October 14, 2010 12:47 am
STEVE GONOT --
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My name is Chaz Stevens and over the last few years, I have very successfully battled political corruption and violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law by holding government officials accountable for their actions.
Stunning proof that a regular guy (though nobody would ever call Stevens “regular”) can beat City Hall.
– Bob Norman, New Times
Recent accomplishments of mine include:
- Recognized by the New Times newspaper as Broward and Palm Beach Counties’ Activist of the Year for 2010.
- After filing 23 complaints, two City of Deerfield Beach’s Commissioners, Sylvia Poitier and Gloria Battle, are now the target of numerous criminal investigations.
- I am a key team member in the recall of all five City of Riviera Beach councilmembers for their refusal to follow the competitive bid process in the redevelopment of the Riviera Beach municipal marina.
- This week, I will be filing a legal action to uphold Florida’s Sunshine law after City of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and Vice-Mayor Bill Julian refused to comply with my public records request.
- In 2008, my complaints led to the arrest of Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini and Commissioner Steve Gonot.
The challenge to affect meaningful political change has been a daunting task; encountering many deceptive and indifferent career politicians and civil servants along the way. Issuing a mountain of public record requests, I made sure those very same corrupt officials confronted a never-ending barrage of scathing blog posts and a variety of outlandish tactics, including sending a ninja to the Deerfield Beach City Commission chambers to plead my case.
If a character from early Quentin Tarantino flicks ever wrote a local political blog, it would read like Stevens’.
– Tom Francis, BrowardPalmBeach.com
Finally reacting to the troubling information unearthed during my extensive two years of research, the City of Deerfield Beach terminated the services of the City Manager and various staff employees, undertook a complete rethink of the City’s fiduciary responsibility and ordered a forensic audit ; an audit that discovered a myriad of problems, including a significant amount of money missing for the City’s coffers. Numerous charitable agencies are now under investigation and the City nearly filed suit against an organization run by Poitier’s own daughter. HUD’s recent audit determined that both Poitier and Battle, while acting in their official capacities, violated conflict of interest law — resulting in penalties to the City totaling nearly $400,000. Preliminary results from other ongoing audits indicate more trouble is brewing on Deerfield’s horizon.
On a somewhat almost positive note, last week City of Deerfield Beach elected officials requested Poitier’s immediate resignation. She refused. Attempts to remove her from office, and investigations of criminal wrongdoing, are continuing.
Proof indeed one man can make a difference.
As such, I would welcome the chance to share my story with you.
Deerfield Beach, Florida
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