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Lake Worth City Commissioner Jennings Cleared of Charges

The case against Lake Worth City Commissioner Cara Jennings, who was arrested during a peaceful vigil outside the Israeli Consulate in Miami last March, has been dismissed today.

Jennings was arrested for "Resisting an Officer without Violence" during the demonstration, where she was photographed wearing a hooded shawl and carrying a sign that read

"Peace for Palestine". Protesters had rallied against the Israeli government's decision to classify the injury of Jennings' friend Tristan Anderson, an American Peace activist, as "an act of war."

Anderson had been watching a demonstration near the Separation Wall on the West Bank when he was hit in the head with a gas canister. The Israeli government's decision had effectively absolved the government of any financial or legal responsibility for Anderson's life-threatening injuries.

Miami Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Judge Krieger-Martin ruled that there was no violation of law during the vigil that Jennings had participated in. Jennings' lawyer, Ray Taseff of Chavez & DeLeon, P.A, commented that  "The Judge wisely recognized the long standing precedent that peaceful protesters may freely express themselves on public sidewalks."

Jennings herself has long been the target of local snipers, who've found fault with the commissioner's history of activism and her affiliation with anarchist and green groups. Jennings, who invented the concept of "radical cheerleading" in the mid 90s, has been compared by one Lake Worth blogger to Squeaky Fromme.

We spotted Jennings last night in the audience for the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association's forum for mayoral and city commission candidates. Jennings, dressed in jeans and a black blouse, looked a lot less radical than many folks on the panel, all running for office.

Mayoral contender Javier del Sol had his  waist-length braid tied with a pink yarn poofy, for instance. Another hopeful for the mayor's soon to be vacant seat was the permanently agitated William Coakley, Einstein-hair akimbo, who's still enraged about a "security breach" at the Lake Worth power plant and the fact that transgendered City Manager Susan Stanton temporarily banned city workers from accessing his blog while they were on the job.

And then there were arch-enemies Jo Ann Golden and constant carper Wes Blackman, still stinging from his last trouncing. Although Blackman has toned down his rhetoric for the mayoral commission race, it was clear that only the moderator's call for civility kept those two from a public wrastle to rival Jacob's with the Angel.

An eccentric group of politicos for a decidedly odd constituency. Last night's audience ranged from tattooed riot-gurlz to middle aged lady bloggers and retired military men who  cruise the neighborhood in C.O.P.S. sedans.

What are the chances Lake Worth will see a new mayor or commish who can fairly represent  this rabble?

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Gail Shepherd
Contact: Gail Shepherd

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