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Above The Law

This tribal sovereignty thing is totally out of hand. It's obvious that the Seminole Tribe is becoming a monstrous force beyond the scope of all but the most brilliant (and devious) imaginations. Our closed society of rich and lawless Indians, as it stands now, will come to no good, of that we can be sure. I haven't been as certain of a horrid outcome since the first American bombs exploded on Baghdad in 2003.

I refer you now to Dianna Smith's front-page story in the Palm Beach Post about the death one Mark Grosso at the Hard Rock. Despite Smith's attempt to transform Grosso into a storybook boy in the beginning of the story to try to hook the reader (she literally uses the word "storybook"), she later makes it obvious he was on a collision course with Thanatos long before he expired in a room in the big Hollywood casino on January 14.

No, Grosso isn't a character that moves you (even if he was "young" and "beautiful" just like Anna Nicole Smith, a strained comparison in every way). And the death isn't all that mysterious. His stepmother, adoption attorney Charlotte Danciu, reports that there was a syringe found in the heroin addict's room. (You might remember Danciu from last week's post about Daniel Scott Merkel, who was shot in the chest after bursting through a classmate's door. She was quoted in that story, too, since she's Merkel's aunt and lawyer. That equals a very bad month for the extended Danciu clan).

What gets you is the arrogance of the Seminole


"Since his death, family members repeatedly had called the Seminole Police Department, written letters, even trekked to the tribal police headquarters, all pleading with officers to release the initial report taken when they found Grosso's body. After each distressing phone call and after each hurried meeting, they said police responded with, 'The report is not ready. In a few weeks. It has to be reviewed by risk management first.'"

This follows up a report in New Times that touched on the above-the-law mayhem happening inside the Hard Rock:

"But death and debauchery are not new to the facility. 'Do you have any idea of how much shit happens that people never hear of because it never makes it out of here? Homicides, suicides. People lose all their money and kill themselves,' the female employee claimed. She said that because the Seminole nation doesn't have to report incidents in the hotel because it's on the reservation, arrests, drug use, and even deaths were going unnoticed by the larger public. Managers, they said, 'treat you like shit,' and the turnover is so high that there are 'two new people every week.'"

I'm sure the Seminoles do treat their staffers like shit -- all closed societies treat outsiders in subhuman fashion. Especially when they operate above the law.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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