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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The City of Hallandale Beach's rules are clear -NO political activity on city property. But Josh Brown, Jr. doesn't care about our rules. He wants what HE wants, and our rules don't scare him...; @SandersHB

Below is a copy of an email that I sent to Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee Crichton and some other city officials around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

It's one that I felt was necessary after receiving a  disturbing phone call Tuesday morning about YET ANOTHER outrageous attempt by one of the more outlandish characters in this city with connections to HB City Hall, trying to get away with truly egregious behavior and intentionally trying to usurp the city's own rules, this time, in order to help their political friends. 

(If I told you that the friends are people NOT interested in genuine reform or financial accountability at HB City Hall, does that help narrow it down for you?)

I sent it to about 125 people, including bcc's to other elected officials in Broward County, some folks up in Tallahassee and a cc to the Broward Inspector General's office.
If I receive a response from City Manager Crichton I will print it here for you to peruse yourself.

FYI: The email references to DBS are in fact ones to yours truly, HBB.


-----------------------------------
Tuesday October 22, 2012 

Dear City Manager Crichton:

In my opinion, it's hardly surprising that someone with as checkered a public past as Josh Brown, Jr. would try to stretch and then break clear-cut City of Hallandale Beach administrative rules and ordinances designed to prevent people from taking advantage of city taxpayers.
No political activity on city property.

As you can read at the bottom of this email, the facts are pretty clear about what Brown has done in the past, the sort of unethical practices and fraud he has attempted in the past to take advantage of others, all in order to gain something of value to which he was not legally entitled to.
In the case cited below, trying to open a checking account under false pretenses, in order to solicit funds under the name of a political group to which he was NOT legally authorized to represent.
Keep that phrase in mind as you read this email -intentional misrepresentation.

Even though it's perfectly common sense on its own terms, it's no surprise to anyone that the city has rules that specifically forbid political campaigning by candidates or their representatives on city property for reasons that we can all understand and appreciate.

So, given these facts, what is surprising to me is NOT that Josh Brown, Jr. would think that he is too clever to get caught in attempting to break those rules and get away with engaging in political campaigning at city facilities, in order to directly assist his friend, Comm. Anthony A. Sanders, who votes on whether the non-profit group Brown  is a Director of receives city taxpayer funds or CRA funds.

The Hallandale Beach scandal that won't go away

(At a property owned by the city at 501 N.W. First Avenue. A property formerly owned by Comm. Sanders and his wife, and purchased by  the city without, as I have lamented, a legitimate plan. Plus, thanks to a motion made by then-Comm. Bill Julian in 2009, inexplicably, it allows former owner and current Comm. Sanders to use the parcel he already sold for FREE until the building is leveled. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved)

No, Brown and Comm. Sanders are clearly more than ships passing in the night,  so what IS surprising to me is that Brown honestly thinks that other citizens of this city, especially pro-reform citizens like myself and many of my friends who want this community to be MUCH more than it is now, would simply stand aside and let him succeed in perpetrating this fraud  he is currently planning for Wednesday night.

To wit, using the pretext of his reserving space at the city's new Foster Park facility -without paying for it himself!- for "voter education" as a ruse for Brown to conveniently have Comm. Sanders and Bill Julian come over for a bit and use that space to campaign with voters.

As I understand it, Brown then called what he was trying to do a "debate," something that was NOT mentioned in his formal request to use the facility according to a conversation I had with HB Parks & Rec. Director Cathie Schanz, when I called her about this matter Monday morning, to let her know what was really going on.

Frankly, I didn't think that it was right for Brown to not only get away with intentionally trying to break the rules and get away with something that is impermissible, and I also didn't like the idea of this sort of thing, after-the-fact, reflecting poorly on her Dept., solely because Brown was so confident that he could pull this off, including lying about what he was doing if need be.
Well, this email to you today is proof that he failed to carry out his misrepresentation and deception.

Besides, for something to be a real "debate," don't you actually have to have ALL of the candidates present to argue their various points and policies?
Of course, but that notion of basic fairness is NOT what Josh Brown, Jr. had in mind for Wednesday night.
No, instead, he wanted to take advantage of the city's taxpayers and ignore the city's own rules and play kingmaker, inviting people he liked to use city facilities to speak to voters -to campaign.
Period.

Despite all the people he knows in this city and who perhaps owe him favors, Brown does NOT get to write his own rules and laws in this city. 
Nor does he get to use the city's facilities, taxpayer facilities, as his personal or political clubhouse and hangout for himself and his pals.

It seems to me that it is long past time for Josh Brown, Jr. to accept that society and this city have rules and laws, and he is NOT above them.

From the public record we already know that Josh Brown, Jr. doesn't much care what others think about what he says and does, otherwise, he would never have been allowed to engage in his politically partisan remarks at the Foster Park opening ceremonies a few weeks ago.
Plain and simple, Brown and his friends will keep pushing the boundaries of right and wrong until he is finally stopped.

Owing to the importance of the city's rules actually being followed and fairly enforced, I'm sending copies of this letter to others in the community with a strong interest in that, with no "special rules for special people," as has been common practice here for years.

The most recent example of this attitude of entitlement is that on the property of the very city-owned building that Josh Brown Jr. spends so much time at, the one formerly owned by Comm. Sanders, is also where where political campaign yard signs for Comm. Sanders, Bill Julian and Mayor Joy Cooper were erected and allowed to stay.
For weeks.

Above, October 3rd, 2012 © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

And the three of them still have political yard signs on church property.
Specifically, the S.W. corner of Chuch of Christ at Hallandale Beach, and the  intersection of First Avenue and S.W. 3rd Street, a well-traveled east-west secondary road.

I don't know you that well, Ms. Crichton, but I suspect that I don't have to 
tell you why the idea of political signs on church property isn't a good one, and is actually illegal, or what can happen to non-profits like churches if they engage in political activity.
The IRS is very clear about this point.

Inline image 2

Above and below, October 3rd, 2012.
© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Inline image 4
© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
People who should know better, actual adults who already know the rules, have once again tried to seek an advantage by intentionally breaking rules and laws that we all have to follow.
No, they are NOT exactly role models for the very kids they say they are attempting to educate and influence.

Please make whatever arrangements you deem necessary with the assistance of the City Attorney, the Police Dept. and, perhaps, Code Compliance to ensure that they have the resources they need Wednesday night to prevent one well-known person with connections in this town from abusing the rules that everyone in this city is supposed to follow.

IF you don't stop this sort of effort now, it will only grow increasingly worse over the coming years.

Sincerely,

DBS, Nine-year resident of Hallandale Beach
http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/HallandaleBeachBlog



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: InspectorGeneral
Date: Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Subject: RE: re unscrupulous Josh Brown, Jr., Director of non-profit in Hallandale Beach that receives city funds - Why wasn't he prosecuted?
To: "DBS"


Your email  has been received by the Broward Office of the Inspector General.  Your information will be reviewed to determine what action will be taken.

Sincerely,

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image001.png@01CD9292.68C95D40

Broward Office of the Inspector General

------ 


Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2012 2:41 PM
To: Timothy Donnelly
Cc: InspectorGeneral; Attorney General Pam Bondi

Subject: re unscrupulous Josh Brown, Jr., Director of non-profit in Hallandale Beach that receives city funds - Why wasn't he prosecuted?


October 3rd, 2012

Below my email to you today is a self-explanatory email I sent to South Florida
Times reporter Elgin Jones almost a month ago.

In it, I asked Mr. Jones if he had any more information about the well-documented 
activities and behavior of Josh Brown, Jr. of Hallandale Beach, a state-registered 
Director of a non-profit in Hallandale Beach called Palms Center for the Arts, Inc., 
which is run by his sister, Dr. Deborah Brown, who is its President.

Activities that Mr. Jones documented in his columns and on YouTube with a victim 
of Mr. Brown's activities, which I have links to on that email to Mr. Jones.

This organization has received tens of thousands of city dollars for many years
and operates out of a city-owned building that saw many thousands of dollars
poured into it before they moved-in, for which they pay Hallandale Beach taxpayers
the rather princely sum of $10 a year in rent for a building that the city itself claimed
was legally appraised for $235,000. Quite a deal! 
For them, not Hallandale Beach taxpayers

To say the least, the known behavior of Mr. Brown could at best, charitably, be
described as unscrupulous, to say nothing if not mendacious, fraudulent and
likely criminal.
In fact, that's exactly what it looks like, Mr. Donnelly.

Even in Broward County, intentionally misrepresenting yourself and your position 
within a non-profit, the Broward Democratic Black Caucus, to bank officials for the
purposes of opening a bank account so that you can illegally solicit funds throughout 
Broward County for an organization that you are NOT legally authorized to represent,
is NOT kosher.
Or legal.

And then there's that lingering questions about how it came to be that the Internet
is absolutely chock-full of information that show that at some point in the recent 
past, after the Palms Center for the Arts moved-in, Josh Brown, Jr. used the address
of this non-profit on city-owned property as the address for a personal political 
effort of his. Really. 
As if that was the most natural thing in the world to do.

It certainly gives me and many other concerned Hallandale Beach residents some
useful insight into Brown's willingness to do whatever he wants, and to laugh at the
rules, protocol or laws that everyone else has to follow.

Given his status as a Director at the Palms Center for the Arts, Inc., which continues
to receive city funds, my two questions for you, Mr. Donnelly are simple ones.

1.) How can Hallandale Beach taxpayers have any confidence in an organization
that has, as a Director, a man that has already tried to commit fraud to help himself
to money destined for a non-profit that he was not legally entitled to? 
Why must Hallandale Beach taxpayers have to wonder when the next shoe is going
to drop?

2.) Why was Josh Brown, Jr. not prosecuted by the SAO for his documented illegal
actions?

In the past few years, when I have written you and your office fact-filled emails about
highly-questionable ethical or illegal behavior/activities about the City of Hallandale
Beach that I have personally seen or have knowledge of, or been the victim of,
your office have chosen NOT to respond in any way to my queries. 

As a consequence of that track record of indifference, Mr. Donnelly, I'm sending 
copies of this email to roughly about 150 people or so in South Florida.

That not only includes Hallandale Beach's most well-informed and concerned citizens,
but also certain print/TV reporters, columnists, producers and station management
as well as local area elected officials, and others.
People who have more than a passing interest in Hallandale Beach being free of corruption
and criminal activity or influence.

And just as importantly, city tax dollars or CRA funds NOT going down the drain 
or being absconded with, due to the chronic lack of appropriate oversight by the 
Hallandale Beach City Commission, or timely and thorough auditing, due to their
longstanding love of crony capitalism with CRA and tax dollars.

Perhaps I'll hear from you at some point, perhaps not.
Given the lack of response from the SAO office in the past, you'll certainly understand 
that I'm not exactly holding my breath.

Sincerely yours,
DBS

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:"DBS"
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM
Subject: re Your 2009 article, BROWARD DEMOCRATIC BLACK CAUCUS ELECTION VOIDED re Josh Brown
To: "Jones, Elgin"
Cc: "DBS"
September 7, 2012
Dear Mr. Jones:

re your 2009 article, BROWARD DEMOCRATIC BLACK CAUCUS ELECTION VOIDED

Have you ever heard or been given a reasonable explanation for why Dr. Deborah R. Brown's
brother, Josh Brown, Jr., whom you reference in your article, and a Director at the Palms Center
for the Arts, Inc. that she is President of, which, according to documents they themselves provided
to the City of Hallandale Beach last year,
is NOT a 501(c)3 as most people assume


was, apparently, never prosecuted by the Broward State's Attorney for his leading role in attempting
to commit a fraud against the Broward Democratic Black Caucus in 2009, by engaging in a coup
against a legally-chartered political organization, including as you wrote at the time of your interview
above, Josh Brown Jr. setting-up a bank account in their name and then later soliciting funds under
false pretenses?

While I appreciate that historically, misrepresentation is often hard to prove in court, per se, this sounds
pretty clear-cut to me.

Also, have you ever heard any sort of plausible explanation given for why Brown was apparently
allowed to illegally use the address of his sister's organization on City of Hallandale Beach-owned
land as an office address for a political campaign or organization of his?
Not a Post Office box he rented or one at a nearby Mailbox Etc. but the actual physical address of
property owned by taxpayers, 501 N.W. 1st Street.

It's this building, where at 0:56 of this July Channel 10 video, hey, what do you know, there's Director 

How has he been able to apparently skate on all these things?

If you have any information or update on these matters that you'd be willing to share, I'd greatly
appreciate hearing from you.

Sincerely,


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

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