Plantation Councilwoman Jennifer Andreu Connected Residents With Activist Who “Championed” Changing Name of City

Emails obtained by REDBROWARD show Councilwoman Jennifer Andreu connected residents interested in changing the name of the City of Plantation with the activist behind a 2020 petition drive. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests during the summer of 2020, Dharyl Auguste started a petition to rename the City. Auguste claimed the name Plantation had negative racial connotations which made people of color uncomfortable. Auguste’s activism gained unwanted national attention for the City. But that negative attention did not stop Andreu, first elected in November, from connecting new activists with Auguste.

On January 19, 2021, Plantation resident Risha Stern sent an email to the Plantation City Council and Mayor about a local teenager interested in changing the name of the city. Stern wrote, “Can you please suggest how he could go about this and if any of you are interested in helping make history.”

Jennifer Andreu was definitely interested.

Just eight hours later, Andreu responded to Stern. She said the teen should connect with “Dharyl Auguste who championed this cause last year. Please friend him on Facebook and I’ll follow up with a message.

Stern replied immediately to Andreu. She told Andreu the teen and his family don’t “believe in Facebook.” Stern asked, “Any other way?”

Three days later, Andreu responded with Dharyl Auguste’s telephone number.

REDBROWARD asked Andreu why she would encourage residents to contact an activist seeking to change the name of the City she represents and how she had his personal telephone on hand to share with residents.

Andreu told REDBROWARD, “I have addressed the name change issue at length during the campaign and understand both sides of the issue. If residents want a referendum, they should acquire the necessary signatures. A resident asked me for his information and he said it was okay to give them his phone number. I do my best to keep in touch with everyone who communicates with me.

But neither Ms. Stern nor the teen asked for the telephone number of Dharyl Auguste. Stern said the teen was interested in the name change but never asked about Auguste. It was Andreu who suggested she contact Auguste.

Also, if she “understands both sides of the issue,” why didn’t Andreu volunteer to discuss the issues with the teen? Instead, she directs him to an activist who is clearly not interested in explaining both sides of the issue.

Why would Ms. Andreu encourage a costly referendum being foisted upon Plantation residents? To say such a referendum would be very divisive is an understatement.

Despite being on the job for mere months, it appears Ms. Andreu has no qualms bringing divisive issues to the doorsteps of residents.

In January, Andreu advocated punishing Plantation restaurants who offer plastic straws to customers.

Andreu also met with a Lauderhill commissioner to discuss the “annexation of Plantation” neighborhoods on the east side of the City.

Why is Andreu more interested in political issues than Plantation residents? Is someone giving really bad advice to this political newcomer?

Lauren Linville “Proud To Say” Just 12% Of Campaign Money Came From Coconut Creek Residents; No Mention Of Big Bucks From The GEO Group

Nearly 88% of campaign contributions to City Commission candidate Lauren Linville came from outside the city limits, Coconut Creek elections records show. On February 9th, Linville sent an email to supporters touting her support from Coconut Creek residents. “Finally, I am proud to say that to date, nearly $3,000 from Coconut Creek [r]esidents have (sic) been donated to our campaign,” Linville wrote. However, a review of the January camapign treasurer’s report tells a different story.

According to her campaign treasurer’s report, Lauren Linville raised $13,635 in January. Linville also made a $10,000 loan to her campaign.
The report shows a total of 65 contributions to her campaign, but only 14 contributors live in Coconut Creek.

The total amount of $1,585 was raised from these 14 contributors. An amount that is not “nearly $3,000” as Linville claimed. If you include the $1,000 contribution from Linville’s company, Consult Optimum LLC, the total amount raised from a Coconut Creek address jumps to $2,585.

One of Lauren Linville’s largest contributions came from the senior vice president of The GEO Group, one of the largest private prison companies in the world. The GEO Group operates the ICE immigrant detention center near Coconut Creek. In 2019, protesters were arrested at the company’s headquarters in Boca Raton. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “[P]rotesters did not align with one particular organization but were known affiliates of groups such as Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.”

In January, Lauren Linville, a Democrat, denied hiding her former employment at The GEO group from Coconut Creek voters.

According to online databases, from 2011 to 2015 Lauren Linville held numerous positions at The GEO Group. These positions included executive assistant, contracts administrator, research analyst for the business development department and a promotion to project management in the business development department. Linville even authored articles for the company’s GEO World magazine.

No GEO Group work history appears on Linville’s LinkedIn profile. She lists her work at Optimum Consulting, service in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve and a one year position at Youngstown State University in the veterans affairs department.

And when she applied for a seat on a Coconut Creek board, Linville submitted a paper copy of her resume. It lists Optimum Consulting and the U.S. Coast Guard. Nothing about The GEO Group.

When contacted by REDBROWARD about her work at The GEO Group, Linville wrote, “Yes, it was my first job out of college, but I was recalled to active service for the majority of my time (three years to be exact) with Geo Group. I subsequently left shortly after returning home from Active Duty.”

When asked why GEO Group does not appear on her resume, Linville wrote, “I don’t put it on my resume any longer because it was such a long time ago and is generally not relevant to work I’m seeking currently. As recently as 2-3 years ago I still had it on my resume.”

REDBROWARD asked why an older job is listed on her LinkedIn page, Linville replied, “[Youngstown State University] is where I went to school and worked as a VA rep, and I believe there is a recommendation from my supervisor I wanted to keep.”

Finally, REDBROWARD asked Linville if she wanted to keep her work at The GEO Group a secret from Coconut Creek voters.

Lauren Linville said, “No.”

While Linville downplayed her employment at The GEO Group, she was able to secure a $1,000 contribution from GEO Group Senior Vice President David Venturella.

According to The GEO Group website, “Mr. Venturella joined The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO), in 2012 as an Executive Vice President. In 2014, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Client Relations. Mr. Venturella is responsible for leading GEO’s client relations efforts.”

Venturella is no stranger to Democrat activists who oppose private prisons and immigration detention centers.

In 2013, USA TODAY exposed a deportation quota system which targeted immigrants accused of minor crimes.

“Among those new tactics — detailed in interviews and internal e-mails — were trolling state driver’s license records for information about foreign-born applicants, dispatching U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to traffic safety checkpoints conducted by police departments, and processing more illegal immigrants who had been booked into jails for low-level offenses. Records show ICE officials in Washington approved some of those steps.”

Several emails cited were written by David Venturella, then an ICE official.

“The only performance measure that will count this fiscal year is the criminal alien removal target,” David Venturella, who then supervised ICE’s field offices, said in…an e-mail to agents in Atlanta.

Thanks to her ties to The GEO Group and her controversial comments equating the Black Lives Matter (BLM) with ISIS, Lauren Linville lost the support of key progressive leaders in Broward County.

Coconut Creek voters will decide in March if they want leaders with so little support from local residents.

Democrat Candidate Lauren Linville Denies Hiding Her Work History At The Geo Group From Coconut Creek Voters

Like any politician, Lauren Linville is not shy when it comes to sharing her resume. Linville, a Democrat candidate for Coconut Creek Commission, regularly mentions her work with a local women’s club, her own crisis management company and even her service in the United States Coast Guard. Despite having a degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University, Linville never mentions working for one of the largest private prison companies in the world.

Based in Boca Raton, The GEO Group “provides complementary, turnkey solutions for numerous government partners worldwide across a spectrum of diversified correctional and community reentry services.” GEO claims to operate 123 facilities all over the world with 23,000 employees. Closer to home, The GEO Group operates the “Broward Transitional Center” in Deerfield Beach for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

The GEO Group faced protests from progressive groups opposed to their treatment of teenaged immigrants at the Broward facility. In 2019, protesters were arrested at the company’s headquarters in Boca Raton. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “[P]rotesters did not align with one particular organization but were known affiliates of groups such as Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.”

Last week, REDBROWARD revealed Lauren Linville made disparaging remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM).

“I’m so sick of all these ‘movements’…Black Lives Matter, ISIS, Radical Islam, LGBT Hate groups…. They’ve done nothing but disappoint, hate, kill and create pain for others,” Linville said.

After a backlash from prominent Democrats, including local BLM leader Jasmine Rogers, Linville played the victim in a tepid apology posted on Facebook.

Linville blamed military weight restrictions, postpartum depression and terrorist attacks for her comments equating BLM with ISIS and radical Islam.

Is Lauren Linville trying to keep Coconut Creek voters in the dark about her job at The GEO Group?

DEEP TIES TO GEO GROUP KEPT OFF CANDIDATE’S RESUME

According to online databases, from 2011 to 2015 Lauren Linville held numerous positions at The GEO Group. The positions included executive assistant, contracts administrator, research analyst for the business development department and a promotion to project management in the business development department. Linville even authored articles for the company’s GEO World magazine. Last year, Linville started a website promoting local businesses with another GEO Group alum.

While Linville boasts about the “Gather Later” website she created with Robin Verse, her jobs at The GEO Group are never mentioned.

No GEO Group work history appears on Linville’s LinkedIn profile. She lists her work at Optimum Consulting, service in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve and a one year position at Youngstown State University in the veterans affairs department.

When she applied for a seat on a Coconut Creek board, Linville submitted a paper copy of her resume. It lists Optimum Consulting and the U.S. Coast Guard. Nothing about The GEO Group.

REDBROWARD contacted Lauren Linville about her work at The GEO Group. In a reply via text message, Linville wrote, “Yes, it was my first job out of college, but I was recalled to active service for the majority of my time (three years to be exact) with Geo Group. I subsequently left shortly after returning home from Active Duty.”

Linville did not respond to questions about her job duties, promotions or her work with Robin Verse.

When asked why GEO Group does not appear on her resume, Linville wrote, “I don’t put it on my resume any longer because it was such a long time ago and is generally not relevant to work I’m seeking currently. As recently as 2-3 years ago I still had it on my resume.”

But when asked why an even older job is listed on her LinkedIn page, Linville replied, “[Youngstown State University] is where I went to school and worked as a VA rep, and I believe there is a recommendation from my supervisor I wanted to keep.”

Finally, REDBROWARD asked Linville if she wanted to keep her work at The GEO Group a secret from Coconut Creek voters.

Lauren Linville said, “No.”

a