Scott Rothstein and car dealership scion Ted Morse, who were so close that even Kim got jealous of them, didn't just share the same style of dress, motorcycles, boats, and cars.
They both also had matching Fraternal Order of Police decals on the license plate of their cars, a source close to both men told me. The kicker there is that, according to FOP representatives on both the state and national level, you have to be a member of law enforcement, or a direct family member of one, to own such a decal and display it on your car.
If you have one on your car and you don't meet that criteria, it's a misdemeanor offense, said FOP sources. It appears to be one more way that Rothstein, whose relationship with numerous law enforcement heavyweights in town -- including Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, BSO Undersheriff Tom Wheeler, and Lt. David Benjamin -- is currently under investigation in the wake of the collapse of his Ponzi scheme.
I contacted Rothstein bodyguard Joe Alu and he confirmed that both Scott Rothstein and Ted Morse had the decals on their cars. Alu said he believes that Rothstein procured a decal for
Morse. He said he believed that Rothstein was a member of the FOP because he served as an FOP lawyer.
"I'm not sure, but I don't think Scott would get in any trouble for it at this point, anyway," said Alu, himself a former Plantation police officer and FOP member. "Both of them had one on their cars. Morse had one on his Cadillac. I'm 100 percent sure about that."
[ADDED: Alu said he personally affixed the decal to Rothstein's silver Rolls Royce. You can see a photo of the decal on photo No. 48 on the Sun-Sentinel photo gallery of Rothstein's toys. (Hat tip to Daphne in the comments).]
I contacted Norm Tripp, who is serving as an attorney for the Morse family in the fallout from the Rothstein's Ponzi scheme, and he said he had no knowledge about it.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Tripp told me, adding that he reads this blog. "If it's true or not, I'm be damned if I know. That's the first I've heard of it. There are bigger problems we're facing."
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I called up a Broward Sheriff's deputy who has had such decals on their car and was told that people want them for one reason: They usually protect cops and their family members from getting traffic infractions and might come in handy in other situations.
"Here's how it works," the deputy told me. "When you get pulled over, the officer will ask you, 'Where'd you get the decal?' You say you're in law enforcment, they'll ask what agency. You say, 'I'm deputy so and so.' They say, 'Let me see your credentials.' At that point, you know how it goes, right? The officer says, 'Just slow down and have a good day.' It's called 'common courtesy' and it usually works. In New York it always works. Here, it almost always work, but not all the time. FHP will sometimes give tickets to other law enforcement, but the majority of the time it gets people out of the ticket."
The source who supplied the information said the decals sometimes gave Rothstein and Morse special privileges. "Not anybody can get them and they really worked, that's all I can say," said the source.