Broward News

In Deerfield, Tonight's Multimillion-Dollar Question: Whom Should We Sue?

By the end of tonight's meeting of the Deerfield Beach Commission, local lawyers will be licking their chops. That's because the city appears to be on the brink of filing lawsuits against a number of nonprofit agencies that have been slow to give the city a better look at the accounts.

Arlington Park Family, a nonprofit that claimed to be using its public dollars to help the city's senior population, has been the most recalcitrant, having ignored three letters from City Attorney Andy Maurodis, who wanted to know how it spent some $30,000.

The Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association is another sitting duck,

based on its resistance to making full disclosure to a forensic auditor hired by the city to look into spending on a housing rehab program.

Another nonprofit that's turned up in that audit, the Church of Brotherly Love King's Table, appears to also have a heavy conscience about legal matters, judging by its having consulted with an attorney. On Acts of Sedition, Chaz Stevens reports that the agency sent a letter to Maurodis this morning to express a willingness to "work with you" and a request for "patience" as it gathers the financial information the Deerfield Beach auditors seek.

"Whatever we have to do to get information, that's what we'll have to do," said Mayor Peggy Noland. "We're very serious about this. This [resistance] has gone on too long."

Gosh, Deerfield Beach has a lot of nerve insisting that its business partners keep financial records. What next? Will the city insist that these partners actually perform services in exchange for their public dollars? For these folks, partnering with Deerfield Beach was a lot more fun last year, when Mike Mahaney was city manager and nobody asked such tough questions.

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Thomas Francis