"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.