Broward Republican Chairman Robert Sutton Resigns

Members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) were officially informed that Chairman Robert Sutton has resigned. Celeste Ellich is acting BREC Chair. The vote on a new leader will be held later this month.

One of the main factors leading to the resignation was Sutton’s attempts to remove Rupert Tarsey as BREC Secretary. In September, Tarsey’s criminal record (as Rupert Ditsworth) was exposed. In 2008, Tarsey was charged with attempted first degree murder stemming from a claw hammer attack on a 17 year old female. Tarsey refused to resign. Sources say Tarsey threatened to sue the Republican Party Of Florida (RPOF) if they approved his removal.

Here is Sutton’s official statement:

Fellow Republicans and BREC members –

After much thought, prayer, and discussion with my family; I have decided that it is in the best interest of the Republican Party of Broward County to resign as its Chairman effective Monday, January 8th. I intend to remain as a Committeeman and to continue to effect a positive change so necessary for the growth of the Republican Party in Broward County. May God Bless our Country, President Trump and his family, Broward County, and each and every one of you. Thank You, Chairman Robert W. Sutton.

Cordially,

Celeste S. Ellich,

Acting Chairman of the Broward Republican Executive Committee

150 S. Andrews Avenue, Suite 370

Pompano Beach, FL 33069

I Stand With Lizzie Barcay

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”– Abraham Lincoln

Tonight I will stand with Elizabeth Barcay.

Ten years ago, Lizzie Barcay was a 17 year old senior awaiting graduation from the exclusive Harvard Westlake School in California. The daughter of two accomplished physicians, Lizzie Barcay was no spolied rich kid. Reports from her school newspaper say Lizzie was active in school projects meant to help troubled students.

Ten years ago, she encountered her classmate, Rupert Ditsworth. Sensing he needed to talk, Lizzie Barcay approached Ditsworth. She accepted his invitation to the local Jamba Juice. On the way back to school, Ditsworth attacked Lizzie Barcay. Published reports say Ditsworth hit Lizzie Barcay over forty times with a claw hammer. When the hammer broke, Ditsworth tried to strangle Lizzie Barcay. She survived the brutal attack. Ditsworth was charged with first degree attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Three years later, Ditsworth would plead no contest to a felony assault charge. He served six years of felony probation.

Shortly after his arrest, Ditsworth relocated to Broward County. He changed his name. You may know him as Rupert Tarsey, secretary of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC).

Last month, Tarsey and fellow board members Richard DeNapoli and Kevin Moot voted to hold a special meeting to remove current Chairman Robert Sutton.

Eventually, less than seventy people signed a petition supporting Tarsey’s ploy to become the next BREC Chairman.

I attended that unauthorized meeting. Dissenting opinions were not welcomed. Tarsey said I was not allowed to be there. Eventually, Rico Petrocelli called to the Plantation Police. The always professional Plantation Police asked me to leave. I complied. It’s not the first, or last time, some politician calls the cops on me.

Tarsey will try to remove Sutton again tonight at another meeting in Plantation.

I will be at Deicke Auditorium at 7pm.

I will stand with all the BREC members who have been threatened or pressured to play along in this childish game.

I will stand with BREC members who were victimized by cowardly anonymous emails.

I will stand with those subjected to homophobic slurs.

I will stand with those who suffered from bigoted religious attacks.

I will stand with those who were confronted, in person, by hired investigators.

Make no mistake, this was never about Chairman Sutton or fundraising or voter registration.

This has always been a raw power grab. An attempted coup intended to catapult newcomers into positions of power.

These delusions of grandeur were fueled by cynical operatives eager to settle old scores.

When Tarsey’s past made international headlines, his seasoned supporters should have stood down. Instead, these experienced professional men and women with families doubled down in their support of a young man who spent considerable time getting court-ordered medical help.

Tarsey showed no remorse. He blamed this reporter for making his past up. He blamed the victim. He said she was bigger than him. He said he acted in self-defense.

So, tonight I will stand with Lizzie Barcay.

The current scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has exposed how his money and power kept people silent in the face of his horrible treatment of women.

His disgusting attacks on women were out there when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took Weinstein’s money.

Now, celebrities “speak out” after they’ve been shamed by their silence.

Republicans never get that kind of a pass from the mainstream media.

Chairman Rupert Tarsey would be an albatross around the neck of every Republican. The media would demand every Republican denounce Tarsey.

The phony outrage machine would hold President Trump and every Republican responsible for Rupert Tarsey.

The media would continue to push the false narrative that Republicans do not care about women.

Tonight, you can say “enough.”

This isn’t about Bob Sutton. It’s our chance to stand up and say “enough.”

No matter the outcome, nobody can ever say you stood by in silence.

Tonight, stand with Lizzie Barcay.

Broward Republican Party Secretary Rupert Tarsey Claims Claw Hammer Attack On Female Student Was “Self-Defense”

CHAPTER ONE: THE CRIME

In a stunning email to members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC), party secretary Rupert Tarsey claims he faced attempted first degree murder charges after he beat a female classmate forty times with a claw hammer in “self-defense.” According to court records and published reports from 2007, Tarsey was charged with the attempted first degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a female classmate at the exclusive Harvard Westlake prep school near Beverly Hills, California. Despite the extensive records available, Tarsey appears eager to play the victim in his email.

In response to requests for comment, Tarsey sent the email to REDBROWARD on Monday September 4, 2017. Tarsey wrote, “When I was in high school and a minor, I met with someone in a parked car next to our school, while I was a student. We began to get into a verbal altercation. Though the altercation was verbal initially it became physical when I was kicked multiple times and hit by the other person.” Tarsey claimed he used a hammer that was left in his 2000 Jaguar to fend off his attacker. “Regrettably, while pinned against the side of the car and having difficulty breathing,” Tarsey wrote. “I used this tool in self defense to try to stop the other person from hitting me.”

In bold letters, Tarsey makes clear his claims of being the victim of of an attack. He wrote, “BUT TO BE CLEAR: EVEN THOUGH I WAS ACTING IN SELF DEFENSE I STILL REGRET WHAT HAPPENED AND FEEL THAT MY ACTIONS WERE UNCALLED FOR.”

“IT WAS A COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED ATTACK”

In his email, Rupert Tarsey leaves out important details of the May 14, 2007 attack. He never mentions his “attacker” was 17 year old Lizzie Barcay. Days after the attack, Barcay’s mother, Dr. Barbara Hayden, gave the Los Angeles Times, her account of the attack in Tarsey’s (then known as Rupert Tumin Ditsworth) automobile. Hayden said she was performing breast cancer surgery when she learned about her daughter’s attack. She went to the hospital with her husband, an emergency room surgeon. “Her hair and face were caked with blood,” Hayden said. “On the left side, her head was shaped like a football.”

Hayden sat with her daughter as police interviewed her about the incident. “It was a completely unprovoked attack,” she said. “He wasn’t a boyfriend, and he was barely an acquaintance. The fact is, he is a danger not only to her but the community.”

THE ATTACK

In June 2007, The Chronicle, the Harvard Westlake student newspaper, gave a harrowing account of the attack on Lizzie Barcay:

“After she finished her Advanced Placement Physics exam late in the afternoon of Monday, May 14, Lizzie saw a male stdent who looked forlorn, according to the account her mother, Dr. Barbara Hayden, heard her give to Los Angeles Police Department officers. He told her he was waiting for a friend and asked her to go to Jamba Juice with him. He said nothing scary, only that he was “bummed out,”presumably about the AP exam, finals or graduation, Hayden said.

Lizzie did not know the boy very well, her mother said. About a year and a half before, the boy had invited her to a movie. Hayden said that Lizzie had accepted, but he had never followed up.

“They had no relationship at all except that she said ‘hi’ to him now and then and had once or twice sat down at the table and talked to him,” Hayden said.

At Jamba Juice, the classmates talked casually. Lizzie noticed nothing strange until they re-entered the car, when the boy took a backpack out of the back of the car and placed it between his legs.

“That struck her as being a very odd maneuver, something that didn’t make sense,” Hayden said.

Lizzie registered a change in the boy’s attitude. He seemed suddenly anxious. Then, he failed to drive back to school, turning onto Van Noord instead.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I’m looking for a place to mail something,” he said.

“There isn’t a mailbox up here,” she said.

He parked and told her that he had been considering suicide.

“Let’s go back to Harvard-Westlake and talk to counselors there,” Lizzie said. “There are people there who can help you. I’ll stay with you until you get help. Let’s deal with it. I’ll be with you.”

“No, that’s not the way it’s going to play out,” he said. Hayden is unsure of the exact wording of the boy’s next sentence. She thinks he said, “I’m thinking of killing myself, and I’m not planning on doing it alone.”

Lizzie took the boy’s words to mean that he was planning to kill himself and kill her as well. Fearing that the bag at the boy’s feet could contain a weapon, she reached for it, screaming at him and trying to take it from his hands. In the commotion, he pulled out a hammer. He beat her over the head, on the side of the head, and on the face, Hayden said. Lizzie pushed her attacker against the driver’s side door with her legs, sacrificing them to save her head, her mother said. He battered her legs and broke her tibia.

At that point, he exited the car, went to the opposite side, opened the door, grabbed her by the hair, and resumed striking her head, Lizzie told police.”

According to the reports, Tarsey beat her until the hammer broke. He started to choke Barcay. According to FoxNews.com, She was able to bite his finger which caused him to retreat in pain. “She bit it as hard as she could with everything she had, knowing that this was all that she was going to be able to do to save herself,” Hayden said.

When Barcay tried to run, her leg shattered.

“FOOLISH TEENAGER”

In his email to BREC members, Rupert Tarsey wrote his actions on May 14, 2007 were those of a “foolish teenager.” He claims ” a lot has changed” since the incident ten years ago. But a decade later, Tarsey attacks the credibilty of the victim, Lizzie Barcay and her mother.

Tarsey claims the news accounts were inaccurate “hearsay” later refuted in court. Tarsey even mocks Lizzie Barcay for going to the school prom “several days after this incident, and I believe was in class after the weekend.” The school newspaper documented the courage of Lizzie Barcay and her family.

The Chronicle reported Barcay left the hospital on May 18, 2007. “She attended Prom the next night in a wheelchair and was crowned Prom Queen.”

Two days later, Barcay attended her Cum Laude ceremony. “May 21, the day of the Cum Laude assembly, was the first day that Lizzie ascended the stairs to her house with the help of crutches and her father’s stabilizing hold. Before that climb, she needed a stretcher to get up the stairs. That night, her parents removed the stitches from her scalp. She was still taking painkillers for the pain.”

CHARGED AS ADULT

In his email, Tarsey makes several attempts to explain away the seriousness of the charges brought against him. Tarsey claims the case was twice dismissed by judges due to “false information” and “self-defense.” Tarsey writes the case was brought before a third judge after prosecutors won an appeal.

He wrote, “At this point I was already an honor student in college, and didn’t have the time to continually fight the case over many more years. I plead no contest to the assault charge and was GIVEN A SUSPENDED SENTENCE (i.e. I was never given or served any jail time)….”

Prosecutors wanted Rupert Tarsey in jail. In June 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported Tarsey, “was taken by his parents to a psychiatric hospital for treatment immediately after the May 14 assault.”

On May 19, 2007, The Los Angeles Times reported “a juvenile court judge — over the objection of prosecutors — refused to issue a warrant authorizing the boy’s removal from a psychiatric hospital, where he has been receiving treatment.  Defense attorney Patrick Smith argued at the hearing that the public would be better served if the boy remained in a secure facility where he could continue to receive treatment for his illness. Smith declined to say what specifically the boy is being treated for.”

At a later hearing, Patrick Smith told the Los Angeles Daily News that [Tarsey’s] parents decided after “speaking to the boy, without knowing what happened, that something was horribly wrong and they hospitalized him.”

Three months later, the Harvard Westlake school newspaper reported Tarsey was ordered to remain in a psychiatric hospital where he had been since the attack. “He was rearrested July 2, one day after his 18th birthday, and charged as an adult,” according to The Chronicle.

Tarsey made no mention of his hospitalization in his email.

LEGAL MANEUVERS

According to Los Angeles Court records, Rupert Tumin Ditsworth petitioned the court to change his name in 2008. One year later, Rupert Tarsey settled a civil lawsuit with Lizzie Barcay and her family. Tarsey never mentions these in his email. In 2010, Tarsey enters a nolo contendre (no contest) plea on the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge. He receives six years of felony probation. It appears Tarsey relocated to Broward county during 2008. Tarsey refused to answer questions submitted by REDBROWARD.

TARSEY MAKES STATEWIDE HEADLINES

News of Tarsey’s past made Statewide headlines on September 4, 2017 when Nancy Smith of Sunshine State News (SSN) wrote, “Broward Republicans, May I Introduce Rupert Ditsworth?” Smith wrote, “Who knew the Rupert Tarsey of 2017 Fort Lauderdale is the Rupert Ditsworth of 2007 Beverley Hills, Calif.? Google Rupert Tarsey, you get nothing; Google Rupert Ditsworth, you find  the local party secretary has a past that’s begun to spill on the Broward Republican Executive Committee like a can of wrong-color paint.”

Rupert Tarsey told Sunshine State News things were not as they seemed. According to SSN, Tarsey said he was “never convicted” of a felony. “‘Charged with’ and ‘convicted’ are two very different things,” Tarsey told SSN.

Tarsey said he did not change his name in 2008 to “repackage himself for a new life in the Sunshine State.” According to SSN, Tarsey claimed he changed names following his parents’ divorce. His parents are Dr. David Ditsworth, MD of Los Angeles and Patrice Tarsey of Fort Lauderdale.

Tarsey told Smith he was being unfairly targeted over party politics. Tarsey claimed he was “targeted for ‘voting with the majority of the Board in favor of removal of the chairman (Sutton) in the Board vote. Prior to the Board vote, I had been informed by Tom Lauder, a close supporter of Mr. Sutton, that if I helped to oust Mr. Sutton, I would have negative articles spread about me.'”

Despite his claims of acting in self-defense, Tarsey told SSN he settled a civil lawsuit with the victim “To make it go away.”

According to SSN, it appears as if “Tarsey was in a mental hospital for up to three years, then beginning May 4, 2010, was allowed to do his ‘community supervision’ in Florida.”

TARSEY MAKES INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

Rupert Tarsey made international headlines on September 5th, when the London Daily Mail picked up the story. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Tarsey said he would not resign as BREC secretary.

“‘Why should I resign?’ he said in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com from his $2 million beachfront condo. ‘I did nothing wrong and I was elected. This is just party politics.'”

Once again, Tarsey claimed he did not change his name to hide his past. “‘I’m estranged from my dad,’ he said, adding he didn’t change his name in order to hide his real identity.”

In the same interview, Rupert Tarsey attempted to downplay the seriousness of the attempted murder charge made against him. “‘In the end, I pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor,’ said Tarsey. ‘It’s not the charges that matter, it’s what happens in court.'”

The story was later picked up by other news organizations such as The Miami Herald, VICE News, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Salon, The Shark Tank and more.

NEXT, CHAPTER TWO: THE COUP