Broward Republican Calls Cops On Their Own GOP State Committeeman





Broward Republicans do hold lively meetings.

The party’s State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli accused local GOP Segeant of Arms Ben Bennett of calling the cops on him during a recent Lauderdale Beach Club meeting, according to an e-mail he sent to party activists over the weekend.




Richard DeNapoli


The incident was said to be the latest in an alleged witchhunt by Broward Republican Chair Robert “Bob” Sutton.  The party boss reportedly wants to get rid of dissidents from the party organization.

My take:

Republicans should spend more time on trying to win elections and less time on these inner party shenanigans. They only serve to weaken the GOP.

What happened to the Big Tent Republicanism?

If the situation is as DeNapoli describes, it is outrageous.  If the time of law enforcement agencies are being wasted by dragging them into a foolish squabble based largely on personalities is not only disgraceful, it is unlawful making false reports.

DeNapoli did not give his e-mail to  It was forwarded by another Republican.

A lawyer and a former prosecutor, DeNapoli very carefully worded his e-mail to GOP activists.   And he was very cautious when he spoke to about the e-mail.

“You shouldn’t be afraid to go to a Republican meeting because the police may be called on you,” DeNapoli said.  “..They are trying to intimidate me.”

It should be remembered that DeNapoli won a countywide committeeman election, while Sutton was voted chair of the party by a handful of acolytes inside the GOP.

Below is an e-mail circulated by DeNapoli on Saturday.

You decide:


From: State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli  

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:20:26 PM
Subject: Update on BREC and Request to Vote NO on the creation of a BREC Grievance Committee


Dear BREC Members:


By now you have seen BREC Secretary Dolly Rump’s resignation notice, citing “major dysfunction, division, and disorder between officers.”

I am sad to see Dolly resign, as we both worked hard to get President Trump elected and I valued her input on the Board. I, too, am a longstanding loyal Republican, having served as BREC Chair and now the publicly elected State Committeeman. But I understand Dolly’s reasons and can echo her sentiments.

It is true that rather than focusing on critical tasks, certain members of BREC are instead focused on personal disagreements and vendettas. Dolly wrote that “instead of focusing on important things like raising money and Lincoln Day, time is spent on filing false police reports and making false and disgusting accusations…”

I, Richard DeNapoli, have also been the subject of these false and disgusting accusations and frivolous calls to the police. Dolly has been the victim of these accusations, and so have I.

You may be shocked by what I am about to write, but it’s all true and you need to be aware of the situation.

Instead of working together, certain members are bent on expelling other members or making their lives miserable so that they resign.

You may recall that on the day after the BREC election on December 5, 2016, in an attempt to bring everyone together, I sent an email to all members congratulating all the victorious candidates.

We all know that candidates from different slates were elected. I truly want to work together with everyone and focus on getting Republicans elected and making the BREC a more effective organization. But, like Dolly, my efforts to make BREC better have also been met with hostility.

On March 8th, 2017, Ben Bennett, the BREC Head Sergeant at Arms who was appointed to this position by Chairman Sutton, called the police on me. This happened at the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting, in front of over 35 people, where I had been asked to speak.

My guess is that the call was made at this particular location in an attempt to publicly embarrass me.

Without Mr. Bennett having even been a witness to any of the events he described in his phone call to the police, I was falsely accused of “assault.” I say “falsely accused” because the police determined immediately that there was no assault.

Click here to listen to the phone call made to the police. The first call was made before the Lauderdale Beach meeting began and is from the beginning of the tape to 2:08, and then a second call begins at 3:51.

Mr. Bennett claimed that this “disturbance” occurred two weeks earlier and that his “client” wanted to report this.

(As an aside, you would think that if a real crime had occurred, it would have been reported sooner, and that the police would not be called two weeks later to show up at a Republican club meeting where it was known that I would be speaking).

The police also informed me that I was accused of the crime of falsely imprisoning someone. Chairman Sutton knew full well of Mr. Bennett’s phone call to the police. Chairman Sutton was standing next to Mr. Bennett on the sidewalk outside the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting on the night the police were called on me. As I walked out of the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting past him, I heard Chairman Sutton tell the deputies, “there he goes walking to his car.” This was in reference to me.

The Deputies then came over to me and asked me a series of questions and determined, of course, that I had committed no crimes and did nothing wrong. The matter was closed and there was no further investigation.

They knew that this was just a political disagreement. One of the deputies, in fact, personally told me to “watch your back” because “these people are out to get you.”

I received many calls from BREC members who weren’t even there about this incident.

People in BREC have also informed me that Chairman Sutton has informed them that I am under some sort of “FBI Investigation” for supposedly hacking the BREC website. This is another ludicrous and false accusation.

I am unsure about the genesis of this accusation and have asked Chairman Sutton to stop referencing such an accusation, but even well after my request a BREC member informed me that it was brought up by him again.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that more fake criminal accusations may be coming my way. From whom I don’t know. But here’s an example of what might happen – an ordinary handshake could be portrayed as a trumped-up battery charge.

Clearly, this is a “witch hunt” orchestrated to intimidate, harass and defame me, and you as BREC members need to be aware of this. This culture of intimidation and using the police for political purposes needs to stop, and I call upon Chairman Sutton to do something to stop this ridiculousness.

I personally don’t understand the motivations here. I know that Mr. Bennett ran against me unsuccessfully for State Committeeman and that my friendship with Rico Petrocelli has apparently caused Chairman Sutton to dislike me since Rico challenged Chairman Sutton in the December BREC elections. But we are all Republicans, and people really need to put their obvious animosities aside and get back to the real business of BREC.

Rumors occur in politics…I get that… but calling the police to make outrageous accusations is something on an entirely different level.

The bottom line is that no one should treat fellow Republicans in such a manner.

No one should falsely accuse a fellow Republican, former Chairman, and current State Committeeman of committing crimes for their own political purposes.

You do not try to ruin someone’s life simply because they disagree with you or you don’t like them. You do not waste the taxpayers’ dollars by involving the police to solve your political problems. You do not tie up the police from handling other life-threatening matters in the community by making frivolous and false calls to the police. I am an attorney and former prosecutor who has been falsely accused of assault, the crime of false imprisonment, and being under an imaginary FBI investigation.

This is beyond ridiculous for someone volunteering for the Republican cause.

But these are just a couple of examples of what has been going on over the last few months.

The police were also called the night of the BREC election on Mike Rump (Dolly’s husband) for no real reason in front of over 200 people in what amounted to an attempt to embarrass and intimidate him.

(You can view that police report here.)

None of these police actions go anywhere, but the fact that members of a volunteer Republican organization have to deal with this is outrageous.

There are other incidents that have happened that other BREC members are afraid to come forward on.




24 Responses to “Broward Republican Calls Cops On Their Own GOP State Committeeman”

  1. Red State Lady says:

    Would someone please Baker act been Bennet! That is clearly his voice on the tape….He is clearly lost his mind

  2. Chaz Stevens says:

    What a lengthy email. Dude must have consulted with Angelo beforehand.

    Said Twain, “I wanted to write you a short note, but didn’t have the time, so I wrote you a long letter instead.”

  3. Mike Rump says:

    The false police reports referenced by Richard DeNapoli are 100% true. BREC is currently in a complete tailspin due to incompetent leadership and support for current leadership is dropping like a rock. This leadership team doesn’t embrace the offers of support from talented folks, they consider it a threat and they lash out in horrible and disgusting ways. This is a very sad state of affairs orchestrated by folks who don’t want Republicans to be successful. There is no hope for improvement until BREC membership wakes up and begins to pay attention to what is happening behind the curtain.

  4. Karma Khameleon says:

    The more things change the more they stay the same. The local party’s been the crapper ever since

  5. Longtime Republican says:

    These whiners are killing me. I remember that carpetbagger Denapoli did the same thing to Commissioner Chip Lamarca a few years ago about some blogger recording him. He had a brec member file a police report in Coral Springs on behalf of Lamarca but the Commish wanted nothing to do with it.

    This is why these fools couldn’t win a local election without outside help. George Moraitis and Chip Lamarca need to stay far away from these circus clowns.

  6. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Richard DeNapoli is hardly one to preach unity, never having sown any. He forgets that when he was Chairman and banned the taking of pictures at BREC meetings the threat of police action was also used. That was around the same time Broward lost Congressman West in his bid for re-election. Also around the same time the Broward Republicans went from being second in registration to being third: right behind the Libertarians.

    Or it might just be his undying support for Charlie Crist, the man who appointed him to FREC.

  7. grinning says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer party.

  8. Facts says:

    Current Broward registration numbers:
    D = 599,479
    NPA (not “Libertarian”) = 323,833
    R = 257,025 (now a distant third, not “right behind”)

  9. Alfieri says:

    Sir, could you update your photo of DiNapoli, he has flowing locks of brown hair now and I couldn’t be prouder.


    Thanks for the information.

    The picture I originally used was from his website. At your suggestion, I updated it with a picture he posted this month on Facebook.

  10. Dem says:

    I am a lifelong democrat who has very little positive to say about republicans but I must say I think deNapoli is one of the good ones. I have met him a couple times at judicial events. We likely disagree on many things politically but I have found him to be a nice enough guy. Unlike many of the crazies in that party he seems to be normal. Maybe that is why he has become a target to the wackos.

  11. Know nothings says:

    Ana Gomez spews so many falsehoods. She hasn’t even lived in Broward since 2011 or so, having moved to Stuart or somewhere north. She always had it out against Richard and said a bunch of BS about him.

  12. GOPapa says:

    Some of those committeemen and committeewoman are can not see beyond the end of their own nose and won’t agree to talk or serve with anyone who differs with them on anything. I quit when the atmosphere got poisonous.

  13. Goteam says:

    These kinds of shenanigans are the reason I quit the BREC in 2012. Wish we had professionals running the place again.

  14. Remembering says:

    When Chip LaMarca ran the party it ran smoothly.

  15. @14 says:

    He was the one who let the tea party in and ruined our local party. The chairs have been playing clean up ever since. Thanks Lamarca.

  16. Alvin E Entin says:

    The Party ran smoothly under Lew Keller, Ed Pozzuoli, Kevin Tynan, George LeMeieux and Shane Strum. I was proud to serve under them in capacities from simple Committeeman to Party Counsel. I suppose that I view myself as Moderate on Social Issues, which led my dear friend Kevin Tynan to refer to me as the feather on the left wing of the Party. However, during those administrations the Party was a ” big tent” and contrasting and differing positions were respected and in many ways encouraged. Sharon Day has always been a positive force for inclusion, after all the business of the Party was to elect Republicans. The emergence of the “Tea Party ” Republicans signaled the end of inclusiveness and the start of a litmus test of far right, fundamentalist values which determined who was now a Real Republican and who a RINO. It reached, for me, the time with the election of past Chairman Butler to disengage, which I have done. Not an easy decision as I have been a proud Republican for nearly 60 years. However I think with age sometimes comes a bit of wisdom. I learned that no Party has a monopoly on all the right answers and that Governing is only successful when Republicans and Democrats can join to make the system work ( example the recall election in Tamarac which was a joint project between myself and Democratic Committeewoman Sharon Aron Baron along with a coterie of energized volunteers from both parties.

    BREC is not alone here as per the example of the pure left forces in the Democratic Party attacking the Democratic Mayoral candidate in Nebraska for having the temerity to be pro-life. However,a smart Party will heed the fact that purity is not the answer, it is big tent and only big tent which will win elections. Which leads me to my final point. Republicans I know, much to the right of me philosophically who I deeply respect, tell me that Bob Sutton is inclined to be a healer and a welcomer of diversity. If this is true, then I need view the resignation of Dolly Rump and Richard DiNapoli’s email with some suspicion. I do know thatAna Gomez Mallada’s reflections concerning DiNapoli, who I do not know personally, were what I heard when he suddenly left the Party and Broward for greener pastures and a favorable Legislative seat on teh West Coast. Irrespective of where Ana lives and despite myriad disagreements with her over policy, I know her to be honest and forthright. as a result my inclination is to sit back and see what kind of BREC Bob Sutton can put together. If he is backed by quality folks like Kevin and Jay Narang, it just may be a place I would be comfortable coming back to. Give them some time, maybe they have gotten the message.

  17. All Hail says:

    Richard DiNapoli had the most votes of any county wide Republican candidate in the August primary. In November, though he lost, Richard had the second highest vote total for a Republican besides President Trump. It is clear the Republicans in Broward want Di Napoli to lead them. Sutton should step aside and allow Richard to pick his successor.

  18. Know nothings says:

    The problem with Sutton and his close associates (Tom Lauder from Red Broward, Ben Bennett, Vice Chair Ellich) is that they can’t even seem to throw a Lincoln Day together. They focus on personal stuff and attacking “enemies” and not building the party. Sutton announced at the meeting this past Monday that Lincoln Day this year has been postponed due to the inability to get a speaker. Celeste then made some excuse that the “Lincoln Day folder” went missing from the Party headquarters. It’s always some excuse with them. When the party website was down, Sutton claimed the FBI was investigating it. LOL. The FBI wouldn’t waste time with something like that! Lincoln Day was scheduled for the weekend of May 19th and now it’s been pushed back to September … if it even happens at that point. Sutton has been chair since 2015 so it’s not like he’s new to the job. He won by 10 votes in 2015 and the most recent time by only 5 votes. Considering that, he really doesn’t seem to be a “healer” … otherwise he wouldn’t have been challenged or would have won in a landslide. The party needs people with organizational talent. Sutton had lots of help for his first Lincoln Day last year, which was successful. But he’s done damage here by attacking people like DiNapoli and Petrocelli, who were some of the people who helped him plan events and raise money. Plenty of other people who were the workers in the party have also walked away because of his buffoonery. Sutton’s highly disorganized meetings and inability to put together events are what really plagues the party now. He had the membership list debacle at the December election meeting, where his handpicked “elections credentials committee of 3” team tried to exclude over 100 members from voting. He has cancelled board meetings. Dolly Rump resigned. Members don’t even have a clue as to who the speaker at the meetings will be. He plans a 3 day “Lincoln Day weekend” for May and then cancels it. He engages in these witch hunts against board members. He surrounds himself with shady characters. Bottom line – he doesn’t focus on the real purpose BREC exists. Say what you will about past Chairs and their political philosophies or how likeable or unlikeable they may be, but they held events and had money in the bank. Right now under Sutton the party is irrelevant.

  19. Ha Ha Ha says:

    South Florida Republican (Former Florida House Education Budget Chief With A FSU Finance Degree & Making Over 1/4 Million $$$ / Year), Busted For Not Filing Federal Tax Returns During All Eight Years Of His Service As A Member Of The Florida House Of Representatives, Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

  20. Talks like a politician says:

    I have read this article several times. The topic seems surreally linked to the fact in nature that some species of animals eat their young.

  21. Almost says:

    You had me until you said you respect Jay Narang’s opinion. Bob is a decent man but he is not a leader. His attempts to appease the outliers in the name of bringing everyone together is why these conflict have arisen.

  22. Absentee Dolly says:

    Dolly Rump complains about not enough Board Meetings and yet everyone knows that she hardly ever attended any of them. She always had something else going on. When she first came in as the new secretary, she initially announced that she was not there to take notes about meetings…which is one of the main functions of a board’s secretary. Board members are not there to make fiery political speeches, they are there for a specific purpose: The Secretary tends to the books, the Treasure tends to the finances, etc. She did not attend to the business of the board…she simply came to general meetings and made loud speeches. Instead of working to fix things, she and her husband just quit. Not exactly my definition of a dedicated “team player”.

  23. Broward Republican says:

    It’s true that BREC hasn’t functioned in a long time, but few people realize how deep Chair Sutton’s (problems) go… He is a…liar – few people would deny that. I have worked with the guy, and even his presumed allies like Celeste Ellich have repeatedly called him out for this. He’s the definition of the Peter Principle, a person who has been promoted far beyond their level of competence. Perhaps worst of all, those he’s chosen to befriend, namely Tom Lauder. Peace in Broward won’t arrive until disgusting TOM LAUDER is ejected. Period. This guy is “bad cop” to Sutton’s “good cop”, and anyone who has seen these two in action and wasn’t distracted by theatrics has seen this. Lauder is a low rent hack blogger, but he specializes in tearing down any detractors who fall in line. These two don’t just try to steamroll your reputation in BREC…It’s DISGUSTING. Ellich is utterly incompetent, a micromanager who makes up excuses every time she’s done something wrong (hello, oaths? Membership list? Email dilemmas? This email list breach that never happened? Mysterious Lincoln Day folder that never existed?). Absolute chaos, but nothing compared to the corruption of this Sutton/Lauder unholy alliance.

  24. Mike Rump says:

    Absentee Dolly (Whoever you are) You clearly either don’t know the truth and unknowingly pass on false information or you know the truth and you are lying. To impugn Dolly and say “she initially announced that she was not there to notes about meetings” is completely false. She took her role very seriously as she always does and it is because she was not allowed to have a say in the functioning of this REC that she has resigned. Nice try whomever you are, but your mother should have done a better job of teaching you the importance of telling the truth.