It appears the controversy regarding the sheriff's absence at a benefit held over the weekend for slain BSO Sgt. Chris Reyka was prompted by miscommunication.
Sheriff Al Lamberti's executive assistant, Don Prichard, explained that the sheriff was asked to be a celebrity judge at the benefit and, though he was expected to be one, he never actually committed to Saturday's event.
"One of the organizers for the event, Dep. Chris Caldwell, called me and asked me if I could get the message to the sheriff, and I said sure," Prichard told me. "We put it on the BSO Informant, the internal website, to make sure everyone knew it was happening, and we let them use a brand-new green-and-white Crown Vic and a Challenger for the event. But I told them that he may or may not show up. He never committed to be a celebrity judge."
As I wrote yesterday, Lamberti's absence caused some consternation among attendees. When asked why the sheriff didn't attend the benefit, Prichard said he didn't know.
-- Tonight, the Sunrise City Commission will choose its lobbyist. Mr. Stacy Ritter, Russ Klenet, is in the running, as is megalobbyist Ron Book and four firms, including the Southern Strategy Group and Colodny Fass.
Klenet, who along with Book has been a Sunrise lobbyist for several years, will lobby for himself via phone from Washington, D.C., where he's currently working. I'll report on the outcome.
UPDATED: Klenet lost his lobbying contract in Sunrise. The commission voted Ron Book in as the city's sole lobbyist. Colodny Fass came in second. Klenet was ranked by the commission fourth out of six firms, one of which didn't even show up. He was in D.C. so did it by phone, and I'm told that the commission -- while grilling the other hopefuls -- didn't ask Klenet much of anything at all.
The empire is crumbling; remember that Klenet just lost his League of Cities lobbying contract as well.
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Inside, read about the showdown expected at tonight's meeting of the Democratic Executive Committee, where longtime chairman Mitch Ceasar will be challenged.
Attorney Randy Fleischer, who has mounted a grievance against Ceasar for killing the Tamarac Democratic Club and other outrages, will raise the issue tonight and is calling for Democrats to show support against the chairman at the meeting tonight at 7 at the Deicke Auditorium in Plantation. Here's the email Fleischer sent out this morning:
Dear Active Democrats
At tonights DEC meeting I am going to attempt to raise the grievance, pasted below, which I filed against Ceasar almost six months ago.
There was a grievance hearing in August, chaired by Mike Moskowitz with Diane Glasser and Harry Boreth completing the star chamber triumvirate.
There is no question that Ceasar is guilty of not appointing chairs, vice chairs or members to standing committees or publishing an annual budget as required by the bylaws cited in the grievance. However there is no question that Ceasar's handpicked grievance committee is not going to find that he violated the bylaws, even though he admitted not performing as required by the bylaws.
I am going to need strong backing at the meeting tonight to review the grievance and sanction him.
This may also help restore the Tamarac Club and [Alanna] Mersinger's club, as Ceasar revoked their charter because he does not like Patti Lynn and [Alanna].
I look forward to seeing you all tonight.
I'll update on whether the Dems in the room were mice or men (and women). Historically, as lobbyist Ceasar and his cronies (including the three names listed above) run the club into the ground with their power-hungry ways, few are willing to openly challenge him. Hopefully that will change tonight.