Broward News

Sylvia Poitier's Name Staying on Deerfield Beach Building Despite Criminal Convictions

Despite the building's namesake being found guilty of four counts of falsifying public records, the Sylvia Poitier Business Skills Center will remain the Sylvia Poitier Business Skills Center.

The idea from Deerfield Beach Housing Authority Commissioner Michael Weiss didn't seem that extreme -- you don't get to keep your name on a public building after you're taken to the Broward County Jail for a photo shoot.

Apparently nobody else on the authority saw it that way.

It was shot down by the rest of the commissioners by a 5-1 vote, and shot down by the 25-30 Poitier supporters who showed up.

"It failed miserably," Weiss says.

Weiss says those supporters who came were allowed to speak in front of the authority -- not typical protocol -- and talked about how Poitier helped build up the community.

"That's all well and good, but there's ethics here," Weiss says. "That kind of went over their heads."

Poitier, 76, was arrested in April on five charges of falsifying documents -- which were related to a loan from her brother to a city-tied organization -- although the fifth count was dismissed by the judge during the trial.

The five misdemeanor charges against Poitier were related to her actions after her brother's loan to the Westside Deerfield Businessmen Association.

Her sentencing is scheduled for January 11, but her name will remain on the building despite Weiss' objections.

"She poisoned the ethics of that facility and the city," Weiss says. "It's obvious because she's been convicted."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley