BSO’s Latest Trip To Fantasyland


It is the season of fantasy. 

There is the story of Santa Claus.  There is the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

Then there is today’s astounding flight of fancy on that the Broward Sheriff’s Office actually investigated an allegation of extortion over a union endorsement last year.

The story is more proof that Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti has no business investigating the county commission. 

Don’t get me wrong.  The story is great. 

But the BSO investigation that it details is built on a faulty premise: That a union endorsement would have actually meant anything in the scorched earth county commission campaign between Steve Geller and Sue Gunzburger.

Union endorsements meant absolutely nothing in that race.  Zero. Nada.

The proof:  Geller got a boatload of the union support and he lostbig time.

BSO got a tip. 

The tip was about Diplomat lobbyist Bernie Friedman, who was trying to get a project approved for his clients, the Diplomat Resort in Hallandale Beach.

According to the tipster, Friedman called up the union which owned a piece of the hotel, the Plumbers & Pipefitters. He demanded it withdraw its endorsement of Geller. 

Either that or they would lose the vote for approval of the development at the county commission, Friedman supposedly said.

BSO’s investigator, Al La Manna, apparently doesn’t have a clue how politics works in Broward.   

Don’t these veteran investigators have a feel for what is truth and what is fiction?  Don’t they have something better to do than get involved in a political campaign? 

I’m sure La Manna wanted to come off looking like Sherlock Holmes. 

Intead, he followed a tip from a political partisan and ended up looking like the Mad Hatter or Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Let me clue you in, La Manna.  

First of all, Friedman has been around long enough to know that Gunzburger would never vote for that project.  The community was against it.  She was running as a controlled growth candidate and labeling her opponent Geller a tool of the development industry. 

So Friedman could never gain Gunzburger’s vote by this attempted extortion?

Second, what is the value of the plumbers and pipefitters endorsement?  Are there any union plumbers and pipefitters living and voting in that South Broward commission district?  I’ll bet the union couldn’t gather enough of them to fill a Volkswagen Beetle.

Third, the project lost 6-3.  Here is an earlier story.

What is particularly interesting to me is that I heard this story before from the Geller camp.  I was told that Friedman was trying to extort endorsements away from Geller. 


I wonder who filed that tip with BSO? 

La Manna, and his boss Lamberti, have proven they are more adept in playing politics than in investigating commission corruption.  Leave the corruption investigations of the county commission which is in a constant fight with Lamberti over funding to others.  

Anything Lamberti does at the county commission looks like political payback for their squabbles over money.

Hey, La Manna, go to the School Board. Talk to gadlfy Charlotte Greenbarg or the Board auditors. They’ll have a lot to tell you.

Or get the League of Cities handbook and pick a city. 

Maybe that’s too complicated. It’s much easier to take an E-ticket to Fantasyland from every political hack that walks into your office.

5 Responses to “BSO’s Latest Trip To Fantasyland”

  1. Weston resident says:

    As someone in a city that BSO serves, I would appreciate the sheriff putting more effort into street crime and less into stupid politics. Cars are being broken into every night in my neighborhood.
    We elected him to be a cop, not a politician. That was his pledge.

  2. Lamanna is a idiot says:

    Buddy great article. Al Lamanna was assigned to BSO/OCD when I worked there and he was a do nothing and never made a case. The FBI dumped him on BSO to get rid of him. He was all talk. Another reporter asked me about him when Lamberti first announced the appointment and I told him Lamanna was a nothing. The reporter disagreed stating his credentials make him look like the right person. Well the reporter called me and said you were right, what incompentence. Lamberti has no leadership skills and he’s proving to be the worst Sheriff ever.
    Buddy Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Super sleuth undercover agent ( as you called me).

  3. Politico says:

    Voted for Lamberti last time. Not too impressed given the level of quantifiable political corruption that has recently come to light. Unfortunately, anyone who runs against him will probably end up being a tool of the political consultants in order to get the job.

  4. Cit activist Robert Walsh says:

    This Sheriff sucks in plain English. Would some one ,anyone run against him,sooner then later. With his staff smuggling in cell phones to contraband for inmates etc, I mean really you can’t have your staff who are compensated quite nicely to keep an eye on your Deputies?. Back to Lamberti, to busy keeping up with the Broward Comm. )take care of your jail, and they tell you to eat cake, eat cake. Your dept. is a mess. Run someone run..

  5. electricjack says:

    To state a union endorsement means nothing is typical of what liberal newspaper people are in la la land..What the endorsements do mean is cold hard cash…ask the people who ran for office in the last election 1 candidate got $3000 from 3 unions so don’t tell me they do not mean anything!

    FROM BUDDY: I said it meant nothing in that race.

    The race was not won or lost based on anything the unions did or gave.