President Donald Trump Appoints Broward Judge Raag Singhal To Federal Bench

From the White House:

Anuraag “Raag” Singhal of Florida, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Raag Singhal serves as a Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida, having been appointed to the bench by then-Governor Rick Scott in 2011. Before his appointment, Judge Singhal was in private practice in Fort Lauderdale where his practice focused on criminal defense in both the trial courts and courts of appeals. Early in his career, Judge Singhal served as a prosecutor in the Office of the State Attorney. Judge Singhal earned his B.A. from Rice University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

Read the full announcement here.

Judicial Candidate Picked Up Broward Republican Party Endorsement While Working With Mystery Group Tied To Party Leaders

Image courtesy GOPRICHARD.com

Local attorney Jason Allen-Rosner wanted to be a judge. Throughout 2018, Allen-Rosner visited numerous local groups including the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC). In the crowded August primary for the Circuit Court Group 38 seat, the BREC Board endorsed Stefanie Camille Moon over Melissa Donoho, Linda Leali and Jason Allen-Rosner. Since Moon and Rosner received the most votes, the two lawyers would face off in the November 2018 general election.

But something changed between August and November. When the BREC Board voted on endorsements for the November election, the group decided to endorse Stefanie Camille Moon and Jason Allen-Rosner. The official BREC endorsement card simply stated both candidates were qualified. Wasn’t Allen-Rosner qualified in August? Why didn’t the lawyer-dominated BREC Board (Chairman George Moraitis, Treasurer Kevin Moot and State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli are lawyers) endorse Jason Allen-Rosner in the primary?

What happened?

Does it have anything to do with an October 7, 2018 in-kind contribution for $1,275.96 Allen-Rosner listed on his campaign financial report?

Jason Allen-Rosner wrote the in-kind contribution came from “Praetorian Consulting.”

Who Are The Broward “Praetorian” Guard?

On November 26, 2018 the Shark Tank website reported an official grievance was filed with the Republican Party Of Florida (RPOF). According to the report, “The grievance alleges that these three individuals broke ‘for violations of the Loyalty Oaths and for conduct that is conflict with their role as a BREC member/office’ by selling Republicans lists (most likely to include the BREC membership list) to Democrats.” While the Shark Tank redacted the names in the grievance, it appears as though it was filed against State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli, Former Party Secretary Rupert Tarsey and member Michael J. Kane.

REDBROWARD reviewed an e-mail sent to judicial candidate Dale Miller from “Michael Kane.” Like Allen-Rosner, Miller did not receive the BREC endorsement for the August primary. But that did not keep “Kane” from asking for his business.

The subject line of the e-mail reads, “Re: Republican lists.” Broward Republican State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli is cc’ed on the e-mail:

We can correspond on this email address, it’s a shared address. First of all, noticed you are in [Knights Of Columbus] assembly 157. Didn’t realize that when we chatted, we are in the same council and I was the [Grand Knight] of my regular council.

Spoke with Richard, the State Committeeman who has the big list, he said 500 is good. Write up what you want us to send out and we will send it out to our 50k list multiple times. I’m sure you have already crafted a standard promo e-mail. That would work. It’s a mostly republican list but not exclusively. I don’t think you can anyways but I wouldn’t put anything partisan. Also, we will probably make an email address for you to send it out on.

Check payable to ‘praetorian consulting.’ Address to be mailed to–6725 NW 122nd Ave parkland FL 33076

Send me what to send out, confirm check has been mailed and we are good!

Separately, if you win, please give us future business!

Also if you know of another candidate in another race interested let me know.”

REDBROWARD wanted to ask Michael Kane about this e-mail. Attempts to reach Kane by telephone were unsuccessful. Even though Kane assisted these BREC leaders last year, it’s unclear if he authored this solicitation.

The author mentions he was the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus. Rupert Tarsey was the grand knight, not Michael Kane. Also, Kane used a different e-mail address to register to vote and join BREC. Did he create this “shared” e-mail account?

According to Broward property records, the address for “Praetorian Consulting” in the e-mail is actually the home address of Rupert Tarsey.

Where Is Praetorian Consulting Based?

In his October 2018 campaign treasurer’s report, Plantation City Council candidate Rico Petrocelli listed an expenditure to Praetorian Consulting for campaign texts. Petrocelli, a former BREC chair & state committeeman, is a close ally of Richard DeNapoli. Petrocelli listed the address for Praetorian Consulting as 255 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables.

According to multiple records, Richard DeNapoli is employed by Coral Gables Trust located at 255 Alhambra Circle Suite 333 in Coral Gables.

REDBROWARD reached out to DeNapoli to ask if this is a coincidence. He never responded.

REDBROWARD caught up with DeNapoli outside the December BREC meeting. He refused to answer questions about Praetorian Consulting. When DeNapoli complained about the questioning to Chairman Moraitis, we presented Moraitis with facts about the case. “I don’t believe it,” Moraitis said.

The December questioning makes up a significant portion of a complaint (written by DeNapoli) made against this reporter. You can read about that here.

Jason Allen-Rosner was unavailable for comment.

Why Did Broward Republican Party Leaders Fail To Endorse Republican Women For Judge? Twice!

Last August, the board members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) issued endorsements of candidates in the primary election. Unlike the Broward Democrats, BREC leaders decided to endorse candidates in the non-partisan races for Broward judge. The BREC board includes Chairman George Moraitis, Vice Chair Celeste Ellich, Secretary Rupert Tarsey, Treasurer Kevin Moot, State Committee Woman Michele Merrell and State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli.

In the three-person race for Broward County Court Judge Group 9, the BREC Board endorsed Tanner Channing Demmery over Leonore Greller and Corey Amanda Cawthon. In the November runoff, the BREC Board once again endorsed Demmery over Cawthon.

In October, Javier Manjarres of the Shark Tank wondered why the BREC leadership decided to endorse Demmery, a Democrat public defender over Corey Cawthon, a registered Republican.

Manjarres wrote, “This is disgraceful for Republicans, but is an expected move from the embattled misfit group of Republicans who supposedly represent all Broward Republicans.”

In a statement to Manjarres, Chairman George Moraitis, “affirmed the decision, stating that the decision was made to endorse after ‘the attorneys’ recommended it. Moraitis did not say who the attorneys were.”

The only attorneys on the BREC Board are Moraitis, Moot and DeNapoli.

DEFENSIVE DEMMERY DENIES “PAY FOR PLAY

REDBROWARD caught up with Tanner Demmery last month at the early voting location in Coral Springs.

As REDBROWARD reported, Tanner Demmery faced questions over his endorsement by the A Better Florida For All political committee. The committee strongly supported Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. With close ties to controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, the committee also endorsed local African-American candidates for judge. Local insiders were shocked to find Demmery listed on the “Diversity” slate for judges.

Buddy Nevins at Broward Beat reported the four non-partisan judicial candidates appearing on the A Better Florida For All card were Haccord James Curry, Stefanie Camille Moon, Jackie Powell and Tanner Channing Demmery.

“Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited,” Nevins wrote.

When REDBROWARD caught up with him at the Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs, Demmery cried “harassment” when asked about his appearance on the partisan card from the A Better Florida For All political committee. Demmery even asked a woman to call the police.

Demmery said, “I don’t pay anyone to be on endorsement cards.” When asked about the BREC endorsement, Demmery’s answers were not as clear cut. He claimed he was on the card because “people support me.”

When asked if he met with Rupert Tarsey, Demmery said, “I don’t even know who Rupert Tarsey is.”

When asked about his contact with Richard DeNapoli, Demmery denied meeting with anyone but would not answer when asked if he talked to him or any other BREC leader. “I never paid to be on any of these cards,” Demmery said.

Demmery was badly beaten by Corey Cawthon.

https://youtu.be/DNBIzGe4t8A

2016 FIGHT OVER ENDORSEMENT LEADS TO LACK OF PALM CARDS

The controversy over the Demmery pick is not the first time endorsement drama enveloped the BREC Board. In 2016, BREC failed to include Judge Nina DiPietro on its list of endorsements. Her husband, David DiPietro was former legal counsel for BREC.

After some prominent Republicans complained about DiPietro’s exclusion, BREC was forced to print new endorsement cards. Buddy Nevins of Browardbeat.com “was also told that the board of directors of the local GOP were split over whether to redo the cards, which will be distributed to select voters. A number of directors opposed changing the list to include Judge Di Pietro.”

What was the real story behind the DiPietro mess?

According to former BREC Chairman Robert Sutton, one particular BREC Board member did not want Judge Nina DiPietro the palm card.

“Richard DeNapoli said he did not want Nina DiPietro to get the BREC endorsement,” Sutton told REDBROWARD.

In an October 2016 e-mail to REDBROWARD, DeNapoli included the endorsement card without DiPietro. He said it was available on the party Facebook page. DeNapoli wrote, “This was the finalized guide as decided by the Board and amendments voted upon by the BREC members at the September meeting.”

Sutton said party leaders in Tallahassee were extremely angry over the slight and the cards were reprinted.

Did DeNapoli let his dislike of David DiPietro interfere with BREC business? In his 2014 failed race for the Florida House, DeNapoli was angered when DiPietro held a fundraiser for his opponent.

Did DeNapoli’s personal feelings influence his endorsement of Democrat Tanner Channing Demmery?

BREC members deserve answers, right?