Nataneisha Jahmel Richards wanted to know why her non-profit organization, The Great Commission Center And Outreach, was mentioned in a recent REDBROWARD story. On Thursday, REDBROWARD reported how the Broward County Office of the Inspector General (OIG) wanted to review documents related to a November 2021 turkey drive hosted by Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton. As REDBROWARD revealed last December, Tamarac city officials pressured a non-profit to issue checks for expenses related to the turkey drive.
The Parks And Recreation Foundation Of Tamarac (PAROT) initially refused to participate in Bolton’s event. But the non-profit succumbed to pressure from Commission staffers and Parks and Recreation Department employees.
On October 28, 2021, Eliane Benjamin, administrator for the Tamarac City Commission, asked Parks and Rec Department head Greg Warner if he could “kind assist” with getting a $500 check issued to The Great Commission Center And Outreach organization. Benjamin said owner Peter Richards would pick up the check.
On November 2, 2021 PAROT wrote a $500 check to The Great Commission Center And Outreach. A note on the check reads, “Commissioner Bolton’s Turkeys.”
Later, REDBROWARD exposed how supermarket gift cards purchased from Marlon Bolton’s Tamarac event were used at a private food drive in Plantation.
These gift cards, emblazoned with the name of Commissioner Marlon Bolton, appeared in photographs promoting a private “turkey and pie giveaway” at Car Accident Referral Services (C.A.R.S.) in Plantation. The Tapatia Supermarket gift cards were used in social media posts by Nataneisha “Jahmel” Richards, the president of The Great Commission Center And Outreach non-profit organization of Tamarac.
Ms. Richards posted numerous photos and videos before and after the event. One photograph and one video clearly shows the Tapatia Supermarket gift cards with a sticker which reads, “Courtesy of Commissioner Marlon Bolton District 1.”
Other photographs and videos show Jahmel and Peter Richards volunteering at the Plantation event.
On Friday morning, Nataneisha Jahmel Richards called REDBROWARD.
“LET THEM GO TO WASTE?”
Ms. Richards wanted to know why REDBROWARD thought it newsworthy to mention The Great Commission Outreach and Center and the gift cards. Richards admitted to using the gift cards to promote the private food drive in Plantation but stated it was not her event.
When asked why she used the Bolton gift cards to promote the private food drive, Richards said,” Are we supposed to let them go to waste?
Richards could not comprehend why using Tamarac funds for a Plantation food drive was an issue.
When asked if Marlon Bolton authorized the use of the gift cards at the private food drive in Plantation, Richards hung up the telephone.
Perhaps she will answer that question for the Broward OIG?
Great articles as of late, especially about this and Jonathan Bleiweiss. I’m not always a stickler for semantics, but I just wanted to point out that Ms Richards or any individual cannot be the owner of a nonprofit as it is technically belongs to the public as they are tax exempt. A more accurate description would be Vice President or Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Additionally, best practices recommend not having family members on the same board.
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Julie Fishman, as Chair of the Parks & Rec PAC, tried to do the right thing and REFUSED to write a check. It will be interesting to see who “authorized” ordering PAROT to disperse funds for the big Turkey event. PAROT funds are solicited from the general public to support Parks and Rec. There are many things that the department needs, yet has no funds to satisfy those needs. That’s where PAROT comes in, with publicly donated funds. Those funds were disbursed outside the scope or PAROT’s stated mission. They were used to benefit entties other than the Tamarac Parks & Recreation Department, even entities OUTSIDE of the City of Tamarac. I certainly hope that innocent staff in the City of Tamarac are not harmed, either publicly or professionally, due to pressure from any appointed, or elected official. It is time for this circus to fold up its tent. Tamarac employees deserve better. Taxpayers in Tamarac deserve better.
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