BY BUDDY NEVINS
There was a lot of speculation about former Sheriff Al Lamberti when he showed up at the county commission Tuesday.
At the commission to watch his successor Sheriff Scott Israel beg for a huge funding increase from skeptical commissioners, Lamberti’s appearance immediately triggered speculation among tongue-wagging pols.
Was Lamberti taking the tentative steps to regain the sheriff’s office in three years?
Were eyes fixed on Lamberti when they should have been watching Neal DeJesus, who was sitting next to the former sheriff? DeJesus was fired as part of the purge of Lamberti supporters when Israel took over.
Former Sheriff Al Lamberti (left), Commissioner Barbara Sharief and former Broward Sheriff’s Fire Chief Neal DeJesus. Contrary to this happy scene, Sharief worked for Lamberti’s defeat last year.
In some circles, the former Broward Sheriff’s Office fire chief DeJesus is considered a possible candidate for sheriff in 2016.
Another rumor is that DeJesus will run for Commissioner Lois Wexler’s seat in 2016. He served two years of a four-year term as a Cooper City commissioner from 2008-2010, quitting to take the BSO job.
So far, Israel has done little wrong to justify any candidate challenging him.
Why would anybody believe Lamberti would do any better in an election after four years out of office than in 2012? Even if he switches to a Democrat and runs in a primary as has been discussed (meetings have apparently taken place about this with Lamberti, I am told by three sources.), his chances are not good.
At this point I can’t see anyone beating Scott Israel. He can only beat himself by making some horrendous blunder or having one of his cronies get in trouble.
If I was Israel, it is the later possibility I would watch out for.