Well, that's a relief. Good to know that the City of Hallandale Beach wasn't covering up some massive intrigue when it covered up charitable contributions in public records with no explanation. No, they were just covering up a good old blunder: taking money from the wrong bank account.
When Dr. Judy Selz got a copy in February of the information she had requested under public-records law about the city's charitable contributions, there were several disconcerting black lines drawn through
a few of the line items. Who had been paid? And for how much? And had there been money coming into the account? There was no way of knowing.
Besides which, covering up information in a public-records request without providing an explanation is illegal under state law. So New Times submitted a request for the exact same documents... but we clearly quoted (in italics!) the law prohibiting unexplained redaction.
Worked like magic. If only the results weren't so... well... boring. But what were you expecting from a bank statement?
The big black line at the top of the document we previously showed you was covering up a blooper in which a "CM [City Manager] Approved Donation" for $500.00 (still no indication of the intended recipient). The next line, which was also crossed out, notes that it was "taken from wrong account," and the $500 was redeposited into the general fund account the same day.
Another crossed-out line farther on in the document reveals a "Transfer from 665," which we take to mean that money was deposited into the Community Redevelopment Agency fund from another account. Which, technically, wouldn't have to be included in a public-records request for contributions but... couldn't an explanation have saved a headache? Another redaction on the final page was a transfer out of the account.
Here's the uncovered information, preceded by our lovingly ironclad request letter.
unredacted Hallandale contributions
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Follow The Juice on Twitter: @TheJuiceBPB.