“SHADY DEAL”: Pompano Beach Commissioner Blasts $265K Payout To Broward “Political Pimp”

Calling it “insanity” run amok, Pompano Beach Commissioner Michael Sobel blasted a deal to pay $265,000 to a city activist some call a “Political Pimp.” At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Sobel was the lone voice questioning the plan to pay the legal fees Vicente Thrower racked up following his April 2010 arrest on bribery and unlawful compensation charges.

In 2014, a Broward jury found Vincente Thrower not guilty on three of the charges. During the trial, attorney Michael Hursey argued Thrower was not a public official under Florida law. The jury bought his defense that he was a mere volunteer not a public servant capable of accepting unlawful compensation.

In March 2015, REDBROWARD reported Thrower wanted the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Association (CRA) to pay his $478,000 legal bill. In a letter to the Pompano Beach commission, his attorney Hursey painted Thrower as a victim of false criminal charges. He wrote, “Thrower just completed a very difficult 4 1/2 year journey, living under the shadow of charges which were ultimately proved false.” He said Pompano Beach paying for the legal fees would “put Mr. Thrower on the road to restoring the enormous loss he suffered when fighting these unfounded charges.”

THROWER’S VOLUNTARY STATEMENT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

Even though a Broward jury failed to convict him, Vicente Thrower admitted many of the details in a February 2010 sworn statement to the Broward State Attorney.

Thrower admitted working for developers with business before Pompano Beach. These developers,which included Cornerstone, Habitat For Humanity, Pompano Beach Living LLC, and Lavish Homes, paid thousands of dollars to Thrower. He never disclosed his contractual relationships.

Thrower also admitted speaking with the FBI regarding his dealings with notorious developers Bruce and Shawn Chait.

SHADY DEAL

One the final items at Tuesday’s Pompano Beach City Commission meeting was the deal to pay $265,000 to Thrower for legal fees. City Manager Greg Harrison said he negotiated the deal with Thrower and his attorney in a effort to avoid more legal costs and to protect future Pompano Beach volunteers. Mayor Lamar Fisher and most Commissioners bought into Harrison’s laughable rationale.

Michael Sobel wasn’t buying it.

In a stunning ten minute presentation, Sobel said, “Off all the shenanigans that I’ve seen and heard since getting elected, this one ranks toward the top.” Echoing a sermon he heard in church, he said the deal was “one giant muddy fountain.” Sobel said by accepting the deal the Commission was “being asked to reward a local resident…for his bad and likely unethical behavior.”

Sobel said, “[Thrower] needs to be responsible for his own actions.”

Commissioner Sobel said the deal was first mentioned a week earlier as a “surprise add-on” to the CRA meeting agenda. He said the deal was not properly vetted. Sobel warned it was unclear how much of the money would actually go to Thrower himself.

Are the residents paying attention,” Sobel asked. “This is a shady deal!”

Sobel said he did not care about warnings his opposition to this deal would hurt his campaign for mayor. He said the deal shows, “Some people get special deals while the residents as a whole suffer. The leaders of the Northwest should think hard about that.”

Chip LaMarca “Happy To Provide Google Map” For Opponents Who Live Outside District 93

Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca told REDBROWARD he would be “happy to provide a Google Map” with directions to his Democrat opponents for the Florida House District 93 seat. Why do Emma Collum and Stephanie Myers need a map to find District 93? According to voter registration documents and property records, neither woman actually lives in District 93. Serving first as a Lighthouse Point City Commissioner, then as a Broward County Commissioner, LaMarca has served residents of District 93 for nearly 15 years.

Republican George Moraitis, a Fort Lauderdale resident, currently holds the District 93 seat. Due to term limits, Moraitis is unable to seek another term. So why are Collum and Myers running for a seat in a district which they don’t reside?

Simple.

Collum and Myers live in District 94 which is represented by fellow Democrat Bobby DuBose.

Neither political newcomer would stand a chance of unseating DuBose, so they have decided to play the residency game.

BROWARD DEMOCRATS LOVE THE RESIDENCY GAME

In April 2013, this reporter revealed Perry Thurston claimed to be living with a convicted felon in a small home in Lauderhill, rather than with his wife and children in the two-story home they own outside his House district. Broward County Property Appraiser records show Thurston owns a two-story home with his wife in Plantation in Florida House District 99.

Subsequent investigations by this reporter found other local politicians playing the residency game. The list included State Senator Maria Sachs, Rep. Lori Berman, Palm Beach Supervisor Of Elections Susan Bucher, Rep. Joseph Gibbons, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, Rep. Hazelle Rogers and County Commissioner Dale Holness.

According to Section 15, Article III of the Florida Constitution requires state legislators to live in the districts they represent.

By January 2014, the investigations by this reporter resulted in proposed legislation to force compliance with the Florida Constitution. Lawyers for the Florida House and Florida Senate released a memorandum outlining the Legislature’s authority to develop a “clear set of principles to evaluate the residency of its members in the event of a properly-filed challenge.” The Florida Constitution requires legislators to “be an elector and resident of the district from which he or she is elected.”

According to state records, Stephanie Myers is registered to vote at her home located in District 94.

State and local records show Emma Collum has never lived in District 93 since moving to Florida.

Records show Collum, a New York lawyer, has lived at three different addresses in Plantation. The City of Plantation is definitely not in District 93.

According to her campaign website, Collum and her husband, “reside in in Downtown Fort Lauderdale with their rescue dog Daisy.” Collum is registered to vote at a “downtown Fort Lauderdale” address, but the condominium lies with District 94 not District 93. (Records show Collum’s husband is still registered to vote at Plantation address).

Are no Democrats living in District 93 willing to run for office? Will Myers and Collum move into District 93 any time soon?

Broward Endorsement Card From Beyond The Grave?!?


The latest shady blue endorsement card in Broward may be from beyond the grave! The blue “Friends of Broward” card claims to be printed by a “concerned citizen” at 1900 NW 22nd Court in Pompano Beach. Just one problem, it appears that address is the Westview Community Cemetery.

One famous “resident” of Westview is the late actress Esther Rolle. She played “Florida Evans” on TV’s Maude and Good Times in the late 1970s. Is Florida sending voters a message from the great beyond?!?