Breaking news from Tamarac Talk: The Broward Office of the Inspector General is investigating possible misuse of a Tamarac non-profit by City officials. Tamarac Talk obtained a May 4, 2022 letter from the Broward OIG to the City of Tamarac requesting documents and information pertaining to the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Tamarac (PAROT) from. August 2021 to January 2022. The items include payments, memoranda, emails, texts and even an iPad.
You can read the full Tamarac Talk story here.
Last December, REDBROWARD broke the news how multiple city staffers instructed PAROT to write checks to local businesses supporting Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton’s personal Turkey Drive in November 2021. A Commissioner staffer as well as City Parks and Recreation employees told PAROT to write checks totaling more than $2,000 even though the Board rejected a formal request at their August meeting. Established in 2011, PAROT has sponsored local golf and bowling tournaments to support parks and recreation issues in the City of Tamarac.
In August 2021, Greg Warner, Director of the Parks and Recreation department, asked PAROT to fund Bolton’s Turkey Drive. According to PAROT Chair Julie Fishman, the board flatly rejected the request. But in October, the PAROT treasurer received requests from City staff about the event.
On October 28th, Eliane Benjamin, administrator for the Tamarac City Commission, asked Warner if he could “kind assist” with getting a $500 check issued to The Great Commission Center And Outreach organization. Benjamin said Peter Richards would pick up the check.
On November 2, 2021 PAROT wrote a $500 check to The Great Commission Center And Outreach. A note on the check reads, “Commissioner Bolton’s Turkeys.”
In another email, Benjamin follows up with Warner after a meeting. Benjamin tells Warner that a $400 payment has been promised to Garfield McLean, owner of Ackee Tree Jamaican Restaurant, for fifty boxed meals. While McLean will pick up the check, the meals will be picked up and distributed by Peter Richards of The Great Commission Center and Outreach. Benjamin tells Warner that Richards will also pick up fifty turkey vouchers from Tapatia Supermarket. The meals and turkeys were to be distributed at Bolton’s Turkey Drive on November 13th at Caporella Park.
On November 3, 2021, PAROT wrote a $400 check to Ackee Tree Jamaican Restaurant. The note on check reads, “Commission Bolton-boxed lunches.”
On November 9, 2021 PAROT wrote a $1,341 check to Tapatia Supermarket. The note on check reads, “Comm. Bolton—turkeys.”
A promotional email sent by Commissioner Bolton lists Tapatia Supermarkets, the City of Tamarac and PAROT as sponsors of the event.
In a follow up story, REDBROWARD revealed how some of the gift cards purchased for the Bolton food drive appeared at a similar food drive in another Broward city.
Supermarket Gift cards emblazoned with the name of Commissioner Marlon Bolton appeared in photographs promoting a private “turkey and pie giveaway” at Car Accident Referral Services (C.A.R.S.) in Plantation. The Tapatia Supermarket gift cards were used in social media posts by Nataneisha “Jahmel” Richards, the president of The Great Commission Center And Outreach non-profit organization of Tamarac.
Richards posted numerous photos and videos before and after the event. One photograph and one video clearly shows the Tapatia Supermarket gift cards with a sticker which reads, “Courtesy of Commissioner Marlon Bolton District 1.”
Other photographs and videos show Jahmel and husband Peter Richards volunteering at the Plantation event.