Tuesday, September 04, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST September 4, 2007

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Best to you!
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The Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Sep. 04, 2007
Jenne to resign, plead guilty to criminal charges

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne -- at one time the county's most powerfulpolitician -- has agreed to resign and plead guilty to federal corruptioncharges involving tens of thousands of dollars he allegedly received fromsheriff's office contractors and employees, sources said Tuesday.After months of personal anguish, Jenne decided Monday to cut the plea dealon tax evasion and other charges to limit his prison time because he alsowas staring at an imminent grand jury indictment on more serious fraud andmoney-laundering offenses, sources said.

The plea agreement means Jenne, who earned $169,800 a year as sheriff, willsurrender to authorities to face tax-evasion related charges as early asWednesday. He will likely serve some prison time -- possibly between one andtwo years -- and have to pay back taxes and fines to the Internal RevenueService, sources said.

Jenne, a lawyer who spent most of his life in public service, also willlikely lose his Florida Bar license and sheriff's pension. The pension isestimated to be about $125,000 a year. His conviction ends the dynamiccareer of a Democratic politician who had formidable clout from FortLauderdale to Tallahassee.

In the plea, Jenne is expected to admit to abusing the public trust, sourcessaid, a concession that will hurt his post-conviction effort to save hispension.

Indeed, it was Gov. Lawton Chiles who appointed the former state senator asBroward sheriff in 1998, drawing snickers from many who questioned his lackof experience in law enforcement. But Jenne's ambition bolstered the agency,which nearly doubled in size -- to a $696 million budget with 6,300employees and 14 cities under its control.

Yet as Jenne's political profile spread across Broward -- with threereelection victories as sheriff -- his financial ambitions would lead to hiseventual downfall. Jenne's career began to unravel in April 2005. Then-Gov.Jeb Bush ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigatethe sheriff after The Miami Herald revealed he had concealed the names ofbusinesses that paid him tens of thousands of dollars for his consultingservices.

The probe led to a federal grand jury case that uncovered Jenne's acceptanceof more than $100,000 in unreported payments from BSO contractors who dobusiness with his agency as well as from his two secretaries.

Jenne's lawyers and the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on theplea agreement, which was brokered in part by a former top federalprosecutor, Thomas Scott, who joined the sheriff's defense team at noexpense last week.

Until the end, Jenne continued to maintain a high profile as Broward's topcop -- especially after the Aug. 10 fatal shooting of a BSO sergeant. Jennetook to the airwaves, including an appearance on America's Most Wanted,urging people to call in tips to help capture the killers.

The seeds for the case were planted in 2005, when The Daily Business Reviewand The Miami Herald began to investigate Jenne's security consulting andoutside income. The investigation revealed Jenne had set up one business,named Havloc, with two of his top commanders, and he also set up anothercompany, Knodishall, primarily to receive the outside income as a thirdparty for reporting purposes on his income-tax returns.

In total, Jenne's businesses reported making $64,000. The sources of thosepayments: a consulting firm, T&M Protection Resources, which advised theSeminole Indian tribe on security matters; and a high-tech company,Innovative Surveillance Technology, which has sold equipment to the BrowardSheriff's Office.

But federal prosecutors Michael ''Pat'' Sullivan and Matthew Axelroduncovered that the sheriff was doing more than moonlighting.

In 2002 and 2004, Jenne allegedly asked his two secretaries, Marian Yoka andAlicia Valois, to cash in their accrued sick and vacation days so that hecould borrow the money from them, according to sources familiar with thetransactions. The money -- totaling more than $10,000 -- was intended to bea loan, but Jenne never repaid the secretaries, sources said.

Jenne also allegedly turned to a developer friend and asked him to lend Yoka$20,000 -- money she gave to the sheriff to help cover his income-tax billin 2004, according to the developer's lawyer. The developer -- PhilipProcacci, who leases three buildings to BSO -- told investigators that hebelieved the loan was intended for Jenne's secretary and was unaware thatshe gave the money to her boss, Procacci's attorney, Edward J. O'Donnell Jr.said.

Jenne repaid the money through Yoka after FDLE investigators began toquestion him about his personal finances in the summer of 2005, according toProcacci's lawyer and law-enforcement sources.

Jenne also allegedly received about $5,500 from the second BSO secretary,Valois, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The secretaryreceived the money as payment for outside work she performed for LewisNadel, the former president of IST, the Broward vendor that had hired thesheriff for security consulting services, sources said.

The grand jury, which issued subpoenas for some 20,000 BSO documents and adozen agency employees, focused on Jenne -- despite the involvement ofothers in his alleged schemes.

Along the way, the IRS joined the investigation.

In August, an IRS agent testified about irregularities in Jenne's finances.Prosecutors questioned the agent about how Jenne allegedly collected morethan $100,000 from sheriff's office contractors and others without reportingit on his recent income-tax returns, several sources said. He also failed toreport much of that outside income on his state ethics disclosure forms for2002-06.

Before the late Gov. Chiles appointed Jenne as Broward sheriff, Jenne hadbeen earning nearly $1 million a year as a law partner with attorney WilliamScherer. Their firm earned up to $2 million a year in legal business fromone client alone, the North Broward Hospital District.

Jenne's tax return for 1998 shows that in his first year as sheriff, heearned $143,415 -- a fraction of his reported income the previous year,$907,486.

Jenne's financial disclosure forms filed with the state ethics commissionshow that since 1998, he had unloaded properties, stocks and other assets tosupplement his earnings as sheriff. His personal debt climbed by $119,000and he cashed out more than $427,000 in assets, his financial records show.

His bank accounts dwindled from $174,424 to $14,723 in 2002, according tohis financial disclosure forms. By 2004, Jenne had sold some RepublicSecurity Bank stock -- valued at $238,329 -- and two Lake Worth properties,together valued at about $120,000.




Sources: Broward Sheriff Jenne to resign, plead guilty in tax case
By Paula McMahon
9:23 AM EDT, September 4, 2007

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne has agreed to resign Tuesday and will pleadguilty to several counts of income tax evasion and mail fraud, sources said.

In a plea agreement reached in the last few days, Jenne agreed to a deal inwhich federal prosecutors will make no recommendation on the sentence heshould face, according to the sources who are familiar with theinvestigation.

However, sentencing guidelines for the charges could range from 18 to 24months in federal prison.

It was not clear early Tuesday when Jenne would appear in court. Butprosecutors were expected to file the paperwork in the morning.

Jenne, who has been Broward County's sheriff since January 1998 and is oneof its most influential politicians, was expected to announce hisresignation later Tuesday.

He has been under investigation for more than two years.

Jenne's attorney, David Bogenschutz, declined to comment early Tuesday.

Erin Isaac, a spokeswoman for Gov. Charlie Christ, said an announcement willbe made later Tuesday on Jenne's replacement. She said no announcement wouldbe made until his resignation was official.


St. Petersburg Times


Sides gird for Fla. budget fight
To erase a deficit, cuts in aid must be made. Not mine is the refrain.
By STEVE BOUSQUET, Tallahassee Bureau Chief
Published September 4, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Florida faces its biggest budget shortfall in two decades, andstate legislators are about to decide who gets hurt and who gets spared.

A downward economic spiral driven largely by a depressed housing market hasslowed the pace of tax collections, leaving a $1.1-billion paper deficit inthe current budget year. As a result, lawmakers must reduce the $71-billionbudget, an exercise that may soon become almost routine.

Projections show the shortfall is $2.5-billion over two years and may extenduntil 2010 and beyond, possibly making the current round of budget-cutting awarmup act for what lies ahead.

New taxes are out of the question in the Republican-dominated Legislature.So a delicate dance is under way as state agency chiefs, universitypresidents, public schools and advocates for the poor, children and elderlywork to shield their programs from the worst of the cuts.

"Everybody's saying the same thing: 'Don't touch me, don't touch me,'" saidSen. Victor Crist, a Tampa Republican who oversees spending for courts,prisons and criminal justice programs.

About two-thirds of the budget is in two primary areas: public education andhuman services. It will be virtually impossible for lawmakers to spare thoseareas from cuts, but those also are the programs with the most vocal andunified political constituencies.

Complicating matters is that legislators can't cut just any program.


The Palm Beach Post


Homeowners laughing at tiny tax cuts
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 03, 2007

When Palm City resident Sally Curtis heard that state legislators changedproperty tax laws this year to lower homeowners' tax bills, she envisionedsavings hundreds of dollars.

Her tax notice arrived in the mail last week with word she would save $83,barely enough to cover a weekly trip to the grocery store.


Lakeland Ledger


Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Young Sexual Offenders May Escape Registry

LAKELAND | Charles Denson had no idea that his physical relationship with a13-year-old girl would get him labeled a sexual offender just days after his18th birthday.

According to a court affidavit, the victim testified that she was not forcedor coerced into having sexual intercourse with Denson. But in 1999, theteenager was still convicted of a lewd act with a child under the age of 16.

The court ordered mental health and drug abuse evaluations and six months inthe Polk County Jail. Denson could not have contact with children youngerthan 18. He could not reside within 1,000 feet of a school, day care centeror place where children regularly congregate. And he had to register as asexual offender every six months.

Now, at the age of 26, a new "Romeo and Juliet" provision in the state lawmay allow him to remove his name from the registry and dispel therestrictions of the sex offender label.

"It's been so long ago," said Denson, shaking his head as he sat in front ofhis mother's Lakeland house. Denson visits there fairly often after he wasforced to live with his grandmother in another part of town because of hisrestrictions.

Denson said in his former neighborhood almost everyone has an in-house daycare.

Denson finished high school with hopes of going to college but thought thesexual offender label would restrict his opportunities. But he hasn't foundentering the workforce to be any easier.


The Dolphin Democrats

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Awards Banquet

Honorary Chair
Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl

Honorary Co-Chairs
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Congressman Ron Klein

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Pier Sixty Six Resort / Hyatt Regency
17th Street Causeway
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Silent Auction / Black Tie Optional / Free Valet Parking / Cocktails
6-7:30pm / Dinner 7:30pm

This is the Dolphin Democrats major fundraiser of the year and will provide support for our 2008 get out the vote center and voter outreach.

You may purchase tickets online and invite others online at: www.dolphindems.org


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