A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ten days after story emerges about criminal allegations, why is South Florida's news media continuing to sleep on story about Hallandale Beach Comm/candidate Leo Grachow 2 weeks before election? Especially the South-Florida Sun Sentinel?

Last Friday I wrote this and it was 100% true at the time:

Here's an email I penned and sent on Sunday morning before the Dolphins-Bears game to a couple of hundred concerned people throughout Hallandale Beach, Broward County and South Florida.
That includes sending it to many members of the sleepwalking South Florida news media, who to their great dis-credit, are once again letting readers and viewers down two weeks before an election. Why?

Sunday October 19, 2014

You know, you find the most-interesting things on the Internet when you spend a few minutes on a lazy Sunday morning trying to find out more information so you can make better sense of what you already do know.
And often you think of questions you hadn't thought to ask before.

For instance, how and why is it that TEN DAYS after the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's initial story ran online re criminal allegations against interim HB City Commissioner and candidate Leo Grachow being investigated by the BSO -a story that hours later was then pulled and wiped clean from their website- not a single new fact-based bit of information has emerged in the South Florida news media -print or electronic- to either support the initial allegations or discredit them?
(Original article at bottom)

With all the reporters available to work the story and the amazing technology around now to better help explain it to readers or viewers, how can it then be true that nobody in South Florida's press corps has reported ANYTHING new in ten days?
And how is it that the Sun-Sentinel, typically, instead of being open and transparent, is shooting themsleves in the foot and making themselves even more irrelevant than usual by remaining mum, and NOT explaning what they're doing or why they pulled the story from their website?
Well, consider where we live.

If this same story weeks before an important election that would determine the majority on the city commission had taken place in Coral Gables, Hialeah or in the City of Miami, it's likely there'd have been Miami Herald and Sun-Sentiel reporters sitting outside someone's home overnight, somebody from all four Miami-area English language TV stations already busy working the streets trying to ferret-out more info, while others worked the phones to try to come up with a new angle on the story and the individuals involved.
But because this story happened in Hallandale Beach, there's... nothing at all.

Not even so much as an explanation from the newspaper that started the whole ball rolling in the first place.

Original story of October 9th, 2014:
Woman accuses Hallandale commissioner of indecent exposure in condo sauna
By Susannah Bryan,Sun Sentinel

The Broward State Attorney's Office is looking into an accusation of
indecent exposure that's been lodged against Commissioner Leo Grachow.

Grachow, who is running in a commission race against Keith London,
denies the claim that he had his pants down in a sauna at his condo

"She obviously thinks she saw something, but it wasn't me," Grachow
said of his accuser. "I could have been in the sauna. But I wasn't
doing what I've been accused of."

Alessandra Martinez, 27, says she and Grachow, 66, were the only ones
in the condo's gym shortly before 8 p.m. Aug. 14.

Martinez says she was on a mat doing crunches. Her back was to the
sauna, but she was facing a mirror. In the mirror, she says could see
Grachow standing close to the glass door inside the sauna, watching

Suspicious, she says she got up after about five minutes and walked
toward a nearby water fountain to see what he was doing.

"His pants were down to his knees," she said. "I kind of freaked out and froze."

When a couple walked into the gym, Martinez said, she turned to tell
them what she'd seen and moments later noticed Grachow exiting the

Martinez, whose father is a Broward Sheriff's deputy and stepmother is
a Fort Lauderdale Police detective, says she called Hallandale Beach
Police that night to report the incident.

An officer came to the condo to take a report, but did not make an arrest.

When Martinez met with Sgt. Edward Diaz five days later, she says he
tried to talk her out of filing charges.

Hallandale spokesman Peter Dobens said the city had no comment on the
allegation or investigation.

Six weeks after incident, Hallandale Beach police turned the case over
to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

The Public Corruption Unit is now investigating the allegations, said
Ron Ishoy, spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.

"There's no merit or meat to this," said Marc Zee, an attorney
representing Grachow. "Sgt. Diaz said he was going to forward to the
State Attorney's Office because that's the policy. I'm pretty
confident they will decide not to file charges."

Martinez said Hallandale police have declined to give her a copy of
the police report despite repeated requests.

Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, said it's
highly unusual for a police agency to withhold a report from an
alleged victim.

"Police departments routinely release police reports every day, unless
there is a confidential informant involved or if by releasing the
report you will compromise the investigation," Jarvis said. "As soon
as you write a police report, it's supposed to be public record."

After three requests from the Sun Sentinel for a copy of the police
report, Hallandale Beach City Attorney Lynn Whitfield emailed a copy
of the first page to the newspaper this week. The names of both
parties along with all other identifying information were blacked out.

The report gives the address of the condo, 200 Leslie Drive and lists
the allegation — indecent exposure.

"This criminal investigation is still active and under review by the
State Attorney's Office to determine whether or not any criminal
charges will be filed," Whitfield wrote.

The State Attorney's Office has declined three requests by the Sun
Sentinel for a copy of the report, citing the open investigation.

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