Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter fled from her home last night after her father, Ed Portner, apparently threatened her with a gun at her Parkland home.
Portner showed up at Ritter's front door last night, and when she answered it, he pulled up his shirt to reveal a pistol in his waistband. Then he forced her into the house and apparently pointed the gun at her head. Ritter feigned needing to get a bottle of water and then fled out the garage door to the safety of the nearby home of lobbyist and lawyer Mike Moskowitz in the Cypress Head neighborhood.
Portner went home to Tamarac, where deputies arrested him. He spent the night in jail, where he remains after being charged with armed burglary and aggravated assault. And Broward County remained the weirdest place for politics in the country.
From the BSO report:
"When the victim opened the front door, [Portner] brandished a firearm from his waistband and forced the victim into
her residence. After a brief struggle, the victim was able to convince the defendant to allow her to obtain a bottle of water. The victim than used this opportunity to flee her residence via the interior garage door. The victim stated in a sworn statement that the defendant's actions placed her in fear for her life."
The 84-year-old Portner is running for a spot on the Tamarac commission (where he served for many years before). Ritter has endorsed his opponent, Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco. He had complained publicly that his daughter's support of Flansbaum-Talabisco had destroyed the family.
Ritter's lobbyist husband, Russ Klenet -- who is currently embroiled in the Mendelsohn affair -- wasn't there at the time, but he told the Sun-Sentinel that Portner pointed the gun at Ritter's head. From the article:
Ritter's husband, Russ Klenet, was not home when the alleged incident occurred but said this morning: "It's been a very difficult day. Clearly she was terrified. What if your dad came into your house and pointed a gun at your head? The police were very impressed - Mike Moskowitz lives three blocks - New York City blocks - away and she ran all the way. It was a very traumatic experience."
It is odd that Ritter would run all the way to the home of Moskowitz, isn't it? Then again, Moskowitz has long been the guy the couple has run to when trouble hits their door. It was Moskowitz who has represented Klenet in his legal wranglings concerning his involvement with Mutual Benefits and Joel Steinger. It was Steinger, of course, who ponied up more than $100,000 to renovate the couple's Parkland home (you have to wonder if he got them a good security system).
Ritter recently voted to give Moskowitz work as a county lawyer on airport issues, which is interesting since Klenet is a "former" client of county airport manager URS Corp. Klenet is also a paid lobbyist for the City of Parkland (despite all his apparent ethical problems). Mike Moskowitz's son, Jared, is vice mayor of Parkland.