Already Under Investigation For Sunshine Law Violations, Broward Health Cancels Public Meeting





It was not enough for the dysfunction Broward Health Board of Commissioners to already be under investigation for violating the Sunshine Law.

Commissioners have decided to spit on the Sunshine Law and those – including the Sun-Sentinel – calling for them to discuss more of the public’s business in public.

Commissioners just cancelled their monthly meeting, the only scheduled event this month to openly discuss the health care system as a group.

The meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, May 31. It is now tentatively scheduled for June.

Apparently the Board of Commissioners can’t even bother to do its one job – the public oversight of Broward Health.

Only commissioners and staff know how much is being done behind closed doors.

The group’s penchant for working out of the Sunshine has already drawn the attention of the State Attorney’s Office. There is an active investigation of possible violations of the Sunshine Law by Board members.

The Broward State Attorney had no comment.

The latest possible Sunshine Law violation was a whopper!

Earlier this month commissioners chose a fellow commissioner to be the CEO of Broward Health. Commissioner Beverly Capasso was named CEO by her colleagues.


Beverly Capasso


The selection was done at a public meeting. But there was so little discussion, the move looked to observers as suspiciously preplanned.

Capasso could be paid as much as $955,000-a-year. “Could be paid” are the operative words. The pay package was glossed over when commissioners suddenly picked Capasso.

“…as so often happens at Broward Health, you get the sense this move was orchestrated behind closed doors,” is how the Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board described the CEO selection.

The newspaper called for commissioners to end the secrecy.

Yet instead of taking the paper’s advice, commissioners cancelled this week’s public meeting.

Because of them – all appointed by Gov. Rick Scott – a lot of business is on hold.

Oh, waiting rooms will still be filled. Patients will still be treated at the four public hospitals and numerous clinics in the northern two third of Broward.

Yet without a Commission meeting, new physicians can’t be appointed to the medical staff. That can only be done at a public meeting.

Costly medical equipment can’t be purchased. That can only be done by commissioners at a public meeting.

Any plan to repair the system’s ailing finances, which are below industry standards, has been pushed off to a future date. Such a plan can be only done at a public meeting.

Part of the problem is Gov. Scott, who has not filled the two Commission vacancies making it harder for the group to reach a quorum to meet.

A much bigger part of the problem is the Commissioners themselves. Anybody who has watched them meet – I sadly have done so– see members who are clearly way, way over their heads.

First things, first.

Commissioners need a crash course in the Government-in-the-Sunshine Law. Maybe if they read about the importance of the law from a fellow conservative Republican, commissioners will start to understand why public business must be done in public.


Pam Bondi


This is from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi:


“Upon learning that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had begun the proceedings by adopting a secrecy requirement, Thomas Jefferson decried their decision as an ‘abominable precedent’ and added: ‘nothing can justify this example but the innocence of their intentions, and ignorance of the value of public discussions.’

“Florida’s constitution and laws unambiguously reflect the open government philosophy underlying Jefferson’s comments. In our state, transparency is not up to the whim or grace of public officials. Instead, it is an enforceable right of the people.

“The benefits of open government are frequently acknowledged—transparency promotes accountability, aids the search for truth, and fosters consistency and fairness in governmental decision making. Fortunately, though, Florida’s laws do not require that open government be justified by reference to these desirable consequences. We live in a state that values open government for its own sake, and for that we should all be thankful.”



Broward Health’s cancellation notice:










4 Responses to “Already Under Investigation For Sunshine Law Violations, Broward Health Cancels Public Meeting”

  1. Broward Unhealth says:

    When is the governor going to sponsor the merger of the well-run Memorial hospitals with the poorly run Broward Health. That would be the way to solve everything and still keep the hospitals public

  2. Avoid Broward General says:

    Broward General = Dirty, slow, rude.

  3. Simon Gershon says:

    Gov. Scott must ask himself how Broward Health continues to use more tax money while other systems serving the indigent don’t. We need the system used elsewhere in the state where money is given non-government hospitals to handle indigent. .

  4. Long Smell says:

    How come Memorial doesn’t have the problems and they are appointed by Scott also? Something has stunk at North Broward for years.