Palm Beach County ethics panel cites county worker, two Delray Beach staff

ethics logoA former analyst for Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management faces ethics charges for allegedly trying to intimidate a business owner into giving him an auto repair discount, and two Delray Beach employees received “letters of instruction” for incidents in that city, in rulings Thursday by the county’s Commission on Ethics.

The charges against analyst Rowan Hughes stem from a November 2015 report by the Palm Beach County Office of Inspector General that said he “threatened or intimidated members of the public by falsely identifying himself as a well field inspector and making statements that he would have to conduct a well field inspection following a business’ refusal to reduce the price of repairs to his personal vehicle.”

The county fired Hughes Dec. 21, 2015, after he admitted driving the county vehicle for personal use, ethics commission documents show.

The panel also ruled Thursday that Joseph Lang, a firefighter paramedic and a rescue driver, was paid $10,834 from the city in 2014 and 2015 for an outside business he owned that supplied and serviced automatic external defibrillators for city buildings and fire-rescue trucks.

And the panel ruled Rashod Smith, a supervisor for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, let Tennille Decoste, the city’s Human Resources administrator, hold a Thanksgiving Day dinner for her family and friends after hours in the city’s Pompey Park Recreation Center.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Wednesday was largest 1-day total of early voting in Palm Beach County

031316-met-early-voting-02More than 18,000 people voted early Wednesday in Palm Beach County, marking the largest one-day total after the first 10 days of the 14-day event and bringing the total so far to nearly 160,000, according to overnight statistics from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

That compares to a total of 124,896 locally in eight days of early voting in the 2012 election.

Through Thursday morning, nearly 4.9 million Floridians, nearly 280,000 of those in Palm Beach County, have voted early or by mail for the Nov. 8 election, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

That already surpasses the 4.8 million who voted before Election Day in 2012, according to state figures. In 2012, 3.8 million voted on Election Day itself.

Statewide, of those mailing in this year, Republicans led Democrats  949,527 to 874,500. But of those voting early, Democrats have passed the 1 million mark, leading GOP voters 1,061,740 to 998,599.

In Palm Beach County mail-ins, Democrats led 59,687 to 36,137. In state early-voting stats, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, Democrats led 75,066 to 45,481.

Early voting runs through Sunday at 15 sites around the county.

To see a sample ballot for your races, or for more information, contact the elections office at 561-656-6200 or visit www.pbcelections.org.

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More than 4.5 million have voted in Florida; 250,000 in Palm Beach County

031316-met-early-voting-02Through Tuesday, 140,000 people have taken part in the first nine days of 14 days of early voting in Palm Beach County, according to overnight statistics from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

That compares to a total of 124,896 locally in eight days of early voting in the 2012 election.

Through Wednesday morning, nearly 4.5 million Floridians, more than 250,000 of those in Palm Beach County, have voted early or by mail for the Nov. 8 election, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

That already nearly equals the 4.8 million who voted up to Election Day in 2012, according to state figures. In 2012, 3.8 million voted on Election Day itself.

Of those mailing in this year, Republicans lead Democrats 909,299 to 835,206. Of those voting early, the GOP trails 889,655 to 946,292.

In Palm Beach County mail-ins, Democrats lead 55,860 to 33,616. In state early-voting stats, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, Democrats lead 66,871 to 40,330.

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Longtime Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Nieman starts 5-year clock to retirement

Nieman
Nieman

Longtime Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Marie Nieman has made it official, turning in her paperwork to start the 5-year process toward retirement.

It actually was County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay who spilled the beans at Tuesday’s commission meeting that Nieman this week had signed the documents starting the clock. She praised Nieman for her three decades with the county.

Nieman confirmed afterward that, while she can leave before that, she’s now committed to that 5-year deadline under the county’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

 

More than 4 million Floridians already have voted

Early voting Friday at Hagen Ranch Rd. branch
Early voting Friday at Hagen Ranch Rd. branch

In eight days of early voting in Palm Beach County in the 2012 election, 124,896 people participated.

Through Monday night, totals for eight days of early voting for this year are just shy of that, at 124,030, according to unofficial figures from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

The difference: this year is set for 14 days and six days of voting remain.

Statewide, through either early voting or mail-in, more than 4.1 million people already have cast ballots for the Nov. 8 election, In Palm Beach County, the total is 224,782.

According to Florida Division of Elections figures posted Tuesday morning, of those submitting mail-in ballots statewide, Republicans stayed ahead of Democrats, 865,187 to 793,105. In early voting, they trailed Democrats 783,416 to 839,572.

State mail-in figures for Palm Beach County show Democrats lead GOP voters 50,954 to 30,159. Early-voting stats, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, show 59,498 Democrats and 35,264 Republicans.

 

 

Your own kitty for four bucks!

kittens4-langloisFor the cost of a cat toy, you can have a kitten of your own.

Through Nov, 30, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control will charge only $4 to adopt a cat or kitten at its overflowing shelter.

Cats will be spayed or neutered and microchipped and will have the most current vaccinations. You also will get a free bag of cat food and a follow-up health care certificate worth $500.

Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Animal Care and Control is at 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.  Call 561-233-1200 or visit www.pbcgov.com/animal.

Palm Beach County Commission to hear ballpark update

palm-beach-county-logoAn update on the progress of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the West Palm Beach major league baseball complex, is on the agenda for today’s meeting of the Palm Beach County Commission.

The $144 million complex is set to open in March until for spring training, when it will host the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

Palm Beach County Commission Meeting:

When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Public comment at 2 p.m. 

Where: Sixth-floor chambers, Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.