Mitchell Berger and Others Involved In Broward Health Legal Drama Keep Funding Judge Nina Di Pietro


The major players in the ongoing Broward Health legal drama continue to fund the re-election campaign of Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro. In March, her husband, former Broward Chairman David Di Pietro, was removed from his post by Governor Rick Scott after the Chief Inspector General claimed he was interfering in the Broward Health investigation. Last week, REDBROWARD revealed her husband’s legal team and the law firm he hired to oversee the State investigation into Broward Health contributed to her re-election campaign.

Two weeks ago, REDBROWARD exposed the close ties between Chip La Marca and Mitchell Berger. La Marca is a close friend of David and Nina Di Pietro.

BIG DEMOCRAT FUNDRAISER KEEPS FUNDING DI PIETRO

In March, the Broward Health board fired the Berger Singerman law firm after Florida Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel accused Berger Singerman of interfering with her review and recommended the suspensions of David Di Pietro, the former chairman, and Commissioner Darryl Wright. Gov. Scott suspended both men for “malfeasance” within hours of that recommendation on March 18.

In June, LaMarca co-hosted a political fundraiser with Mitch Berger  at his Berger Singerman firm for Fort Lauderdale Commission candidate Ben Sorenson. Chip LaMarca was the second name listed on the Sorenson invitation. Politcial insiders wonder why LaMarca, the former chairman of the Broward Republican Party is so chummy with a big Democrat fundraiser like Berger.

Earlier this month, Broward Health debated whether to pay $200,000 in legal fees to Berger Singerman. According to POLITICO, new chairman Rocky Rodriguez said it wasn’t the “right time” to discuss the bill, and said he needed to get some answers “here and there” regarding the fees.

In September 2015, months before he was hired by Broward Health, Mitchell Berger gave a $500 contribution to Republican appointee Nina Di Pietro. Last week, Mitchell Berger gave Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro another $500 contribution.

LEGAL DREAM TEAM AND YOUNG AT ART STILL GIVING BIG BUCKS TO JUDGE NINA

After being removed from his post, David Di Pietro sued Governor Rick Scott in Broward County Court. Members of Di Pietro’s legal “dream team” also supported Judge Nina. REDBROWARD reported Judge Nina received large contributions from lawyers Bruce Green, Brian Silber and Jay Spechler.  Like Berger Singerman, all three lawyers want Broward taxpayers to pay their hefty legal fees for representing David Di Pietro.

Judge Nina also received money from Spechler’s wife, Mindy Shrago, the controversial executive director of the Young At Art Children’s Museum in Davie. After the August 30th primary, Spechler and Shrago each gave Judge Nina another $1,000 contribution.

David Di Pietro is the current chairman of the Young At Art board.

Players In Broward Health Drama Funding Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro’s Re-Election Campaign

Majors players in the legal drama surrounding the ongoing Broward Health investigation have funded the re-election campaign of Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro. Appointed last year by Governor Rick Scott, Nina Weatherly Di Pietro is married to former Broward Chairman David Di Pietro. In March, Governor Scott removed David Di Pietro from his position after the Chief Inspector General claimed he was interfering in the Broward Health investigation.

It should come as no surprise that Di Pietro is receiving campaign contributions from her husband. Broward elections records show Di Pietro has received $2,000 from her husband and his law firm.

What is surprising is the amount of money Nina Di Pietro received from Zimmerman Advertising. The Fort Lauderdale firm’s contract negotiations with Broward Health are at the center of the State investigation.

ZIMMERMAN FUNDRAISER FOR DI PIETRO

In February, published reports exposed a lavish fundraiser at Zimmerman’s new offices in Fort Lauderdale. According to The Florida Bulldog, the event was held just seven weeks after Broward Health gave Zimmerman a $2.1 million dollar contract, the first part of the proposed $71 million dollar deal. “Broward County Court Judge Nina Di Pietro…raised almost $22,000, nearly all of it from lawyers, auto dealers and other non-healthcare companies, campaign records say.”

David Di Pietro told the Florida Bulldog that Zimmerman’s support of his wife played no role in the contract. “I don’t run Nina’s campaign. I don’t directly solicit money. I haven’t since she started her campaign,” Di Pietro said. “We had horrible advertising…a football player. I want a marketing strategy so the public knows about the healthcare our doctors and staff provide. Even if it’s not Zimmerman we need a marketing plan.”

Chip La Marca and another ousted Broward Health Commissioner, Darryl Wright, attended Nina Di Pietro’s fundraiser.

Questions have been raised about pressure applied by former Zimmerman employee (and Broward County Commissioner) Chip LaMarca on Broward Health employees to sign off on the huge $71 million dollar deal.

LaMarca met the late Dr. Nabil El Sanadi and Doris Peek, a Broward Health senior vice president to discuss the Zimmerman Advertising contract. According to a report, Peek claims LaMarca threatened El Sanadi. Peek stated the purpose of the meeting “was to discuss Zimmerman’s desire to epand its contract with the District and Mr. LaMarca carried the conversation.”

This information was contained in a report submitted by the Berger Singerman law firm. Before he was removed by the Governor, David Di Pietro hired Berger Singerman to run its own investigation of Broward Health. The head of the firm is Mitchell Berger, a prominent Democrat Party fundraiser.

Last week, REDBROWARD exposed the close ties between Chip La Marca and Mitchell Berger.

In June, LaMarca co-hosted a political fundraiser with Mitch Berger  at his Berger Singerman firm for Fort Lauderdale Commission candidate Ben Sorenson. Chip LaMarca was the second name listed on the Sorenson invitation.

In March, the Broward Health board fired Berger Singerman. Florida Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel accused Berger Singerman of interfering with her review and recommended the suspensions of David Di Pietro, the former chairman, and Commissioner Darryl Wright. Gov. Scott suspended both men for “malfeasance” within hours of that recommendation on March 18.

Earlier this month, Broward Health debated whether to pay $200,000 in legal fees to Berger Singerman. According to POLITICO, new chairman Rocky Rodriguez said it wasn’t the “right time” to discuss the bill, and said he needed to get some answers “here and there” regarding the fees.

ZIMMERMAN AND DI PIETRO “DREAM TEAM” GIVE TO JUDGE NINA

In September 2015, months before he was hired by Broward Health, Mitchell Berger gave a $500 contribution to Republican appointee Nina Di Pietro. Did Berger Singerman host a fundraiser for Judge Nina? That’s unclear, but it does raise more questions about the relationship between Berger and David Di Pietro, a staunch of Donald Trump.

After being removed from his post, David Di Pietro sued Governor Rick Scott in Broward County Court. Members of Di Pietro’s legal “dream team” also supported Judge Nina.

In June 2015, attorney Bruce Green gave $500 to Judge Nina. Brian Silber gave $1000 to her campaign. Jay Spechler has given Judge Nina $2000 through his office. His wife, Mindy Shrago, the controversial director of the Young At Art children’s museum also gave $2,000 to Judge Nina.

Like Berger Singerman, all three lawyers want Broward taxpayers to pay their hefty legal fees for representing David Di Pietro.

Former Broward Health Chairman & His Legal Dream Team’s History Of Silencing Online Critics


As reported earlier this week, it appears as though someone does not want REDBROWARD to reveal information regarding the Young At Art childrens museum in Davie. On September 6, attorney Bruce Green sent a preservation letter to Broward Health Commissioner Sheela Van Hoose regarding REDBROWARD.com. Green is one of the lawyers who sued Florida Governor Rick Scott after David Di Pietro was removed as chairman of Broward Health. Jay Spechler, another one of Di Pietro’s lawyers, is married to Mindy Shrago, the executive director of Young At Art. Spechler was enraged after REDBROWARD asked about a item related to the museum last month.

Green’s letter arrived two weeks after Spechler became angry about our line of questioning.Days later, a Spechler emissary tried to broker a “truce.” The emissary was told Spechler should contact REDBROWARD directly. The next day, an anonymous post on the JAABLaw courthouse blog featured a photograph of this reporter’s family including two minor children. 

One could reasonably take the legal action and family picture as a threat.

Di Pietro and his legal team have a history of attempting to silence online critics.

WEBSITES TARGETED OVER ANONYMOUS COMMENTS

In March 2016, another member of Di Pietro’s legal team brought legal action against JAABlaw website operator William Gelin. Brian Silber wanted Gelin to reveal information about an anonymous reader who posted comments about former Sunrise City Commissioner Sheila Alu. Silber’s “Jane Doe” lawsuit wanted identifying information, including IP addresses, about the person who made comments about Alu. Silber was seeking $15,000 in damages.

In May, Judge Michael Gates agreed with Gelin’s argument that Citizens United and other case law gave First Amendment protection to anonymous political speech.

In July, Di Pietro filed a “John Doe” lawsuit on behalf of two doctors affiliated with Broward Health. Jean-Jacques and Juliana Rajter are suing Vitals.com, a medical professional rating website. The lawsuit alleges an anonymous reviewer gave Rajter a one star rating on the website. The lawsuit wants Vitals.com to reveal identifying information about the anonymous reviewer. Di Pietro’s complaint asks for $10,000 in damages.

According to Broward Health magazine, Jean-Jacques Rajter served as the “Chief Medical Information Officer for Broward Health.” It’s unclear if Rajter is the first Broward Health doctor to be represented by David Di Pietro or his legal “dream team.”

DREAM TEAM WANTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY HUGE LEGAL BILLS

Following his lawsuit against Florida Governor Rick Scott, David Di Pietro’s legal team submitted a huge legal bill to Florida taxpayers. In June, Buddy Nevins of BrowardBeat reported Bruce Green, Jay Spechler, and Brian Silber wanted $155,000 in legal fees and expenses. According to Nevins:

*Brian Silber, a criminal defense attorney and courthouse blogger who wants $42,525 in fees at $450 per hour.

*Bruce David Green, a Florida Bar certified aviation attorney who is asking for $49,938 at a rate of $450 per hour,

*Jay Spechler, a former Broward judge who is asking for $45,450 at a rate of $450 per hour,

*Ashley Steffen, Rudy Mayor and Nicole Martell, who are part of Di Pietro’s law firm and asking for $17,122 at $250 per hour.