A tribute to fallen Broward Sheriff Ron Cochran was replaced with a garish tribute to Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. In 1997, the new headquarters of the Broward Sheriff’s Office was named in honor of the late Ron Cochran. A large monument sign on the corner of Broward Boulevard and NW 27th Avenue marked the entrance of the Ron Cochran Public Safety Building in Fort Lauderdale. Now, the tribute to Cochran is gone.
Ron Cochran was elected Broward Sheriff in 1992. Cochran was the longtime Fort Lauderdale Police Chief. In September 1997, after a long battle with brain and lung cancer, Cochran died in office. Published reports hailed Cochran as the “modern architect” of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
While battling cancer, Cochran faced enormous pressure to resign. Former Florida Attorney General Robert Butterworth visited Cochran to deliver news that then Governor Lawton Chiles would not force him from office. Butterworth told the Sun-Sentinel, “More than anything, Ron Cochran loved being a cop. His last wish was that he be given the chance to die with his boots on.”
“Florida lost a wonderful, competent, professional law enforcement officer who I think ran a very fine department,” Governor Chiles said. “I think we also lost a great humanitarian. He believed in very strict law enforcement, but he also believed very strongly in prevention.”
Two months later, the Broward County Commission honored Ron Cochran by naming the public safety building after him. The Sun-Sentinel reported the very humble Cochran did not want such honors.
“Susan McCampbell, acting Broward County sheriff, said Cochran told her during his last days that he didn’t want his name going on any public buildings, parks , ‘not even a parking space.’”
“’He was a very humble man, that was part of his charm,’ she said. ‘That’s why it took the County Commission about 30 seconds to rename the building after him.’”
While Cochran’s name may still be on the building, the large sign on the busy intersection is no more. It’s been replaced with a digital marquee sign with an oddly painted surround. One Monday morning, the marquee read “Sheriff Gregory Tony.” The sign features the Broward County logo as well as the BSO logo.
While there’s room for Cochran’s name, only the building address remains on the sign.
Nobody would ever mistake Sheriff Gregory Tony as a humble man. Whether it’s embellishments of his football career at Florida State University, vanity podcasts or appearing on swinger websites in a Speedo, Gregory Tony is no stranger to self-promotion.
One thing Tony does not promote is the ongoing legal inquiry into his tenure at BSO. In an exclusive report last week, REDBROWARD revealed the Tony legal inquiry was moved to the office of the State Attorney of 20th Judicial Circuit in southwest Florida.
Wonder if State Attorney Amira Fox and her investigators are big fans of Gregory Tony’s self-promotion?
The only signage mentioning Ron Cochran is located near the back entrance of the Ron Cochran Public Safety Complex. There is no signage on the front of the main building.
Who decided to insult the legacy of Ron Cochran? How long before the sign near the back door is replaced with another bit of Gregory Tony self promotion?
An obscure Broward political committee, with ties to allies of Dale Holness and Keon Hardemon, received most of its funding from political committee operated by a former Miami politician, records show. Founded in September 2019, the Resiliency Coalition political committee raised more than $75,000 to influence Broward elections. Yet, Broward Supervisor of Elections records show most of the money came from a political committee operated by former Miami City Commissoner Marc Sarnoff.
State elections records show the “Truth Is The Daughter Of Time PC” political committee was formed in May 2017. The chairman of the political committee is former Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. Truth Is The Daughter Of Time PC made four contributions totaling $44,000 to the Resiliency Coalition. Sarnoff is a lobbyist with the Shutts Bowen law firm.
Another prominent contributor to the Resiliency Coalition is B and B Professional Consultants Inc of West Park, a company owned by Barbara Hardemon, the lobbyist aunt of Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon. In January, REDBROWARD exposed a growing alliance between Dale Holness and the Hardemon family.
B and B Professional Consultants Inc made contributions to the People Of Principle PAC operated by a Holness campaign guru. In June, REDBROWARD revealed Barbara Hardemon’s financial support of Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis, a close ally of Dale Holness.
REDBROWARD also exposed how Barbara Hardemon formed the “Better Leadership” political committee in May 2021. The timing coincided with the launch of Alexandra Davis’ campaign for a seat on the Broward County Commission.
BROWARD PAC HIRED OPERATIVES TIED TO HARDEMON
In January 2021, the Resiliency Coalition made a $4,000 payment to B and B Professional Consultants Inc.
On February 3, 2021, made a $10,000 payment to The Donner Group in Miami. Two weeks later, Resiliency Coalition paid $5,000 to 527 Advertising LLC of Miami. State records show both companies are owned by Miami political consultant Keith Donner.
Throughout January and February, Resiliency Coalition made payments of $6,137.75, $8917.57, $5,117.75 and $5,993.56 to The Campaign Superstore of Miami. State records show the nearly $21,000 in payments went to a company owned by Charles Safdie, a lobbyist and former executive director of the Miami-Dade Republican Party.
UNFAIR ATTACK ADS TARGETED HARDEMON OPPONENT
In 2020, Keith Donner created an ad campaign attacking an opponent of Keon Hardemon. The Miami Times reported Donner is “longtime ally of the Hardemons, whom he calls his friends and clients.” Even though published reports state the attacks on Haitian activist Gepsie Metellus and her Sant La organization were false, Donner remains proud of his work for Hardemon.
“Had Gepsie not trash-talked the Hardemons, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Donner said. “She would have lost [in the Aug. 18 primary] and the dignity of her organization and reputation would not have been called into question. I’m sure a lot of what I did caused a lot of consternation among Miami’s white garden club members. They were beside themselves. The Hardemons are inviting targets and that’s the nature of the beast, especially in the City of Miami where nothing gets done unless you claw your way to get it done. Welcome to the NFL, Gepsie.”
On Wednesday, even though he easily won the election, Keon Hardemon kept up his attacks on Metellus. The Miami Herald reported Hardemon tried to change the county budget by removing $500,000 earmarked for Sant La, Metellus’ non-profit organization which serves the Haitian community. Hardemon’s move failed but he called for an investigation into Sant La.
Does Broward really want this type of Miami-Dade politics infecting our elections? Too late….
HARDEMON CAMPAIGN TEAM WORKED MIRAMAR RACES
City of Miramar election records show Hardemon’s campaign team worked for candidates in the March 2021 election. Commissioner Maxwell Chamber, another Dale Holness ally, paid $1,087.50 to B and B Professional Consultants Inc. He paid $1,000 to Epic Events Entertainment LLC a West Park company owned by Miramar employee Zakiya Kelley, the daughter of Barbara Hardemon.
But the big bucks for Team Hardemon came from Miramar City Commissioner Yvette Colbourne.
In February, Colbourne made a $10,000 payment to The Donner Group. Colbourne made multiple payments totaling $12,510.99 to The Campaign Superstore of Miami. Both companies received similar payments from the Resiliency Coaltion. One of Colburne’s paid volunteers, Lizca Francois of West Park, was also a paid volunteer of the Resiliency Coaltion.
Loyal readers of REDBROWARD will not be surprised to learn Yvette Colburne made three payments totaling $18,268.44 to B and B Professional Consultants Inc.
REDBROWARD previously revealed how an August 2013 investigation by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission exposed the role Billy and Barbara Hardemon played in City of Miramar politics and Yvette Colbourne’s campaigns. The 2013 complaint alleged Billy Hardemon, then an employee with the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Works and Waste Management (PWWM), spent “substantial amounts of county time, taken without authorized leave, in the City of Miramar, in Broward County…during hours when Hardemon was understood to be working at his Miami-Dade County job.”
What was Billy Hardemon doing in Miramar? According to the complaint, Hardemon attended numerous City of Miramar government meetings as the “de facto chief of staff” for Miramar City Commissioner Yvette Colbourne. (Other employees claimed Hardemon served a similar role with Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis).
In an interview with investigators, Colbourne admitted Billy Hardemon was her “advisor.” She said his role was to advise her and “attend meetings for and with her.” While he assisted with her campaign, Colbourne stated Hardemon was not paid or compensated in anyway.
However, investigators determined Colbourne’s campaign paid $2,000 to B and B Professional Consultants, Inc., a company owned by Barbara Hardemon.
Colbourne told investigators that Billy Hardemon and Barbara Hardemon were members of “Team Colbourne.” As to his employment in Miami-Dade County, Colbourne told investigators, “I felt that was being handled with his superiors.”
The whistleblower claimed Hardemon’s superior, PWWM director Kathleen Woods-Richardson, was fully aware of his violations.
When asked if she was aware of Hardemon working for Yvette Colbourne in Miramar, Woods-Richardson told investigators, “absolutely not!”
Investigators were shocked by Woods-Richardson’s denial. In addition to calling Hardemon a “friend,” Woods-Richardson’s assistant was Yvette Colbourne.
Additionally, the interview with Kathleen Woods-Richardson was held at the Miramar government center. After Colbourne was elected to office, Woods-Richardson was named Miramar City Manager.
While the investigator was not persuaded by the testimony of Colbourne and Woods-Richardson, he could find no evidence that Woods-Richardson “directed” Hardemon to work for Colbourne in order to increase her chances of becoming city manager.
MIRAMAR OFFICIALS PART OF HOLNESS CAMPAIGN TEAM
Now, Yvette Colbourne, Alexandra Davis and Maxwell Chambers are using their clout as Miramar City Commissioners to help get Dale Holness elected to the United States Congress. Holness is seeking the Democratic nomination for the CD 20 seat previously held by Alcee Hastings. Miramar is part of Congressional District 20. This explains Holness appearing alongside the Commission at numerous Miramar City events. Last month, Dale Holness posted photographs of his Miramar group seated at his campaign headquarters in Plantation.
Does Keon Hardemon and the Hardemon family have seats at the Holness table too?
Are the operatives for Hardemon and Colbourne working for the Holness campaign?
A brand-new corporation created by Democratic Congressional candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick gave more than $155,000 to a Florida political committee tied to a Republican-friendly political consultant, records show. Cherfilus-McCormick is one of the twelve Democrats seeking the nomination to replace Alcee Hastings as the CD 20 Representative in the United States Congress. While Cherfilus-McCormick repeatedly denies trying to “buy the seat,” paying huge sums to a controversial consultant to Republican candidates may be a sign money is no object to her campaign.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION?
According to State records, on March 12,2021 Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick formed SCM Consulting Group LLC. Cherfilus-McCormick used her parents’ Miramar address as the business address for SCM Consulting Group LLC. Two months later, SCM Consulting Group began making large contributions to the Leadership In Action political committee.
In May 2021, SCM made three contributions totaling $6,577.36 to Leadership In Action. In June 2021, SCM gave 6 contributions totaling $45,276.33 to the committee. In July 2021, SCM gave $52,343 spread out over 6 contributions. Last month, Leadership In Action received $37,262 from SCM Consulting Group LLC.
The address for Leadership In Action is the same Cooper City address used by controversial political consultant Mark Goodrich. Since May 2021, Leadership In Action paid nearly $63,000 to Goodrich for consulting fees. According to published reports, Goodrich is no stranger to controversial electioneering tactics and Republican candidates.
In 2005, Florida Governor Jeb Bush took legal action to keep the Americans For Jeb Bush political committee from using his name and likeness to raise money. The Tampa Bay Times reported the committee was “backed partly by Mark Goodrich, a conservative political activist and fund raiser who worked on Rick Lazio’s unsuccessful 2000 U.S. Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In 2009, Mark Goodrich bragged to the Sun-Sentinel about his ability to reach out to Republican voters in Fort Lauderdale. Goodrich was the consultant for mayoral candidate Earl Rynerson.
“Earl definitely would be very favorable to the Republican Party,” Goodrich told the Sun-Sentinel. “We’re going to reach out to Republicans.” Goodrich said “that was one reason Rynerson decided to put the words ‘Lt. Colonel’ in front of his name.”
Later, Goodrich rejected calls to label the openly gay Rynerson as a “gay candidate.”
“He’s not running to be the city’s first gay mayor, his campaign manager, Mark Goodrich, said. ‘He’s not running to be the first gay anything. I could say he’s running to be the first lieutenant colonel mayor.’”
In 2015, ethical investigations swirled around worked performed by the Moving Forward PC in Homestead. Goodrich was a paid consultant for Moving Forward.
In 2016, Mark Goodrich performed “community outreach” for Miami-Dade Republican Raquel Regalado when she ran for mayor.
Why would a Democrat hire a consultant so deeply tied to Republican candidates? And why would Cherfilus-McCormick pay her consultant via a State political committee instead of her own Federal campaign account?
When REDBROWARD asked Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick about Mark Goodrich, she admitted he was “one of many” consultants helping her campaign.
Cherfilus-McCormick was less forthcoming when asked why her brand new corporation was paying nearly $156,000 to the Leadership In Action.
Cherfilus-McCormick tried to say she did not remember and would have to review her records. When asked why a CEO and lawyer couldn’t recall the details of large payments to a political committee tied to her campaign consultant, Cherfilus-McCormick claimed the $156,000 was for “medical services canvassing” work done by Goodrich.
She once again asked for time to review records and promised more information.
Cherfilus-McCormick never called back.
REDBROWARD contacted Mark Goodrich to ask him about his work for Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.
“Pass,” Goodrich said.
REDBROWARD reached Mark Goodrich at the telephone listed as the contact number for the Leadership In Action political committee.
Guess Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and her team don’t think voters deserve answers.