Keith London Cannot Recall Hiring Private Eyes While Fellow Commissioner Michele Lazarow Records Interview
In an interview with REDBROWARD, Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Keith London could not recall whether he hired private investigators to help him find a GPS tracking device. London and fellow Commissioner Michele Lazarow, a very close ally, attended last week’s Plantation City Council meeting. London lauded the work of Lazarow in organizing protestors at the meeting. Before the meeting, Lazarow deflected questions to London.
Last October, Keith London and Michele Lazarow held a press conference to discuss the discovery of GPS tracking devices on their vehicles. A week earlier, in front of WPLG Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman’s camera, London took GPS devices off vehicles owned by himself, Lazarow and candidate Annabelle Taub. London turned the devices to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Lazarow and fellow ally Anabelle Taub were locked in a tough political campaign against controversial Democrats on the November ballot. Taub challenged Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian. Last August, Julian admitted to accepting favors in exchange for his vote on a city development project.
When Lazarow’s opponent, Alexander Lewy claimed the whole matter was a “political stunt, her lawyer shot down the claim. “A crime has been reported,” Brian Silber said. “Evidence has been disclosed and they are reviewing this matter to determine if a violation of criminal law has occurred and who committed the crime.”
“It has become pathetic that the opposition can’t stand on a record,” said London, “and all they are trying to do is play dirty politics.” Lazarow was just as upset as her political ally, London. “I’m furious,” said Lazarow. “To me, it reeks of desperation, political desperation.”
Keith London was not interested in divulging much information regarding the FDLE case. Instead, London complained REDBROWARD and our “ilk” accused him of committing perjury. REDBROWARD never accused London of anything. At the time, REDBROWARD reported there was no reason to doubt Commissioner Keith London was being followed. He shot video of one man who WPLG later identified as a local private investigator. London and Lazarow were attacked by their opponents who dominated Hallandale Beach City Hall.
London seemed more concerned with why REDBROWARD was interested in Hallandale.
When asked how he knew to check underneath his car for a GPS tracking device, London said,”numerous people told me you might want to look under your car.” When asked who these “numerous people” were, London said he could not recall. When asked if he hired McGarry and Associates, a private investigation firm, London said he could not recall.
When asked if he could recall hiring any private investigator, Commissioner Michele Lazarow tried to interupt the interview. She refused to answer any questions about private investigators.
Keith London asked REDBROWARD if we had any evidence he hired McGarry and Associates. When pressed, London said he could not “remember” if he hired any private investigator.
At the October 2016 press conference, there was something Michele Lazarow’s lawyer said about coincidences that got our attention.
Michele Lazarow’s attorney Brian Silber did not mince words. “I don’t believe in coincidences,” said attorney Brian Sibler. “To tell me it isn’t the political opponent of these people, you’re going to have to tell me that it’s a coincidence that Commissioner Lazarow, Commissioner London, and Anabelle Taub all got GPS trackers on their cars ‘by accident.’ What a coincidence that is.”
COINCIDENCES PILE UP
REDBROWARD reported Vice Mayor Keith London’s lawyer also claims he found a GPS tracker on his car. Last April, former Broward Health chairman David Di Pietro claimed he found a GPS tracking device on his car. Like Keith London, Di Pietro claims he was being followed prior to finding the device. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Di Pietro found the device, removed it and placed it on his washing machine. “And then, in another twist, he said it appeared to have been stolen. He said most likely the person who snatched it gained entrance with a key hidden near a door to the garage. But he said he did not file a police report.” Di Pietro, married to Broward County Judge Nina Di Pietro, was removed from his post as Broward Health Chairman by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Di Pietro sued the Governor to get his title back.
David Di Pietro’s “Legal Dream Team” for his lawsuit against Florida Governor Rick Scott included Brian Silber and Jay Spechler. Both men appeared with the Hallandale Beach commissioners at the press conference. Di Pietro has advised London on political matters in the past.
What are the odds that the David Di Pietro Legal Dream Team lands two GPS tracker cases in a six-month period? Sure, it could be a coincidence.
But why did David Di Pietro fail to file a police report in April? Not only did he think he was being followed. Not only did he find an illegal tracking device, someone allegedly broke into his home to steal that device!
In July, POLITICO reported on alleged spying involving the new chairman of Broward Health. Reporter Christine Sexton wrote Broward Heath board members wanted to know, “Who authorized a private investigator to delve into an alleged ethics violation against Rocky Rodriguez, the chairman of the board that oversees Broward Health?” Broward Health Commissioner Brian Ure told POLITICO he ordered staff to find out who approved the hiring of McGarry and Associates, Inc.
“We have policies and procedures and processes in place for how allegations or complaints or alleged ethics violations are supposed to be investigated,” said Ure, who himself was recently cleared of an anonymous wrongdoing allegation. “But I have very little confidence that whatever policies we put in place are actually followed.”
According to POLITICO, Frank McGarry refused to say who hired his firm and whether he was paid. POLITICO obtained a document entitled “surveillance team report,” which detailed surveillance of Chairman Rodriguez’ son, Brandon Rodriguez. The document included photographs and video of Brandon Rodriguez.
Following the press conference, Brian Silber blogged about the Hallandale Beach case on his personal vanity website. In a November post, Silber asked, “Corruption in Hallandale Beach: Are GPS Trackers Illegal?” Silber made the case that Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper was behind the trackers. Silber wrote, “The mayor is running around town spreading false rumors that her political opponents, Commissioner London and Commissioner Lazarow, are having an affair and acting immorally.”
Silber wrote that “hate ads” aired on television “that depict covert surveillance footage of her walking next to Commissioner London and sitting in a car with him have aired on television.” Silber claimed the ads implied London and Lazarow were “having sex.” Silber wrote that the GPS trackers were discovered around the same time as the ads were shown on television.
To give a better perspective into the use of GPS tracking devices, attorney Brian Silber interviewed a local private investigator. “For legitimate and lawful uses of GPS trackers for surveillance, we will be speaking with private investigator Rich Allen, of McGarry and Associates, a Fort Lauderdale private investigations firm,” Silber wrote.
Silber said Allen had over 35 years of experience as a police detective and private investigator. He said Allen had to turn away clients who wanted to use GPS trackers for “illicit and unlawful purposes.”
Sibler wrote, “I can only imagine what that might entail – my guess is it includes husbands who want to track their wive’s boyfriends, business owners who want to track their partners, and people hell bent on revenge, blackmail, or political gain.”
According to Allen, the GPS trackers on London and Lazarow’s cars were not police trackers. “They are consistent with the cheapo trackers some low level private investigators use. Having looked at them myself, I agree,” Silber wrote.
Silber said, “Research into the finance reports filed by the mayor, vice mayor, and two political actions committees revealed that some of the people and corporations who contributed to the mayor and vice mayor’s campaigns for re-election are the same people and corporations who funded a political action committee that funded a second political action committee responsible for publishing the hate ad.”
Silber asked his readers to, “Read that last part again. It gets complicated – purposefully.”
Research by REDBROWARD revealed that some of the people and corporations who contributed to Commissoner Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub’s campaigns are the same people and corporations who funded a political action committee that attacked their opponents.
In December, REDBROWARD revealed Evan Ross, the controversial lobbyist behind several gaming industry-funded political committees orchestrated the October 2016 “illegal surveillance” press conference featuring the Hallandale Beach Commissioners and their lawyers, Brian Silber, Jay Spechler and David Di Pietro.
Evan Ross of Public Communicators Group issued a press release announcing the October 24, 2016 press conference. Ross wrote, “Hallandale Beach Commissioners Keith London and Michele Lazarow as well as commission candidate Anabelle Taub will discuss illegal activity involving tracking devices placed on their vehicles. All three have been subjected to unlawful surveillance.” Ross claimed the matter was tied to Vice Mayor Bill Julian’s “admissions…he solicited and agreed to accept possibly illegal benefits from the developer of The Diplomat Golf and Tennis Club.”
Ross announced documents and video evidence would be provided at the press conference. At no time did Evan Ross mention he operated political committees funded by Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino, a inter-city rival of The Diplomat Golf and Tennis Club.
REDBROWARD previously revealed the big contributions from gaming interests to Hallandale Beach Commissioners Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub. According to April 2016 campaign treasurer reports, Lazarow received $3,000 from the Village At Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park and Orchid Concessions. Taub received the same exact contributions in September 2016.
Just days before the November election, Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub received maximum contributions of $1,000 from political committees created by Evan Ross.
On July 26, 2016, State campaign records show Evan Ross’ Public Service paid $500 to McGarry & Associates, Inc for “consulting” work. This is same firm that employs Brian Silber’s GPS expert Richard Lee Allen.
One month later, WPLG Local 10 reported Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian was recorded on audio discussing acceptance of bribes. The Channel 10 story claimed the recording was made when Julian mistakenly called the number of a robocall ad.
DID PRO-LAZAROW/TAUB COMMITTEE PAY FOR ROBOCALL?
In February, REDBROWARD reported the robocall which allegedly caught Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian admitting misdeeds may have come from the man behind shadowy pro-gaming political committees. In August, WPLG Local 10 reported Julian “accidentally left a recording of a private conversation on a voice message after apparently failing to hang up the phone.” According to the report, a “mysterious robocall” had attacked Julian for his support of developers tied to the Diplomat Hotel. Julian called the number for the robocall. Reporter Bob Norman stated, “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.”
In her final campaign treasurer’s report, Anabelle Taub lists a November 4, 2016 in-kind contribution from Public Communicators Group for $200 worth of robocalls. According to State of Florida records, Public Communicators Group is managed by Evan Ross of North Miami Beach.
Evan Ross appears to have played a significant role in Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub’s campaigns. In a November 5, 2016 “Dirtiest Election In Broward County“ editorial, the Sun-Sentinel noted the gaming interests’ role in the Hallandale Beach elections. The editors said the Diplomat Hotel and Gulfstream had competing interests in the city. While the newspaper noted the large contributions to the Diplomat-backed committee, they never mentioned the political committees controlled by Evan Ross. But the Sun-Sentinel did quote Ross in the same editorial.
“’If the city wants to take that land from them, Gulfstream could potentially have damages that could exceed $60 million because you have the value of the barns, the cost to rebuild them, the cost of the land they would have to put them on, the jockey housing, then the disruption to their business,’ says communications consultant Evan Ross, who’s had conversations with Gulfstream officials and is a friend of London and Lazarow.”
Evan Ross told the Sun-Sentinel that Gulfstream wanted to work with Hallandale Beach. “[T]hey just don’t want to be strong-armed into giving it away or pressured into getting a deal done in an unreasonable amount of time,” Ross said. He declared a deal could be reached within 12 months if Michele Lazarow and Anabelle Taub won the election.
INTIMIDATION GAMES ARE COINCIDENCE TOO?
After REDBROWARD began writing about these issues, associates of Keith London’s team became very interested in this website.
In September, REDBROWARD revealed intimidation tactics used against this reporter to stop stories regarding the Young At Art children’s 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.
In August, Spechler was enraged after REDBROWARD asked about a item related to the museum.
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 a 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.
On Friday, November 25, 2016 police were called to a party at private home near Fort Lauderdale. Guests and neighbors called police to report a suspicious vehicle repeatedly driving by the home. Witnesses said the vehicle would slow down and take pictures of guests in the yard. This reporter witnessed the car drive by the home.
Police were able to locate the vehicle. When the police officer asked the driver why he was taking pictures, he identified himself as a private investigator. The officer told REDBROWARD the driver said, “Lawyers and politicians don’t like their pictures being taken.” While the middle-age male passenger was not identified, the driver was positively identified as Richard Lee Allen, the private investigator with McGarry & Associates, Inc. who was interviewed by attorney Brian Silber.
Now, after REDBROWARD reported she called a local lobbyist a “fat cow” and attacked private citizens after losing the vote in Plantation, Michele Lazarow made veiled threats on her Facebook page in another late night meltdown.
Saying she was feeling “wicked,” Michele Lazarow wrote, “So like when someone writes mean things about you, but you do some intel and find WAY more better dirt on them. Then you just wait…”
Commissioner Anabelle Taub responded with, “If those two ever fuck with you while I am around, I think my political career will be over (lol!). XOXOOXOXO”
Lazarow replied, “Oh but what I found on him tonight Mimi. He is going to be so upset. I can’t wait!”
Taub answered, “If he posts things about you and commits libel, go for it! I am so sick of JS and her fucking soldiers! I am sorry you’re going through this.”
Does “JS” stand for Judy Stern? Where did Lazarow get her “intel” from? A private investigator? Her lawyers?
Is this the way politicians are supposed to speak in an open forum?
According to an FDLE spokesperson, the Hallandale Beach “inquiry is still active.”