CONNECT WITH:

Broward Water and Wastewater Services web site banner

Broward Water and Wastewater Services web site banner

By Dan Christensen, Broward Bulldog
 
Four Broward water and sewer employees – including three managers – have been suspended without pay after an internal investigation of sexual harassment allegations found widespread workplace misconduct.

The division’s assistant director was reprimanded, and a mechanic was fired for refusing a reassignment prompted by his role in the matter, according to Water and Wastewater Services director Alan Garcia.

“The work environment at WWS is permeated with managers, supervisors and their subordinates engaging in inappropriate behavior and language of a sexual nature,” says a nine-page report by the county’s professional standards office. It also said supervisory staff has not reported harassment complaints up the chain of command as required by county policy.

Karl Rove

Karl Rove

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

A “super PAC” backed by Republican strategist Karl Rove, and largely financed by a handful of mega-wealthy out-of-state businessmen, has reported spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars to support Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio.

Federal records filed Tuesday night show the money – $247,000 – was paid to an Austin-based direct marketing firm, Olsen & Shuvalov, whose website says that it specializes in helping Republican political campaigns and conservative causes.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Nancy Watkins

Nancy Watkins

A new political attack ad committee was launched in Fort Lauderdale last week, but who is behind it and why is largely a mystery.

The group operates under the name The Committee for Ethics in Government. Its address is a mail drop at a downtown UPS store. Messages left on its voicemail draw no response. And federal and state records identify the committee chairwoman as a 21-year-old political unknown who shares an address with her parents in Davie.

Federal and state records do reveal the committee was established by Republican campaign accounting guru Nancy Watkins of Tampa.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.orgmemorialhealthcare

The Justice Department is investigating whistleblower allegations that the South Broward Hospital District conspired with Tampa’s Wellcare Health Plans to bilk Medicaid and Florida’s Healthy Kids program.

The district, the legal name of Hollywood’s Memorial Healthcare System, is specifically accused of helping Wellcare doctor its accounting books so it could avoid paying back excess profits owed to Florida and the federal government.

“We have never been named in the suit (as a defendant), nor have we received any subpoena,” said Memorial spokeswoman Kerting Baldwin. She declined to discuss the matter further.

Jerry Frank Townsend

Jerry Frank Townsend

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Confessing to a murder or rape you did not commit is unthinkable.

But as DNA testing continues to exonerate convicted murderers and rapists, new research shows that nearly 20 percent of those innocent inmates falsely confessed to the crimes that sent them to prison.

More than 250 convicts nationwide have been cleared by DNA testing. University of Virginia law school Professor Brandon L. Garrett’s study found that more than 40 of them confessed falsely, and seeks to explain why.

How this happens is a question that haunts the state of Florida.