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.