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Gus Boulis

Gus Boulis

Anthony Moscatiello, top, Anthony Ferrari, left, and James Fiorillo
Anthony Moscatiello, top, Anthony Ferrari, left, and James Fiorillo

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

It was Fort Lauderdale’s murder of the decade: the 2001 gangland-style slaying of day-cruise casino cruise ship kingpin Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis.

On Oct. 1, it’s coming to a movie theater near you.

The three men charged in 2005 with conspiring to kill Boulis have yet to go to trial in Broward Circuit Court. The one who’s out on bond – Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello – will have the opportunity of watching both the murder and himself portrayed on the silver screen.

Bagman is about hotshot Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the nation’s biggest political scandal since Watergate. Actor Kevin Spacey plays Abramoff.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.orgBus9734-01

A whistleblower’s allegations about possible corruption and wasted public funds at Broward County Transit (BCT) have sparked a quiet internal county investigation that’s already led to the suspension of one ranking transit official.

The unidentified county employee’s accusations are in a 12-page whistleblower complaint filed with the county’s Office of Professional Standards in March.

Broward Bulldog has obtained a copy of the complaint that does not name the whistleblower, whose name is also protected under state law.

The most serious claim in the complaint: Two top transit officials appear to have “misled” the county commission into wrongly awarding a $13.3 million, no-bid contract last year to a North Carolina company that sells digital communications equipment for buses.

The First Presbyterian Church is in the foreground. Behind are the proposed Family Center and parking garage/office buildings.

The First Presbyterian Church is in the foreground. Behind are the proposed Family Center and parking garage/office buildings.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

First Presbyterian Church’s $20-million plan to build a big new family center and a parking garage off Las Olas Boulevard finally returns to Fort Lauderdale City Hall next week for a zoning board showdown with irate neighbors in historic Colee Hammock.

After several delays, the board is expected to approve or reject construction on June 16 following final arguments from supporters and opponents. But with both sides vowing to appeal, the five-member city commission will likely make the final decision amid political fireworks this summer.

The row is a classic power struggle involving some of the biggest names in town. It could shape the size and style of development for years to come on the lesser eastern stretch of Fort Lauderdale’s swankiest boulevard.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Charles T. Wells

Charles T. Wells

Retiring Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Wells knew he faced a conflict of interest in his relationship with his future employer at Orlando’s GrayRobinson when he disqualified himself from cases involving the law firm on Dec. 30, 2008.

But that did not stop him 30 days later from participating in a ruling that, in effect, backed a statewide political fight led by prominent members of his soon-to-be employer.

The group that lost the ruling – Florida Hometown Democracy – now wonders if Justice Wells’ vote was unduly influenced by his employment opportunity at GrayRobinson.

“It doesn’t smell good,” said Palm Beach environmental attorney Lesley Blackner, Florida Hometown Democracy’s president. “When I found out he was going to work for GrayRobinson it seemed like there was a high potential for conflicts of interest.”

UPDATE: Fort Lauderdale’s planning and zoning board will meet June 16 at 6:30 p.m. to decide whether to approve First Presbyterian’s proposed expansion plans.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Fort Lauderdale City Hall

Fort Lauderdale City Hall

Fort Lauderdale’s planning and zoning board can’t get its act together to take a vote on First Presbyterian Church’s controversial building plans in historic Colee Hammock.

The board announced Wednesday that it had canceled Thursday’s special meeting to consider the church’s rezoning request because it couldn’t get enough members to show up.

It was the second time this month the nine-member board has said it couldn’t muster a quorum.

The board will nevertheless convene at 6:30 p.m. in the city commission chambers at City Hall to set a new date to hear the matter.