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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reminder: Broward County Ethics Commission meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, from 9-11:30 a.m.

Just a reminder that the next Broward County
Ethics Commission
meeting is tomorrow,
Wednesday morning from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 430,
Ft. Lauderdale.

Public testimony at 11 a.m.

Tomorrow's agenda at:

Not mentioned below?
That Genentech was ranked the seventh-best
company in the U.S. to work for.
That's not by accident.

Number of Florida companies on that Top 100 list?

That's also not by accident.

Top 100 Headquarters

South Florida's longstanding culture of corruption,
entrenched cronyism and and pay-to-play city and
county governments, where lawyer lobbyists often
run the roost and keep unqualified people in office
thru their fundraising largesse, on top of all the other
well-known problems, chase companies away.

If you attend their meetings or read the Minutes
of the meetings, it's apparent that that the Broward
Ethics Commission and the county's top administrators
haven't gotten that memo yet.

Consider this email from one of the county's top

administrators, which I mentioned previously on
my blog on Nov. 25th at

From: Cepero, Monica
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 1:13 PM
To: 'Alfreda Coward'; 'Carl Shechter'; 'Comm. Carl Shechter'; 'Felicia M. Brunson'; 'Howard Bakalar'; Jardine, Arlene; 'Julie Lakosky'; 'Kenneth Fink'; Leu, Leah; Cepero, Monica; 'Neal de Jesus'; Robert Wolfe; 'Robin Rorapaugh'; Russo, Jean; Seff, Bradley; Teitler, Robert; 'Washington Collado'; 'William Scherer'
Subject: Broward County Ethics Commission verbatim minutes

Attached are the verbatim minutes from the last Ethics Commission meeting. The summary minutes will be forthcoming next week.

Have a nice weekend,


Monica M. Cepero

Assistant to the County Administrator

115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 409

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: (954) 357-7354

Fax: (954) 357-7360



Well, today, 18 days after Monica Cepero wrote
that letter, the Minutes of that last meeting, the ones
that were supposed to be made available,
don't appear on the county's Ethics Committee
web page for the public to see.

You know, in case facts actually matter.
Speaking of the power of lobbyists, in case you
missed it last month...

New York Times
In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’
By Robert Pear
November 14, 2009

WASHINGTON — In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities. Often, that was no accident.

Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.

E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans.

Read the rest of the story at:



South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Panel calls for ethics prosecutor in Broward

But commissioners' attorneys say task force overstepped its authority in asking Legislature to create position

By Scott Wyman, Staff Writer

November 26, 2009

A state prosecutor would be permanently assigned to the Governmental Center to root out corruption by Broward County officials under a proposal that an ethics task force is pushing.

The task force assigned to write a first-ever conduct of conduct for county commissioners has asked state legislators to require a permanent prosecutor. The request comes as state and federal prosecutors are investigating possible corruption in local government.

But attorneys for the commissioners have accused the task forcel of overstepping its authority in seeking the legislation.

The task force has until early March to complete its work. The group zeroed in on giving the power to prosecutors over creating a full-time ethics agency or relying on county lawyers.

"You can write all the rules in the world you want, but it is meaningless without enforcement," said Robin Rorapaugh, a Hollywood-based political consultant and task force member.

Voters amended the county charter last fall to create the task force after commissioners failed to follow through on an earlier charter requirement that they draw up an ethics code.

State Rep. Ari Porth, a Coral Springs Democrat who heads the county's legislative delegation, said that if asked, lawmakers would be willing to look at legislation requiring a full-time prosecutor.

The task force is suggesting the prosecutor be paid through fees that the county collects from lobbyists to register each year.

Fort Lauderdale attorney Bill Scherer, a member of the ethics panel, said he suggested a full-time prosecutor as a cheaper alternative to an ethics agency like that in Miami-Dade County.

"It seems so simple if you had a prosecutor whose sole job is work at the county offices, has subpoena power to investigate and ensure compliance with ethics laws and does not report to the commission," Scherer said.

But county attorneys say the task force acted improperly in making the request to the Legislature.

"It is quite clear in terms of the charter what the charge of the ethics commission is and that charge is to develop an ethics policy for the board of county commissioners," County Attorney Jeff Newton said. "Anything else is outside their scope."

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What a night we had! #HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 2016

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