Deerfield Beach Special Election Is Today. Try to Avoid Voting for an Alleged Criminal This Time
Thanks to the fact that the last commissioner, Sylvia Poitier, has been suspended for allegedly falsifying public records a few times, today's special election will find someone to replace her for the rest of her term -- which ends in 2015 -- unless she's acquitted of the five misdemeanors.
The Pulp's Election Day advice: Try to pick someone with a low likelihood of relocating to the Broward County Jail during his or her term.
Three Deerfield Beach politicians have been booked into the jail in recent history -- former Mayor Al Capellini, who's facing a felony trial; former Commissioner Steve Gonot, found guilty of felony grand theft; and Poitier, who hasn't been tried on her charges yet.
According to the Deerfield Beach City Clerk, you've got four and a half choices: Ben Preston, Rev. Anthony L. Davis, Gloria Battle, Andre Samuels, and write-in candidate David Cody -- who we're counting as "a half" because he's endorsed Samuels publicly and on his blog.
If you recall one of our earlier blog posts or picked up a dead-tree copy a few weeks ago, one (two if you include the exonerated Battle) of the aforementioned candidates has already been accused of having a shady past using public funds.
Davis -- a former Pompano Beach police officer, BSO deputy, and current church pastor -- has been accused of qualifying for Community Development Block Grant funding by falsely stating on his application that he and his wife did not have any real property as assets.
Forensic auditor Kessler International, while performing an internal control review of the city's community development division, found that Davis and his wife were majority owners of one property and owners of four others.
Davis had told the Pulp that there was an inquiry from the Broward Sheriff's Office -- Davis' former employer -- but he said they found no wrongdoing on his behalf.
He also said he didn't own the properties in question at the time.
According to the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office, Davis currently owns three other properties besides the home that was remodeled with the grant.
He filed quit-claim deeds on two of those properties -- both of which he owned before December 2006 -- a few months before applying for the grant, but Davis and his wife have remained listed as owners of the properties ever since.
The other is a unit at the Evergreen Lakes Condominiums in Coconut Creek of which Davis and his wife have retained 70 percent ownership since November 2005.
None of those properties made an appearance on the application for the grant.
The entire Kessler review of the division made it look like a total mess, leading Rep. Allen West to ask the acting inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to launch a "full investigation" into the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority, although Davis has never been implicated in any wrongdoing.
Then there's that grant that former Commissioner Battle was involved in, which led to an investigation by the State Attorney's Office, but she was found not to be doing anything illegal.
If you still don't know whom to vote for, contact one of the candidates here, or check out Candidate Cody's opinion on the election here.
Again, we're trying to avoid jailhouse jumpsuits. Chaz Stevens, in all likelihood, will be watching.
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