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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.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Palm Beach County Commissioner Tony Masilotti. He gets the award for his profiting from land deals made while in office.

Read the below Palm Beach Post article. It's complicated, but Masilotti has become a richer man while in office. His downfall may have been helped by the divorce he is currently going through. Reports of his financial status are becoming public and a federal investigation is also underway. A few months back Masilotti announced he wouldn't be running for re-election.

TFM hates corruption no matter what party the politician belongs to. For using his office to enrich himself, Rick Masilotti is today's Knucklehead of the day.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog, Samantha Burns, Cao's Blog, TMH's Bacon Bits, Blue Star, Pursuing Holiness, Stuck on Stupid, Outside the Beltway, Right Wing Nation, Mudville Gazette,

WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti emerged from his recent divorce $750,000 richer, according to his latest public financial disclosure report — with most of the gain stemming from a Martin County land deal now under federal investigation.

Masilotti, who reached a confidential property settlement in May with his wife of 28 years, reported a net worth of nearly $2.5 million, according to his filing Friday with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

In his latest filing, Masilotti reported owning $600,000 worth of vacant land in Martin County. The 40 acres, until earlier this year held in a secret Masilotti family trust, came from a tangled series of real estate transactions involving the South Florida Water Management District.

A federal grand jury began investigating the deal in May, after The Palm Beach Post reported that the Masilotti trust made as much as $1.3 million in connection with the district's 2003 purchase of 3,000 acres. Although Masilotti insisted he had no direct involvement — his wife was the trust's sole beneficiary, he said — interviews and documents showed the commissioner pushed for the water district purchase that profited the trust. District officials said they had no inkling of his family's financial interest.

The trustee holding the 40 acres quit on April 26, several weeks after the first Post story on the land deal. He transferred the property to Susan Masilotti, who still holds the deed, Martin County property records show.

Tony Masilotti was out of town and not available for comment, according to Johnnie Easton, his administrative assistant. When asked why the land still was in Masilotti's ex-wife's name, Easton wrote: "He asked that I let you know that the Martin County property was just recently acquired."

Attorney Eddie Stephens, who represented Susan Masilotti in the divorce, said he couldn't talk about the couple's property settlement, that he was bound by a confidentiality agreement stipulated in the Masilottis' final divorce judgment issued May 4.

"It is understood between the parties that they will not be disclosing the (property settlement) agreement or terms of the agreement to any other third party or entity without the other party's written consent or pursuant to a court order," the final judgment states.

The judgment also acknowledged that the property settlement would not be placed in the court file.

A $50,000 deposit on property on Cat Island in the Bahamas, which appeared on Masilotti's 2005 disclosure, is not mentioned on his latest filing.

Masilotti, through his assistant, said his Bahamian investment now is held in one of two companies that have been added to his disclosure: "4 Girls 2 Boys," and "Boys 4 Girls 2." Both limited liability companies were registered July 25 with Masilotti listed as their manager. Masilotti reported he has a 50 percent interest in both corporations worth a total of $170,000.

Masilotti did not respond to written questions about who owns the other 50 percent of the companies. Nor would he elaborate on the purpose of the second company.

"Any and all lawful business," is all the corporate papers state.

A partner in the Cat Island venture, prominent rancher Billy Bowman, said he wasn't familiar with the companies, but confirmed that Masilotti still is an investor in a multimillion-dollar plan to redevelop the property, an abandoned nudist resort. Having gotten final government approvals within the past six weeks, Bowman said he is ordering materials, lining up contractors to begin construction of the planned homes and hiring engineers to design a marina.


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