Tag Archives: evan ross

Faux Outrage? Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London Knew About City Attorney Recording For Eight Months Before Calling “Emergency” Meeting For Her Removal

On November 1, 2016 WPLG Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman dropped another political bombshell on the City Of Hallandale Beach. The story, “Secret Audio Implicates Hallandale Beach City Attorney In Alleged Improper Conduct,” detailed a conversation between then-Vice Mayor Bill Julian and City Attorney V. Lynn Whitfield. The conversation surrounded a March 2016 robo-call attacking Julian. A recording left by Julian related to the robo-call was the subject of Bob Norman story in August 2016.

In his November 2016 story, Bob Norman said he, “obtained an audiotape of an inadvertently recorded conversation [Whitfield] had with Bill Julian, in which she clearly provided Julian campaign advice and guidance.” Norman stated Whitfield’s actions could be a violation of the law which prohibits public officials from “using their authority to interfere with elections in their own cities.”

On the audiotape, Whitfield allegedly told Julian, “I can’t advise you on personal stuff and definitely I can’t advise you on election stuff, ok?” But later in the three minute recording, Whitfield said, “When they do stuff to you, my advice, personally, is to plan….Plan out, list out, ‘this is how they are going to come after me.'”

According to Bob Norman, Commissioner Keith London was “livid” after listening to the audiotape. He said Whitfield “doesn’t know the basics of the city charter that says you work for the City. It doesn’t say you work for Bill Julian.”

London said, “She gave personal and campaign advice to Bill Julian, she’s got to go.”

Four weeks later, Keith London called for an “emergency” meeting to fire Whitfield. According to a WPLG story, London used the audiotape as a cause to fire her. Bob Norman said Keith London “is now the City’s de facto leader.”

Whitfield was fired.

Once again, an outraged Commissioner Keith London portrayed himself to the local media as the corruption fighter at Hallandale Beach City Hall.

However, sworn testimony given to the Broward State Attorney’s Office shows Commissioners Keith London and Michele Lazarow knew about Whitfield’s action for eight months and never said anything.

LOBBYIST EVAN ROSS PLAYED WHITFIELD TAPE FOR KEITH LONDON

As REDBROWARD reported, lobbyist Evan Ross, a close ally of Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London, gave sworn testimony to the Broward State Attorney (SAO) in March 2017. The Broward SAO was investigating whether Bill Julian accepted bribes as alleged in an August 2016 report by Bob Norman. A recording of Julian was provided to Norman by Ross after Keith London gave him the “green light.” Even though the recording was made in March 2016, Keith London testified they kept the tape under wraps until August 2016 for “politically expedient”reasons. London was the campaign manger for Julian’s opponent in the November 2016 election.

In his sworn testimony, Evan Ross stated Bill Julian left ten recordings on his system. The night the robo-call went out, Ross noticed a voicemail in “the system.” When he listened to the call, Ross “quickly identified it was Bill Julian’s voice talking to someone.” The following day, Ross claimed he found more voicemails. He testified there were ten recordings, including the Whitfield tape.

Evan Ross stated he told Commissioner Keith London about the Julian recordings the same day he discovered them.

Ross testified he “advised Commissioner London and Commissioner Lazarow…to come to my home and told them that I felt it was of great importance.” Both Commissioners came to Ross’ house. Once there, he played ten recordings of Bill Julian.

Ross said three agreed not to do anything with the recordings. Ross stated, “[W]e all agreed that we should not make a decision on what to do with it sight unseen. And that we should take a little time.”

Ross said the recordings contained, “conversations with people who I believe to be city employees, some of them I could identify potentially.”

Ross told Assistant State Attorney David Schulson he still had all ten recordings. Schulson asked if he gave all ten to Bob Norman.

Ross said, “At a later time, I gave [Bob Norman] the remainder of them, one which he used in a story, which was between Vice Mayor Julian and the city attorney.”

Ross described the contents of that recording in political terms. He said, “The city attorney was on that tape giving him political advice and saying less than flattering things about some of the other commissioners, most notably, Commissioner London.

ANOTHER POLITICAL DIRTY TRICK?

Keith London has a well documented adversarial relationship with Lynn Whitfield. In February 2015, a special counsel was hired to investigate Whitfield’s allegations of racial discrimination against Keith London.

In February 2016, London was cleared of charges of discrimination and creating a hostile work environment. According to the Sun-Sentinel, “While investigators cleared London, they took him to task for rubbing people the wrong way. They quoted his critics, who accused him of being aggressive, intimidating and rude.”

The meeting of two sitting Hallandale Beach Commissioners at the home of a lobbyist occurred on or about March 3, 2016. Just one month after London had been cleared.

But they took no action when they heard the Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor talk about a potential crime.

They took no action when they heard the city attorney possibly commit a violation of law.

They waited. They waited for the election to be closer. As Keith London testified, he did not want the news to get “buried.”

Did London and Lazarow ever document the March 2016 meeting with lobbyist Evan Ross?

Did London ever document his numerous conversations with Ross about the release of the Julian tape?

Did London and Lazarow document discussions with Ross about the Whitfield tape?

Did London and Lazarow document their discussions about Lynn Whitfield? The Florida Sunshine Law covers discussions between elected officials about matters that may come before them for a vote.

Didn’t Keith London and Michele Lazarow vote to fire Lynn Whitfield in November 2016?

More to come…

Mom?!? Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London & Lobbyist Evan Ross Reveal Surprising Identity Of Mystery Woman Who Recorded Robo-Call Smear

In sworn testimony to the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London and lobbyist Evan Ross revealed the identity of the woman whose voice is heard on the March 2016 robo-call attacking then Commissioner Bill Julian. To this day, many political insiders believe Commissioner Michele Lazarow, another London/Ross ally, is the woman on the call. While under oath, London and Ross testified the woman on the call was Marna Winter.

Who is Marna Winter?

She is Evan Ross’ mother.

During his February 2017 testimony, Keith London was asked whose voice was used on the call. London said, “It’s–can’t remember her first name. Evan Ross’ mother.” Asked why his mother made the call, London stated, “She has a nice voice. She has no interest [in Hallandale].”

Later Assistant State Attorney David Schulson asked London for Evan Ross’ telephone number in order to get her name. David Di Pietro, Keith London’s attorney, told Schulson “I’ll get you the name.”

Di Pietro said he would text Ross to get the name. Schulson asked, “Okay. I mean, I assume you know him also.” Di Pietro said, “Yes, I know him. It might be a weird text. But—”

In his March 2017 sworn testimony, Evan Ross stated his mother’s name is Marna Winter Dellerson.

When asked who was the woman on the call, Ross said, “The woman is my mother.”

Ross said the call was recorded at the home he shares with his brother and two women.

More to come…

Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London Gave Lobbyist “Green Light” To Leak Recording Of Bill Julian To Reporter

In August 2016, WPLG Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman broadcast a political bombshell. Norman reported Hallandale Beach Commissioner Bill Julian made a recording admitting to take bribes from a local developer. According the Channel 10 story, Bill Julian called a number associated with a robo-call attacking him.

On one of Julian’s calls, he apparently failed to hang up his phone and inadvertently left behind an audio recording of a private conversation. Local 10 News obtained a copy of the recording, which appears to contain damning admissions from Julian. It begins with Julian explaining his vote against the park.

Hallandale Beach Commissioner Keith London, a staunch foe of Julian, was outraged. He called for an immediate investigation by the Broward State Attoney’s Office. London told Bob Norman, “It certainly sounds like a bribe. Bill Julian, on your audio recording, certainly sounds to me like he’s admitting taking a bribe for two things — 300 campaign workers and a van.”

Just one problem. London learned about the Julian recording five months earlier. And even though he believed a crime may have been committed, Keith London never contacted law enforcement.

Why? Politics.

LONDON GIVES SWORN TESTIMONY TO BROWARD STATE ATTORNEY

In October 2017, Bill Julian was cleared by the Broward State Attorney’s Office. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “‘There is absolutely no evidence that Commissioner Julian ever received any improper payment or benefit of any kind’ from the developer or his attorney, Assistant State Attorney David Schulson says in a memo dated Oct. 23.” But the damage had been done. Bill Julian lost his seat in the November 2016 to political newcomer Anabelle Taub.

On February 20, 2017, Commissioner Keith London, accompanied by his attorney David Di Pietro, spoke under oath with Assistant State Attorney David Schulson. In his sworn testimony, London states he made a “politically expedient” decision to keep the Bill Julian recording a secret until after the August 2016 primaries.

Keith London admitted learning of the recording from lobbyist Evan Ross shortly after the robo-call was made on March 3, 2016. When asked why he did not take action in March 2016 London said, “Because it would have gotten buried and instead it was a news conference and Bob Norman made a great story. After Bob Norman, now it’s front page news.” London stated Evan Ross gave the recording to Bob Norman.

Schulson asked if there was a “strategic meeting with Evan Ross, as to when he should turn it over to Bob Norman?” London replied, “Correct.” London said he gave Ross the “green light” to release recording to Norman after the August 2016 primary.

When asked why they chose Norman, London testified, “Bob loves Hallandale.”

London stated they never considered any other reporter.

EVAN ROSS GIVES SWORN STATEMENT TO BROWARD STATE ATTORNEY

On March 3, 2017, lobbyist Evan Ross testified under oath to Assistant State Attorney David Schulson. Ross testified for more than two hours to details surrounding his relationship with Hallandale Beach Commissioners Keith London and Michele Lazarow, his political committees funded by Gulfstream Park, his robo-call targeting former Commissioner Bill Julian and the recordings of Julian as well as the decision to release the recordings to WPLG reporter Bob Norman. As REDBROWARD previously reported, numerous PACs operated by Evan Ross have supported Hallandale Beach Commissioners London, Lazarow and Anabelle Taub.

When asked who came up with idea to attack Bill Julian with the robo-call, Evan Ross testified, ” I had the discussion–I know I had it with Commissioner London. I believe I may have shared it with Commissioner Lazarow….But it was primarily with Commissioner London.” Ross stated he wrote the script for the call and shared it with Commissioner London.

The night the robo-call went out, Ross noticed there was a voicemail in “the system.” When he listened to the call, he “quickly identified it was Bill Julian’s voice talking to someone.” The following day, Ross claimed he found more voicemails. He testified he noticed the calls came from a “particular phone number that I saw repeatedly.”

Evan Ross stated he told Commissioner Keith London about the Julian recordings the same day he discovered them.

Ross testified he “advised Commissioner London and Commissioner Lazarow…to come to my home and told them that I felt it was of great importance.” Both Commissioners came to Ross’ house. Once there, he played ten recordings of Bill Julian.

Even though Ross says they were in “utter shock,” the three agreed not to do anything with the recordings. Ross stated, “[W]e all agreed that we should not make a decision on what to do with it sight unseen. And that we should take a little time.”

Ross said, “Discussion ensued primarily with Commissioner London and I, where I came up with the idea to ultimately turn the tape over to Bob Norman.” He said they would wait until late July or early August before giving recording to Norman.

Assistant State Attorney Schulson asked, “So you, on your own and through your discussions with Commissioner London, made a strategic political decision to hold onto this recorded conversation…until after qualifying in June of 2016?”

Ross tried to claim London left the ultimate decision to release up to him. Schulson asked if would surprise Ross if Commissioner London testified under oath that London was the one who gave the “green light” to release tape to Bob Norman? Ross simply said, “Oh, we certainly discussed it.”

When asked if he would have released it if Keith London instructed him not to, Ross said, “I certainly would have listened.”

POLITICAL DIRTY TRICK?

Even both claim they suspected a crime had been committed, Keith London and Evan Ross admitted they made a political decision to withhold the Julian recordings. They admitted they wanted to make sure the story affected the November 2016 election. Under oath, Evan Ross said Keith London was the unpaid campaign manager of Bill Julian’s opponent. More to come…