Shady Activity In Lauderdale Lakes






“I believe that the business interests who run the paper don’t see money in the minority community. They rather concentrate on cities where the residents have more money to spend.”
– Buddy Nevins, Broward Beat




Following on the footsteps of’s recent article regarding ‘the death of local reporting’ and how it’s a good time to be a corrupt public figure, we’d like to turn your attention to the City of Lauderdale Lakes.

Three years ago come this February, the Broward Office of Inspector General issued a blistering exposé accusing Lauderdale Lakes City Manager Jonathan Allen of “felony bid splitting.” On the heels of that report, I packaged up our research and filed a complaint with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Quickly citing a conflict of interest (State Attorney Michael Satz is friends with Allen’s father, lawyer George Allen), the file was transferred to the Miami-Dade SAO.

And there it has languished for nearly 1,000 days.

This past June, the prosecutor handling the investigation, Ray Araujo, noted in an email, “We are in the process of making our final charging decision and hope to do so within the next few weeks.”

Ha! Pun!

Seems the Miami-Dade SAO typifies “government working at its own pace.”

Even with Miami-Dade working at a snail’s pace, we’ve kept a close eye on Allen and his good buddy, recently termed out of office, Lauderdale Lakes Commission Eric Haynes.

Haynes, who is embroiled in a long-going and ugly child support battle (he’s a dead-beat dad), has really gone out of his way to hide the true nature of his financial wherewithal, including swearing under oath that his only income was from his commissioner’s salary.

Side note: Bet you didn’t know the salary of a Lauderdale Lakes commissioner exceeds that of most of their colleagues in Broward (including benefits, it’s upwards of nearly $50K a year).

Bothered by Haynes’ shady reporting, we lodged a complaint with the Broward SAO, alleging a failure to disclose his required 2009-2012 financial interests. And for shits and giggles, we asserted Haynes did not live within the city limits and therefore committed voter fraud.

You see, according to Haynes, he lived in a vacant house’s garage.

The SAO investigation verified Haynes’ filings were inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, and totally missing in most cases. The SAO also identified Haynes operating several companies and had financial holdings in others.

Oh really?

Based on a tip, we filed a Public Record Request, trying to ascertain if Haynes was awarded a Minor Home Repair Program contract. Our PRR asked for “from 2011 – present, a MUNIS General Ledger detail account report for all accounts used to make CDBG/MHR vendor/contractor payments that shows the payment by individual contractor/vendor.” Interestingly, the city failed to return information for the years 2012-2013. We re-asserted our request and are waiting those missing years.

Had Haynes done business in Lauderdale Lakes? Was this the smoking gun? Could it really be that simple?

Knowing we might be onto something big, MAOS has been investigating the tangled web of lies within the city’s grant funded Minor Home Repair Program, and what we’ve found is quite shocking.

This MHRP fund is in bad shape — there’s a $320,752 hole and $566,551 in bad receivables, leaving it upside-down $887,000+. We also found construction contracts payments in the amount of $66,627 that were not listed on the records returned to us.

We also discovered an additional “Minor Home Repair Fund”, a slush fund account that loaned out $218,775.

Could this be another loan to Lauderhill Finance Director Kennie Hobbs — a close friend of both Allen and Haynes? Some of you might recall, Hobbs borrowed nearly a $1M from his city’s low-income financing fund.

When we get the 2012-2013 data, we’ll see if Haynes did business with Lauderdale Lakes while sitting on the dais. If that’s the case, we’ll stick our size 12 boot right up his ass.

As you can see, to untangle these webs and develop a story from them, takes lots of time.

So why do we do it?

If not us, then who?

 (Chaz Stevens runs, which he calls a collaborative experiment of technology and activism. His reporting on MAOS has exposed wrongdoing in Deerfield Beach, Lauderdale Lakes and other communities. He  is the winner of the 2010 Broward/Palm Beach News Times Activist of the Year award.  The link for his website is here. 



10 Responses to “Shady Activity In Lauderdale Lakes”

  1. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Kudos to the Office of the Inspector General, and to Chaz for the followup!

    As for Satz, he either buries or bungles pretty much every investigation that might implicate anyone rich or powerful, especially corrupt politicians. It’s no surprise that he has friends in other counties who know what he wants to see happen (absolutely nothing or as close to that as possible) and are more than happy to give him exactly what he wants. You scratch my back, etc., and so the elite corruption continues on its merry way with nobody to stop it…

    But just watch what happens when a poor person possesses marijuana or talks to a sex worker – ridiculous, victimless “crime” – these people get the book thrown at them at 100 mph! And trying to do a good deed by feeding the poor – we all know how that goes…

  2. Check your Facts says:

    What I like about Chaz is that he has been able to uncover things.

    What I don’t like about Chaz is that he makes outrageous statements without any proof or facts behind them and defames people.

    What gets me the most is when he says something he knows is factually untrue. He really doesn’t care but it justifies his world of reality.

    He follows the theory that if he throws enough mud on the wall, eventually something may stick.

    He also writes comments using false names boosting his own name and story. Watch it happen here and how fast.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    To determine what was not provided in the records request related to MHR contracts, MAOS did some furhter digging. Initially exposed was that there appeared to be MHR expenses in 2012 that were not provided and we exposed the huge problems with the Grant Fund, namely having a $884 thousand deficit balance.

    These problems got worse in 2013. The Grant Fund now has a deficit balance of almost $1.4 million. And there were capital expenses of $679,370. How much of these were for MHR contracts that were not provided to us? And in the “other” (wink, wink) MHR Fund we can now see that the $218,774 in cash was found. Big questions here — what is that $77,471 liability that keeps appearing year after year? And why has the $141,303 balance still showing not been spent for needed MHR contracts? Could this fund be used for certain clients only?


    To the commenter above: What facts did I get wrong? The fact that Haynes admitted to living in a garage? Or the numbers I pulled from a report? Or the emails from the MD SAO?

    Please, show me where I am wrong.

    Also, I never comment under an alias … I’m an attention whore, and that would be self-defeating.

    I’m not afraid of people knowing what I think or write. You might try that sometime.

    As far as the raft of comments sure to follow, it’s because, well, I have a following. MAOS got nearly 1M visitors last year.

  4. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    PSS About the Chaz defames … nice try to deflect. Known as poisoning the well.

    Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a rhetorical device where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say. Poisoning the well can be a special case of argumentum ad hominem, and the term was first used with this sense by John Henry Newman in his work Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864).[1] The origin of the term lies in well poisoning, an ancient wartime practice of pouring poison into sources of fresh water before an invading army, to diminish the attacking army’s strength.

  5. Kevin Hill says:

    “Shady activity in Lauderdale Lakes” is redundant.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain: “Imagine you are a crook. Then imagine you are a politician in Lauderdale Lakes.
    But I repeat myself.”

  6. Aletheia says:

    By now everyone knows that jon allen and eric haynes are joined at the hip…The good news is that the authorities and the public are finally becoming aware of what these…have been getting away with for years!

    One last thing…if the Minor Home Repair Program is really in the hole for $890,000, what were allen’s raises based on?


    This e-mail comment has been heavily edited by me.

  7. Aletheia says:

    How does someone who posts under the pseudonym of “Check your Facts” accuse someone else of not using their real name? Hilarious!

  8. Check your Facts says:

    As I said, “He (Chaz) also writes comments using false names boosting his own name and story. Watch it happen here and how fast.”

    Aletheia, or should I say Chaz, Chaz, you are the only one that I can remember Buddy ever had to heavily edit. I think he even once warned you about it.

    Chaz, I know you are a smart guy, but sometimes you really don’t show it, and your self-serving comments and articles prove it.

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Of course I am self-serving!

  10. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    But again, what facts did I get wrong?

    I notice you don’t correct me … just bring up more nonsense.