Broward News

Between The Lines

Armadillo Man

-- In today' s Sun-Sentinel Michael Mayo writes about a regular breakfast gathering of Hollywood cops who are mourning the recent department scandal. A couple of things I didn't know about the ringleader cop in the scandal, Kevin Companion, who is alleged to have run a protection racket for and helped run heroine for undercover feds posing as a Mafia outfit. First, his father, Joe Companion, was a long-time sergeant in the department who retired in 1972 and died in 1994. Second, Kevin Companion was a "big fan of the comic Andrew Dice Clay" who often recited Clay's "vulgar nursery rhymes." Ah, the clarity of detail. Clay was funny in his short heyday, but the guys who ran around imitating him all the time were, almost to a man, jackasses.

-- Speaking of the Hollywood police scandal, Mayor Mara Giulianti sounded off on it in aa Sunday article in the Miami Herald by Jennifer Lebovich and Wanda J. DeMarzo. Here's a key passage:

"Giulianti blames the permissive culture of the police department on former Chief Richard Witt, who was fired in 1996 over the department's hiring practices. 'Witt's leadership was rather loose, and I do think that some of that may have come back to haunt us now,' she said. 'But I do think that we have a very good department and we will come through this.'"

Wait a second, isn't Witt the one who actually tried to clean up the dirty force and was blocked by the politics of pander at City Hall? Isn't he the one who was forced out of the department for starting an independent investigation (run by then-Fort Myers Police Chief Donna Hansen) into department wrongdoing? The mayor, folks, is either the most shameless liar and fraud imaginable or she's seriously delusional. Not sure which is worse.

-- The astronaut in the middle of that NASA love triangle, shuttle Discovery pilot Bill Oefelein, seemed pretty down on himself on January 9 when he e-mailed his newest lover, Colleen Shipman, from space.

"I imagine this doesn't surprise you, the idiot you decided to like. ... Don't give up on the space program. There is a lot of smart people here. You just chose to hang around one of the low hanging fruits. We can go back to the moon someday. Maybe I will be able to clean the toilets of

those fortunate enough to be chosen. Then again I might create a clog ... I don't know, maybe I should be a roadkill scraper-upper. That shouldn't be too hard. I can scrape up things that don't move on the road like armadillos after they've been discomboluated by sexy hot bodies. Just a thought. I need help."

What the hell is he talking about with this armadillos being discombobulated (I guess he meant) by sexy hot bodies thing? Hey, he may be going for a bit of self-deferential humor here, but the guy obviously suffers from seriously low self-esteem. For good reason, apparently. After he broke up with astronaut Lisa Nowak to date Shipman exclusively he had a mishap. After celebrating a co-worker's birthday in a Houston bar they went home together, Shipman told investigators, "and we had a few drinks and we were laying in bed and he called me Lisa."

No! That settles it: Oefelein is, indeed, a low-hanging fruit who isn't fit to clean toilets on the moon.

-- Sturdy Sentinel sports scribe Harvey Fialkov leads his story on new Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter this way:

DAVIE — It's been said that a dog owner often takes on the traits of his or her pet. Newly signed Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter owns a pit bull and mastiff, which attacked and killed his neighbor's miniature pony in September.

Porter was voted the league's second dirtiest player in 2006. He graced the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2006 NFL preview issue that dubbed him the "most feared player in the NFL."

Get the picture?

Yes, I now see that I never ever want Joey Porter living anywhere near me. He is an incredible football player who is going to help the Dolphins, no doubt, but it takes a colossal jerk to kill your neighbor's pony.

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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