Trouble on Las Olas

Seems there's been some serious conflict for the ultrawealthy Wells family empire that owns the historic Riverside Hotel and a good deal of the entire Las Olas shopping district. And the turmoil, according to sources, led this week to the ouster of Irving Bowen, chairman of Wells-owned Las Olas Co.

The company confirmed that Bowen is out, and sources say that former president and current board member Robert Van Fleet has taken the helm. In the middle of all this is the sole owner of the company, Barbara Wells, a socialite who has shied away from running the business since her father, Preston A. "Dick" Wells, died in 2003.

I'm hearing all kinds of stories that aren't ready to publish, but suffice it to say that a prime-time soap opera has been playing out behind the scenes. I have a message in to Van Fleet and will update. In the meantime, here's a video interview with Barbara Wells, the "Queen of Las Olas."


-- Well, one porn actress (I mean, seriously, are they all stars?) has lived up to her billing. Jazella Moore has been marketed as a "scandalous MILF," and she's been at the center of a pretty big scandal over on Fort Myers Beach. When it was discovered that town manager Scott Janke was married to Jazella -- her real name is Anabela Mota (only a small downgrade, porn name-wise) -- the council held an emergency meeting and unaminously voted to fire him. I'm not sure the problem. The way I see it, if he can handle a porn star, he sure as hell can handle a backwater burg like FMB.  

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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