December 20, 2017, Broward Health Regular Board Meeting
[Updated 12/21/17: 8:00a.m.]
In an otherwise non-descript regular meeting of the Broward Health Board of Commissioners, an orchestrated kumbaya for Broward Health’s Board with Broward Health’s outside counsels and a senior staff member allegedly representing the employees strangely began the usually silent public comments item at the start of the meeting.
Former Attorney General Bob Butterworth began the public comments by extolling the virtues of the Board, omitting the fact that he is on their payroll and likely being paid for his time. Bob has been my friend ever since he was appointed Mayor of Sunrise, then appointed Sheriff of Broward County, all prior to his election as Attorney General. To be fair, some of his laudatory comments carry some truth, but not for all the board and certainly not for all of the indicted. However, in fairness – he should have made it clear he was praising his bosses.
Next came Mr. Mitchell, another Broward Health outside counsel working with Butterworth who huffed and puffed about how unjust the Grand Jury was to his clients, I couldn’t help but think of Richard Gere singing Razzle- dazzle in the musical Chicago.,
Roxie, you got nothing to worry about.It’s all a circus, kid. A three ring circus.These trials- the whole world- all show business.But kid, you’re working with a star, the biggest!Give ’em the old razzle dazzleRazzle Dazzle ’emGive ’em an act with lots of flash in itAnd the reaction will be passionateGive ’em the old hocus pocusBead and feather ’emHow can they see with sequins in their eyes?
Seemingly to prove his point, he exclaimed in a disingenuous voice – that he had a witness that would vindicate the indicted and that Mike Satz knew about the witness and did not subpoena him to appear before the grand jury. What injustice! Well, what he did not share with those assembled in the meeting was that the witness was indeed invited to appear before the grand jury but refused to do so without immunity. The same was true for Bob Butterworth.
So it begs the question; why wouldn’t they appear without immunity? Well, I think the question answers itself.
The State Attorney, Michael Satz, and his assistant state attorney Tim Donnelly showed remarkable restraint in only indicting those charged with violations of the sunshine laws. I am told that there are currently other matters under investigation and perhaps we will hear more in the near future. That being said, one has to wonder what the purpose of having Broward Health’s outside counsel come to address the board as part of public comments instead of the more dignified, and appropriate time as part of Broward Health’s regular Corporate Counsel’s report. Oh, I forgot, the corporate counsel no longer gives a report. Used to be… but that’s for a future article.
Then the meeting got interesting, starting with the articulate Senator Perry Thurston who wondered out loud why there seem to be some rules if you are black and other rules if you are white.
They justly wondered why the rules for an accused black Broward Health interim CEO who was summerly fired based upon an allegation, a mere investigation – when the current white interim CEO keeps her job after being charged with a crime. I wrote about this in my previous article, so I won’t rehash the argument here. The argument was eloquently stated by State Senator Perry Thurston.
Here’s how the Sun-Sentinel saw the public comments:
Broward Health board attacked after indictments
“The leaders of Broward Health sat stone-faced Wednesday afternoon as several black leaders accused them of hypocrisy for clinging to their positions despite the indictments that shook the public hospital system. Four people at the table — two board members, the general counsel and the interim chief…”
There were a few other curious matters during this meeting into which I need to do some investigation, but I want to post this as quickly as I could so I will end the post here.
Just the public comments portion of the meeting:
The full unedited Board meeting:BH December 20, 2017, Board Meeting Agenda Packet