Three Things To Read On A Friday

-- Don't think there's institutional corruption in the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office? Then read this story about the arrest of Lt. Sandra Nealy written by Sonja Isger and Allyson Bird in the Palm Beach Post. Key graphs:

She and six co-workers at county corrections facilities fell under criminal and internal investigations for allegedly bilking the sheriff's office for as much as $400,000 in overtime pay.

The seven supervisors, all lieutenants and sergeants, were suspected of snatching up overtime shifts at hospitals before lower-paid deputies had a chance. They either worked the shifts themselves or held the spots for friends, officials said.

If they'll steal from each other, they'll steal from anybody. The good news: The sheriff's office caught them and is arresting them instead of looking the other way. Good on them for that.

-- And we have Ihosvani Rodriguez writing again about alleged wrongdoing by Hollywood Commissioner Beam Furr. Okay, his use of two sick days from Flanagan High School to campaign is worthy of a slap on the wrist and a dose of public humiliation, I suppose, but this latest thing smacks of pure (and petty) revenge by the police and firefighter unions. Furr messed with a sacred cow -- police pensions -- and now the unions are trying to slaughter him. The newest allegation is that he somehow misused city personnel files to learn that no police officers live in his district. What utter and stupid claptrap. Jeff Marano, get over it -- and quit tying up governmental agencies in your vendetta against Furr.

-- This is from a story by Miami Herald's Nicholas Spangler on a rare kind of fishing tournament:

He was a young man who fished alone in a custom-built inner tube raft in the Gulf Stream and he had gone three hours now without taking a fish.

It was not strictly accurate to call him salao, which is the worst kind of unlucky, because the construction equipment business has been good to Tim Maddock ...

Sound familiar? Here's the opening to Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea:

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy's parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unluck ...

Thanks to Mr. Spangler for making the Herald fun again.

(And thanks to John DeGroot, who wrote a play about Hemingway, for alerting the Pulp to it).

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman