Al Lamberti Fundraiser Smells Delicious but Yields No Interview With the Sheriff

Categories: Politics
Thumbnail image for lamberti11.jpg
We'll take a higher-res photo of you if you meet with us, Sheriff.
We dropped by a fundraiser for Al Lamberti at Athena by the Sea, a Greek Restaurant at Commercial Boulevard and A1A that's stuck in the same charming but bygone era as the rest of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. We wanted to personally ask for the same face-to-face interview we've gotten with the two Democratic candidates, who will face off in the March primary.

No dice on that -- Lamberti said he hadn't decided whether to talk to us on the record -- but we did arrive just in time for the sheriff's short speech to the attendees, each of whom was encouraged to donate up to the maximum allowable $500.

Here's the flier for the event: 

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Members of the fundraising elite stood around tables after their dinner at the Greek restaurant, and men in suits stood along the bar. A couple of tables of old people worked on plates of gray steak near the door, seemingly oblivious to what was going on. 

"My biggest fear is complacency," said Lamberti, standing on a raised stage in a tweed jacket. "People tell me to always act like I'm 10 percent behind." Still, he and everyone else seemed pretty convinced he would sweep the Democratic contender.

"The good news is, I'm not a politician," said the sheriff, who has been accused in the past of using outlets like Police Women of Broward County and his "Coffee With the Sheriff" events as de facto campaign platforms. "The bad news is, I'm not a politician." People laughed. He summarized: "I wish the election were tomorrow, so I could stop campaigning and go back to being the sheriff."

The sheriff is attempting to set a record by being the first countywide politician to get on the ballot through petitions; last time, he said, his campaign had to spend $11,000 for a spot. The alternative is collecting signed petitions -- 12,000 of them -- and turning them in to the supervisor of elections. He noted that several journalists -- Buddy Nevins, Anthony Man, and Michael Mayo -- had said he wouldn't be able to secure the ballot through petitioning, and he seems determined to prove them wrong. 

Petitions were available at a table near the front, as well as "Keep Al Lamberti" bumper stickers. Regarding the latter, Lamberti said, "They're vinyl, not paper, so if you have a BMW or a Ferrari, they'll peel right off in November."

The Pulp approached Lamberti to ask for an interview like the ones we've gotten with Scott Israel and Louis Granteed. Lamberti was reluctant, saying that he felt this paper's past coverage of his office had been inaccurate and biased against him. He cited a few other reasons, including a distaste for the selection of advertisers in our print edition. When the evening's photographer approached, threatening the slight possibility of a picture of Lamberti talking to a New Times reporter, Lamberti reacted with a reflexive "No!" 

We'll hope he sees the light. When and if he does stop campaigning and get back to being the sheriff, we should be able to reach him. That's just part of our job. His too.


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12 comments
NOMORE1
NOMORE1

AL LAMBERTI IS BY FAR THE MOST CORRUPT PERSON IN THE ENTIRE FORCE. HE HAS TIES TO ORGANIZED CRIME. THAT IS WHY HIS DEPARTMENT OPERATES LIKE ORGANIZED CRIME WITH MONEY LAUNDERING THAT US FLORIDIANS ARE PAYING FOR. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE STATE OF FLORIDA PAYS BSO $150.00 PER DAY PER INMATE WHEN IT ONLY COSTS BSO $22.00 PER DAY PER INMATE. THIS DOESNT INCLUDE THE KICK BACKS AND MONEY THEY MAKE FROM THE COMMISARY, MEDICAL/DENTAL CLINIC, SECUREUS TELEPHONE CALLS, AND THE FEE THEY CHARGE THE INMATES FOR UNIFORMS AND MEDICATION. SHERIFF LAMBERTI CLAIMS THEY ARE STILL NOT MAKING A PROFIT AND THEY NEED MORE MONEY. THE JAILS ARE 97% FULL AT ALL TIMES. THE SHERIFF'S DEPT AND DETENTION CENTERS SHOULD BE NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. THIS WOULD SURELY KEEP THE BSO CORRUPTION DOWN AND THE DEPUTIES WOULD BE LESS MOTIVATED IN ARRESTING CITIZENS FOR PETY CRIMES. (EX: PAN HANDLING, SUSPENDED LICENSE, ETC). LAMBERTI HAS GIVEN THE ORDER THAT THE JAILS MUST STAY FILLED IN ORDER TO ENSURE JOB SECURITY FOR HIS DEPUTIES

myopinion
myopinion

If you run for elected office you should speak with every print or online newspaper.  If he can pick and choose who he gives interviews to this may provide him an option of not answering questions regarding his integrity.  I'm sorry, if I had nothing to hide I would speak to you the press even if I don't agree with your publication.  The voters have a right to get the most information about a candidate good or bad.  This is my fear why I am not voting for this current Sheriff.  Step up to the plate and speak with this newspaper.  If they give you inaccurate information then dispute it and show why the information given is bogus.  I would ask why the Benjamin investigation has not been completed and available for public review after how many years opened?  Come on Man!

William G Hitchcock
William G Hitchcock

Can't say as i blame the guy.  You all were pretty ruthless with previous coverage, and I thought, bised for whatever reason.  (In fact your bias was pretty tranparent to me.)  I read your paper all the time, so don't judge this as a 'friend of Sheriff Lamberti' type comment. Just Sayin' !

Deirdra Funcheon
Deirdra Funcheon

Glad that you are reading, but curious to know what you thought was ruthless. We've explored his and his officers' relationships with Scott Rothstein. We've pointed out that BSO has bought Smart cars from Rick Case and then doggedly investigated when Case's pen went missing. We've let you know when the dept has bought expensive helicopters and when Lamberti got his kid into the Super Bowl with the security detail. Isn't this information that the public should be aware of?

Gabriela
Gabriela

I was reading your article it was pretty interesting.I found a new website .Its pretty neat.Its called www.textme4free.com You could text for free all around the world.Try it .Its free.

Curiousss
Curiousss

I agree with Obermann, the reporting staff at New Times does a great job. While I'm, no fan of Lamberti, he has a valid point about the print edition. What intelligent person (or even politician, for that matter) would want to be associated with a rag that is kept alive by illegal and unethical advertisers (hookers and pain clinics). Should the head of a law enforcement agency even acknowledge anyone connected with an operation of this type?

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

I respect Lamberti's duty as sheriff regardless of whose money has supported him, and hope he would do the same in return.

Deirdra Funcheon
Deirdra Funcheon like.author.displayName 1 Like

That's a good way of putting it, Stefan.  Also, I think the public wants a sheriff who has thick skin. I'd like to see a guy in that office who's not scared to answer a few questions, even from those who have been critical of him in the past.  He's supposed to be a resource for everyone in Broward County, us included.

Buddy Nevins
Buddy Nevins

I never said Al Lamberti couldn't get the signatures necessary to get on the ballot.  I wrote on Browardbeat.com Oct. 28, 2011 that I don't remember any candidate doing this.  By the way, I even supplied a link to his petition. Buddy NevinsBrowardbeat.com

Obermann
Obermann

I would be furious that he felt the New Times wasn't up to his standards.  The New Times reporters have done more than the sheriff's office to protect the community by calling out the bad guys.  That's a snub to all of us.  When is his next appearance, and where?  I think some of us should be there, maybe with the anonymous book that was just written about the BSO.

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

I did ask him whether he thought either of his opponents' supporters/campaigns were behind the book, and he replied, "I don't know."

William M. Ballsack
William M. Ballsack

You can probably get some money sending that picture to the bigfoot show on animal planet.

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