Tag Archives: mediatrackers florida

Judicial Candidate Discusses Her Role In Prosecution Of Broward Teachers Union Official

In an exclusive interview on Bleeple TV, Broward County Court candidate Adriana Alcalde discusses her role in the prosecution of former Broward Teachers Union president Pat Santeramo. On Wednesday, a Broward jury convicted Santeramo on eight counts of corruption. Santeramo was charged in a kickback scheme which funneled union dues into his own pocket.

Alcalde, a former prosecutor, helped uncover the scheme where Santeramo and others padded construction invoices for work done at the BTU offices in Tamarac. Alcalde credited investigators at the Broward State Attorney’s Office as well as prosecutor David Schulson and Broward State Attorney Mike Satz.

A big supporter of Alcalde’s opponent, Betsy Benson, represented Santeramo. Attorney Larry Davis failed to convince the jury of Santeramo’s innocence. Davis served on Benson’s host committee for her campaign kickoff.

Last September, REDBROWARD revealed Davis blamed two minors for Wilton Manors sexual assaults. In April 2013, Davis was featured on WPLG Local 10 for his shocking comments to Wilton Manors Police detectives. Kids In Distress (KID) CEO Mark Dhoogie and Larry Davis, a KID board member, gave a video recorded interview to Wilton Manors P.D. Detective Nick Fiacco regarding two recent sexual assaults on the KID campus.

In January 2013, Brian Denby was accused of assaulting a 13 year old and a 15 year old living on the KID campus. A therapist contacted Wilton Manors P.D. to report a sexual assault took place on January 7, 2013 at 3:45 AM. According to charging documents, a group of minors were yelling and throwing rocks at passing cars. Denby yelled at the minors to stop and started talking to them. Denby provided cigarettes to the minors. He explained he had recently left the military and lost his wife. He told the children he had not engaged in sexual activity for more than a year.

Denby stated he would get in trouble if he had sex with the minor residents of Kids In Distress. Still, he climbed the wall and engaged in sexual acts with the minors on the KID playground. Denby is awating trial on three felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on minor age 12-16 and two felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition in the presence of a minor under the age of 16.

DAVIS: I KNOW THESE KIDS & I KNOW WHAT THEY’RE LIKE

On the video first aired by reporter Bob Norman on WPLG, Davis shockingly takes the side of the sexual attackers. Davis said, “I feel bad for him because I know these kids and what they are like.” Recall, Larry Davis is a board member for a taxpayer funded organization tasked with protecting sexually abused minors.

Davis even puts himself in Denby’s shoes. “I could get over that wall, especially if I saw two sweet little 15-year-olds probably playing with themselves, telling me to come over,” said Davis. “I’d have been over that wall in a heartbeat.”

Once Norman started asking questions, Davis resigned from KID. Davis admitted his remarks were “inappropriate and insensitive.”

Adriana Alcalde is a former sex crimes prosecutor for the Broward State Attorney.

Perry Thurston Campaign Spends Money on Perry Thurston & His Family

courtesy SFLTimes.com

courtesy SFLTimes.com

According to State of Florida campaign records, Perry Thurston’s State Senate campaign spends most of its money on Perry Thurston and his family members. Facing term limits in the Florida House, Thurston has been running for the District 31 Senate seat since 2013. Thurston is running against fellow Democrat Fl. Rep. Gwyndolen “Gwyn” Clarke-Reed.

According to the Florida Department of Elections, since January 2013, Thurston has raised nearly $55,000 for his State Senate campaign. Not surprisingly, as the minority leader of the Florida House, most of Thurston’s campaign contributions came from special interest groups and political action committees. As of August 2015, the Thurston campaign has spent $26,156.37 of his contributions.

The records show the overwhelming majority of the money was paid to Thurston and his wife Dawn. Since 2013, the campaign has paid $6,923.04 to Dawn Thurston. The campaign stated the expenditures were made for “canvassing,” “meals,” “campaign supplies,” “campaign expences [sic],” and “campaign expendatures [sic].” Since March 2015, Mrs. Thurston has received $5,071.61 from her husband’s campaign.

Campaign records show multiple payments to Perry Thurston, Floyd Thurston and Frances Merricks. In April 2013, this reporter exposed Perry Thurston’s residency games involving Frances Merricks’ Fort Lauderdale home. Thurston claimed to be living with a convicted felon in Merricks’ small home, rather than with his wife and children in the two-story home he owns in Plantation, in order to meet elected officials’ residency requirements in the Florida Constitution.

The Florida Constitution requires state legislators to live in the districts they represent. Thurston, a lawyer, represented House District 94. Broward County Property Appraiser records show Thurston, the Democratic Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives, owns a two-story home with Dawn Thurston in Plantation which lies in Florida House District 99.

Thurston’s 2012 campaign treasurer’s reports show he paid Frances Merricks $4,770 for “campaign headquarters rent.”  Thurston’s 2012 campaign headquarters was located at a Fort Lauderdale liquor store owned by Frances Merricks and Floyd Thurston.

Records show Thurston spent $6,165.74 on “other distributions.” Most of the expenses covered gas purchases and meals.

In stark contrast, Clarke-Reed has raised just $1,465 since joining the race in June. This amount includes a $1,000 loan to the campaign by Clarke-Reed. The rest of her contributions are small donations made by local supporters.