A lawsuit filed in Broward County Court seeks information from Broward Republican Executive Committee Board (BREC) candidate Jeff Brown about his ties to emails and websites attacking former BREC chairmen and party members. On Monday, BREC members received an e-mail announcing Brown’s campaign for BREC treasurer. According to the e-mail, Brown is part of a “BREC slate” which includes Chairman George Moraitis, former Coral Springs City Commissioner Tom Powers and Rupert Tarsey.
Earlier this month, Brown was subpoenaed in a “John Doe” case filed by former BREC Chairman Kevin Tynan. Subpoenas were also issued to companies owned by Brown( Top Of Google and Inspiration Museum) and as well as tech giants Google and Go Daddy. The lawsuit seeks information on the identity of the person(s) responsible for a website attacking Tynan.
The subpoena asks Jeff Brown to produce information regarding e-mail accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). Last year, REDBROWARD exposed attacks on BREC members sent from the email@example.com address.
In October 2017, BREC members received an email attacking a supporter of Chairman Robert Sutton. Sent from the “BREC4Change” email account, the piece promised an upcoming hit piece on the BREC legal counsel. The anonymous email was not an authorized communication.
Days later, BREC4CHANGE sent another email attack on Tuesday. It attacked this reporter as the “Chief of Fake News.”
Proving that the sender(s) of the email to be rank amateur(s), the attack included links to other hit pieces that may have not been sent. The account shows 5 email pieces were created between October 2 and October 10, 2017.
The subpoenas issued to Jeff Brown asked for information regarding the creation, registration and operation of several websites. The sites were KevinTynan.com, BobNicholsAttorney.com, JayNarang.com, BobSutton.com, LanceSchaper.com, DanielPaulDiaz.com, RupertTarsey.com and Richard-DeNapoli.com. The Tarsey and DeNapoli websites are not attack websites.
Brown is a longtime friend of Richard DeNapoli, the Broward State Committeeman. Since March 2018, BREC paid Jeff Brown $1,667 to manage the official BREC website. According to Brown’s Top Of Google website, he specializes in website creation, search engine placement and reputation management.
“McLean advised Brown that a local blogger had published some negative information online and he wanted it mitigated.”
In October 2013, Jeff Brown was questioned by the Broward Office Of The Inspector General (OIG) regarding his work for Margate City Commissioner David McLean. The Broward OIG was investigating whether McLean misused campaign funds during the 2012 election. Brown said he met McLean at a local tiki bar owned by the commissioner. Broward OIG investigator Steven Grenier wrote, “McLean advised Brown that a local blogger had published some negative information online and he wanted it mitigated.” Brown told Grenier he used press releases to affect the stories. Grenier wrote, “Brown stated that he entered into a written agreement with McLean to provide ‘PR Logs,’ which is a means of queuing positive information ahead of negative information disclosed during an internet search.”
Brown was not the focus of the investigation. He was not accused of wrongdoing. Grenier wanted to know about the payments he received from McLean. Brown said he picked up three checks from McLean’s bar. When one of the checks bounced, Brown met McLean’s campaign manager at a Coral Springs bank. He was given $400 in cash. Grenier said Brown could not remember the campaign manager’s last name or any information regarding bank fees. He wrote, “Additionally, [Brown] advised that his recordkeeping was poor, and his records were disorganized, and if he could locate the written agreement, he would email it to the interviewer.”
McLean ended up paying a fine to the Florida Elections Commission.
Two years later, David McLean was arrested on public corruption charges. He was later acquitted.
BROWN: “NO COMMENT”
On Wednesday, REDBROWARD spoke with Jeff Brown about his candidacy for BREC treasurer. Even though all members did not receive the news, Brown said he believed the announcement of the slate was sent by official BREC e-mail accounts. The e-mail reviewed by REDBROWARD was sent by “brecslate2018@gmail.”
When asked about the lawsuit, Brown said, “That’s so horrible, but no comment.” When asked if he created the sites or if he is represented by the lawyers for the defendant Brown hung up the phone.
We did not get a chance to ask Brown if he would continue to receive payments from BREC if elected treasurer.
We did not get the chance to ask Brown if he has any ties to Rupert Tarsey, Richard DeNapoli and the “Praetorian Consulting” scandal involving soliciting business from local candidates including Democrats.
When asked for comment about Jeff Brown and the Praetorian scandal, BREC Chairman George Moraitis told REDBROWARD, “I have asked everyone to lay their swords down in the interest of party unity….I am not personally aware of Jeff’s activities, but I am going to give him the same message that we need to stop focusing our attacks on other Republicans.”
Broward Republican Executive Committeemen and Committeewomen deserve better answers before the December 10th BREC Elections, right?