Sheriff Scott Israel’s Massive Blunder






It took Sheriff Scott Israel less than two weeks to stumble.

When Israel publicly embraced the felonious former sheriff Ken Jenne at Broward Sheriff’s headquarters this week, he made a political blunder of spectacular proportions.

Spectacular because of the timing, roughly a week after Israel was sworn in as sheriff.

Spectacular because Israel doesn’t realize that the sheriff shouldn’t associate openly a felon. The felon, Jenne, did time in a federal pen after pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud conspiracy– crimes committed while sheriff.

Sheriff Scott Israel: Associating with a felon


Am I making too much of this?

My wife ran into a friend at the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Show.  This woman brought up Brittany Wallman’s story in the Sun-Sentinel about Jenne’s visit to BSO, which I hadn’t read yet.  She said she almost spit up her coffee when she read it.

Then a friend of mine called as I walked around the show. He had also read the story and said he was sorry he voted for Israel.

A third friend called before I left the show.  He had just read the story and said Jenne’s visit was a “disgrace.”

It’s a disgrace is that Israel is so clueless about public perceptions.

It’s a disgrace is that Israel cadre of political advisers – at least four I can think of  were newly hired by the sheriff,  including his chief counsel Ron Gunzburger and chief-of-staff Lisa Castillo – didn’t warn him not to invite Jenne into the BSO HQ.

The disgrace is that Israel sent absolutely the worst possible message to his deputies: That is okay to openly associate with a felon.

“The man was the sheriff of Broward County and wanted to congratulate me,” Israel explained to the Sun-Sentinel. “You can’t even remotely put this into the same classification as the Bill Lewis type thing. It’s completely different [than] saying hi,”

Lewis was a campaign worker for the man Israel beat, Sheriff Al Lambert. A convicted felon, Lewis’ relationship with the Lamberti was criticized in Israel campaign ads.

The difference between these two felons:  Lewis broke federal drug laws as a private citizen.  Jenne used his secretary and other BSO employees for his own gain while in office.

The real difference: Lewis supported Lamberti.  Jenne was a behind-the-scenes adviser for the Israel campaign.

Apparently certain felons are the right type of felon in Scott Israel’s new Broward Sheriff’s Department.

49 Responses to “Sheriff Scott Israel’s Massive Blunder”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Ponder it this way…

    If Bill Lewis visited the BSO HQ, maybe he could bring along some Lysol to help clean up the joint.

  2. Bob Lehrman says:

    Lighten up !–mail fraud, tax evasion are hardly crimes that warrant this kind of attention..He served his time. It shouldnt be elevated to the level that he has to stay away from friends. It must be a slow news day. Give Scott a chance to make a difference before you do a hatchet job on him.


    I like Jenne personally. I’ve seen him several times in the past few years.

    Mail fraud and tax evasion are among the charges most used in political corruption cases. According to today’s Sun-Sentinel, “prosecutors said he used his position as sheriff to exploit his secretaries, friends and business associates for his own gain, then failed to report the income he received from it.”

    I differ with you when you write these are “hardly crimes.”

    More than anybody else because he is usually politically astute, Jenne should have known how his visit would look to some in the public.

    My bottom line: The sheriff should be held to a higher standard than other politicians. It is similar to another part of law enforcement — a judge.

  3. no felons please says:

    extreme poor judgement, and ignorance of the law. felon is a felon. sworn officers and elected officers should know better, regardless of this heading BSO
    didn’t jenne loose his law license as well?
    couple more mis-steps like this and the newbie sheriff will be a one termer, and lamberti will come back as a Dem to claim his crown and badge!

    FROM BUDDY: Yes, Jenne lost his license to practice law.

  4. Real Deal says:

    Nobody gives a shit about this.

  5. cmon says:

    Was there this outrage when Larry Smith was head of govt affairs for a major local law firm? I wonder if the world is a gasp when he is lobbying Congress or the State Capital. I don’t see much difference between either, except Ken went to visit as opposed to Smith who is making a buck.

  6. What about joe eggs says:

    I heard Joe Felon Eggletion was being led around the Country building recently by Judy Stern and her close girlfriend Lois like it was the return of a conquering hero. Say what you want about Jenne, he may have been a tax cheat but he never took cash for votes.

  7. Sam The Sham says:

    Lucky for Israel he is still on his honeymoon with the average low information voter. This Jenne thing is really a disgrace. He was a corrupt public official who should be permanently blackballed from government, especially anything to do with law enforcement or criminal justice.

    By the way, many BSO deputies are also outraged about this and they remember Jenne’s Powertrack management style which nearly destroyed BSO.

  8. no felons please says:

    felons can’t run for elected office.
    likely can’t vote either.
    a new day at BCC coming as old timers are term limited (jacobs 2014, gunzburger 2014, wexler 2016, ritter next)
    you really think any newcomer others will risk their position of power to even talk to these ex-cons?

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    That’s known as moral relativism.

    Look it up.

  10. please says:

    Joe Eggs was lucky he got caught on one dirty deal. How anyone who could have trusted a man that when teaching at Dillard High had sex with and impregnated a student. This guy should not only be banned from the Governmental Center but from anywhere children are present.

    Hopefully while he was in prison someone played teacher and innocent student with him.

  11. Broward Watch says:

    Now you have two Sheriff’s that have been arrested. Israel is a compulusive liar and let’s not forget he was ARRESTED too. So you have a current Sheriff that loves to talk shit and use every disgraceful and unethical tactic in the book besides being a hypocrit to his advantage hanging out with a disgraced arrested former Sheriff. Israel is a disgrace to the position, has no ethica boundaries and thinks people are stupid. He thinks reporters are idiots. He made Coleman-Wright flat out lie in her press release today. There is no policy stating it’s okay for current Deputies or Sheriff to be able to associate with a felon no matter who it is…. This is just the tip of the iceberg for dumb ass Israel decisions. Thus guy has no idea what he doing!!!

  12. Lamberti is garbage says:

    If Lamberti would have assisted in a sheriff transition maybe Jenne would not be in that situation. Lamberti is ten times the criminal Jenne was. Lamberti had a huge part is feeding info to the Feds to get Jenne.

  13. Lamberti is garbage says:

    Lmaberti’s motives were strictly personal with no thought of his hypocritical “pride in service with integrity”. Lamberti has no integrity.

  14. Don't have a Cowan says:

    What happened to Ken Jenne? He had a great career before being appointed Sheriff. First as a college class president, then a prosecutor, elected to the county commission and chosen chair. Then elected to the Florida Senate and engaged in a successful law practice. At that point in his life, he was making $450,000 to $500,000 per year.

    And then appointed Sheriff, he took a pay cut to making less than half. It was a choice he made, no one forced him.

    It is human nature that with most people, the more you make, the more you spend. Ken could not get used to the lifestyle change required to adjust to the great reduction in pay. He got in debt, and made some bad choices. I don’t think he is a bad person. He paid his debt by serving his time. Let’s judge him on what he now does with the rest of his life.

  15. Don Turner says:

    If I read the various reports from Brittany Wallman correctly, Scott Israel was out of the office with the flu around the general time this visit was described as having took place. Wallman had to carefully choose her words by saying “if Jenne went to the fifth floor” because she didn’t know for sure. I would not describe this as “publically embracing” Jenne because nobody really knows what they discussed or if they actually even had a discussion. All Sheriff Israel released was his understanding of why Jenne came by. What does the expression “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” actually mean and how might it have any pertinence here? I have a feeling this event does not rise to the level of “massive blunder” and would guess it might be better considered a “cautious strategy.”

  16. Lamberti is garbage says:

    and lastly….good idea or not, at least they made no secret of it. I would much prefer an open transparent BSO like this. If this happened under Lamberti nobody would ever know because he is so dishonest.

  17. Candice Alphonse says:

    Perhaps it is not an apples to apples analogy but staunch neo-cons were astonished to see the over-the-top warm welcome Bush 43 provided Bill Clinton when he returned to visit the White House. Afterall, Clinton was the only president in modern history to have been impeached. The corrupt Lamberti never let Jenne into the building. Many people working in that building today worked closely with the old, disgraced Sheriff Jenne. There is no doubt in my mind that although he is branded a convicted felon, Jenne possesses intel about historic liaisons that BSO enjoyed with the community which were ignored by Lamberti who was spreading his own version of corruption. It is time to re-unite the entire county. Yes, don’t allow corrupt behavior to ever take place in BSO but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater either.


    Bill Clinton wasn’t convicted. Al Lamberti has never been charged with a crime. Ken Jenne pleaded guilty.

    For Jenne to visit BSO HQ, he needed to get past a security window. He needed to state his business in the building. Scott Israel approved of his visit, if his comments in the Sun-Sentinel are to be believed. If Jenne is getting into the building without Scott Israel’s knowledge, there is another serious problem. Who else is getting into the building?

  18. Maxine Robbins says:

    I have to disagree with you.
    While the political system makes me uncomfortable, hence it us hard to be a fan if “it”, but even convicted felons deserve to participate in any activity permitted once they have served their time.
    I would only want the same chance and should extend it to others.
    Maxine Robbins

  19. just the facts says:

    The comment above on Jenn’s income and perks as an an attorney pre-BSO are correct, but he wanted the ‘power’ that head of BSO brought. I recall discussion and comments from the BCC dais, Parrish in particular, as they discussed the budget and oversight that BSO (and constitutional officer)had become, and that few but Jenne could handle that. Thats why many judges don’t stay judges because the cut in pay from attorney practice makes scaling back difficult for most.

  20. timmy d says:

    Much like Jenne, Scott Israel is also a criminal, he just hasn’t been convicted yet. As you know, he has committed a number of criminal acts, and was “arrested” once before too. Israel, a deadbeat Dad (taken to court and lost twice), with an illegitimate love child used lies and deception, as well as Obama’s re-election to get in office. He will be indicted faster than Jenne was, because he’s nowhere near as smart as Jenne. Hey, maybe Jenne is giving him advice on living in “Club Fed”. Scott’s next home! Coming sooooon!

  21. still worse says:

    Sorry but Joe Eggs being led around by galpals Judy Stern and Lois Wexler at the County building is far worse than Jenne going say hello to someone. Joe is still on house arrest. You know maybe some enterprising journalist should do a Freedom of Information Act request for Joe’s daily log that he has to give to his probation officer. Many would be interested to see who he spends his time with.

  22. elaine says:

    I agree that Sheriff Israel should not have allowed ANY convicted Felon to be in his office.

  23. sorry chaz says:

    Many people cheat on their taxes, Ken got caught and did his time. He was never charged or even accused of stealing money from the agency or doing anything to advance his financial interests at the sacrifice of BSO. As for Eggelletion, being bribed for a vote clearly shows that he used his office to sell his vote. What the Chaits did paying cash for his golf membership implies there was probably a long pattern of such behavior. Ken Jenne hurt himself and his family but never used his position for personal gain, the same cant be said for Eggelletion.

  24. just the facts says:

    to comment 17 by Maxine –
    Clinton was impeached? I knew they held impeachment hearings but the votes didn’t go that way. ? If impeached, wouldn’t he have left office after being impeached?

  25. NP148 says:

    What a great leader is. He was arested and by magic his repremanded reports from Ft. Laud.Poice Dept dissapeared, he had a paternity suit and foreclosures and liens and wow he brags about being a polce chief which had a whole 21 officers and now has the gall to invite the criminal Ken Jenne to visit him. This guy has absolutely no class or dignity and is a known liar and arrogant

  26. Politico says:

    The fact is that people voted party lines and blew the Sheriff’s election. Scott Israel will go down as the worst Sheriff ever because he is unprofessional, lacks ethics, lacks integrity and since his days at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department has always made bad decisions and has does no use good common sense and judgement. I supported Lou Granteed a much more qualified law enforcement professional with the experience to handle teh Sheriff’s job. After monitoring Sheriff Israel and his actions for the past month or so, people are already talking about Sheriff Israel in a negative way and wish Lou Granteed was the Sheriff. Regardless of the election outcome, people will create an opinion of a persons character on how they act and who they surround themselves with. Sheriff Israel has already failed miserably and I don’t feel it will get any better. He was the Chief of a 13 man depertment and has no, notta, none, experience running even a mid-size department. I hope Lou Granteed will consider running in 2016. Scott Israel will be a one term Sheriff is he makes it that long.

  27. Broward DEM says:

    I have to agree with politico. Granteed a well liked and highly qualified Chief in the Sheriff’s Office would give me a better sense of professionalism, integrity and the handling of critical decisions for employees and Broward County. I do agree, voters got this race so wrong.

  28. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    John W. Scott, Inspector General
    Office of the Inspector General
    One North University Drive, Suite 111
    Plantation, FL 33324

    RE: Former BSO Col. Timothy Gillette $340,653 payout

    Dear Sir:

    Can you imagine never being sick in the past 35 years? In case you are wondering, 35 years equates to:

    12,784 days
    1,104,537,600 seconds
    18,408,960 minutes
    306,816 hours
    1826 weeks (rounded down)

    From reports published by WPLG,

    Let’s take the most egregious case, that of Col. Timothy Gillette, who received a whopping $340,000 check on the way out the door, most of it in accrued sick and vacation leave pay. Understand this is above and beyond his pension for life, which is mostly likely in the six figures (he was making $150,000 a year).

    Gillette had served at the agency for more than 30 years and had somehow accrued about 422 sick days and 120 vacation days, according to BSO figures. Deputies get about 12 sick days a year and if they don’t use them, they roll over to the next year. Gillette has obviously been a very healthy fellow; 422 sick days is equivalent to 35 years worth of sick time never taken.

    Deputies can accumulate unlimited sick time on the rationale that a serious illness could befall them at any time and they deserve the days they’ve saved up. That makes sense, but the normal policy, under union agreements, is that when a deputy leaves the agency, he or she receives about 25 percent of the value of those sick days.

    And while former Sheriff Al Lamberti authorized “100% of the payout”, I seriously question the arithmetic behind Gillette’s $340,653 payout.

    Therefore, I respectfully request the Broward Office of Inspector General investigates this matter.


    The Genius

  29. Don't have a Cowan says:

    @ 19, you are right about the power thing. One thing I failed to mention, when Jenne went to BSO, one consideration was how it would pump his pension. If he could just serve one term, he could pump up the value of all those years as a legislator at the Sheriff rate, a windfall indeed. But he could not give up the power and in the end he lost his big paying job, his law ticket and his freedom and his pension.

  30. just the facts says:

    I didn’t realize that the BSO time would have contributed to the pension he fought so hard for after getting out, and thankfully was NOT entitled to.
    So no wonder he needs to ‘consult’. SS is all he will be getting right? Like the rest of us. Hard to believe he couldn’t slog thru those 4 short years (1 term) and bounce back to private practice. No discipline, in spite of all the perks he enjoyed as sheriff.

  31. Sanity Speaking says:

    Dear #24 (Just the Facts)above:
    Bill Clinton was “impeached” when he was charged and brought before Congress. You like many misunderstand impeachment, thinking that it is the removal from office. Being charged and tried is impeachment.
    As an aside, Clinton was also disbarred by the Arkansas bar as a result of false testimony he gave in a civil matter.
    Finally, Buddy I thought that Tim (a/k/a Chaz)Stevens had a limit to posting only once per article. For a guy who claims to be cleaning up Broward he sure has a lot of time on his hands to be chronically posting on here.

  32. Floridan says:

    Genius – My father worked for his employer for over 30 years without taking a day of sick leave. It can be done.

  33. Christine says:

    #28 is referencing the investigational work of Bob Norman.

  34. Fred Smith says:


    Former Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti says the payouts he authorized to the mostly high-ranking pals who left the sheriff’s office with him earlier this month were justified by policy and past precedent.

    He may be correct, but that doesn’t make the $4.8 million in payouts to about 50 deputies right.

    Let’s take the most egregious case, that of Col. Timothy Gillette, who received a whopping $340,000 check on the way out the door, most of it in accrued sick and vacation leave pay. Understand this is above and beyond his pension for life, which is mostly likely in the six figures (he was making $150,000 a year).

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    Gillette had served at the agency for more than 30 years and had somehow accrued about 422 sick days and 120 vacation days, according to BSO figures. Deputies get about 12 sick days a year and if they don’t use them, they roll over to the next year. Gillette has obviously been a very healthy fellow; 422 sick days is equivalent to 35 years worth of sick time never taken.

    Deputies can accumulate unlimited sick time on the rationale that a serious illness could befall them at any time and they deserve the days they’ve saved up. That makes sense, but the normal policy, under union agreements, is that when a deputy leaves the agency, he or she receives about 25 percent of the value of those sick days.

    In this case Lamberti authorized 100 percent payouts for Gillette and the rest of the upper brass who were ousted as a result of the regime change at BSO, a decision that deprived taxpayers of about $3 million and made several deputies very happy.

    Among them, in no particular order:

    Lt. Col. Louis Cavallo: $133,940

    Dir. Jim Leljedal $120,482

    Capt. Stanley Hodgman $100,043

    Capt. James Fondo $142,956

    Chief Scott Gooding $136,332

    Capt. Andrew Koerick $116,228

    Col. Timothy Gillette $340,653

    Lt. Col. Richard Reilly $143,005

    Maj. Larry Rogers $175,471

    Maj. John Nesteruk $137,675

    Chief John Bukata $121,193

    Asst. Dir. Debra Lesniak $112,695

    Maj. Randy Smith $105,387

    Capt. Milton Wiener $148,135

    Chief Peter Sudler $122,450

    Col. James Wimberly $173,956

    These are just the payouts that went into the six figures (Lamberti himself bagged $52,286) and they’re above and beyond whatever pensions these officers will receive.

    Wimberly was the former director of the jail who stood at the side of Lamberti when he cut the pay of rank-and-file deputies over budget concerns.

    Now these payouts have left a hole in the budget for new Sheriff Scott Israel, who railed against the payouts not just because they seemed excessive, but because they represent special treatment for the top brass and left him a sizable hole in his new budget.

    It’s perfectly legal, such payouts are done at the sheriff’s discretion, and Lamberti pointed out that past sheriffs, including Ken Jenne, have given similar payouts. Let’s hope Israel will put an end to the special treatment that can only leave taxpayers feeling a little sick.

  35. @chaz says:

    Chaz- youre probably wrong on this one. When I worked for a government agency, my total “sick” time reflected more than sick hours. Vacation was capped and hours over the cap swept into your sick time. I understand that is a common practice.

  36. Poor Judgment says:

    This is truly a massive blunder. I am still in shock one would use such poor judgement..

  37. Humpty Dumpty says:

    Someone should keep a close eye on ron gunzberger- he politics during working hours and has done that all along. Lori allowed it, Markham allowed it. will the highest law enforcement officer in the county allow it????

  38. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    I may be right, I may be wrong, but the question begs to be asked… by folks who have investigatory powers…

    When I spoke to the OIG last month, I was told since its inception, they’ve received 350 tips/complaints, of which 30 or so were from me. They also told me, “keep ’em coming, we like doing business with you.”

    Pretty much the same thing I just heard from the SAO.

    So here’s a real world suggestion. When you read about some bad crap happening, act on it. Don’t just comment. Don’t just take cheap pot shots. Get off your ass and do something about it.

    And when someone does something about it, give them props. Thank them for trying to make OUR community a better place — well, assuming you live around these parts.

    Get off your ass. Get in the game. Stop fucking whining, bitching, moaning, complaining, belly aching, menstruating…

  39. Don't have a Cowan says:

    @just the facts,

    Ken had 4 years at state attorneys office and 18 in the legislature. Lets say his pay as a state senator was at 35k. for the part time job. It is all in the state pension plan so 22 years at 3% would be 66% of 35k would be $23,000 a year pension. When he became sheriff for nine years it became 22years plus 9 or 31 years X 3% or 93% of $170,000 or $158,000 for life plus cola’s.

    This is why many legislators fight for County jobs or other high paying state jobs because they can “pump” the pensions and get credit for the years at low pay at the new jobs higher rate. As long as it was a city, county or state job in the State pension plan, it all counts. That is one of the reasons Ilene Lieberman tried to get elected Judge.

  40. robbed again says:

    @Fred Smith –
    thank you for the post on the hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars the ex-sheriff has gleefully handed out.
    as usual we don’t get what we pay (in) for, and there’s nothing we can do about it or clawback.
    its just business as usual and has probably been the case after any sheriff is defeated. But therein is the justice -al was defeated. likely will never have as good and powerful a gig and even the Gov. passed him over for the prison chief he wanted.
    he can continue to live in broward driving his very own personal vehicle watching all the BSO staff drive around and enforce our laws, just like the rest of us. And whenever his name appears in print or is mentioned, it likely will not be followed by praise and accolades. Sorry for the shortage in operating capital Israel may now have, and who knows what else the audit will turn up from the last 4 years. Can we change the charter for this constitutional office so payouts like this cease? I’ll bet the proeprty appraiser and SOE heads can do the same thing for their ‘loyal staff’ when they are voted out of office.

    Buddy if you have more info please share.

  41. Harrison says:

    Brief comment on Felon’s. They can and have run for Public Ofice once their rights have been restored. Those that want to point a finger at any Felon, usally has something to hide themselves and have not been caught. Hundreds of French Felons fought for America in the War of 1812-14. Check your History! Andrew Jackson had no problem associating with them.

  42. Wow says:

    @Dont have a Cowan:

    You sure seem to know alot about how the governmental system works, and I always see you taking pot shots at our past, present, and future politicians. Got a chip on your shoulder?

  43. Timmy Stevens Ain't No Genius says:

    Of the thirty or so complaints, how many were found to be baseless?
    How many apology letters have you written as a result of your baseless allegations?
    In the above instance, it seems as though since you disagree with policy, and have no facts of wrongdoing you are obliged to lodge a complaint and request an investigation.
    In regards to the agency telling you to keep them coming; they figure that if they didn’t get all of your false allegations, pehaps they would not be needed?

  44. SNM says:

    Even though I predict Al Lamberti will be back, I didn’t anticipate Scott Israel would make it so easy for a Lamberti come-back. By embracing Ken Jenne, it was like saying, “Hey, Al Lamberti never really left!”

  45. dumbass says:

    For all of you hoping and thinking Lamberti is going to return, think about this…

    Does a Sheriff give a $350k payout to an underling for sick time if her is ever going to run again. For that the one above plus 4.7mil.

    Maybe it was legit on paper but Al Lamberti just stole 5mil from BSO. Hopefully he will be paying for his crimes one day too. Then was can talk about why he shouldn’t be allowed in the building.

    Didn’t you hear, Al aint running, its Neal Dejesus.

  46. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Lamberti didn’t “give out” payouts of unused sick leave, vacation, etc, this practice is specified in BSO’s Administrative Code, which was developed many years before Lamberti, vetted properly, and prescribed by Law. You people are some real dumb f***s.

  47. anonymous says:

    I’m SHOCKED that this story was not picked up by one of the TV stations. (Then again, I don’t watch all of them.) It’s a GREAT story, Buddy. Israel already bringing back the old boys club. And a convicted felon at that!


    TV is all about the visuals. No visuals. Usually no story.

  48. The Truth says:

    The Truth is that Israel is prepared by experience for the job. The Truth is that most Israel ever achieved as to run a small town’s police department in Miami. The Truth is that Israel won’t last four years. That is the Truth.

  49. North Broward Resident says:

    Will Scott not enforce federal gun laws? Martin County Sheriff, Bill Snyder said that he will not enforce federal gun laws.
    Growing List of Sheriffs Saying ‘NO’ to Obama Gun Control.
    Sheriff Frank McKeithen – Bay County, Florida,Sheriff Mike Scott – Lee County, Florida.
    Or will he listen to his PUPPET MASTER KEN J.?