Tag Archives: investigations

City Of Tamarac Refuses To Say Who Gave Order To Pay $3,000 To Marlon Bolton Crony For Singing At Christmas Tree Lighting Event

It seems like a simple and straightforward question deserving of a simple and straightforward answer. Who told the City of Tamarac Parks and Recreation Department to hire a business associate of Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton to perform at the 2021 Christmas Tree Lighting Event? Yet, for some reason, City officials and Commissioner Marlon Bolton refuse to say how Dwight M.Moment, Sr. picked up a $3,000 singing gig paid for by City of Tamarac residents.

Since 2015, Dwight M. Moment Sr., a Lauderdale Lakes pastor, has produced a “Singing Pastors” musical revue featuring local church leaders. One of the regular performers on the “Singing Pastors” bill is Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church pastor Marlon Bolton. On his church related YouTube channel, Bolton posted a video of his performance at the 2020 Singing Pastors event. Bolton has been featured prominently in Singing Pastors promotional materials since at least 2016.

REDBROWARD obtained the documents surrounding Moment’s deal with the City. On November 30, 2021, Dwight D. Moment Sr, submitted an invoice for the City of Tamarac. The invoice was for $3,000 to perform at the City sponsored 2021 Light The Night Tree Lighting event on December 2nd at Caporella Park.

On December 1, 2021, the City of Tamarac Parks and Recreation Department issued purchase order #250401 for $3,000 payable to Dwight Moment of Lauderdale Lakes. According to the purchase order, Moment would provide “entertainment for tree lighting event.”

REDBROWARD contacted Tamarac Parks and Recreation Department Director Greg Warner with questions about the deal. In an email, we asked Warner:

1. Who recommended the hiring of Dwight Moment?

2. Did anyone negotiate with Dwight Moment?

3. Has Dwight Moment performed at any City Of Tamarac events in the past?

Instead of replying to these simple questions, Greg Warner had the City Public Information Office respond to REDBROWARD.

Since the initial email was sent on Monday, February 21st, Presidents Day, Senior Strategic Communications Officer Eunicia Baker wrote that a complete response would be made the following day.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 22nd, REDBROWARD contacted Baker on the status of her follow up. She stated they were working on it and it would be ready on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, February 23rd at 6:00PM, Baker responded to our initial inquiry. Well, sort of.

Baker stated “The City of Tamarac contracted with Dwight Moment And Symphony for the December 2021 Tree Lighting Event at the Performer’s set price of $3,000. This group has not performed at previous City events.”

Yeah, we knew that. Which is why we asked whose brilliant idea was it to hire a this specific singer?

And we told Baker the purchase order was with an individual, Dwight Moment, not the Dwight Moment And Symphony corporation.

Once again, we asked Baker:

1. Who recommended Dwight Moment?

2. Since there was no Request For Proposals (RFP), how was Moment chosen for the job?

On Thursday February 24th at 6:27PM, Baker confirmed the City made a deal with Dwight Moment and not his corporation. Baker said, “City staff did not undergo an RFP process, as the City’s purchasing policy lists several ‘Exemptions to Formal Competition.’ Among those exemptions are ‘entertainment and entertainment-related services for City-sponsored events,’ which applies to the December 2021 tree lighting.”

Once again, Baker failed to answer who recommended Dwight Moment.

REDBROWARD immediately asked Baker for answers:

1. How did the City choose Dwight Moment?

2. Did someone recommend Moment?

3. Did any Commissioner direct staff to hire Dwight Moment?

On Friday February 25th, Baker sent this terse response:

“The City of Tamarac has no further details to provide pertaining to this matter.”

That’s it?

The City of Tamarac claims it can use taxpayer dollars to hire anyone for City-sponsored entertainment events and they don’t have to tell residents why they hired them?

We just have to take their word that the fact Dwight Moment performs regularly at paid events with Commissioner Marlon Bolton played no role in Moment landing the $3,000 gig?

REDBROWARD tried to ask Marlon Bolton about Dwight Moment during a break at last week’s Commission meeting. Bolton refused to answer.

On Monday February 28th, REDBROWARD contacted Dwight Moment. Even though Moment was busy with a family emergency, he did answer one question.

REDBROWARD asked if Marlon Bolton recommended him for the 2021 Light The Night Tree Lighting Event.

Dwight Moment said, “yes.”

Why can Dwight Moment answer the simple question?

Marlon Bolton refused to answer this question.

City officials spent an entire week avoiding this question. Officials who get paid more than $3,000 in taxpayer funds.

How many other deals were made on the recommendation of Marlon Bolton?

Don’t Tamarac residents deserve honest answers from its leaders and employees?

Tamarac Commissioner Debra Placko Paid $4,000 To Happy Feet Advertising “Owner” Days Before Fake Endorsement Card Hit The Polls In 2018

On October 7, 2018, Tamarac Commissioner Debra Placko paid $4,000 to Resident United Advertising LLC for a “campaign expense,” records show. State records show Resident United Advertising LLC was a Margate company owned by Trace Robinson. Over the last year, REDBROWARD exposed the deep ties between Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton and another Margate-based company owned by Trace Robinson. And Debra Placko never said a word.

In addition to Resident United Advertising LLC, State records show Trace Robinson also owns Happy Feet Advertising LLC. Both companies are located at 300 Lakewood Circle in Margate. While the business paperwork shows the Margate address, the mailing address for Happy Feet Advertising is listed as P.O. Box 451711 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33345.

State records also show businesses owned by Marlon Bolton use the same post office box.

MATCHING MAILBOXES

Florida business records show the post office box address used by Happy Feet Advertising has been used by Marlon Bolton since at least 2014. These businesses include Tyson Bolton and Associates, Forecast Holdings, LLC, Prophet Fire, and Win Without War. These same records show Marlon Bolton and Trace Robinson are business partners.

Records list Marlon Bolton and Trace Robinson as owners of The Driven Project, Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church, and South Florida Theological Seminary, Inc. The companies also use the same post office box.

In 2020, Trace Robinson created the Broward Vision PAC political committee. The address for the PAC is the same post office box used by Bolton.

State of Florida campaign records show Broward Vision PAC paid $1,400 to Exy Consultants, a corporation created under the Happy Feet Advertising LLC name by Robinson. Exy Consultants used the same P.O. Box 451711 address as Marlon Bolton.

According to his campaign reports, Commissioner Bolton provided Happy Feet Advertising with a huge payday—nearly $14,000 during the 2020 election cycle.

In April 2021, REDBROWARD exposed the roles Bolton and Happy Feet Advertising played in the election of North Lauderdale Commissioner Regina Martin. Campaign records show Happy Feet Advertising, LLC performed extensive campaign work for the newly-elected Martin.

Last month, REDBROWARD revealed State House candidate Elijah Manley paid Happy Feet Advertising LLC $2,800 for “monetary” work on his January campaign.

MYSTERY PACS

REDBROWARD exposed Marlon Bolton’s ties to Residents United PAC, a State of Florida political committee. Elections records show the committee was formed in April 2019 by chairman Carl Williams and treasurer Malucci Joseph. Both individuals are close associates of Marlon Bolton.

Carl Williams was a Bolton appointee to the City of Tamarac parks & recreation committee. REDBROWARD obtained videos showing Williams assisting Bolton during church services at the Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church in North Lauderdale.

On the very same day he created Residents United PAC, Carl Williams created the “Go Tamarac Go PAC.” The only money listed in the Go Tamarac Go reports is a $1,750 contribution by the PAC’s treasurer Malucci Joseph.

In addition to her roles in Go Tamarac Go PAC and Residents United PAC, Malucci Joseph is the chairperson and treasurer of the Tallahassee based Conservative Governance PAC. Joseph also formed the Federal “Our Blue Democracy” committee using the same Tallahassee address.

This week, REDBROWARD attempted to contact Malucci Joseph at the Tallahassee telephone number for the committees. Instead on Joseph, Marlon Bolton answered the telephone.

PLACKO “FOR A BETTER FLORIDA FOR ALL?”

In January 2018, REDBROWARD exposed the roles former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and his campaign guru, Omar Smith played in Fort Lauderdale Mayoral race.

City of Fort Lauderdale campaign records from December 2017 show Dean Trantalis’ mayoral campaign hired Sophia Nelson, another consultant closely tied to Commissioner Dale Holness, and her SA Nelson And Associates firm for “marketing” purposes.

Florida Division Of Elections records show Sophia A. Nelson is the chairperson of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee. The address for this political committee is the same address found on a December pro-Trantalis email sent to Fort Lauderdale voters by “FlyerSmith,” a company owned by Omar Smith.

Division of Elections records show Omar Smith is the treasurer of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee.

In October 2018, Buddy Nevins of Broward Beat reported on four local judicial candidates appearing the endorsement card produced by A Better Florida For All. The card promoted Democrat candidates most notably Andrew Gillum. Nevins wrote, “Four Broward lawyers running for judge could end up in trouble for appearing to violate state Code of Ethics for judicial candidates. Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited.”

Shortly thereafter, the State of Florida revoked the registration of A Better Florida For All. Smith failed to properly submit paper to the Florida Division Of Elections. Attempts to contact Smith failed.

Since the committee is no longer a legal entity, legal steps were made to keep the card from being distributed to voters. In Late October 2018, (now Judge) Corey Cawthon filed an emergency motion against A Better Florida All over its inappropriate endorsement card. A judge granted the motion and ordered the card removed from polling locations.

Omar Smith told to the Sun-Sentinel “that none of the candidates were picked because of financial ties to the political action committee or to any of Smith’s businesses, which perform campaign services.”

A copy of the A Better Florida For All card was included in Cawthon’s emergency lawsuit. One of the candidates prominently displayed is Tamarac Commissioner Debra Placko.

Placko is pictured alongside Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin and Elvin Villalobos. Both Gelin and Villalobos enjoyed the support of Marlon Bolton.

Is timing of Placko’s $4,000 payment to Resident United Advertising LLC and her inclusion on the For Better Florida For All endorsement card in October 2018 a mere coincidence?

Last year, REDBROWARD reported how a bombshell report commissioned by the City of Tamarac Human Resources Department in 2019 revealed a pattern of “bullying” of City employees by Commissioner Marlon Bolton. The report documents several instances of Bolton attacking political opponents by using their race, ethnicity and religion.

Fire Captain William Duesler told investigators Bolton told a voter Mayor Michelle Gomez was a “White Jew–Don’t vote for her.” Another complaint heard Marlon Bolton tell a voter, “Gomez can’t even speak Spanish…and that she is a White Jew.”

In the same report, Mayor Gomez told investigators, “that Commissioner Bolton misappropriated the City’s name and/or logo for purely political purposes. She asserts that he utilized the City’s name and/or logo in a political advertisement for Residents United…with its membership base being members of Commissioner Bolton’s church congregation.

Didn’t Commissioner Debra Placko recognize the “Residents United” name? Just a year earlier she paid $4,000 to Resident United Advertising LLC. That’s not chump change.

Did Debra Placko confirm Mayor Gomez’s allegations to investigators?

Why did Debra Placko pay $4,000 to Resident United Advertising LLC?

Why did Debra Placko say nothing as Happy Feet Advertising and The Tamarac Post were used to bash her fellow commissioners?

Some Tamarac residents have wondered why Debra Placko has not criticized Marlon Bolton’s behavior on the dais. Placko bemoans the rancor yet she stands by in silence as Bolton attacks Gomez and Villalobos.

Perhaps she’s afraid residents will learn about her alliance with Bolton’s team?

REDBROWARD reached out to Debra Placko for answers. She has not responded.