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So Many Seats to Fill; So Few Republicans Without Baggage

That's the only explanation I can offer for Charlie Crist's appointment of Rico Petrocelli to the Broward County Housing Authority, which Buddy Nevins is reporting on Broward Beat. Petrocelli, of course, was defeated in his bid for the Plantation City Commission. His campaign, which was bankrolled by high-profile lobbyists and Republicans, was marred by allegations he had misappropriated funds from the Police Athletic League. The Broward State Attorney's Office investigated those suspicions, and despite lots of smoke, prosecutors decided against filing charges.

Petrocelli will join another well-connected Republican on that board, Joseph Cobo, who is the subject of an active corruption investigation -- not based on his role at the housing authority but rather through his other Crist appointment, to the board of the North Broward Hospital District.

Another housing authority board member is Sharon Day, a Crist favorite who's currently the secretary of the National Republican Committee and who was among the high-profile figures to demand that

the investigation into Cobo's ethics violations at the hospital district be swept under the rug. And the attorney who was appointed to the hospital district just in time to agree with the recommendation of Day and other high-profile Republicans? That would be Sam Goren, whose firm just happens to also act as general counsel for the housing authority.

Isn't it sweet how Crist -- and his Broward-based inner circle -- take care of the most loyal Republicans, ethical baggage or not? And how those Republicans then take care of each other?

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Thomas Francis

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