Where's Stacy?

-- It was only the most important commission meeting of the year, the budget hearing where the already short-handed board voted on how to spend $4 billion of your money.

So the fact that Stacy Ritter was absent was a little conspicuous. She didn't do the call-in thing either.

You know, considering that she's making upwards of $90,000 a year in tax money on a part-time job where she usually only has to show up for work once a week, you'd think she might be able to squeeze it into her busy schedule of ... what? Shopping? Traveling? Riding around her exclusive Parkland neighborhood in a golf cart?

Considering all the corruption investigations, there have been a lot of pointed whispers about her hookey. But let's not jump to conclusions. This could be a health issue or something excusable, but whatever it is shouldn't she let the public know? She also didn't show up for Ken Keechl's Mayor's Gala, which isn't like her. She's one that loves to schmooze with lobbyists and vendors and was said to have really cut a rug at her own Scott Rothstein-financed gala last year at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. Keechl gave the "welcoming speech" at Ritter's gala and then she fails to show up for his? That's just odd.  I called and emailed Ritter for an explanation and will update if she responds.

-- As I wrote in the comments last night, I'm hearing that the big announcement coming from Charlie Crist this morning at a press conference at Shelby's Deli in Deerfield Beach is going to be that Robert Kennedy Jr. is endorsing Crist's candidacy for the U.S. Senate and will be there for a photo-op. Crist knows Kennedy and introduced him at a global warming conference in 2007.

-- The New York Post busted out a story on Scott Rothstein's political manager Roger Stone alleging he's in hock to Uncle Sam in a big way. And the newspaper said Stone's problems are directly tied to Scott Rothstein's implosion.

"The Internal Revenue Service filed a $405,035 lien for  unpaid income taxes against the consultant -- one of politics' most notorious dirty tricksters -- and his wife, Nydia, last fall in Dade County Circuit Court in Florida, records show," wrote Posters Fred Dicker and Brendan Scott. ".... A source close to Stone said the nattily dressed operative has been suffering from "widespread money problems" in the wake of the collapse of

his partnership with Fort Lauderdale mega-scammer, Scott Rothstein."

Stone fired back in his bombastic fashion, calling the article "one of the most twisted pieces of reporting in 40 years of journalism" and lashing out at one of the reporters.   

"The New York Post's Fred Dicker is a self-styled latter day Walter Winchell, using his old media perch at the Post to promote his (temporary) friends and attack their enemies," Stone wrote in his blog. "Dicker was once a booster of Governor George Pataki only to turn viciously on him in his last term. Dicker also bought into Governor Eliot Spitzer's 'Day One-everything changes' campaign pledge before he almost single-handedly laid the Troopergate scandal in which Spitzer used the New York State Police to smear his political opponents at Spitzer's door. ... Fred can dish it but he can't take it. Notoriously thin-skinned and pompous, he uses the typical tactics of the bully."

Wayne Barrett, of New Times' mothership Village Voice in NYC, also had a go at Stone. He's attracting attention because of his involvement in the campaign of controversial Carl Paladino, who is running against Andrew Cuomo for New York governor. Also in the race is ex-pimpette Kristin Davis, pictured above, whom Stone has been furiously publicizing.

-- Well, Wilton Manors Police Chief Richard Perez is finally out of his job after the release of his racist emails. Deserving credit on this one: Elgin Jones, the relentless South Florida Times reporter who busted the story.

Also deserving some credit in the realm of much-needed muckraking is, yes, Chaz Stevens, for putting the pressure on Sylvia Poitier, the Deerfield Beach commissioner. She's now being pushed out the door where she belongs and this time Stevens really did the work.

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman