The private investigator who conducted a mysterious probe into corruption at Broward Health is the expert witness for Democrat consultant Dan Lewis’ ongoing legal battle with a builder. On June 13, 2016 Lewis named Wayne Black as his expert witness in the foreclosure brought against him by American Builders and Contractors Supply Company, Inc. (ABC Supply). Earlier this year, Black made headlines following the suicide death of Broward Health CEO Nabil El Sanadi.
In February, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wayne Black had been hired by El Sanadi. “Broward Health CEO Nabil El Sanadi brought in a corporate private investigator to probe wrongdoing at the public hospital system, meeting with him in restaurants and at his home because he feared his office was bugged, the investigator alleges,” wrote the Sun-Sentinel. Black revealed his role in a letter sent after El Sanadi’s suicide. The Sun-Sentinel reported Black sent Broward Health legal counsel the letter just hours before El Sanadi’s funeral.
“Nabil and I met several times at his home or at a local restaurant to discuss my findings as he felt his office was bugged,” Black wrote in his email. “We used Nabil’s wife’s email to communicate most of the time because we didn’t know who would have access to sensitive emails.”
Broward Health was quick to question the veracity of Black’s claims. “Over the course of his work, Mr. Black failed to fulfill his obligations, acted unprofessionally and was belligerent to Broward Health personnel,” said the statement. “Mr. Black was asked to cease all services on behalf of Broward Health in early October.”
One month later, Black told the Sun-Sentinel his relationship with former Broward Health chair David Di Pietro helped open the door to his work at the hospital district. Black said he ran into Di Pietro at Macy’s in Fort Lauderdale.
“Black knew Di Pietro, a former prosecutor, having worked across the table from him on a case involving a private school teacher accused of misconduct. Black mentioned he had in the past worked with Broward Health to send its former chief financial officer to prison for embezzlement, and said he was available if anything else came up.”
Black said Di Pietro’s recommendation to El Sanadi got him the job. “This guy’s the real deal,” Di Pietro said. “He’s not just doing it for a job. He does it because he believes in the cause.”
LEWIS LAUNCHED HIS BROWARD HEALTH BLOG
As REDBROWARD reported in February, consultant Dan Lewis started an anti-Broward Health blog shortly after losing out on a million dollar contract with the hospital district.
Records show Dan Lewis purchased the BRWDHEALTH.com domain in February 2015. In March 2015, BrowardBeat.com confirmed Lewis was behind the blog. “The website is run by political strategist Dan Lewis. When Lewis takes his time and effort to establish a website, I pay attention. After roughly three decades in Broward politics building a wide range of political, business and community contacts, he is generally on target,” wrote Buddy Nevins of BrowardBeat.
Lewis purchased the domain name just two months after El-Sanadi was appointed as CEO at Broward Health. On March 17, 2015 Lewis explained his motivation for starting the blog. He claimed the poor treatment his daughter received in 2011 forced him into action. Lewis wrote, “[I]nstead of suing everyone for malpractice, which we would likely win – my daughter and I decided that instead, we would commit to try to fix the problem so future families would not have to endure what we had to at the hands of Broward Health.”
In April 2015, Lewis wrote about a cancelled meeting with El-Sanadi. Lewis said before El-Sanadi officially became CEO, he had promised to meet with him. “This promise was the result of four years of interaction between current and previous board members and senior staff on a number of initiatives with which there was both broad and strong support,” Lewis wrote. “I was worried that, with the transition to a new CEO, some – if not all, the momentum for these initiatives would be lost.” Lewis said he wanted to “take the measure” of El-Sanadi and “look him in the eye.”
While El-Sanadi was under no obligation to meet with him, Lewis wrote, “I do have a 30+ year history of civic activism and governmental public policy advisory experience, and I am a current member of the Broward County Health Planning Council. And they promised.”
According to his blog post, on January 29, 2015, Lewis emailed El-Sanadi to set up the meeting. El-Sanadi’s assistant replied, asking for the reason for the meeting. Lewis gave a long-winded response:
For reasons we can discuss, I have made a commitment to help make Broward Health the finest public health care system in the country. Broward Health is a system with pockets of excellence and layers of incompetence. To effectively meet the challenges of the organization, it must find bold and inventive strategies to grow its pockets of excellence and melt away its layers of incompetence. These strategies must be both internal and external to the organization and administrative and political in their nature.
My purpose, and intent in meeting with you is to afford both of us the opportunity to get to know each other in a frank and useful exchange of ideas. This exchange will help me understand the extent with which I will be able to work with him to fulfill what I hope is a shared commitment for excellence.
On his agenda sent to El-Sanadi, Lewis listed the “Intensivist program” first. REDBROWARD obtained emails showing Lewis’ interest in the intensivist program started in 2012. In August 2012, Lewis urged Broward Health to submit to a public “request for proposal (RFP)” process for the intensivist program. In an emailed copied to then CEO Frank Nask, Lewis wrote, “I must admit that I am very concerned that you appear to have discarded the notion of a public process or [RFP] for your intensivist program in favor of another private sweetheart physician contract. I cannot emphasize how strongly I oppose this course of action.”
In October 2012, Lewis emails Nask to confirm an RFP for the intensivist program will be issued.
The RFP was issued in January 2013.
In June 2013, Lewis emails Nask to advise him that Critical Care Physicians (CCP), LLC is filing an appeal of the RFP process. One month later, Lewis emails Nask a “draft agreement” between CCP and Broward Health. Lewis’ language appears to suggest he is part of CCP.
“You should note that exhibit A clearly puts you or your designee in complete charge of the level and scope of service,” Lewis wrote. “Our part in that discussion is to advise you on all aspects of what the intensivist program can and should be for [Broward Health].
Lewis explains, “Finally, I would remind you that going into the ‘business plan’ evaluation phase, we were clinically ranked number 2 by the committee as a whole and number 1 by your administrative staff.” he ends with, “We stand ready at any time to discuss and resolve any questions or concerns you may have regarding the draft….”
An October 2013 email from Lewis to CEO Frank Nask reveals questions over fees, Lewis wrote, “We know that what we do here makes a difference to [Broward Health], our community, and our families and we do not take a back seat to any competitor for our clinical offering or for our understanding of [Broward Health]. Nor do we yield the ground financially. Our deal is the best one for [Broward Health].” Lewis claimed had “our intensivist program been in place,” his daughter’s care would have been better.
He wrote, “I simply can’t stress this enough, we are different from the rest because Broward Health is our hospital and we share and support your vision that Broward Health can be the finest public hospital system in the country….”
Lewis asks Nask to “meet the entire 8 member team that has been working for over 2 years to develop our intensivist program specifically for Broward Health.” He said, ” I need you to know that it is not just me with a passion for what is possible but that I stand on the shoulders [of] a remarkable group of highly motivated, highly professional and incredibly competent indiviudals.” The email does not reveal the identity of the eight members of Lewis’ team.
A June 9, 2014 from Lewis to Nask signals the conclusion of negotiations. Lewis wrote, “On behalf of Critical Care Physicians, LLC and further to our June 2nd conversation and your agreement, I am delighted to confirm we are fully prepared to commence and conclude contract discussions this week.” For the first time, Lewis signs the email as “Chairman, Critical Care Physicians, LLC.”
Despite stating he was the chairman of a group seeking millions of taxpayer dollars from Broward Health, Dan Lewis continued to paint El-Sanadi as the bad guy. In an April 27 blog post, Lewis claimed El-Sanadi’s refusal to meet with him was “a remarkable paranoia of organizational transparency in an email chain that is a troubling indicator of how Dr. El Sanadi ostensibly sees his new public responsibilities.” Lewis wrote the lawyer’s letter was “remarkable paranoia of organizational transparency in an email chain that is a troubling indicator of how Dr. El Sanadi ostensibly sees his new public responsibilities.”
Lewis’ deal with Broward Health was never finalized.
LEWIS PRAISES INVESTIGATOR ON HIS BROWARD HEALTH BLOG
Dan Lewis repeatedly praised Wayne Black on his various blogs. In the April 13 post on The Dan Lewis Report he wrote, “well-known corruption investigator Mr. Wayne Black’s allegation of administrative obstruction.” On the same site, Lewis wrote, “More to the truth of the matter is that DiPietro facilitated and enabled Dr. El Sanadi’s unfounded paranoia by recommending the highly respected corruption investigator Mr. Wayne Black.” Lewis even urged whistleblowers to contact Black.
You should not contact anyone at Broward Health until the Board adopts the federal whistleblower protections, a formal and very public policy against retaliatory employment and purchasing practices and there is an independent, secure and private method at Broward Health to make reports. Until then, contact Wayne Black at 305-xxx-xxxx with confidence who will continue to investigate corruption at Broward Health.
WHAT IS THE LEWIS/BLACK RELATIONSHIP?
Lewis’ hiring of Wayne Black raises numerous questions. Why does Lewis need a private investigator and three lawyers for a foreclosure case? While Lewis may call Black “highly respected,” CBS NEWS 60 Minutes demonstrated Black’s skill set and pay grade is above a Broward foreclosure case.
Even though Black investigated the death of Princess Diana and the Tiffany Sessions missing person case, he gained real notoriety for his work on an Alaskan oil pipeline case.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, for G4S Secure Solutions “special investigations chief” Wayne Black targeted Charles Hamel, an oil broker suspected of passing information to the government and the media regarding about pollution.
“[Black] set up an elaborate ruse to entice Hamel into divulging his sources, establishing a phony environmental group, pretending to be a scientist and secretly recording Hamel’s conversations.” the newspaper reported.
Confronted on camera by Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Black said, “I think we did a–did a good job.” according to a transcript.
Kroft responded, “You’re proud of going through somebody’s garbage? You’re proud of surreptitiously recording conversations? You’re proud of setting up phony companies and giving people a lot of bogus information?”
Did Wayne Black work for Dan Lewis before June 2016? Has Wayne Black done political work for Dan Lewis or his companies? An issue in the current foreclosure case focuses on payments to Lewis’ main lawyer Colleen O’ Loughlin. Lawyers for ABC Supply, Inc. presented checks written by Lewis’ Star, Inc. to O’Loughlin for legal matters. O’Loughlin has represented Star, Inc in the Florida Elections Commission case and her name is on the paperwork for Lewis’ Florida’s Democracy Project, the group behind Lewis’ “fake” endorsement card.
Did Wayne Black ever work for Star, Inc. or JNAC Management and Solutions? Did Lewis know about Black’s Broward Health investigation before it became public after El Sanadi’s death?