Tag Archives: broward beat

North Lauderdale Deputy Clerk Operates Website Shilling For Tamarac Commission Marlon Bolton

November 19, 2020 was a busy night for the North Lauderdale City Commission. While North Lauderdale is not in his district, controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness was on hand to help swear in newly-elected Commissioner Regina Martin. With their newest member seated, the Commission turned to the hiring of a new Deputy City Clerk.

For some reason, the first woman offered the job was “ghosting” the Commissioners. City Attorney Sam Goren said the woman was unresponsive to all attempts to finalize the hiring process. North Lauderdale leaders needed to decide on a process to pick a new candidate. The Mayor discussed opening up the interview process to create a new pool of candidates.

Even though she had been a City Commissioner for less than an hour, Regina Martin made a motion to hire Anthony Bonamy, the number two ranked candidate. Commissioner Samson Borgelin quickly seconded the motion. Members of the public were then welcomed to comment on the motion.

The first speaker was City of Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton. But Bolton did not identify himself as a Tamarac official. Instead, Bolton stated he was the pastor at a North Lauderdale church. Why would a Tamarac Commissioner sign up to speak at a North Lauderdale Commission meeting. Bolton hinted it was related to the sign bond process controlled by the Clerk’s office.

Bolton said the deputy clerk position was “very important.” He urged the Commission to hire candidate number two “whoever that is.” He said, “number two should go forward.”

The commission did hire “number two” Anthony Bonamy as deputy city clerk for a $55,000/year salary.

Despite Bolton’s claims to not know “number two,” records show Bonamy considers Bolton a “friend.”

FRIENDS

On his application for the deputy clerk position, Anthony Bonamy provided professional references. Bonamy listed two men, both politicians–Oscar Braynon and Marlon Bolton. Bonamy made no mention of their political resumes. He wrote Brayon was “retired.” Bonamy listed Bolton’s occupation as “faith leader.” Under “relationship,” Bonamy wrote Bolton was a “friend.”

Bonamy’s friendship with Marlon Bolton raised red flags at North Lauderdale City Hall. In December, City Clerk Elizabeth Garcia-Beckford voiced her concerns about Bonamy. She specifically mentioned his relationship with Marlon Bolton.

Garcia-Beckford told Commissioners she was concerned about Bolton being listed as a reference and the fact Bolton spoke on the matter regarding the hiring of Bonamy. Garcia-Beckford stated any clerk needs to be unbiased towards all members of the Commission. She feared Bonamy’s relationship with Bolton could jeopardize his future relationships with North Lauderdale leaders.

Bonamy’s ownership of a political consulting company was troublesome for City leaders as well. Commissioner Lorenzo Wood referenced a clause in the contract which would prohibit Anthony Bonamy from performing any political consulting work while employed by the City of North Lauderdale.

TAMARAC POST”

According to State of Florida records, Anthony Bonamy created “Tamarac Post Media LLC” in July 2020. Weeks later The Tamarac Post website was launched as “your source for local news, politics, entertainment, music, and fashion. We provide you with the latest breaking news and updates.” In reality, when the Tamarac Post isn’t posting news releases from the City of Tamarac public information department, it’s offering anonymous puff pieces about Dale Holness and Commissioner Marlon Bolton.

In his short time on the Tamarac City Commission, to say Marlon Bolton has been a lightning rod for controversy would be an understatement.

Earlier this month, BrowardBeat and VotersOpinion documented Bolton’s plan to make Hans Ottinot the permanent Tamarac City Attorney.

Within days of the withering take on the Bolton/Ottinot saga by Stephanie Kienzle, it was Tamarac Post to the rescue. The website copied and pasted a City of Tamarac news release touting Hans Ottinot and his law firm.

Three days later, Marlon Bolton sent an e-mail blast urging residents to read the Tamarac Post. Bolton wrote, “Visit TamaracPost.com to learn more about upcoming events around the City or click the photo below.” By clicking the photo, residents were redirected to the Tamarac Post website.

WHO RUNS THE TAMARAC POST?

REDBROWARD asked Anthony Bonamy why his company was behind a website shilling for a Tamarac politician. While Bonamy claimed he did not “run” the website, he did admit he owned the website domain. Bonamy claimed he did not know who posted articles on the website. He said his wife was set to take over posting duties in April.

When asked about Marlon Bolton, Bonamy acted as if he never met him. He said his inclusion as a reference “caused controversy” because it was done without permission. Bonamy stated he was not friends with Bolton. According to Bonamy, he randomly picked Bolton’s name from the membership list of Black Elected Officials group.

When asked about the contractual language prohibiting work for other politicians, Bonamy said he believed the prohibition only applied to work for North Lauderdale politicians.

REDBROWARD obtained a copy of Anthony Bonamy’s employment contract. Under Section 2.7 Standard of Conduct: Ethics, Bonamy “shall not individually engage in political consulting or provide political consulting services on behalf of the firm AB Consulting Solutions, LLC, or any other political consulting firm during the term of DEPUTY CITY CLERK’S employment with CITY.” There is no language limiting this clause to work on behalf of North Lauderdale politicians.

JUST CASHING THE CHECKS

While a majority of the Tamarac Post stories are filed under the generic “staff writer” byline, a large sample of stories do have a name attached. Dawne Richards, a Pompano Beach political activist, is the author of numerous Tamarac Post entries.

Richards told REDBROWARD a political activist told her about freelance writing opportunities at the Tamarac Post. Richards could not recall the name of the activist. Richards was unable to name anyone who recommended story ideas. She was unaware of who signed the checks for her stories. “I submit my stories and they send a check,” Richards said.

Who is behind the Tamarac Post? Who is funding the Tamarac Post?

Why does Marlon Bolton promote a phony website shilling for himself and his allies on the Tamarac Commission?

Why is Marlon Bolton so interested in the hiring process of another city?

Petrocelli’s Questionable Move Embarrasses Local GOP Leaders

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Broward GOP Chairman Rico Petrocelli’s attempt to place a non-BREC member on an important congressional district committee embarrassed local GOP leaders including the co-chair of the Republican National Committee. The move came at last weekend’s Republican Party Of Florida meetings in Orlando. Petrocelli, members of the new BREC board, State Committeeman Ryan Anderson and RNC co-Chair Sharon Day made up the Broward delegation. One of the major items on the agenda was elections to fill congressional district committees across Florida. Local party chairs and state committee persons can nominate individuals from their counties.

A printed list of Petrocelli’s nominations was circulated before the meeting began. However, once the proceedings began it was clear Petrocelli planned to abandon his list. First, he nominated Michael DeGruccio, the polarizing former secretary of the Broward GOP. State Committeeman Anderson nominated longtime committeeman Chad Lincoln to challenge DeGruccio. A vote by the RPOF leadership handed Lincoln a decisive victory over DeGruccio.

According to several insiders the real fun was about to begin. For the next opening, Petrocelli nominated an individual who was not even a member of the Broward GOP. In fact, this person no longer resides in Broward county. Petrocelli never disclosed this information. Only after the votes were taken did it become public knowledge. The nominee admitted to presenting BREC membership paperwork that very morning. The RPOF was forced to table the vote until the next quarterly meeting. Witnesses say Sharon Day was incensed that Petrocelli allowed Broward’s “dirty laundry” to be aired in front of the entire RPOF.

Why Petrocelli would pull such a questionable maneuver at his first RPOF meeting as Broward GOP chairman.? Some insiders speculate Petrocelli was attempting to curry favor with Florida Governor Rick Scott. The nominee in question has close ties to the Governor’s office. Petrocelli currently serves as chairman of the Broward County Housing Authority. Nominated by Charlie Crist in 2009, Petrocelli’s term ends this year. Petrocelli, a Crist loyalist, would need to be re-nominated by Governor Scott.

Others wonder if Petrocelli has come under the influence of DeGruccio. A longtime Broward Republican volunteer, DeGruccio did not seek re-election as party secretary after it became clear he had lost the support of many party activists. These activists were upset by DeGruccio’s actions during the November elections.

First, DeGruccio decided to ignore the Broward GOP endorsement of school board candidate Rochelle Solomon by issuing his our written endorsement of her opponent Abby Freedman. Ms. Freedman, a close political ally of Democrat Sheriff Candidate Scott Israel, used DeGruccio’s letter to convince voters that she had the support of the Broward GOP. Freedman ended up defeating Solomon and Israel beat Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.

Then, during early voting, pictures surfaced of DeGruccio hanging out at a polling place with a militant Democrat activist. The photograph of DeGruccio and Michael Rajner was featured on Buddy Nevins’ BrowardBeat.com. Ranjer was behind the August 2011 boycott of Congressman Allen West. Earlier this year, Rajner revealed personal information regarding a member of State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff’s family.

Despite the outrage from grassroots Republican activists, Petrocelli named DeGruccio his “Director of Party Development.” The duties of this newly-created position have not been made public. It is unclear if this is a paid position.

After returning late Saturday night from Orlando, Petrocelli took to Facebook to thank DeGruccio for his “knowledge and contacts.” While he did thank Sharon Day for her “help”, Petrocelli never mentioned his fellow BREC board members.

This is the latest misstep in Petrocelli’s one-month reign as Broward GOP chairman. RED BROWARD previously reported on Petrocelli’s controversial plan to hold as few as six BREC meetings in 2013.

Maybe “the Chairmen” were on to something?

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Stacy Ritter and The School Board Candidate

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Over at Broward Beat, Buddy Nevins has been covering a story regarding Broward School Board candidate Nick Steffens. Until recently, Steffens was Stacy Ritter’s deputy campaign manager. Looks like Ritter’s campaign is trying to distance itself from Steffens. The campaign told Nevins:

“Ritter’s campaign says ‘the only paid staff person she has ever had in this campaign is her Campaign Manager Samantha Senne.’

Ritter told me that she is not involved in any way in the School Board race and is focused on her own campaign and re-electing the president.

Steffens was a volunteer and Ritter says she has ‘been happy to have the support of dozens of volunteers and activists.'”

Ok. Who said anything about being “paid”? Also, are all volunteers given fancy titles? Oh, check out the picture of Ritter, Steffens and Samantha Senne at the recent Broward Democrat Unity Dinner. One big happy family.

Perhaps Ms. Ritter needs to clarify what’s really going on?

(Unity Dinner pic via Facebook & Smug Mug, by Carol Porter)

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