Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rick Scott Stands Alone

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) re-election bid will be challenging. Between his poor record, weak poll numbers, and credible challenger, the Republican is going to need some help to get another four years in Tallahassee.

 But if he’s hoping on getting that help from his lieutenant governor, Scott should prepare a back-up plan.

In March, an ugly scandal unfolded and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll (R) was forced to abruptly resign from office. Though Carroll has not yet faced criminal charges, her company is accused of helping oversee a fraudulent veterans’ charity and using gambling at Internet cafes to launder money.
The governor wasn’t connected to the scandal, but it nevertheless left Scott looking for a new #2 in his administration, who can also serve as his running mate during the 2014 campaign. How’s the search going? Not well (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the heads-up).
Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger on Monday formally declined Gov. Rick Scott’s offer to be considered as a possible lieutenant governor, becoming the second person on Scott’s four-person short list to turn him down.
Eslinger sent an email to his staff saying he was “flattered and honored” to be considered but that he will keep the job that he was first elected to in 1990. Last week, St. Johns County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Joyner also rejected Scott’s offer.
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

In case this wasn’t obvious, the Tampa Bay Times report added that the withdrawals from two of Scott’s top contenders “create the perception that no one wants to be the governor’s running mate in 2014.”
Yes, actually it does. Indeed, the Miami New Times added, “It seems almost too obvious to state that a key requirement of being lieutenant governor is actually wanting to be lieutenant governor, but that’s apparently something Gov. Rick Scott didn’t take into account during his long, dragged-out search to replace disgraced ex-Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll…. It’s not exactly good news when the two lowest-profile candidates on the list announce they have no interest in the job.”
The governor apparently had a short-list of four, which is now down to two – a state senator and a county commissioner, both of whom are from the Tampa area.
If they also decline, I’d just note that Florida has a 7% unemployment rate, so presumably the Republican governor will find someone who’s available  and willing to stand alongside Rick Scott for the next five years. 

It is time to give Rick Scott a pink slip.

Petitioning Esther Jacobo For Full Investigation Into DCF Florida

Dear Esther Jacobo:
Robin K. Jensen

Thank you for your time and consideration into this matter. I am sure after your review of this case, you will see a pattern of lies and manipulation on the part of Ms.Robin K. Jensen Lawyer for DCF in Sarasota Florida.

I also ask that you request the court tapes to listen first-hand how easily a Lawyer can manipulate their status to abuse citizens under the color of law. We are petitioning for a full investigating in this case.

Randy Kluge

DCF caught kidnapping

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Florida Congressman Charged With Cocaine Possession

WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami/AP) – A Florida congressman has been charged with cocaine possession after what officials described as a “buy and bust” operation Tuesday.
Representative Henry “Trey” Radel was arrested October 29th in the District of Columbia. A one-sentence court document did not add any details about his arrest.

 The first term Republican congressman from Southwest Florida was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor possession of cocaine. His next court appearance was set for Wednesday.
In a statement expressing regret, the 37-year-old Republican freshman lawmaker said he struggles with alcoholism and intends to seek treatment and counseling. Radel made no mention of his political future.
A Drug Enforcement Administration official said Radel was arrested after buying cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the case in his own name, said Radel was identified to authorities as a cocaine buyer by his suspected dealer. The dealer had been previously arrested as part of a separate drug investigation led by a federal task force.
“In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions,” Radel said in a statement.

 “However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” his statement said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”
The cocaine possession charge, a misdemeanor, carries a statutory maximum of six months in prison and a fine of $1,000.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the allegations are a matter for the courts.
“Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
Radel, 37, was elected in 2012 to represent the 19th District of Florida, which includes the Gulf Coast communities of Fort Myers and Naples. He was a radio host before becoming a congressman. He is married and has a young son.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rick Scott Has Raised $18 Million Even Though Most Floridians Can't Stand Him

Since the day he was elected, Rick Scott has been one of the most unpopular governors in America, often hovering below 30 percent in polls. He's tried everything from casual Fridays to flipping hamburgers in local restaurants to boost his numbers. But the most recent Q poll still shows nearly 60 percent of Floridians simply don't like the guy.

So how the hell has Scott has already racked up nearly $20 million for his re-election campaign? Oh right, from the corporate giants who do love him. The Tampa Bay Times tallied up Scott's fundraising this weekend for his political action committee, Let's Get to Work, and found that 2,600 donors have already pumped about $18.5 million into the effort.
Polls aside, that kind of cash gives Scott a major head start over any Democratic challenger who will have to spend a considerable chunk of change to navigate a testy primary to get to the gubernatorial race.
(Keep in mind, $18 million is already more money than Alex Sink spent on her entire losing campaign to Scott in the last race.)
And Scott can thank some huge businesses for his campaign wealth. His biggest donor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, which surely appreciates Scott's refusal to set up the Obamacare exchanges that could lower premiums for ordinary residents; the company has donated $637,500 to the governor.
Next is the Seminole Tribe of Florida -- a big fan of Scott's willingness to listen to new gambling proposals -- with just over $500,000. Also on the list are Florida Power & Light and right-leaning magnates such as Wayne Huizenga and Las Vegas powerbroker Sheldon Adelson.
We're a long way from the 2014 governor's race, but what exactly would it say about Florida democracy if Scott spends his way to re-election on the financial back of his corporate followers while ordinary Sunshine State residents can't stand his face?

It's the will of the people*!
(*"People," meaning "corporations," per the U.S. Supreme Court.)
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mom gets children; DCF gets skewered

By Carol Marbin Miller

A young Miami mom was stripped of the right to raise her four children. The father of the youngest child was allowed to keep the girl.
Just another day in child-welfare court.
But then a child welfare judge in Miami discovered information that troubled him: A social worker who gave damaging testimony against the woman — while lavishing praise on the father — had had sex with the father, at least according to the man himself. Another case worker whose testimony also was damaging to the mother had told colleagues she wanted to adopt her children after the mother lost all rights to them.
Calling the actions of the two child welfare workers — as well as their bosses and lawyers — “reprehensible” and “manifestly unconscionable,” the judge returned the four children to their mother this week. In a 40-page order tinged with anger, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael A. Hanzman said the reversal was necessary in order to undo a miscarriage of justice.
Circuit Judge Michael A. Hanzman

Hanzman, who presides over child welfare cases in Miami’s Allapattah juvenile courthouse, wrote that the woman could not have received a fair trial because state child welfare “agents withheld information that demonstrated bias on the part of two material witnesses.”
The Department of Children & Families “and its cadre of private sector agents are a collective prosecutorial arm of the state, charged with a public trust,” Hanzman wrote in the order, signed Tuesday. “The constitutional rights of the families brought into our dependency courts depend upon the faithful and impartial exercise of that trust. When it is betrayed — as it was in this case — due process is denied.”The mother, Hanzman added, “was entitled to a fair trial. She instead received the ‘parental death penalty’ in a proceeding infected by bias and conflict…The parties prosecuting her knew the process was contaminated, but took no corrective action. The fact that the lives of this family would be permanently altered — and the mother’s constitutional rights severed — was of no moment. The state simply trampled on those constitutional rights in its zeal to win at all costs.”
Child welfare officials in Miami-Dade had some harsh words in return for the judge. They said he had just recently ignored warnings from them and left an infant in the care of a relative who accidentally smothered him.
The woman at the center of the controversy, and her children, are not being named by the Miami Herald to protect their privacy.
Neither of the caseworkers named in Hanzman’s order — “lead witness” Tatiana Ashley and Michelle Sales, both of the CHARLEE foster care program — remain with CHARLEE, said a spokeswoman for the Our Kids agency, which oversees private child welfare programs in Miami under contract with DCF. Ashley was fired for “performance” issues unrelated to Hanzman’s order, and Sales resigned, the spokeswoman said.
Neither woman could be reached by the Herald for comment.
DCF’s ethics watchdog cleared the two women of wrongdoing in a lengthy report last August.
The Inspector General was asked to investigate the mother’s claims in January by an Our Kids’ regional manager. The IG, Christopher T. Hirst, concluded the mother’s allegations regarding Ashley could not be substantiated without a witness to the alleged affair. Likewise, Hirst wrote that there was no proof that Sales lied on the witness stand, and that her desire to foster or adopt the children did not create a conflict of interest.
DCF’s interim secretary, Esther Jacobo, who was leading DCF’s Miami district when much of the controversy unfolded, said Friday her agency is most concerned with the future welfare of the mother’s children — not with what has already occurred.
Esther Jacobo
“The claims of unethical behavior by these caseworkers were thoroughly investigated by the DCF inspector general and not substantiated. Now, two years later, our attention must be centered on these children — their safety, security and emotional health. With all the information and facts in hand, my sincere hope is that the judge will do what is best for the safety and well-being of these children.”
Hanzman’s return of the four children occurs at a time of deep animosity between the judge and Miami child welfare administrators.
Earlier this week, a Miami infant born with medical concerns owing to his mother’s drug use died at the home of his adult half-sister in Broward. Hanzman, records show, sent the boy to live with his half-sister over the objections of DCF lawyers, an Our Kids foster care provider and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which had conducted a study of the woman’s home and concluded she was not fit to care for the boy. Records suggest the half-sister may have accidentally smothered the infant while sleeping with him on a couch.
The mother at the center of Hanzman’s order this week emerged from a troubled home herself, sources told the Herald. Now 23, the woman “aged out” of foster care at age 19 with four small children, and sources say DCF continues to harbor serious concerns about her ability to raise the kids.
In July 2010, the agency’s hotline received a report that the mom and the youngest child’s father had an altercation. The children remained “safely” in the mother’s care, the judge wrote, until March 2011, when a relative complained that the father had pulled a gun on him.
When DCF was alerted to the incident by the mother, the agency placed all four children in foster care. Two months after that — and after the mom had mostly completed a laundry list of tasks designed to improve her parenting skills — the woman was arrested on a shoplifting charge. DCF abruptly reversed course, filing a petition to terminate the woman’s parental rights.
The mother, a petition said, had been “unable to gain the necessary insight required” to safely parent her children.
At trial in August 2011, Ashley, the case worker, testified that, while the mom had completed parenting, domestic violence and anger classes, and although she was “bonded” with her children, Ashley had “concerns as to her parenting,” the judge wrote.
Broken system
As to the youngest girl’s father, the one who had allegedly wielded a gun, Ashley was far more complimentary. She testified that he was always “appropriate” in his visits with the little girl, and that she had no concerns about his parenting skills. Ashley recommended that he retain rights to the now-4-year-old daughter.
Sales, the order said, worked with the mother and her kids from October 2010 through the following January. Sales dropped the case, she testified, because she became fearful of the mother following a fight she witnessed between the mother and another woman. The mother insists that no such incident occurred, the judge wrote.
At a hearing on the mother’s concerns over the fairness of her trial, and in comments to the inspector general, Ashley strongly denied having a sexual relationship with the father. The father himself acknowledged the affair. The caseworker had begun “flirting” with him “while the two were in her car discussing what he had to do to get his daughter back,” the man testified. “They eventually wound up in the back seat having intercourse,” Hanzman wrote.
And, although the inspector general wrote that there were no witnesses, the father’s brother testified that he was at his mother’s house when the father and Ashley were in a bedroom having sex.
The mother of the children arrived at the father’s house in August 2011 while he and Ashley were “fooling around” in a back bedroom, the father testified. The father’s brother alerted him that the mother was walking up the stairs to see him. She confronted the couple and hit the father with a mop stick, the judge’s order said.
The caseworker, the father testified, told him that neither she nor CHARLEE were eager to sever his rights to the youngest child. He said he failed to disclose the sexual relationship out of fear that it would interfere with his custody rights.
As to Sales, numerous people — including several employees of CHARLEE — testified that she wanted to adopt the children.
So concerned were CHARLEE administrators about Sales’ desire to adopt the kids that they asked an Our Kids boss if it made sense to transfer the case to another foster care agency “to avoid any kind of conflict of interest.” The administrator, Hanzman wrote, refused the transfer request. Another judge who was presiding over the case was never told about the alleged conflict.
That omission, Hanzman wrote, “can only be charitably characterized as blatant incompetency.”
Read more here:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Broward Judge Charged With DUI

FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward judge spotted driving erratically in Boca Raton Tuesday night was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Just before 10 p.m., police received a call about a driver of a white Mercedes-Benz driving erratically in the area of 49 NE 2nd Street. The caller said the driver seemed to be impaired.
“I want to report a drunk driver. I’m driving north on Federal Highway in Boca Raton,” said the caller. “He’s all over the road.  He nearly side swiped me twice.  He’s gotta be drunk.”
“ Was it a male or female driver? “ asked the 911 operator. “I couldn’t see but he’s really dangerous,” the caller said.
When police pulled over the car about an hour later, it turned out to be a female behind the wheel, Judge Imperator.
Judge Imperator
About an hour after that call, a Boca Raton police officer pulled over the driver of a white Mercedes-Benz at 2400 W Palmetto Park Road. The officer “observed the vehicle driving erratically. The vehicle nearly struck another vehicle at one point,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
When asked why she was pulled over the driver, identified as 56-year old Cynthia Imperato, replied because she weaving.
In the report, the officer noted that Imperato had a strong smell of alcohol on her breath, her eyes were red and glassy, her speech was slow and slurred, and her face was flushed.
When asked to get out of the vehicle, Imperato refused and then told the officers she was calling her attorney. The officers noted in the report that she had trouble dialing the phone.
After refusing repeated requests to get out of the car, the officers opened the driver’s side door and asked her a final time. She did, but had to use the car door to push herself up, according to the report.
After refusing to take a breath test or walk in front of a patrol car for a DUI test, Imperato was placed under arrest and her car was towed.
“In the criminal justice system, she’s going to be treated just like anyone else who’s accused of DUI,” said Nova Southeastern University Law Professor Bob Jarvis.
He said Judge Imperato will likely be investigated by the Judicial Qualification Committee and eventually have to stand before Florida’s Supreme Court Justices. “Based on previous cases with judges who have been accused of first time DUI, what the Florida Supreme Court will do is publicly reprimand her, slap her on the wrist tell her not to do it again,” figures Jarvis.
CBS4′s Ted Scouten tried speaking to Judge Imperato at her home but no one came to the door.  On her courtroom door, there was a sign saying she was out sick. When this is all over, chances are she’ll keep her place on the bench.
“She’ll have that public embarrassment, but other than that, she’ll be able, in all likelihood  hold on to her judgeship.”
Imperato has been a Broward circuit judge since 2003

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Florida Pays $800K To Fix Governor’s Mansion

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Did you know your hard-earned tax dollars are paying for upgrades at Gov. Rick Scott’s Tallahassee mansion? Gov. Scott has repeatedly pledged to slash government spending since his 2010 election yet more than $800,000 has been spent for substantial improvements to the Greek Revival mansion where he and his wife live.

Taxpayers have footed the bill for things like the cleaning of oriental rugs and refinishing the oak flooring at “the People’s House,” a sprawling edifice at 700 North Adams Street that serves as private residence as well as official entertainment venue for the state’s chief executive. Some money, though, has come from lobbyists and corporate donors with business before Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Nearly $3 million was spent during Jeb Bush’s eight years in office, but that included some expensive, post-9/11 security upgrades. And what has been spent under Scott far exceeds the money spent while Charlie Crist was in office.
Most of the money spent on the mansion— nearly $600,000 — has come from taxpayers and goes toward upkeep of the grounds and what is called the “public side” of the mansion, which includes the garden and rooms where public receptions are held.
But more than $200,000 spent on both public rooms and on the personal quarters used by the Scott family came from a handful of the state’s most powerful companies. Records from the Governor’s Mansion Foundation show that U.S. Sugar, Florida Crystals and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida each donated $100,000.

On top of that came $20,000 gifts from fundraiser and lobbyist Brian Ballard; Scott’s political adviser, Tony Fabrizio; and George Zoley, the CEO of private prison company The GEO Group, which runs two Florida penitentiaries.
House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, questioned the state spending money on the mansion while it has been pushing cutbacks elsewhere.
“Maybe the first place in government cutbacks is where you are staying at,” said Thurston.
Thurston also said he was surprised to hear about private donations for the mansion and said he doubted anyone in the public was aware of it.
“There’s a real concern there,” said Thurston. “What are they expecting to receive from their contributions?”
Scott, a multi-millionaire who owns a mansion in southwest Florida, did not put any of his own money to the renovation effort, although foundation records show that he and his wife donated furniture, lamps and exercise equipment valued at more than $93,000.

I want your tax dollars for myself
Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers would not answer questions about whether accepting private money might risk posing a conflict of interest. Her answer in an email was that “mansion foundation members raise money.”
Located 10 blocks north of the Capitol building, the governor’s mansion is hidden from view by aging commercial properties that sit along a Tallahassee main street. Large iron gates block the street in front of the mansion, keeping visitors away. Ballard said he was glad to make his 2011 donation, which came at a time when there were discussions of using the private money to help purchase the commercial property. The idea was to create a kind of “mansion park” that might qualify as a national historical landmark.
“I believe in Tallahassee and I live here,” Ballard said. “I think we should more things to make Tallahassee a special place. Rick Scott certainly doesn’t need money from me. If they asked again, I would do it again. And I would do it if it were for Gov. (Bob) Graham, Gov. (Lawton) Chiles or Gov. Crist.”
The long list of renovations to the governor’s mansion includes a $2,000 mirror for first lady Ann Scott’s bathroom and $38,000 in new rugs. Private money paid for those items. The mansion also boasts new wallpaper, pillows, furniture, drapes, paint, window repairs, new screens for the swimming pool and an upgraded kitchen.

First lady Ann Scott
The amount of public money spent on the mansion the last three years far exceeds what was spent between 2007 and 2011, when Crist was governor. State records show slightly more than $27,000 was spent during Crist’s term, although he spent most weekends outside Tallahassee.
Nearly $3 million was spent between 1999 and 2007 when Bush was governor, but that includes nearly $1 million to acquire property near the mansion and to close the street due to security concerns.
Ben Wolf, a spokesman for the Department of Management Services, said improvements paid for by taxpayers were for historical preservation, to improve health and safety and for routine maintenance of the 60-year-old building. For example, Wolf said, the walls and ceilings hadn’t been painted in more than 15 years.
Wolf said that the repairs were undertaken after an assessment by DMS, which manages real estate owned by the state among other functions. The improvements were not done at anyone’s request, Wolf said.
Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Scott, also said that neither the governor nor the first lady requested any renovations.

But minutes from a May 2011 meeting of the Governor’s Mansion Commission— the state panel that assures the home maintains its original structure and character — show that first lady Ann Scott voiced concern about the home’s condition to state officials.
“It’s important to me to maintain its beauty and showcase its history, making the mansion a welcome destination for all guests,” said the first lady, who had run her own interior design business before her husband was elected and has pushed to make the mansion more available to public events.
Carol Beck, mansion manager and curator, was quoted as telling the group that top DMS officials “have been exceptionally proactive in addressing concerns of the first lady and myself as it relates to the current condition of the interior and exterior of the mansion proper, as well as the grounds.”
Sellers said that Ann Scott has been traveling a lot lately to spend time with her grandchildren and unavailable for questions about the mansion.
Meanwhile, Scott — who just announced he would seek to cut another $100 million in “government waste” next year — is known to be a strong supporter of the costly renovation to The Grove Plantation, the 180-year-old historic home of the late Gov. LeRoy Collins. It sits on a 10-acre site adjoining the governor’s mansion and could be opened to the public as soon as next year.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Child-Protection Worker Accused Of Falsifying Reports

October 10, 2013|By Erika Pesantes, Sun Sentinel, By Erika Pesantes, Sun Sentinel
A Broward sheriff’s employee entrusted to help shield kids from harm didn’t even bother to meet five children she needed to watch over, possibly compromising their safety, authorities say.

Sandra Marti
Sheriff’s child investigative specialist Sandra Marti has been arrested, accused of falsifying reports that stated she had met with the children, according to a sheriff’s report. Instead, Marti simply arranged for parents to send her cellphone photos of the children, the report said.
Marti was jailed Wednesday on multiple counts of falsifying reports, records show.
“The falsification of official records, and the potential risks that any kind of falsification could pose for children, will not be tolerated,” said Dennis Miles, the regional managing director for the state’s Department of Children and Families’ Southeast Region.
Marti submitted the falsified records involving the five children between Dec. 1, 2011, and June 30 this year, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives found that those children are doing well, sheriff’s spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said.
“We have gone back and made sure that all of those kids were safe, and the original allegations had been addressed,” she said.
An investigation into Marti’s actions began in June when a child’s mother phoned the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The mother said she planned to send Marti a photo of her son, but couldn’t because she had lost Marti’s phone number, an arrest report said.
That was a red flag for Marti’s supervisor, Concepcion said.
Detectives from the Broward Sheriff’s Public Corruption Unit reached out to several parents who each similarly detailed Marti’s instructions to send her photos of their children. They all said their sons and daughters did not meet with her on instances when she indicated they had, according to an arrest report.
Marti, a civilian employee, is currently suspended without pay, Concepcion said. Marti, 57, of Coral Springs, has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for nine years.
She previously worked in pre-trial services and community control supervision of offenders, and later began working as a child investigative specialist.
Detectives have reviewed all of Marti’s cases since July 2010 — when she began working in the Child Protective Investigations Section — and only found five cases “in which she acted inappropriately,” Concepcion said.
Marti, who was freed from jail on a $5,000 bond, could not be reached for comment Thursday despite several attempts to contact her via a relative.
As part of their role, child protective investigators take a look at allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment that come into the DCF hotline. Those cases range from neglecting to offer a child medical attention, to leaving minors who cannot care for themselves home alone, to sexual abuse, DCF spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes said.
However, it was not known Thursday what circumstances led Marti to each of the cases for which she allegedly falsified reports.
“It’s important for there to be the appropriate contact with the potential victim and other people involved,” Patterson-Hughes said. “Not following through clearly is a problem.”
In the case that helped start the investigation, Marti filed a report indicating she met a child on June 13 this year, authorities said. But in a sworn statement, the boy’s mother said Marti did not meet her son and instead asked the mother for a cellphone photo.
According to the arrest report, investigators found that Marti filed a report in January 2012 stating that she had met with another child. But that boy’s mother also gave a sworn statement that said Marti didn’t see her son.
The scenario repeated itself in December 2012, when Marti said in a report she visited a 7-year-old girl at Croissant Park Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, an arrest report said. But the school’s assistant vice principal said she had no record of an investigator visiting the child at the time, the report said.
Marti allegedly also asked that girl’s mother to send a cellphone snapshot of her other child, a 2-year-old girl. The mother, in a sworn statement, said she did as instructed.
In April 2013, Marti gave a 16-year-old boy’s mother her business card and asked that his photo be emailed to her, the report said. The boy told investigators that he never met Marti, but did take a photo of himself on his cellphone and emailed it to Marti.
Patterson-Hughes said meeting people is essential: It offers investigators clues to anything else that should be taken into account during their investigation.
“Clearly, when you’re talking to a person, you’re oftentimes taking in more than the words. You’re looking at other aspects, the behavior, the demeanor and the circumstances that brought you to the person in the first place,” Patterson-Hughes said.
Marti also is accused of falsifying a report that said she had met with a parent, authorities said.
In May this year, Marti allegedly filed a report stating she had met with the father of a child who had an open case, authorities said. The father told detectives that he had a telephone conversation with a child protective investigator, but did not meet the investigator in person, the arrest report said.
Miles called the allegations against Marti a “serious matter” and commended the Sheriff’s Office for investigating. In an emailed statement Thursday, he said that DCF “will work with [sheriff's] investigators to ensure the integrity of other cases which involved this investigator.”

Suspended Homestead Mayor Arrested On Election Law Violations

HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – Just a few months after he was arrested and charged with two felony charges of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior; suspended Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman was arrested again Friday on seven counts of election law violations.
Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Bateman surrendered and was released on his own recognizance. The new charges are separate from the original charges, but are still part of the overall investigation of Bateman, the Herald reported.
The specific charges relate to unlawfully failing to dispose of campaign funds under Florida law.
Bateman’s first arrest was connected to a secret consulting gig with Community Health of South Florida and construction projects, first reported by CBS4 News.
He allegedly used his elected position to get the consulting job with CHI.
Bateman had been mayor of Homestead since 2009, but lost his bid for re-election last month.