More Sunrise Sleeze: Rosen Works For Garbage Dump Man

 BY BUDDY NEVINS

 Sunrise Deputy Mayor Don Rosen owns a company which has “a business relationship” with the man seeking to build a garbage transfer station in his city, according to a city document.

don rosen

Don Rosen

Rosen, who has been the most outspoken commissioner lobbying for the project, does work for Ace Waste Services, which is owned by one of the same waste executives behind the Sunrise waste proposal Jim Feeley Jr.

“James Feeley Jr. is a principal in one of the entities that owns GREEN (Now LLC), and he is also the principal and owner of ACE which has a business relationship with Deputy Mayor Rosen’s business,” City Attorney Stuart Michelson explained in a November 3 letter to the state Ethics Commission.

Green Now LLC is the firm seeking to build the Sunrise waste project.

The Michelson letter, obtained by Browardbeat.com, confirmed a charge Commissioner Sheila Alu made at the recent commission meeting.  She said Rosen and Mayor Roger Wishner were in the pocket of those who wanted to build the waste transfer station.

Michelson wrote the letter supposedly to find out whether Rosen can vote on the Sunrise project.  But the city attorney seems to have made up his mind before receiving an ethics opinion.

Michelson bends over backwards  in his  three-page letter, repeatedly stating reasons why Rosen should be allowed to vote.

Since the project appears to have the support of  Wishner and Commissioner Larry Sofield, Rosen is the potential third vote needed to approve  it.

Rosen also was a key vote to hire Michelson without taking bids from other attorneys.  

“Mr. Feeley is an officer and director of ACE, and Deputy Mayor Rosen is an officer and director of EVETON, and there is no direct business relationship between Mr. Feeley and Deputy Mayor Rosen, or ACE and Deputy Mayor Rosen.  Accordingly, there would not seem to be a conflict…” Michelson wrote.

The commission’s Chief Assistant General Counsel C. Christopher Anderson III agreed with Michelson in a letter dated November 16.  He wrote that Rosen can vote on the waste project because it is a separate corporate entity from the firm Rosen’s firm does business with.

Regardless of what the toothless Ethics Commission staff attorney says, politically this deal stinks.

And there are other agencies out there who might be interested in this seemy deal — the State Attorney’s Office?  The FBI?

I warned voters about Rosen before he was re-elected. Not only does he have a questionable past of alleged harassment of women in law enforcement, but this is the guy who lied to the public about having a college degree and has never changed his story.

I don’t believe Don Rosen has the moral fiber to be a commissioner.  

Rosen is doing everything he can to facilitate construction of a garbage dump in Sunrise….for a guy he does business with.  

Now we know the backstory.

15 thoughts on “More Sunrise Sleeze: Rosen Works For Garbage Dump Man”

  1. Now that Stuart has shown that Rosen and Feeley are connected, look into Wishner’s affiliation with Feeley. Look at the Campaigne contributions as well. If Ilene Lieberman is trying to sell the ILA renewal to the cities, then why is Stuart helping Feeley with a facility that will take tonnage away from the ILA and cost taxpayers tens of millions in revenue. I think that Ilene and Stuart need to do the right thing for the Citizens of Browar County.

  2. Buddy, he was cleared to vote by the State. An elected should vote on stuff they don’t have a conflict with. The state said he doesn’t have a conflict, according to what you are writing.

    If deemed to not have a conflict, it is his responsibility to vote.

    Tell me where I am wrong; if not ruled a conflict, are you saying he should purposefully avoid voting on an issue in his city.

    Putting all emotions aside and personal feelings, I believe legally he has to vote.

    I await your thoughts, Buddy.

    FROM BUDDY: He was cleared to vote by a staff attorney who’s opinion was prompted by the city attorney.

    The Ethics Commission has never issued an opinion on Rosen.

    Politically, he should not vote. Take a walk. Don’t attend the meeting.
    Or vote against it.

    Rosen’s involvement with one of the principals of the deal is just more inside dealing and sleeze coming from Sunrise City Hall. There has been 40 years of this going on in Sunrise since the era of Mayor John Lomelo, who served time for extortion.

    In the past few years, the city has:

    *Handed a no-bid city attorney contract to Stuart Michelson, the husband of County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman. This same Michelson was the treasurer of the mayor’s campaign and had done private legal work for two of the commissioners — Wishner and Alu.

    *Agreed to pay Michelson more than almost any other city attorney in Broward, according to the Miami Herald.

    *Michelson immediately ruled that Wishner to become mayor without having to hold an election.

    *Raised their own salaries right after the election.

    *Allowed overbuilding and questionable construction projects to spring up all over Sunrise, including between the Sawgrass Expressway and The Everglades.

    *Had a mayor who lobbied for a developer at the same time the developer was seeking approvals in Sunrise.

    *Had an elected official who is alleged to have received a favorable deal from a developer on a unit.

    *Had a garbage firm hire detectives to follow and harass a commisisoner when she suggested the firm’s contract be bid for the first time in at least three decades.

    I could go on and on.

    Is there something in the water at Sunrise City Hall that makes it one of the most corrupt cities in Broward County?

  3. Like the school board commentary, te City of Sunrise needs comprehensive ethics reform. There are times when something may be technically legal, but the appearance of and potential for impropriety simply are out of bounds for what we expect from our elected officials. This is a perfect example.

    Here Rosen runs a company and is virtually the only employee I suspect (not including family).
    Feeley’s company hires Rosen’s company (and we will need to see what he actually does for them and how much money flowed).

    Then, Green Now has the aforethought to set up a corporate structure that has Feeley as an ultimate owner but is a different corporate name.

    Even if legal, how many times do you think these two have spoken about this project? How many times are the implications of the project getting approved discussed in the veiled innuendo of their existing contracts under different corporate names? How much money has Feeley’s companies paid Rosen’s company over the years? How many times has Feeley paid for a meal, under the guise he was taking Everton executive to dinner, not a sitting City Commissioner that would be voting on an issue.

    The first issue to be addresses on the 23rd is disqualifying Rosen from voting on the Green Now project. If he votes on that project, his career as an elected official is coming to an end — but maybe, he already knows that and wants to go out helping friends.

  4. When does Rosen run for re-election?

    Does Wishner or any of his companies have or had a relationship with any Feeley companies? What about Sofield, same question? was that in the documents you got

    FROM BUDDY: The documents only refer to Rosen. Alu alleges that Wishner and Feeley are personal friends. Wishner was in the medical waste business in the past.

  5. Pardon the suggestion, but exactly what exactly is the attraction between the voters of Sunrise and guys like Don Rosen? Why do those voters insist on electing people of this caliber to represent them? Are there not higher quality people in that city willing to serve the public? What exactly goes on in Sunrise anyway?

  6. We have a crisis of faith in our government. Suspicion and conspiracy theories dominate Sunrise thinking (and the blogs) because they have lost faith in the merits of their own beliefs. For too long, Sunrise has been an example for less-than-good governance, where residents question what is the underlying purpose for a vote, or who is trying to benefit, rather than the merits of the decision. From the crisis in faith grows the saplings of suspicion.

    There are wonderful people in Sunrise who work and play and want the best for their businesses, families, and residents. Their faith in government is challenged and, as a result, their desire to participate in government naturally wanes against the tide of perceived inevitability.

    It seems that Feeley is an ultimate benefactor of the vote upcoming regarding this garbage issue and Feeley is the principal of a company that pays Rosen’s company. You ask, isn’t that enough to abstain from voting or for Rosen to even provide a public disclosure (rather than this being disclosed by Buddy getting documents from someone)? Well, not so fast.

    If the opinions of the City Attorney and the Commission are correct and it is OK to have the relationships outlined while promoting and voting on the project, then there is a problem with the current ethics rules and laws — toothless rules (as Buddy says) combined with smart lawyering gets public officials around the spirit of the rules.

    Sometimes, as been said, it may be legal, but we expect more of our government. Sometimes, it is just wrong, even if legal. Sometimes, in a crisis of faith, we have to choose a higher ideal to find the right path.

    For the sake of our faith in government, Rosen should announce publicly that he will abstain from voting on the issue.

  7. Will this be the first test of Satz’ public announcement of his office’s commitment to ferreting out government corruption or to at least look into issues that smell?

  8. Come out, Come out, whereever you are!

    Tell us, what do you think of the project now? Still ok how this is shaping up? Or because you worked for Rosen’s campaign are you still going to write pieces supporting this project and defending his actions? Are you ever going to be objective and at some point denounce Rosen for anything he has done? I dont mean that other stuff (like the allegations of the degree he doesnt have but said he did or the sexual stuff as a police office all brought up in that campaign last year — who knows if any of that is true or not and who cares anyway — you wrote on how that sexual stuff was a bunch of nonsense).

    You think this is OK for Sunrise? If so, then you not watching sunrise very carefully or you have a reason to look the other way.

  9. Deputy Mayor Rosen:

    Good morning. Buddy has written a very interesting piece. I assume you will begin working on a response to put all this rubbish in context. (Hey, that was a play on words. Funny.) Anywho, surely, Commissioner Alu will have some pointed comments at the next Commission meeting (heck, she may even suggest you have a conflict and should not be able to vote on the topic). I bet that meeting will be well-attended, as you really cant make up this type of material for TV. Well, actually, on reflection, I guess when it comes to the garbage business, it does seem a bit trite to have allegations associated government malfeasance. Oh, on that TV thing, careful, all the meetings are on line so the inquiries made of you at the meeting by those trying to take advantage of this latest controversy will have your responses for posterity. Darn internet.

    Remember, you can say you are just a victim of bored bloggers and those with an agenda (like those interested in transparency and open-government — they are so dogmatic and do not understand the complexities of running campaigns and big City).

    When you get ready to rebut the implications of Buddy’s piece (which I think you should do directly since I am sure you are a man not afraid of answering questions directly), I think it might be wise to answer a few other questions directly. A note of caution, if you do not provide answers, well … , your silence may raise even more questions. For now, you will not be able to use that interesting strategy of saying the State Attorney’s office prohibits you from talking about it (That really worked well in the campaign when people were asking you pesky questions about that degree and you were able to say “hey, love to tell if I did have that degree that I said I had, but the State Attorney’s office said I am not supposed to talk about it”). At any rate, probably best to just get these out of the way and that way the news cycle on this story will die its own death. Who reads these blogs anyway? I don’t.

    Here are the questions, the answers to which you should include in your public statements:

    1. Deputy Mayor Rosen, please tell us what Eveton does for ACE Waste and how much Eveton has been paid by ACE Waste over the past 5 years?
    [Go ahead and explain all the hard work Eveton has done for ACE. Also, might be good to put in context when you show there are hundreds of employees doing lots of stuff for lots of companies. So, to shut the critics up, go ahead and talk about the percentage of gross revenue from ACE or other Feeley companies and how many employees it supports. Oh yea, are any of those employees Sunrise employees, other than family (which you should list out)? The more you can show the more it shows you are supporting Sunrise. And, contrast that with the number of family members on the payroll.]

    2. Deputy Mayor Rosen, has Feeley ever given you anything of value, whether or not you were obligated to disclose it under Florida law? [Careful about this one because Feeley seems to have owned this property for awhile and likely bought it with this very use in mind. If he took you to dinner or for a meal at an expensive restaurant, probably will want to include that in the list of things of value. Heck, if you decided afterward to reimburse him be sure and include that because that will be a win in your column -- you could have just ignored the rules but you didn't. Like I said, watch the setup though.]

    3. Deputy Mayor Rosen, have you ever discussed this project with Feeley and if so when? [Remember, nothing wrong with that. Be careful though when giving the dates you met with him or talked to him about it if those correspond to dates in question 4 -- there could be other pesky problems with that].

    4. Deputy Mayor Rosen, have you ever been at a gathering with Feeley and other Commissioners from the City of Sunrise? If so, when and who else was there? [This one is a bit sketchy, I agree. I mean, if you went to dinner with Feeley and other commissioners happened to be in the same town or building or even restaurant, does that count? Tough distinctions, I agree. But probably best to use the standard where the others were at the same table with you two or you traveled in the same car with the other Commissioners or you spoke to them together. That would be the safest.]

    5. Have you ever spoken to the other Commissioners directly or indirectly. [Yea, I was thinking the same thing ... indirectly? What's that mean? I think, again the wisest course here is to err on the side of full disclosure. So, if you sent a message through someone (like maybe the City Manager or other City staff or someone else) you expected to get delivered to another Commissioner, that would be a good disclosure to make. Dont worry about the answer, it will show how you are very aware of the Sunshine laws and constantly working hard for the City.]

    6. [Oh yea, here is a good one for you to show open government.] Will Eveton or any company you are associated with ever work for any Feeley companies going forward?

    7. [This is a tougher one because no one wants to bring any one else in to this cesspool of allegations, but probably smart to do so. The only thing, be careful, Phyllis Hope tried to implicate other elected officials by outing Sheila Alu on tht boat trip thing (you know Sheila right, she is the one 2 seats over), but turned out Sheila was coooperating with the FBIs -- pretty funny huh]. Do you know of any other Commissioners who have met with Feeley regarding this project and did they ever get anything of value (or did you ever hear they got something of value — see question #2)

    8. Can you outline once and for and all why this is a terrific project for the City of Sunrise? [Buddy has asked it a number of times. Repetitive, I know. Show how much revenue Sunrise will get or how it will lower garbage rates for the City. Some say it will have no financial benefit. Careful about over stating it by the way. We are still living with that Tao problem].

    9. What do you say to the little businesses and the school located right on the property line and why should they support this project? [This question is a good one. Those folks at the Mosque got that on-line petition going and they are getting international attention to the issue. Hey, that's it! Show that you are supporting Sunrise but getting people all over the world to know a bit about Sunrise. Ignore Tamarac. They are a bunch of whiners. Who is gonna listen to them and they can threaten litigation all they want, Sunrise NEVER runs from a good fight you tell them!]

    10. [Last question. This is a good one.] When do you announce your re-election bid? [This is a real opportunity to show you are not scared of continuing your platforms and running the City like it has always been run. If you shy from this one, you will give someone out there the thought you might be vulnerable. This, I say, is a real opportunity to show what you are all about!]

    Good luck and let me know if need any other guidance on these issues.

  10. This city needs all-new leadership.
    The old guard represented by Wishner, Rosen, Sofield (who was hand picked by Wishner)and Scuotto must be turned out for new commissioners. They represent themselves, not the Sunrise residents.
    Where are the blacks and Hispanics? Where is a resident from east of University Drive? This is not a city commission, but an elite group of west Sunrisers who enrich themselves at the public’s expense.
    Alu appears to be the only honest one

  11. Maybe someone should check out the funds spent on Rosen’s campaign to win reelection, including the PAC funds. Feeley spent big $$$ to make sure Rosen won. We all heard him yell at the victory celebration that he had his contract with that win.

    Buddy, it’s time to check this guy’s (FEELEY) past! He is very sleezy and has a nasty mouth.

  12. Leave poor Don alone. What good is being in government if you cant help your friends.

    For those wondering how Sunrise can keep reelecting people like him, leave them alone too. Look at what a smart guy he is. “I have a company that gets paid lots of money by another company owned by Feeley. But, this new land deal has different company names. So, see it is different and not like voting for the company that pays me lots of money.” He must be smart because the City Attorneys agree with him.

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