Report: Taxpayer-supported Broward Health engaged in ‘cultural civil war’


By Dan Christensen
The law firm that’s overseeing taxpayer-supported Broward Health’s compliance with conditions imposed by the U.S. last year when it paid $70 million to resolve alleged lawbreaking has concluded the troubled hospital district is in a state of “cultural civil war.”

Developer’s trail of fraud lawsuits backdrop claim of illegal campaign contributions

Miami World Center site.

By Francisco Alvarado
Arthur Falcone, a Boca Raton-based developer behind a downtown Miami project at the center of illegal campaign contribution allegations, has blazed a trail of lawsuits accusing him of swindling business associates and creditors out of tens of millions of dollars during the height of the real estate market crash.

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Charities in Broward, elsewhere that claim to support veterans spend big on overhead instead

FUM Management President Jamie O’Bryan and management consultant Douglas Sailors live in this million dollar home in Lighthouse Point. Both O’Bryan and Sailors declined to answer News21′s questions about the veterans’ charity they manage Photo: Chad Garland/News21

By Chad Garland and Andrew Knochel
News 21
Over four years, as veterans returned home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Pompano Beach charity called Disabled Veterans Services, reported raising more than $8 million in cash and nearly $4 million in donated goods it claimed would help disabled and homeless veterans. But barely a nickel of each dollar the charity raised in cash went directly to help veterans, a News21 analysis shows.

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‘Concern’ about Ben Gamla curriculum sparks inquiry by Broward Schools

Hollywood's Ben Gamla charter school

By William Gjebre
Broward County School officials have expressed concern that taxpayer-funded Ben Gamla Charter Schools may be violating a state law that requires charter schools to be nonsectarian in their programs and operations.

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Aviation deal fallout: Broward commissioners want back some power over who gets contracts

From left to right, Broward Mayor Kristin Jacobs and Commissioners Stacy Ritter and Lois Wexler

By William Hladky
Broward County Commission unhappiness with the Aviation Department’s concession bidding procedures has led to calls for breaking down the wall between commissioners and staff selection committees that recommend which companies get government contracts.

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ATI career school company implodes amid fraud claims; $3.7 million whistleblower settlement

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By Dan Christensen
A for-profit career school operator with once-bustling campuses in Broward and Miami-Dade counties agreed this month to pay $3.7 million to the government to settle whistleblower fraud claims.

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Veterans disability claims languish while billions are wasted on records system upgrade

The VA is overwhelmed by the number of paper claims it receives. This is an example of just one veteran's claim. Jessica Wilde/News21

By Hannah Winston
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense spent at least $1.3 billion during the last four years trying unsuccessfully to develop a single electronic health-records system between the two departments — leaving veterans’ disability claims to continue piling up in paper files across the country, a News21 investigation shows.

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Controversial “Wizard of Claws” dog seller back in business; target of federal lawsuit

James Anderson’s Teacup Puppies Store at 4001 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

By William Hladky
“Wizard of Claws” dog seller James Anderson, who shut his business four years ago amid numerous allegations of wrongdoing and a lawsuit by Florida Attorney General’s Office, is back in business in Fort Lauderdale under a new name and again is involved in legal controversy.

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Are civilian nuclear plants vulnerable to terror attacks?

Cooling tower at MIT's Nuclear Reactor Lab, in October 2009. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

By Rebecca LaFlure
Center for Public Integrity
Nuclear reactors are located 26 miles from the White House, in downtown Boston and in the Midwest near a 71,000-seat college football stadium. Yet more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, these facilities “are particularly vulnerable to sabotage attack,” say the authors of a new Pentagon-funded study.

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State records about Broward Sheriff altered; Israel to amend his financial disclosure

Scott Israel at his swearing in ceremony in January Photo: CBS4

By Dan Christensen
Online state records that listed Broward Sheriff Scott Israel as a “principal” in a Weston private investigations firm, Talon/G6 Services, were altered last week to delete the sheriff’s name. This week, the sheriff’s lawyer announced that Israel would amend his financial disclosure form after it was disclosed that the sheriff had underreported how much money he was paid last year by a Fort Lauderdale private security company.

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Fresh questions about use of public money for Deutsch’s Ben Gamla charter schools


By William Gjebre
A Broward civic activist has urged the School Board to re-examine whether the publicly funded Ben Gamla charter schools are violating the Constitutional separation of church and state mandate. In response, a top district official has asked for a review of the matter.

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