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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Time to resign Warren

County Commissioner and former Knucklehead winner Warren Newell has more ethics problems.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Warren Newell played a secretive role in a lucrative real estate flip, working the deal while voting three times on matters that enhanced the property's value.

In little more than a year, a company Newell co-founded more than doubled its money, real estate records show. The property, 6 vacant acres in suburban Lake Worth, was bought for $1.9 million, then sold for $4.4 million to a hospital chain.

Without disclosing his interest, Newell joined in commission votes in August 2004 and February 2005 that boosted the property's development potential, county records show. Before the votes, Newell and two partners had signed a contract on July 21, 2004, to buy the property, according to a copy The Palm Beach Post obtained. Among its conditions: "This contract shall not be recorded in the public records of Palm Beach County."

In May 2005, before the deal was closed, Newell's name was deleted from the company's public registration forms, state records show. After the deletion, his name also didn't appear on any related real estate documents filed in the public record. No mention of the deal appeared on Newell's annual financial disclosure reports.
The entire Palm Beach Post article is worth reading. I got to give the Post credit, for the second time in less than a year they've dug up dirt on a major local politician.

As for Newell, he is just another corrupt pol who feels he deserves special rewards or treatment because of the office he held. The conflicts of interest here are so obvious, a elementary school student can see them.

This isn't Newell's first transgression.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Warren Newell, champion of a $50 million taxpayer initiative to protect public access to the waterfront, steered $14 million to a private Hypoluxo marina where he docks his personal yacht.

Newell met privately with the marina's owners and county staff, then voted with other commissioners to pay $14 million to keep the Palm Beach Yacht Center a working boatyard, county records show. County administrators said they never were told about Newell's business ties to the marina. No record could be found that the four-term commissioner, before voting on the purchase, publicly disclosed his lengthy association with both the business and one of its owners.
That's a troubling trend to me. How about you?

It appears Newell's and disgraced PB County Commissioner Tony Masilotti's downfall were caused by the Post getting access to these men's divorce procedings. These are supposed to be public records, but as been shown in Broward County, are sometimes sealed by powerful people for other powerful people. I wonder how many scandals Knucklehead Judge Dale Ross is helping hide in the county to the south of here.

Already people are calling for Newell's resignation.

WEST PALM BEACH — One of County Commissioner Warren Newell's longest-serving colleagues wants him to step down following revelations that he repeatedly cast votes enhancing the value of land in which he held a secret financial interest.

"I would hope that he would resign," Commissioner Burt Aaronson said Monday, calling himself "stunned" by Sunday's story in The Palm Beach Post.


"Do I feel blindsided? Absolutely," Aaronson said. "I think we've been blindsided a couple times on the commission. ... The public has to have faith in the commissioners that are sitting here and haven't been accused of anything."
The public should have zero faith in Newell at present.

The Palm Beach Post called for Newell's resignation also.

Further, how many more deals are out there? Did Commissioner Newell abuse his position on two boards - as an elected commissioner and an appointed JFK Medical Center trustee - to enrich himself? His partners in the $4.4 million land deal included a JFK staff physician. The hospital's CEO knew in advance of demand for the land.


Even if Commissioner Newell backed out of the land deal before voting in favor of it, the public cannot know whether he profited later in other ways. By voting on two separate matters without disclosing his involvement, Commissioner Newell lost the public's trust. For that reason, he cannot continue to serve.
TFM joins the chorus, its time for you to resign Warren Newell. You are a disgrace to the people of Palm Beach County.

Linked to- Basil, Bullwinkle, Right Wing Nation,

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