Broward News

Prelude to a Scandal: Targets of Deerfield Investigation Lash Out

Courtesy Chaz Stevens, that's video from this week's meeting of the Deerfield Beach City Commission in which Sylvia Poitier says that ethics oversight is "fluff." Technically, it was fluff. It's just not anymore, which is why Poitier may be in trouble over her ties to nonprofits that received tax dollars through the city.

After the jump, excerpts from an angry letter by another city official who's sweating the ongoing forensic audit.

Stephanie McMillian, a program director for the city's Community Development Block Grant funds, has faced tough questions from the city's independent auditor, Michael Kessler. Last week, Juice reported that McMIllian may be related to the executive director of one nonprofit agency that's been implicated in the probe and that she served as a corporate officer to another charity that's being closely scrutinized.

In a letter she wrote to City Manager Burgess Hanson on April 4, McMillian said, "The four days with Kessler International in our office was the most abusive, hostile, and disrespectful experience of my life."

She continued:

Mike Kessler was not only mean, nasty and bullying, but actually yelled, screamed, called us "stupid," stated that "someone was getting kickbacks," and that "someone was going away in handcuffs."
You know, not that McMillian is worried for her own sake. All the same, she hurled some allegations right back at Kessler, suggesting that he had a "lack of understanding for what we do" and that he was hired based on his "ties to Chaz Stevens."

Perhaps Stevens will be kind enough to respond to that allegation in the comments field of this post.

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Thomas Francis