About a week ago, I posted a series of questions for readers in order to prompt them to ask the right questions about the real, verifiable corruption within the school district.
Not the fantasy School Board concocted by the grand jury.
There was real pay for play going on and the Feds are the only ones who got it right.
Here are some other questions by Stephanie Kraft posted in the comments section of the first Questions article:
* How was the Real Estate agent and the property owner connected?
I never did know who the property owner of the swamp was, but I’d thought it was the Town of Southwest Ranches itself.
The Real Estate agent who sold the property was also involved in the sale of the West Broward HS property as well.
One of the other “outsiders” that pushed the sale of the Swamp has done business with the Real Estate agent before.
That “outsider” was under contract with the town.
I have to suspect that this individual got a kickback on the sale from the Real Estate agent.
He was also quoted in the Sun Sentinel last year as to how good the property was.
Both the Real Estate agent and that “outsider” were so tightly connected with Bev Gallagher you’d think they were Siamese triplets.
Especially since Bev took the place of the outsider’s wife on the School Board.
* Why did staff close on the property even though they knew it was never going to be used for a high school?
Somebody was being paid off, but I can’t say how or why I know without violating confidentiality.
* What deals did the school board member and staff make and who did they make it with, to justify purchasing that property?
Readers, if you think it takes money to bribe a School Board member, think again.
There’s definitely more than one way and the first answer relates to the next question.
But before we tackle that one, go back to my article on the idea that three Board members more than likely sold out their support of firing Frank Till in 2004.
With that in mind, let’s move on.
* Why did the school that was ultimately known as West Broward move forward as quickly as is did, while the school to relieve Cypress Bay was stalled by staff and the then Superintendent, even though the need was much greater for the Cypress Bay relief school, and the majority of the Board supported building that school first?
Bev was always getting projects accelerated by Frank Till and the reason became clear as a bell when Till came to me the morning of the vote on the $3/4 billion bond issue.
He offered to put my projects on the front burner if I would vote ‘yes’ on the agenda item.
I could have anything I wanted.
My vote was not for sale to anybody. Not even the Superintendent.
It begs the question: Had I sold that vote, would MMM have been built?
Somehow I think not.
What would have stopped Till from putting the knife in my back since he was already twisted around Bev’s finger?
*Why has no law enforcement agency or any grand jury ever looked into all the machinations regarding this issue, although you and I and maybe others have repeatedly tried to get them to do this? (I don’t know the answer to this one!)
I’ll post a shorter version of my answers from the comments section of the last questions article, but first…
I’ve written this before and I’ll do it again:
The caped crusaders; those self styled public corruption watchdogs, Buddy Nevins, Bob Norman and their minions of mindless robots were asleep at the switch while the real corruption was in full bloom.
The two great investigative reporters it seems, couldn’t investigate their way out of a paper bag.
At least without anonymous bloggers.
The perfect example of media unconsiousness was the knock down drag out fight I had with Garretson over the Swamp land purchase at a retreat in Coral Springs Middle in early 2006.
We were at each other’s throats over the Swamp purchase, so what did the media print?
Not a word about Garretson’s admission to the Board that he knew the quality of the property was so poor that the subcontractor couldn’t get his equipment in place to test it.
Not a word about the Board’s constant harangue demanding to know why Garretson and Till kept recommending the purchase and extensions of the contract while they knew how poor the quality of the property was.
Not a word about my own fight with Garretson (and which I was called arrogant by folks in the audience.)
Front and center to the audience yet the media slept right through it?
And what did the media choose to print?
Garretson’s lame comment that “just because it’s squishy doesn’t mean you can’t build on it.”
They were either too stupid to pick up on what was happening or they just didn’t care.
Alarm bells publicly going off with Board members, yet not one investigation or even question from any of the self-styled “watchdogs.”
The day we fired Till, I went to Mike Satz’s office to file a complaint against both Frank Till and his friends who were leaving threatening messages for School Board members.
I took a recording with me since the culprit was stupid enough to leave the threat on voice mail.
Two of Satz’s boys listened to the tape and then blew off the complaint, even though I was ready to unload everything. I’d had enough.
The FBI agents I spoke with that following November told me it was definitely a threat to a public official.
Of course we now know other Board members got threatening phone calls from Till’s gang. I learned that from a conversation with Michael Mayo the following day.
I was quite ready to unload on Satz, as I did with the pair of FBI agents I sat down with.
They already knew most of what I told them, but I did give some new info, but I can’t print until they release me from confidentiality.
The FBI knew, while Satz had his head up his ass.
Let’s just say I have a good handle on who was bribing whom and the FBI agents focused on Bev and others for good reason.
I suspect that the $12,500 sting was all about capturing direct evidence so as not to have to go to a protracted trial.
Now for something I didn’t write in the comments section:
I met the two agents that stung Bev long before the investigation broke in the media.
Two Hispanic guys in their early thirties who identified themselves as looking to get into the School Board construction business, wanting some tips and looking for “a way in” so to speak.
No doubt in my mind now, that someone was wearing a wire.
I won’t tell readers when or where, or even who set up the attempted sting.
At least not yet.
But I didn’t know it at the time and only realized who they really were when details of how they stung Bev came to light.
What I will say is that the two agents lost interest in me when I wished them good luck in their new venture.
Okay, back to the rest of the story…
The first individual involved in the original story was never arrested, but I’m willing to bet he turned state’s evidence on Bev.
I have reason to believe that he was wearing a wire, too.
Because of my suspicions I took no campaign donations from him that year.
The FBI guys knew it and my not taking any checks from him stood out with them, and here’s a quote:
“We noticed you didn’t take any campaign donations from ______”
They knew most of what I suspected and what I knew. I probably filled in some blanks.
I suspect Garretson knew the investigations were getting close when he suddenly decided to “retire” and blew town at the end of 2009.
I also suspect that the pressure of the investigations along with Garretson’s death led to Tom Coates’ fatal heart attack only a few days after Garretson’s.
With all of this going on, Satz’s office played the role of Sgt. Schultz when I tried to open up that first October.
Not a hint of any of this in any media whatsoever.
Now let me leave you with a real kicker…
Two years ago, I invited Bob Norman to have lunch which was published directly on his blog.
Of course he was so cock sure of the crap he was writing that the arrogant ass never took me up on it.
Too bad. Maybe he was afraid I’d put him on track of the real story.
And now you know why I laugh at idiots who think the grand jury report is the “real” story of corruption.
Sometimes I think that the stories of Board member “day to day meddling” and lobbyist collusion were being intentionally blogged in order to divert from the fact that real money was being spread around.