress the City Manager.

Sheriff Andy Taylor. 'Hulton Archive'/Getty Images


But Hallandale Beach's Magill did that, TWICE, according
to Broward County juries that reached their decision in less
than thirty minutes, below, due to the overwhelming evidence
against the city; yet another David Jove success story!

Yet there hasn't been a single City Commission meeting
held under the tag-team of Cooper & Good where Magill's
(criminal) behavior and conduct has been publicly discussed,
even AFTER the City of Hallandale Beach has paid hundreds
of thousands of taxpayer dollars to those wrongly accused,
plus large legal fees, due to the criminal conspiracy
engineered by Thomas Magill.


My own extensive experience doing Advance Work and
logistics for presidential campaigns informs me that we
will get a higher turnout of reform-minded residents,
and their like-minded friends -and media- if people know
in advance that there FINALLY will be a public unmasking
of City Hall, where longstanding problems in this city,
that have been covered-up and exacerbated for years by
HB City Hall, will all be out in the open.

It plays to our strength that the Mayor and the City Manager
expect this to be the usual dog-and-pony show they prefer,
where they pretend to be concerned with citizens criticisms
and mouth generalities about solving them with phony deadlines
that they have absolutely no intentions of following through on,
as past sessions I have attended have clearly demonstrated.

I also know well from personal experience the folly of going
thru their phony chain-of-command exercise.
In October of 2007, I explained in minute detail for over an
hour to two of the City Manager's highly-paid assistants,
Franklin Hileman and Jennifer Frastai, in a City Hall
conference room next to the City manager's office.

I often pointed out that I'd written on my blog about
these very problems and even had photographs of
them on the site, if they doubted me.

Well, they not only did NOTHING with the information
I gave them about the self-evident problems around the
city, but they also never followed-up with me, despite
my having given them multiple email addresses and
phone numbers of mine to contact me with details.

That, my friend, is the current cast and crew at HB
City Hall that are literally ruining this city in ways
both large and small everyday.



By the way, as you may've surmised, I've highlighted
this particular meeting tomorrow specifically because,
unlike the other city quadrant meetings, it is not being
held on city property, and is the one that is physically
closest to the "Community center" the city won't let
Hallandale Beach taxpayers and residents actually use.

The one that rightly belongs to you and your family and
your neighbors.

The 19th Month Anniversary of the Wasted Beach Community Center, Thanks to Joy Cooper and Mike Good

Do yourself a favor and come out to La Mer Condo tonight
at 1890 S. Ocean Drive,

I strongly encourage those of you who do come out tonight
to bring audio/visual materials which can't be factually refuted,
and which your fellow citizens in the room can see and judge
for themselves, much to the chagrin of the HB City Hall
Rubber Stamp Crew.



-----------------------------------------------


Below, just two of the more glaring examples of the mendacity
of HB Police Chief Thomas Magill and the Hallandale Beach
City Commission that continually has ignored his personal
corruption of justice, which has cost HB taxpayers a pretty
penny.

It's an indictment of all involved, esp. Dotty Ross, who's been
on the City Commission throughout this entire sordid era,
and who, to this day, simply won't accept the fact that the
city's Police Dept, is run by someone who, in any normal city,
would've been fired for corruption and incompetentcy long ago.
And that she has done NOTHING about that.

To quote the second article below:

[Judge] Zloch also let stand a charge that the city had a policy




of not training internal affairs officers that, Hagopian argued,
'encourages fabricated evidence for the sole purpose of allowing
the whims of its police chief [Magill' to terminate employees.'
-----------------------------------------
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale Beach to pay to settle one of two former police
officers' lawsuits
By John Holland
January 27, 2008

Hallandale Beach commissioners have agreed to pay more than $100,000 to settle
a lawsuit alleging Police Chief Thomas Magill falsified evidence, a city board held
an illegal meeting and detectives persuaded a felon to lie under oath about a fellow
officer.

Mayor Joe Cooper and attorney Alberto Milian, who represents former Hallandale
Beach Police Officer Talous Cirilo, confirmed the city's settlement with Cirilo but
would not comment further, citing a confidentiality agreement. However, Cooper
said the payment was more than $100,000, including attorney fees.

'I'd love to talk about this and tell people what happened, but unfortunately I can't,'
Cooper said.

Magill referred questions to City Attorney David Jove, who could not be reached
for comment.

The settlement comes less than two months after Cirilo filed two lawsuits against
the city, alleging wrongdoing in the department and City Hall. Hallandale officials
fired Cirilo, alleging excessive use of force, even though a jury acquitted him on
battery charges.

Cooper said the secrecy is warranted because a separate lawsuit, filed in federal
court by former acting Police Sgt. Mary Hagopian, has not been settled. She
promised to speak about the settlement at a later date 'if I'm allowed to.'

Magill and City Manager Mike Good fired the officers two years ago after
prosecutors charged them with misdemeanor battery on prisoner Michael Brack.

Early on April 1, 2005, Brack beat his brother as they fought in a moving car,
then attacked officers who tried to intervene, according to arrest records and police
reports.

Months after the arrest, a civilian employee said Cirilo choked and used a Taser
device excessively on Brack.

More than a year later, the State Attorney's Office charged Cirilo with three
misdemeanor battery counts. Hagopian was charged with a misdemeanor for
using the stun gun on Brack as he struggled with officers in a jail holding area.

Defense lawyers said Magill orchestrated the charges as part of a vendetta against
Hagopian and to show his bosses at City Hall he was a disciplinarian. Testimony
at trial showed police employees mishandled two key pieces of evidence - a video
surveillance tape and software from the Taser - distorting the confrontation between
the officers and Brack, defense lawyers argued.

Prosecutors tried the officers separately, but jurors reached the same conclusion,
acquitting them after about 15 minutes of deliberation.After the acquittals, the officers
tried to get their jobs back, butMagill and city officials refused.

In one of the lawsuits, Milian accused the city civil service board of holding an illegal
meeting outside City Hall on Oct. 9, 2007, one week before a scheduled hearing on
the reinstatement.

Florida law mandates that all meetings be advertised and prohibits public officials from
meeting out of the public eye or discussing cases with each other. At least six board
members met and discussed the meeting in a 'knowing violation' of the law, according
to the lawsuit.
Good, the city manager, could not be reached for comment.

Hagopian, a 15-year veteran, and Cirilo, on the force for five years, hired different lawyers
and filed in different jurisdictions but made the same argument: Magill pressured his
internal affairs officers and detectives to manipulate evidence and coerce false
statements out of Brack so he could fire the officers and enhance his image as a
reformer.

Magill used public money to have officers track down Brack on a Louisiana oil barge,
where he ended up after leaving Broward County and forfeiting his bail, both lawsuits
assert.

The State Attorney's office dropped all the assault charges against Brack, including
the attack on his brother, then used him to testify against the officers.

The chief temporarily assigned several officers to internal affairs without any training,
for the sole purpose of building a false case against the officers, Hagopian's lawyer
Rhea Grossman said in court papers.

Magill sparked criminal charges against Hagopian 'by preparing directly or at his
direction police reports containing false or misleading information,' Grossman wrote.

Both lawsuits contend Magill elicited false testimony and compiled misleading evidence
that he took directly to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch tossed out four counts last month, saying they
belong in state court. He refused to dismiss two others, including one alleging Magill
presented false information to prosecutors so Hagopian would be arrested.

Zloch also let stand a charge that the city had a policy of not training internal affairs
officers that, Hagopian argued, 'encourages fabricated evidence for the sole purpose
of allowing the whims of its police chief to terminate employees.'

Milian said last week that the jury's quick acquittals proved the charges were bogus.

"This case was an abomination from the very beginning, and good officers were hurt,"
Milian said. "It could ultimately have a chilling effect on officers who want to protect
themselves and their colleagues but are afraid because they could get in the same
type of situation."

Below, even more proof that the past is prologue!

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
FALSE ARREST VICTIM ON GUARD BUT SAYS HE BEARS NO GRUDGES

May 1, 2000
By Tanya Weinberg Staff Writer
Henry Perez won't go anywhere without his identification. Not because he thinks he might get a ticket. Not because he thinks he might not be allowed into a bar.

Because he knows that without identification, police could throw him in jail for
another person's crime. He knows he could lose his job and a week of his life
before his captors figure out they have the wrong man.
The odd thing is, when Perez suffered those consequences four years ago,
he did have his identification. Hallandale Beach Police arrested the then-17-year-old on his way to school because he had the same name as a teenager wanted for
grand theft in Miami-Dade County.
His driver's license showed he was two years older than Henry Perez the suspect.
He kept telling the officer he had the wrong man, to check and he would see.

"He didn't want to listen," said a soft-spoken Perez on a recent evening before
starting his workout at Contenders Boxing Gym in Hollywood.

For one week of fear and frustration, it seemed nobody would listen. Not the police, not the jail guards, not counselors who asked Perez to fill out surveys on drug use but offered little guidance. Not even a judge. He ordered Perez sent to Miami-Dade County without letting him speak.

When Perez's lawyer convinced another judge they had the wrong Henry Perez,
it took the jail another day and a half to release him.
The state last year settled Perez's lawsuit against the juvenile justice system for
$75,000. But for four years, the city of Hallandale Beach did not apologize, did not
acknowledge the mistake, did not make amends. But now it will.
The city attorney told commissioners two weeks ago that they should stop the appeals process and settle Perez's civil lawsuit for the $100,000 a jury awarded last year.
This after Perez's lawyer offered to settle for $19,000.
"They told us to go fly a kite," said Miami attorney Scott Jay Feder.
Perez said he plans to save the settlement money.

"I'm just happy to be done with it," said Perez, who focuses on his budding professional career as a lightweight boxer with a 5-0 record and works days as a customer service representative at Ramada Plaza Resorts in Fort Lauderdale.
He is surprised his case prevailed.

"I thought because I was going against the police station there was no way," he said as he wound yellow hand wraps around his knuckles. "I thought because I was young, they wouldn't take my word for it."
And the judge and jury might not have, Feder said, if the evidence hadn't shown that the arresting officer lied at trial.
Arrested before 9 a.m., Perez said he was not allowed to call his mother until he was taken to jail late that night. Officer Timothy Donahue testified that in the morning he contacted Perez's mother, Gloria Frances, and told her to bring her son's identification.
According to Donahue's testimony, Frances said she noticed that Perez had left his wallet at home but she could not bring it in, so officers detained Perez. But the official log of Perez's belongings at the time police booked him showed that he had his identification with him.
Donahue resigned as a Hallandale Beach officer in October 1998 and currently is a Davie police officer.
Perez's case is not the only high-profile blunder the Hallandale Beach Police Department has made recently.

A police SWAT team a year ago surprised a couple by bursting into their apartment and searching them for drugs and guns. The couple, New York horse trainers who say they now avoid South Florida, are suing Hallandale Beach after police admitted to raiding the wrong home.
Perez and his family just moved from Hollywood to North Miami, and although he is 21, he always tries to call to let his mother know where he is and whether he'll be late to spare her the feeling of panic in his absence.
Perez said he doesn't focus on the past, on how his pleas to check his fingerprints went unheeded, or about the days and nights in jail when he avoided the frequent fights or slept shivering after someone stole his pillow and blanket.
Other things Perez doesn't dwell on: that he had to stand up his girlfriend the day of his arrest -- Valentine's Day -- that the nursing home where he worked wouldn't take him back although he explained the arrest was a mistake, that he wouldn't leave the house for several weeks after, afraid of another false arrest, and that he had to make up the time in summer school.
Perez said he has no grudges against police officers. He does try to stay out of
Hallandale Beach, though.
"When I see a Hallandale officer, I might get a little worried," he said with a shy smile.
Then, patting at his thighs, he added: "I just check and see if I have my ID."

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