Tag Archives: nina weatherly di pietro

Mitchell Berger and Others Involved In Broward Health Legal Drama Keep Funding Judge Nina Di Pietro

The major players in the ongoing Broward Health legal drama continue to fund the re-election campaign of Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro. In March, her husband, former Broward Chairman David Di Pietro, was removed from his post by Governor Rick Scott after the Chief Inspector General claimed he was interfering in the Broward Health investigation. Last week, REDBROWARD revealed her husband’s legal team and the law firm he hired to oversee the State investigation into Broward Health contributed to her re-election campaign.

Two weeks ago, REDBROWARD exposed the close ties between Chip La Marca and Mitchell Berger. La Marca is a close friend of David and Nina Di Pietro.


In March, the Broward Health board fired the Berger Singerman law firm after Florida Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel accused Berger Singerman of interfering with her review and recommended the suspensions of David Di Pietro, the former chairman, and Commissioner Darryl Wright. Gov. Scott suspended both men for “malfeasance” within hours of that recommendation on March 18.

In June, LaMarca co-hosted a political fundraiser with Mitch Berger  at his Berger Singerman firm for Fort Lauderdale Commission candidate Ben Sorenson. Chip LaMarca was the second name listed on the Sorenson invitation. Politcial insiders wonder why LaMarca, the former chairman of the Broward Republican Party is so chummy with a big Democrat fundraiser like Berger.

Earlier this month, Broward Health debated whether to pay $200,000 in legal fees to Berger Singerman. According to POLITICO, new chairman Rocky Rodriguez said it wasn’t the “right time” to discuss the bill, and said he needed to get some answers “here and there” regarding the fees.

In September 2015, months before he was hired by Broward Health, Mitchell Berger gave a $500 contribution to Republican appointee Nina Di Pietro. Last week, Mitchell Berger gave Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro another $500 contribution.


After being removed from his post, David Di Pietro sued Governor Rick Scott in Broward County Court. Members of Di Pietro’s legal “dream team” also supported Judge Nina. REDBROWARD reported Judge Nina received large contributions from lawyers Bruce Green, Brian Silber and Jay Spechler.  Like Berger Singerman, all three lawyers want Broward taxpayers to pay their hefty legal fees for representing David Di Pietro.

Judge Nina also received money from Spechler’s wife, Mindy Shrago, the controversial executive director of the Young At Art Children’s Museum in Davie. After the August 30th primary, Spechler and Shrago each gave Judge Nina another $1,000 contribution.

David Di Pietro is the current chairman of the Young At Art board.

Despite More Than Half Million Dollars in Losses, Young At Art Director Kept Getting Big Salary Raises

Mindy Shrago,right, makes $157k as YAA Executive Director

Despite losing more than half a million dollars in revenue over the last five years, Young At Art (YAA) executive director Mindy Shrago continues to collect a six-figure salary. According to public records, Shrago has received big salary raises even while she desperately tried to restructure the Davie museum’s financial deal with Broward County. Broward County Commissioners are waiting for Young At Art Board Chairman David Di Pietro to submit a new financial proposal to repay taxpayers’ investment in the children’s museum.

In 2013, published reports claimed Shrago and YAA reneged on its deal with Broward County. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Broward taxpayers purchased land in Davie and built a new home for Shrago’s museum, “on the promise the museum would pay some of the money back — $1 million a year for 11 years.” Even though YAA raised $5 million dollars, it used that money to pay for art exhibits instead of making payments to the county.

But, Federal tax records show YAA had money to pay Shrago’s six figure salary.


According to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Young At Art has been seriously hemorraghing money since 2011. Over a four year period, YAA total revenues fell from $3,691,581 million to $3,100,507 million. That is a loss of $591,074 million over four years. But these same records show Mindy Shrago kept receiving her big paycheck.

Young at Art’s 2013 Federal IRS Form 990 shows Shrago received a $140,387 yearly salary. The form claims Shrago worked fifty hours a week.

Even though YAA was in the midst of a serious financial crisis, the 2014 Form 990 shows Shrago received a sizable salary increase. Shrago was paid $152,407 for a fifty hour work week. This was a $12,020 increase for the executive director of an ailing institution funded by Broward taxapayers.

A year later, Shrago’s take home pay jumped to $157,828 dollars. While still seeking relief from the County, Shrago received a $5,421 raise. It’s unclear if the YAA Board approved these increases each year or whether they were part of Shrago’s contract.

Shrago’s big bucks salary is just the latest scandal surrounding Young At Art. REDBROWARD exposed the questionable exhibits which exposed children to hypersexualized imagery including naked men and women engaged in sex acts, wet t-shirt parties and topless women bashing political figures. Several online campaigns have urged YAA Chairman David Di Pietro to remove Shrago from her position. This is unlikely to happen any time soon. According to sources, Shrago’s husband, former Judge Jay Spechler brags about her large severance package if she is replaced at YAA. Spechler is close adviser and personal attorney for Di Pietro. He sued Florida Governor Rick Scott on Di Pietro’s behalf after his removal as chairman of Broward Health. Spechler and Shrago have contributed thousands of dollars to Di Pietro’s wife, Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro.

Tired of the YAA “games,” Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler has stated she will review the new matters with the County Administrator and County Attorney.