Blogger: Commissioner Lied On Disclosure Forms





It looks like blogger Chaz Stevens has uncovered wrongdoing again.

This wrongdoing wasn’t exactly hard to find. It was a couple of clicks away on the Internet, according to Stevens.

Stevens writes:

Commissioner Eric Haynes of Lauderdale Lakes swore on his financial disclosure that he had no outside income.

On the Internet, he appears to run a business that is “purchasing, rehabilitating, selling and leasing foreclosed homes.”

Stevens has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

The overarching question is how one guy with a computer can continuously scoop the Old Media outlets?

I know Lauderdale Lakes was never a priority for the Sun-Sentinel because of demographics.  The city has hardly been covered for years.

But this is news, folks.

Stevens writes in his characteristically combustable prose:

 “In 2004, the State Commission on Ethics fined Haynes for campaign finance and filing issues – yet, that dirtbag has not paid dime one.

A review by the Broward County Inspector General’s Office into Haynes’ 2012 voting record concluded voter fraud. Based upon this report, we lodged a complaint with the Broward State Attorney’s Office.

Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Eric Haynes is a fraud, habitual offender of ethics, and dead-beat dad. His long history of ethical violations, complete moral bankruptcy, and financial three-card-monty are one long continuous hardy fuck you to the taxpayer.

He sorely deserves a swift kick in the ass.”

Now, I’m not a big fan of a journalist filing complaints against public officials. I consider complaint filing the work of an activist rather than a journalist.

But just what is the definition of a journalist in the era of blogs, Twitter and Facebook?

Old Media (i.e., The Sun-Sentinel) and guys like me don’t have a monopoly anymore on how journalism is practiced.  Readers will decide.

Here is Stevens’ piece which includes what appears to be extensive documentation. 

15 Responses to “Blogger: Commissioner Lied On Disclosure Forms”

  1. Ghost of McLovin says:

    “Old Media (i.e., The Sun-Sentinel) and guys like me don’t have a monopoly anymore on how journalism is practiced. Readers will decide.” Totally agree. The problem is nobody cares enough to file complaints, follow through, etc. Nobody but a handful like Chaz…I say let them keep up the good fight

  2. tooghert says:

    Chaz Stevens has gotten more corrupt officials indicted and investigated than the Old Media has done in 10 years. Hats off to him.

  3. Kevin Cerino says:

    Some bloggers are a hybrid of journalist and activist. Stevens is simply filling a void left by the media (Sun-Sentinel ignoring smaller cities) and by activists (one-party/faction rule with an apathetic/complacent citizenry).

  4. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:


    Thank you (once again) for the kind reporting…

    When I first started MAOS, I asked a simple question, “If not me, then who?”

    Still holds true.


    What is a journalist? In my mind, it’s someone like you or Dan Christensen … chops, gravitas, that sort of thing.

    Someday, maybe, but not likely, I’ll be in your league.

    But then again, if journalism is the tradecraft worked by Bob Norman, I’d rather must be known as a blogger.

  5. Aletheia says:

    Commissioner Eric Haynes and his college fraternity brother, city manager jon allen, are trash…the proverbial “bottom of the barrel!” They have been flouting and subverting laws, rules and policies for years…and expected to continue getting away with it. Haynes has had his dirty hands in all the City of Lauderdale Lakes’ CRA dealings, approving inappropriate expenditures for Gospel Fest and a city facility atop the new LL library. He’s even had his college fraternity dues paid out of his commission expense account!

    Allen has produced phony and illegal budgets and financing deals, purged the City of its white, educated workforce, hired, rewarded and retained unqualified, black-only cronies, been charged by the Broward OIG with bid rigging (and is currently under investigation by the Miami SAO for the same), delayed, withheld and probably destroyed public records and had inappropriate relations with staff, including his current Parks Director. His misuse of taxpayer funds for out-of-state black-only NFBPA social networking events is well known…but swept under the rug by his sleazy commission…who have done the same. And what city manager brings his daddy to a commission meeting (along with church members) discussing his job evaluation, to intimidate commissioners into giving him a hefty (and undeserved) raise?

    It’s fantastic that the authorities are finally catching up with and closing in on the “Made-Off Brothers” (Chaz’s appropriate moniker). Without Chaz’s work, it would be business as usual in this corrupt, cesspool of a city. Instead, we’re all expecting charges to be leveled against the FAMU Fraternity Felons-to-Be, Haynes and Allen…but not before they are dragged through the mud and exposed some more! Enjoy the ride, boys! You deserve it!

  6. Truth Still Matters says:

    Try these suggestions on for size:

    Doctors don’t have a monopoly on health care anymore, patients will decide how medicine is practiced.

    Or how about, engineers don’t have a monopoly on how strong steel has to be in a building to keep it from falling down. Let the real estate industry decide how engineering is practiced.

    How about lawyers and judges don’t have a monopoly on how law is practiced and decided, let’s allow legal clients to decide what’s legal and what isn’t.

    Get the point?

    Journalism is a profession.

    It is an important profession, it is a profession with rules. When we follow the rules of our profession the news is reported ethically and truthfully. When we make professionalism unimportant you can call that journalism. But that doesn’t make it so.

    There is no short cut to professional excellence in journalism or any profession. Readers are owed news in the total, comprehensive, professional, informational and ethical sense. It’s the job of the journalist to give news to the public.

    If you want to write fiction call it fiction and if you want to dispense opinions then call it that. But news has to be truthful and it takes a professional journalist to provide that to society that in need of news.

    It’s not as simple as being able to write. It’s what we write, how we write it, how we came to learn what we wrote, understanding the impact of what we write – all that is part of being a journalist.

    Journalism is a profession. It’s not a hobby. It’s not done well without standards. Stop selling it short.


    I agree it is not done well without standards. Totally.

    Also, I never sell it short. I did journalism for too long to do that.

    But there are other opinions:

    “Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits — a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.” — Hunter S. Thompson

    “Journalism has always been a craft – in rare moments- an art – but never a profession. It depends too much on the perception, skill, empathy and honesty of the practitioner rather than on the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills.” — Sam Smith.

    When I broke into the business, we had numerous guys who never went to college. They had the innate ability to tell a compelling story and, yes, they had uncommon perception, empathy and honesty, too. A lot of them could write and report much, much better than any of us college guys. Some of them could do it drunk or sober.

    So it is a profession if you don’t have to go to college? I don’t know. In the end, the readers (or viewers) decide everything.

  7. I own Broward says:

    Buddy, you’ve always struck me as a solid journalist. You’ve got your own views which you neither promote or hide. I appreciate that. There are comments in the halls of power (I don’t subscribe to them, though), that Chaz is an activist on your behalf, which is why you so frequently promote his antics. I have read your stuff since before you left other publications, and believe you do it because you like getting news out there. Chaz seem to do it for self-glorification, which is disappointing.

    This particular story seems odd, since the actions of Haynes are so similar to the actions of other elected officials in Broward. The axe grinding on Lauderdale Lakes seems like small potatos compared to other, bigger targets. Am I wrong?


    I believe corruption should be exposed wherever it takes place.

    I have never met Chaz Stevens. I think I talked to him on the phone once.

    I write about him on occasion because I find his activism and his dedication interesting. In fact, he is sometimes the most interesting thing happening in the Broward media..although he is clearly often over the top.

    Broward has too few activists. Too few people who care. The lack of more people like Chaz is why government so often falls short here.

    Yes, Chaz is a big self-promoter. I find it silly. Is he any worse than the television stations who hype meaningless stories by using catchy titles or call it “an investigation,” when I know it was copied from the same news release I received? It is not my style. Anybody can see right through it. I judge him on his work, not his endless self promotion.

    Chaz is not a front man for me and he is not carrying out any investigations on my behalf. I don’t know what he is working on until it is about to be published on his blog site or has been published already. Why would I need him to do my work if I felt like doing such investigations?

    If Chaz is right about his latest post, he did the public a service.

  8. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Great journalism tells a compelling, truthful story that changes the reader’s view of the world he or she lives in and boldly brings justice to powerful wrongdoers. Example here:

  9. tell the truth says:

    If not for Chaz Stevens, the corruption charges and indictments of the last 8 years or so would have gotten the round file. Thank you Chaz. What is troublesome is that these questionable tactics and activities by these questionable electeds and appointees continue to get a blind eye from SAO, BOIG, etc. Only when Chaz MAOS and the Feds/DOJ come to town does anything get scrutinized and dealt with. LLakes is the bottom of the financial bucket, yet the electeds rob their constituents further into the red.
    Thank you chaz and Thank you Buddy for sharing the good news again!

  10. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:


    When I sobered up many mango seasons ago, one sticking point in my recovery was the label of “alcoholic”.

    Was I an alchy? How could I be since I didn’t live under a bridge… I had a job, a home, a life…

    For months early on, I battled with that phrase. And only after an old sage told me, “Whatever you call it … alcoholism, disease, character flaw, etc., whatever the name, you got it.”

    Buy the ticket, enjoy the ride.

    So am I a journalist?

    My undergrad degrees are in applied math and computer science. I have an MBA. I’ve never taken a writing class, never read a book on reporting, never attended a lecture on how to do your job.

    I’ve been trained to write code, figure out wonky arithmetic involving orbital mechanics, and do marketing.

    This marketing, by the way, is referred by you as “over the top promotion.” But, if I didn’t do this over the top promotion, do you really think the S-S would give me the time of the day?

    I’ve gotten on, and stay on, your radar. And the radar of countless other folks.

    Say what you want about me, but I’m not an idiot.

    But to the point about me being a journalist. I’ve said this before… The highest compliment I’ve received in “this business” was from Dan Christensen who told me, “You have a nose for a story and that can’t be taught.”

    High praise to my ears, considering the source.

    So am I a journalist? Do you really think the S-S is going to hire me anytime soon? Will the Daily Caller be calling?

    Like alcoholism, whatever you want to call me in this writing venture of mine, I got it.

    And folks like Sylvia Poitier wished I didn’t.

  11. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:


    One other thought …

    After you left the S-S and started the Beat, I’d imagine you already had an “instant following.” And from this following, you’ve probably received a nice share of tips.

    When another source, like yourself or the S-S, picks up a story of mine, it raises awareness to my efforts.

    With the Festivus Pole, I made Colbert, the WashPo, Time Magazine, and hundreds of other news outlets. Do you think my name’s not known internationally?

    You might think my “supposed shameless self-promotion” is related to feeding my manical beast of an ego … and you’d be partially correct. But, did you know I’ve gotten some of my best intel following a story of mine that’s been content shared.

    If you believe dinging Eric Haynes, assuming he’s guilty of a crime, serves a public good … then you must understand I got to Haynes via CM Jon Allen. And I only started paying attention to Allen because of a tip that came my way — the tipster made aware of my efforts via a MSM story about MAOS/Poitier.

    That’s why I am agreesive in my “marketing.” I don’t have your built-in audience, and have lots of work, years in fact, of playing catchup.

    Lastly, that’s why I’ve had a falling out with the S-S. They’d write a story, and often times, leave me out of the mix (FU Paula McMahon). How they could write a tale about the Poitier, Gonot, or Capellini saga (yes, you Paula) and leave me out of the mix? They are, in a sense, hurting the public’s interest.

    With that level of disgust directed my way, it’s like Paula’s banging Bob…

  12. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:

    One really last thought.

    A difference between folks like myself and a commenter who worries about “axe grinding.”

    Well, besides the fact I’m doing something about corruption…

    In the web business, it’s known as “stickyness.” When you get a visitor to your site, you want to keep them there.

    Stickyness, when it comes to Lauderdale Lakes means I have zero intention of leaving until Jon Allen and Eric Haynes are either arrested and removed from office or leave their posts.

    It’s called perseverance… A quality not much displayed anymore, given a 24 hour news cycle, and an audience bothered by such “grinding of axes.”

    If I didn’t keep to the task, devoting three years of effort … if I took my axe elsewhere, then it’s highly likely Sylvia Poitier would still be in office.

    So, to that person walking the halls of power, kindly shut up, as you have no clue WTF you are talking about.

  13. Well Said.... says:

    Chaz……I have been employed as an executive in a city in Broward Co. for nearly 25 years…and must say, you truly do have a keen sense of smell when it comes to many of these tin-horn politicians that make up the vast majority of local government Commissions and Manager’s office. I have always said the ultimate solution is to simply do away with all these little peices of shit towns (and some big ones like Hollywood) and consolidate to three or four at the most. This would go along way in accountability. In the meantime, while we wait for this never to happen…I simply wish to thank you for what you do as it takes much courage on may differing levels to accomplish what you do with the resources you have available.

  14. Well Said.... says:

    Sorry….”i before e accept after c…pieces….

  15. Truth Still Matters says:

    Since the readers decide everything let’s review what they have decided. We are decades into the decay of journalism, caused in large part by the cowardice of journalists who are quick to spew banal excuses rather than stand up for their craft.

    Readers have decided that journalism is dead. Deprived so long of the understandable right to pick up just about anything at a newsstand and rely that it’s truthful, they’ve been pecking and hunting in the wild for years now in search of truth.

    After a while, that effort being so difficult, they lost their taste for the truth and now they will devour whatever is put in front of them. So much of it being untrue, we have encouraged the birth of a race of cynics. Does that not explain much of what ails our nation’s soul today?

    The readers didn’t kill journalism. Newspaper executives and bean counters didn’t kill it. That’s a cop out.

    Journalists killed their own trade by selling out. They were too cowardly to defend it as a profession. They sold out.

    Fast forward through all these lost years of reeking decay in reporting standards and you arrive at today’s reality.

    Public trust in the news is at an all time low. Never before has there been so little faith in news reporting and journalism as we see today. Ask and they will tell you. We are a nation of misinformed disbelievers. Welcome to the age now of misinformation.

    The truth is no longer relevant so lie, exaggeration, spin and inaccuracy is the new rage. The greater the lie the greater the appetite for it. This is what permeates the internet, it is the new mud pit in which we our nation’s people wallow in sheer ecstacy. Lie and misinformation is the new journalism. What a thrill to control minds that way.

    Thing is, journalism was intended to free minds not control them.

    So you will pardon my disbelief for those who came before me in this so called profession who say they “would never sell it short.” News flash. They did just that.

    We see the corruption and decay even at the illustrious New York Times. How can any journalist write about corruption and decay in government or society while neck deep in their own mud pit of corruption?

    We have lost touch.

    Those who know better refuse to lead us back to journalistic sanity.

    God help us all in a democracy without reliable news.