Business on the Edge | Bob Norman | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Business on the Edge

Page 3 of 3

"No, I don't," Hillier answers.

"Well, you do now."

Davis, who claims that everything he did was in the name of "security" and believed Hillier was going to destroy the file, had called the emergency meeting to terminate the manager. He said Chairman Perris had authorized him to take the file.

There's so much wrong with this scenario that's it's hard to know where to begin. First of all, Davis, Adams, and Perris all clearly violated state Sunshine Laws, which forbid elected officials from discussing public business outside of public view. If they wanted to oust Hillier, the issue should have been raised at a scheduled meeting.

The hooliganism by Davis and Adams at the district building also appears to be in clear violation of Sunshine Laws and the district's charter, which forbids anyone but the district attorney, engineer, and accountant from removing public records. The emergency meeting was ultimately canceled, though Davis says there will soon be a meeting to deal with Hillier.

Last Thursday, Hillier filed a formal police complaint. The next day, he had to go in for follow-up heart surgery. Without intervention by the state Attorney General's Office, expect Hillier to be hung out to dry while the little cabal at PAID will continue to flourish. It's called business as usual in Broward County.

In the meantime, nobody is in charge of keeping those canals flowing. And the district's work crew doesn't have the equipment to do it anyway — which brings us back to that backhoe.

The district paid $15,000 for the tractor last year at the urging of Supervisor Adams. Guess what? Adams admits he's a close friend of Doug Holt, the man who sold it to the district. Holt has done work on Adams' property, and the two men also attend the same church, First Baptist at Hillsboro, where they must teach a skewed view of the concept of Christian charity.

Holt's backhoe has been an utter disaster. Before the district even took possession of it, the transmission broke down, and taxpayers paid at least $1,500 to fix it.

I asked Adams if he arranged this sorry deal.

"That depends on what you mean by arranged," he said in Clintonian fashion.

Shortly after the district received the backhoe, it broke down again. Hillier says the official estimates for repairs are about $7,000.

"It's a lemon," Hillier says. "I've never seen a bigger piece of junk. It even had bald tires, and the battery didn't work." Almost as dysfunctional as the taxing district itself.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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

Latest Stories