Poor Taste: Judge Nina Di Pietro Uses Late Broward Health CEO In Campaign Promo

Judge Nina Di Pietro & the late Broward Health CEO Nabil El Sanadi from 2013

Judge Nina Weatherly Di Pietro is using an image of the late Broward Health CEO Dr. Nabil El Sanadi in a social media post promoting her re-election campaign. In a tasteless Facebook post, Judge Di Pietro posts a picture of the board with the caption, “Check out Judge Nina in 2013 at her first Board of Medicine meeting.” Di Pietro and El Sanadi served together on the Florida Board of Medicine. 

El Sanadi committed suicide in January. According to investigators, El Sanadi was under tremendous stress from controversial business practices at Broward Health. As CEO, El Sanadi worked closely with the Chairman of Broward Health, David Di Pietro, who is Judge Nina Di Pietro’s husband. Florida Governor Rick Scott removed David Di Pietro from the board after Florida Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel complained of interference by Di Pietro and fellow board member Darryl Wright. 

Published reports claim Federal and State investigators are delving into contracts between the hospital district and several vendors. One of the main targets is a multi-million dollar contract with Zimmerman Advertising. Witness interviews and emails show County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, then a Zimmerman employee, was a driving force behind the contract.

LaMarca is a close friend and adviser to Judge Nina Di Pietro and her husband David.

It’s unclear why Judge Nina would include El Sanadi in a campaign Facebook post, especially while the Broward Health investigations are ongoing.

On November 8, Broward voters will decide if they really want to keep Judge Nina on the bench.

Democrat Consultant To Media: Buzz Off?

Broward Democrat consultant Dan Lewis was not interested in answering any questions regarding his role at Broward Health. REDBROWARD caught up with Mr. Lewis at Friday’s judicial robing ceremony in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Lewis has not responded to repeated requests for comment on stories related to his attempts to land a million dollar contract from Broward Health.

Lewis said nothing as he worked his way among Broward’s judiciary but his look was not a happy one. 

We welcome any comments from Mr. Lewis. 

Broward deserves answers.


Embattled Broward Health Lawyer No Stranger To Controversy

The Broward Health attorney accused of blocking an FBI probe into corruption is no stranger to legal controversy. Earlier this month, the Florida Bulldog reported Lynn M. Barrett, Broward’s Health’s general counsel, “failed to cooperate with the FBI, withheld evidence and protected an executive accused of attempting to rape several employees.” The allegations came in an email from an investigator hired by Dr. Nabil El-Sanadi, the Broward Health CEO. In January, El-Sanadi committed suicide at his Lauderdale-By-The-Sea condominium.

According to the Florida Bulldog, private investigator Wayne Black alleged, “Barrett had shut him out of ‘various investigations’ and accused her of wrongfully asserting a claim of legal privilege to block law-enforcement access to a laptop used by an executive suspected of improprieties.”

Last week, Barrett created more trouble for Broward Health when she advised the hospital district’s commissioners to discuss the matter outside the presence of the public.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel blasted Barrett’s advice. The Editors wrote, “[W]e do not believe it is legal — let alone, appropriate — for this public board to prevent the public from hearing discussion of an email that alleges obstruction of justice.” Barrett convinced some board members that a public discussion would hinder the FBI investigation. Broward Health Chairman David Di Pietro blasted Barrett’s advice. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “DiPietro later said he wouldn’t participate in such a scheme.”

This is not the first time a controversy involving Lynn Barrett made the pages of the Sun-Sentinel.

In July 1987, Barrett claimed her boss was hindering her private practice. Her former boss was Broward State Attorney Mike Satz. According to the Sun-Sentinel story, Barrett, “accused [Satz] of blackballing her and hindering her new career as a defense attorney.” Barrett was upset that the State Attorney’s office would not accept a plea bargain agreement in a DUI case. It was Barrett’s first case in private practice.

“I’m embarrassed. I’m humiliated. My ability to earn a living in this county is being hampered,” Barrett told Judge Dale Ross. Barrett blamed Asst. State Attorney John Countryman for “abusive and unfair” treatment because “he simply dislikes her.”

Countryman denied all the allegations.

After less than a year in the State Attorney’s office, Barrett “resigned because she was ‘stressed out’ from handling a huge caseload.”

Barrett claimed the State Attorney handling the DUI case told her no plea deal would be offered if she was on the case. When asked if an offer would be extended if another attorney represented the client, Barrett claimed she was told yes.

After another lawyer was brought onto the case, the State Attorney’s office made the deal.