The Miami Herald's Dan Christensen (with an assist from Amy Sherman) writes about another conflict of interest involving Stacy Ritter and her lobbyist-husband Russ Klenet, this one involving her vote on the notorious ES&S voting machine contract.
It's a solid story that has the goods, though it totally lacks context, aka the Ritter-Klenet URS airport management and Vista health care conflicts broken by your gracious host. (Only the readers lose with that kind of pansy pettiness, Christensen). I had heard the Herald was looking at the ES&S angle and had planned to report on it myself, but the URS and Vista stories kept me busy. My brain's only so big, after all.
But when I reported on Ritter's emails for this week's column, I noticed that -- in addition to incriminating correspondence between the commissioner and her hubbie regarding URS -- she forwarded her husband two articles (sent to her by Coral Springs activist Rita Pickering) about the woes of the voting machine company. One of them was titled, "ES&S -- the Midas touch in reverse."
Anyway, the pattern of corruption is there -- and it's not pretty. If the State Attorney's Office and/or FBI doesn't investigate, it can only be called dereliction of duty. If Ritter was smart, she would resign now to avoid a Ken Jenne-type debacle.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Speaking of which, another corruption story broken here (at New Times, not the Pulp, which wasn't born yet) continues today at the Broward County Courthouse. The corruption trial of former Hollywood Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom begins today. [In his preview of the trial, John Holland snared this classic quote from Wasserstrom's attorney, Milton Hirsch, on his client: "He's a relentless do-gooder."] It's the first such trial in Broward County for ... I don't know, 20 years? Should be interesting. There's a myth out there that says Wasserstrom is going to beat this thing -- my money says the jury cooks his ass like yesterday's barbecue.