Sunrise Commissioner Don Rosen’s Sleazy Campaign

BY BUDDY NEVINS


I guess Sunrise Commissioner Don Rosen forgot the proverb: “If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones?

Why else would he allow his supporters to run sleazy ads when he is such a deeply flawed candidate himself?


The ads, from an “independent committee,”  attack challenger James DePelisi’s integrity. The say DePelisi had a civil securities law violation in 1999 in Missouri.

Rosen shouldn’t attack anybody’s integrity.
Rosen was fired as a police officer for sexually harassing women that he pulled over in his squad car, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Rosen also lied about his past, saying he graduated college when he didn’t, said the same newspaper.

Nice record to run on.

Rosen has never publicly admitted wrong doing, as far as I know.

Voters can choose:

A 10-year-old civil securities violation in another state — DePelisi.

Or a record of sleaze right here in west Broward – Rosen.

Here is the Sun-Sentinel story about Rosen:

DOUBTS STILL DOG COMMISSIONER – QUERIES LINGER ABOUT HIS PAST AFTER ELECTION

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – Monday, May 9, 2005
Author: Jeremy Milarsky Staff Writer


It was a long, tough re-election campaign for one of this town’s politicians, and now that it’s over — well, it’s not really over.

City Commissioner Don Rosen keeps getting asked questions, many from his former election opponent, about his past. And it’s at least partially affecting Rosen’s present; he recently stood silent during a public meeting when a constituent asked him whether he had lied during his campaign.

“This is about constantly having to try to vindicate myself,” he said. “Everyone’s got misconceptions of me at this point.”

It all started during the campaign, when former commission candidate Jim DePelisi questioned whether Rosen, running for his second term, lied on the city’s Web site and on campaign materials about earning a degree from a New York college more than 30 years ago.

Rosen, 58, insists he did earn a bachelor’s degree from Queens College.

Recently, however, a spokeswoman for the college said, “He did not receive a degree at any time from Queens College.”

Last month, DePelisi, 38, raised the issue of Rosen’s brief stint as a police officer for Hacienda Village , in the Davie area, which the state abolished in 1984.

Rosen was fired in 1981, after less than a year on the job, after two women accused him of sexually harassing them during traffic stops, according to Rosen’s personnel file.

DePelisi requested Rosen’s old personnel file seven days after Rosen defeated him in the March election by a 3-2 margin. He paid $9 to the Town of Davie for copies, and then shared the information with some of Rosen’s political allies, including Commissioner Sheila Alu.

“It’s 20-year-old information,” she said. “I’m not responsible for doing a background investigation on my colleagues.”

However, Mayor Steve Feren said, “I think he needs to address these things. They’re troubling.”

Rosen reacted with anger when he learned news had spread about his time in Hacienda Village . He and his wife, Evelyne, said his career there was marred by a personal conflict with a supervisor.

A former sergeant, Edward J. Manak, said Rosen was the victim of an overzealous police chief who fired at least 35 people during his brief tenure.

“Rosen was a good officer who worked hard,” he said. “The incident with the traffic stop got blown out of proportion.”

Last month, the official spokeswoman for Queens College in New York, Maria Terrone, said college employees had extensively researched Rosen’s brief education there in 1971. Rosen insists that’s incorrect, and has hired an attorney and private investigators to prove it, he said.

Rosen’s attorney, John Voigt of Fort Lauderdale, could not be reached for comment. It is a first-degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida, punishable by up to a year in jail, to knowingly lie about having an academic degree.

“[Rosen's] just trying to sweep it under the rug,” said Martin Miller, a Sunrise Lakes resident who supported DePelisi during the election.

But it’s the legal aspect of the issue that troubles Feren, although he and his staff have said that only a criminal investigative agency, such as the Broward State Attorney’s Office, can perform an official investigation and file charges.

DePelisi, a financial adviser, said he has not filed a complaint with Broward prosecutors, but politically he is not letting Rosen off the hook.

“I vehemently deny that I’m out to witch hunt anybody,” he said. “All I want is for him to admit he lied and apologize.”

But what’s really wrong with Rosen is what’s wrong with the City of Sunrise.

He is on a city commission that is in the pocket of developers.

They are intent on turning west Sunrise into an overcrowded tangle of traffic. They approved skyscrapers looking down on single family homes.

Meanwhile, east Sunrise is deteriorating.

Rosen will probably get re-elected.  That’s sad for Sunrise.

I have no dog in this fight.  I don’t live in Sunrise.

Thank God.



8 Responses to “Sunrise Commissioner Don Rosen’s Sleazy Campaign”

  1. What Does Rosen Offer says:

    I have gone to many Sunrise Commission meetings. Whether you agree or not with the commission members each has a point of view worth listening to. Not Rosen. Basically he just sits there. When he does have something to say it’s usually an off beat comment that he seems to passionately believe in regarding an issue that few if anybody really cares about. So voters in Sunrise really need to ask themselves. What is it really that Mr. Rosen offers them? How can you be mistaken about whether you earned a college diploma? And if he lies about a thing like that and has that little of value to say when he comes to work for the people, then what value is there to keeping him in office. That’s the question I’ve been asking and to be honest I don’t have an answer to that except give someone else a chance to serve.

  2. old planatation says:

    did anyone know Rosen and Petrocelli were used car salesmen who work together. funny how they both are embarrassments to each city but seem to be able to used the use cars sales skills to get elected. speaks volumes to the point of voter apathy and the state of local goverment.

  3. Sunrise resident says:

    You forgot to add that Rosen voted for Stuart Michelson’s big contract. That’s more than $400,000 for taxpayers like me. I’ve lived in Sunrise 10 years and watched the commission on TV or sometimes in person and I’ve never seen Don Rosen do a thing. He’s a zero and a lying zero at that.

  4. Beverly Stracher says:

    Dear Buddy,
    As the campaign manager for Sunrise Commissioner Don Rosen’s campaign, I would like to state for the record (and truth) that neither Don nor myself had any knowledge of the ad concerning his opponent. We are running a campaign on the issues and what is important to the residents of Sunrise. What’s important is that their tax rate has been cut by 23 percent during the past two years, and that with Don’s help Sunrise has the largest revenue-generating tax base in West Broward thanks to comprehensive planned development. The burden is NOT on the residents, who enjoy the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost.
    As far as character, let the record speak for itself: Don published an apology three years ago and even again apologized at a West Broward Democratic Club in January. Has his opponent apologized for what he has done? Or been truthful about where he resides? It is apparent the only thing his opponent has done was switch from a far right Republican to a Democrat so he can dupe the public into believing he is something he is not.
    Every union organization in Sunrise is supporting Don, which includes the Employees, Police and Fire. He also is supported by his colleagues, Mayor Roger Wishner and Commissioner Sheila Alu.
    Don Rosen has a long-record of accomplishments which is public record. Every one of us is not without mistakes. He has apologized for his mistake, and works hard every day for the people of Sunrise. He should not be judged on a single snapshot, but on his long record of dedication, commitment and compassion for the people of Sunrise.

  5. Sunrise voter says:

    Rosen shouldn’t get the vote of one woman in Sunrise because he is apparently a perv. People like that don’t change, they just become dirty old men. I can’t believe female members of the Sunrise political establishment, including I think one commissioner, are backing this Rosen.

  6. Vote For DePelisi says:

    The sun needs to set on Sunrise’s Don Rosen. James DePelisi is a better choice

  7. Weston Dreams says:

    Why are you all picking on Don Rosen, everyone should be allowed to make a living.

  8. Dissapointed says:

    I don’t plan to vote back any of these :in the pocket” commissioners who voted in those dreadful highrises, and are voting in more….if I wanted to live in downtown fort lauderdale, I would have moved there. I can tell you that I am ready to move out of Sunrise now.