Deerfield Beach Vice Mayor Ditches Name, Still Can't Shake Blogger

Deerfield Beach's vice mayor, formerly known as Sylvia Poitier, is now going with her maiden name, Ferguson. The move, which she mentioned in her remarks at last week's meeting, as seen above, comes amid her claiming to have been "defamed" by Acts of Sedition blogger Chaz Stevens, who yesterday filed his fifth ethics complaint against Poitier -- I mean Ferguson.

By requesting every city water bill under the last name "Poitier," Stevens has discovered a correlation between the name and the failure to pay one's water bill.

The links on his site aren't working for me at the moment, but among his findings:

  • The Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association, run by the vice mayor's daughter, Felicia Poitier, owes more than $12,000 in unpaid water bills.
  • In May, the Poitiers' Hillsboro Boulevard dry-cleaning business bounced a $476 check for its water bill. Stevens' records show it went eight months without paying its water bill.
  • Poitier Gardening on Third Street, which is run by the vice mayor's former second cousin, has gone three months without paying its water bill.
But the most alarming pattern of all is that in the Poitiers' case, the city has apparently ignored its own policies for terminating service.

Stevens cites municipal code that calls for a resident's water to be shut off 30 days after the payment deadline when, in cases like Poitier's, the resident has been delinquent on another bill during the past year. Which is why in his most recent letter to the Deerfield Beach finance department, Stevens has asked for "an explanation to the taxpayers of Deerfield Beach why we should not consider this special exemption for a sitting Commissioner and her family."

Stevens paid for a background report from which he learned (here on page 6) that Ferguson has claimed to be the manager of the property where the Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association is located. If so, she neglected to disclose this detail in advance of supporting a resolution authorizing the association to receive grants from the Community Housing Development Organization. This is the basis for Stevens' most recent ethics complaint, which he sent to the city attorney. Stevens also mailed the documents to Broward State Attorney's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Commission on Ethics, seeking a criminal investigation.

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Thomas Francis