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.

Friday, March 6, 2015

ICYMI: the DOUBLE Hallandale Beach connection on the recent story about fired Miami Gardens police chief arrested after a prostitution arrest; Surprise! It's City Manager Renee Miller and the Hallandale Beach CRA

In case you forgot about this -or never knew it- the former Miami Gardens deputy Police Chief Paul Miller referred to in the Miami Herald article below about the just-resigned Stephen Johnsonwho resigned amid allegations of harassment and illegal stop-and-frisk tactics at the 207 Quikstop, is the husband of current Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee (Crichton) Miller.

Renee Miller, whom you will recall like it was yesterday, is the very same woman who so famously and frequently lectured us over recent years at HB City Commission and CRA meetings that one of the reasons that SHE was so well-qualified to undermine the valid and scathing criticisms that you and I have so frequently made public with self-evident evidence about the longtime incompetent and unsatisfactory doings of the HB CRA and the equally-curious, perplexing (and unsatisfactory) 

policies and practices of HBPD that routinely wastes personnel and resources like there's no tomorrow, was because... SHE helped create and manage them in Miami Gardens before she was (so foolishly) hired here.

Of course, when a certain charming, well-informed and well-known female HB civic activist of our acquaintance decided to contact the City of Miami Gardens last year to inquire about this boast of Renee Miller's and put it to the test, the folks in Miami Gardens more than scratched their heads.
Let's just say that THEY didn't quite remember recent history the way our current City Manager tells it. 
Not at all. 

In case you missed the amazing recent This American Life segment on the Miami Gardens Police Dept. and the 207 Quickstop while Paul Miller was Deputy Chief, it's here.
You might want to sit down before you listen to it!

The second HB angle on the story is that Police Chief Johnson was the pastor at HB-based Bethel House of God Church at 516 NW 4th Avenue, a past recipient of HB CRA largesse.

You might better remember Bethel from this doc written by Marcum LLP, a January 2012 draft for the City of Hallandale Beach in the form of an Agreed-Upon Procedures Draft in response to the HBCRA's years of completely inadequate and invisible financial control over millions of HBCRA dollars by City Managers Mike Good and Mark Antonio and their two -and current- Assistant City Managers, Nydia Rafols and
Jennifer Frastai, former City Attorney David Jove, Mayor Joy Cooper and the four other members of the HB City Commission acting as the CRA Board, where nobody drawing a HB paycheck ever bothered to verify whether CRA funds were being spent properly or prudently, to say nothing of being spent as outlined in their own formal requests for funding.
Or, whether it had simply been used for pocket money. 

Which as we know from the Broward State's Attorney's Office, happened in the case of one of Mayor Cooper's most-vocal political supporters, Dr. Deborah Brownthe little minnow that was arrested per Inspector General: Hallandale Beach ‘grossly mismanaged’ millions in public funds
while no HB elected officials or bureaucrats were arrested or fired.

Or perhaps you know Bethel House better from this doc from 2012;

Yes, THAT Dr. Deborah Brown.

From last Spring:



Arrest Number: 801400840 Arrest Date: 05/19/2014 
Race: B Sex: F DOB: 10/09/1961 
Height: 504  Weight: 179 Hair: BRO Eyes: BRO 
Arresting Agency: MAIN JAIL 
* Location: Main Jail 
* Visitation: 2B View Schedule
* Expected Release Date:  

click to enlarge  


Charge Number:1
Case Number:14006686cf10a
Description:GRAND THEFT>$300<$5000
Charge Comment:NIC
Charge Status:PENDING TRIAL (Surety Bond is pending)
Bond Type:BD
Bond Amount:1,000.00
Projected Sent. End Date*:
* Subject to Change

The Deborah Brown the city gave its MLK Humanitarian of the Year award to, remember, even as I discovered on my own -long before the Broward IG- that she was routinely failing to file required non-profit financial documents for her group with the IRS.
Not that anyone at HB City Hall was checking that.

The very woman who annually leased property from the city/CRA in NW Hallandale Beach for years for peanuts -$10.
AFTER the city poured lots of taxpayer money into it.

Property that as you'll recall had previously belonged to Comm. Anthony Sanders and his wife, which was bought from them by the city for about $89,000 more than it was actually worth.
And when time came to vote on the purchase, not surprisingly, Comm. Sanders didn't
have the good sense to recuse himself on the vote, as HB's former City Attorney David 
Jove, the legal bump-on-the-log waiting to retire and collect his pension, simply let it all 
slide, as he had for so many years.

Trust me, the Local10 video with Glenna Milberg, as well as my own comments, speak volumes: 

The Hallandale Beach scandal that won't go away

Above,  501 N.W. 1st Avenue, which in Hallandale Beach polite society and public policy circles is considered THE most egregious example of dozens of exasperating and highly-questionable examples of dubious government spending and crony capitalism that've taken place on Mayor Joy Cooper's ten-year watch, and one of the most dubious of any in Broward County, which is REALLY saying something. 
It's the infamous former property owned by HB Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and his wife, Jessica, that has seen so many tens of thousands of Hallandale Beach taxpayer dollars and CRA dollars poured into it. 
For what, THIS?

A property which was bought by the city without ANY plan for its future use, and which is now rented to a non-profit for $10 a year, and which Sanders can still use for free? 
(Some of the above is from 2012 blog posts.) 
The same public property that Deborah Brown's brother, Josh, used for some very curious purposes, including, perhaps, at least temporarily for purposes of running for office.
But isn't using that a prohibited purpose on public property? 


The same public property controlled by Deborah Brown that had partisan campaign signs for Mayor Cooper, Comm. Sanders and Comm. Julian on it for WEEKS in 2012 prior to the November election?
Campaign signs on taxpayer property? Yes.

From my October 15, 2012 blog post titled, 'Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB"

Deborah Brown's attack on a Keith London for Mayor volunteer at a HB election site at Ingalls Park in SW HB on Election Day in 2012 precipitated HBPD being called in to bring order there.
And actually having to keep many police officers on hand to make sure that Brown and 
other Cooper for Mayor supporters didn't start physically attacking their opponents -again.

Or did you never read about that bit of news in the Herald and the Sun-Sentinel?
For obvious reasons, you also never saw that fact appear in the HB CRA-subsidized South Florida Sun-Times, HB City Hall's propaganda sheet.
HB citizens' reality in the current media age is as certain as death and taxes: being ignored ad infinitum and watching as far too many print and TV reporters accept pablum from HB City Hall as an explanation rather than concentrating on what is right in front of them and raining cold hard facts down upon officials and forcing them to account for what REALLY happens here.

But then the reality here is that two groups that ought to be looking out for HB citizens, the Broward IG office and the Broward States Attorney office are NOT fully doing their job with any sign of gusto, either, given how much entrenched incompetency and corruption has been going for years in this target-rich environment.

As it happens, since I was at Ingalls Park within minutes of HBPD being called, I took several photos of all the HBPD cops forced to stand around for hours and hours doing nothing but drinking Cokes and playing with their cell phones.
I never ran the photos on my blog because at a certain point, even after all these years, no matter how hard I try to stay vigilant, how do you (I) accurately describe the surreal dimensions of HB's everyday reality?

Trust me, people in the rest of Florida and around the country can't believe what we routinely are forced to bear and to accept as "normal" every day in Hallandale Beach.
Nobody is going to help us but ourselves.
More thoughts on that next week.

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