Chaz: How Lauderdale Lakes $$$ Was Misspent





Through our investigation, we’ve determined Lauderdale Lakes City Manager Jon Allen misused nearly $1M in Minor Home Repair (MHR) money.

These are Federal tax dollars intended to help local residents most in need (safety, health, and welfare), but was instead used to build the Frank Coleman Memorial Wing of the Vincent Torres Park.*

Not familiar with Coleman, and wondering who is this bloke?

Coleman is a member/chair of the Parks Advisory Council, a long-time basketball coach, and outspoken advocate for an enclosed basketball facility at Vincent Torres Park.

He’s also the husband of Lauderdale Lakes City Commissioner Edwina Coleman.

Let’s follow the dollar, or in this case, six hundred thousand of them that built the Coleman wing.


  1. Allen requests the Broward County Commission divert $500,000 of MHR money to a parks-project. That number will eventually blossom to $600,000.
  2. For the record, the City Manager of Lauderdale Lakes, aka Jon Allen, does not have the sole authority to make such a request, nor does his re-programming reason to the County match the city’s then-financial conditions.
  3. In other words, he both cribbed and lied.


Caught red handed, it took his best buddy, former Lakes Commissioner Eric Haynes, and some arm wrangling to get the city onboard with this reprogramming. Eventually, the Broward County Commission approved this change, though it was done 30 days after the fact.

But it doesn’t end there, you see, digging into the City’s MHR funding, we discovered four years, or nearly $1M, that has gone unaccounted.


  1. 2012: The City was awarded, but did not expend, $322,753.
  2. 2013: Only Frank Coleman Parks Renovation Project expenses.
  3. 2014: Money is missing.
  4. 2015: Money is missing.


Thankfully, all of the … how did Allen refer to it on the dais … oh yeah … “all of the dirt Chaz is trying to bring up” seems to have forced a bit of accountability and transparency by him.

Updated financials now disclose $400,000 being spent on 2015 MHR projects, but unfortunately, the $600,000 diverted will never be recovered. Those desperately sitting on waiting lists won’t see help anytime soon, but are free to go shoot three-pointers at the Frank Coleman Memorial Wing.




* We also recall HUD’s $1.6M in disaster relief that’s yet to be fully accounted for


16 Responses to “Chaz: How Lauderdale Lakes $$$ Was Misspent”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What is the proof, Chaz? Anybody can throw around charges.

  2. Cesspool says:

    Lauderdale Lakes is broke and the reason is the city is a cesspool run for the benefit of a handful of those in charge.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    What is the proof? $10 worth of MUNIS records…

    Care to walk through them with us? Give me a call.


    We have been indicating that Lauderdale Lakes City Manager Jon Allen might well be on his way out after the Miami-Dade SAO finally do their thing. You will be shocked on what it may cost the residents and taxpayers of Lauderdale Lakes.

    As had been reported Allen’s annual base salary is $160,000 plus another $22,500 in benefits and $20,800 for his 401. That puts him over $203k threshold. Pretty good wouldn’t you say.

    For comparison, St Lucie County just hired a County Amdinistrator at $168,000. And that person has thirty years experience including being the Brevard County Manager for many years. Wonder how St Lucie County compares to Lauderdale Lakes and its 3.4 square miles. Probably not near as close as the comparison to these two salaries yet with Allen only having been the city manager for three years now and receiving 40% in raises. You would think the residents and taxpayers of Lauderdale Lakes would be tired of paying for Allen’s excesses by now.

    Here is the breakout of Allen’s package if he goes:

    * Six months severance- $80,000
    * Payouts for accured vacation/sick/executive hours- $80,000
    * 401 contribuition- $20,800
    * Paid Health Insurance and other coverages for a year- $20,000

    This adds up to over $200k so Allen will on the taxpayers tab for another year after he leaves.

    We are still revieiwing the Executive Leave angle trying to determine just how much Allen has been cashing out each year.

  4. Aletheia says:

    Reprogramming, diverting, misappropriating…tapping restricted funds for other uses…that’s all allen has been doing for 4 years. Overseeing a “shell game!” Using CRA funds to feed the General Fund, jacking up stormwater fees 160% with no stormwater projects, hitting up Waste Management for a $428,000 loan to pay operating expenses, creating an illegal “forebearance agreement” to pay back the CRA debt in 15 years! All the proof you need is right there!

    Allen has survived this long only because he was propped up and supported by his college frat brother, former Commissioner Eric Haynes…and because his clueless Commission was only interested in restoring the illusion of financial solvency at any cost…and not how “the fabricator” went about achieving it!

  5. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Allow me to retort to the assertion that I just toss charges about …

    First, fuck you … it’s easy to be a sniveling anonymous commenter… Why not actually do something about corruption?

    Ha! I jest.

    As to your point that I’m just making shit up, see the link below that contains the MHR docs.

    Also find copies of 2012 and 2013 Federal Awards showing MHR money was awarded and diverted. The PRR I did verified there were no MHR expenses in 2012 or 2013.

    Then attached is what Allen presented at last workshop. It is a mess. He allocated 36/37 CDBG money to Parks in 2013. Then in 2014 he finally spent some MHR money that should have been spent in 2013.

    And finally in 2015, after you busted him he is now somehow spending the $400k in missing MHR money — $193,308 from 39 year, 49,024 from 38 year and 187,748 from 40 year. But again everything is one year late. It is always hard to follow Allen’s trail. In 2013 he used the excuse that they had to hurry and spend the CDBG money on Parks or else lose it.

    Now he is spending three years at once?

    Bullshit. He’s caught red handed.

  6. Coincidence? says:

    Isn’t it funny that “Aletheia”, which actually means truth and disclosure, is on here every time doing nothing but cheerleading Chaz?

    A little disingenuous, no?

  7. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Dear Anonymous Poster pissed off at another anonymous poster.

    If you think I’m posting anonymously, you’ve not been paying attention to my Attention Whoring ways over the years.

    Like say, an upcoming article about me in the WSJ.

    Can’t do that posting anonymously.

    BTW, I know who Aletheia is … they’re not me… They’re just someone interested in rooting out corruption. The question is … why aren’t you?

  8. Aletheia says:

    To say I cheerlead the truth would be spot on. We’ve had enough public servants milking us dry over the years. Lauderdale Lakes is run by a corrupt cadre of individuals starting with jon allen, who have no respect for the taxpayers and their money. Chaz has laid out the case clearly with plenty of verifiable documentation and evidence. Only a fool would say that he’s offered no proof to back up his assertions!

    What would be disingenuous would be for me to disagree with stubborn cold facts and a paper trail of deception, fabrications and outright thievery regarding LL, just for the sake of taking an opposite position. In the case of Lauderdale Lakes…everything Chaz Stevens has stated is the truth!

    So “Coincidence?”…I have no problem supporting a proponent of ethical behavior and honesty in government. What do you support?

  9. Coincidence? says:

    Whatever you say Chaz.

  10. Coincidence? says:

    By the way Chaz,
    I am hardly pissed. More like amused.

  11. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    About 12 years ago, I was a HUD official charged with regulatory compliance for CDBG and other grant programs for South Florida. CDBG is a simple program in concept but implementing it operationally has become increasingly difficult.

    HUD’s Community Development Block Grant funds are “named” by fiscal year and also program year, beginning with the first program year in 1974, when the Housing Community Development Act was adopted.

    The program’s 40th year would correspond to the 2014 federal fiscal year. Technically, program year 40 grant funds should be available to cities on 10/1/13. Very often that is not the case.

    HUD first has to make those funds available through the Treasury, a process that involves lots of red tape. Notoriously, it takes months to complete. In a good year the funds are made available the cities that following January.

    From there, a grantee (city) typically gets 18 months to spend it down before HUD starts writing letters asking that they spend it more quickly. This is sometimes not so simple, depending on the procurement rules of the grantee (city) and the practical needs of the sub-grantees. Some cities have community development committees that need to meet and make decisions before sending it for contract and authorization. Sometimes not, sometimes other things arise that cause delays in funding, logistics of some kind, etc.

    As a result, it is not unusual for given program year’s CDBG allocations to remain unspent two years, sometimes longer after the funds are available for draw down. That’s just a reality when it comes to these kinds of grants.

    There are often confusing terms assumed to mean “spending” in connection with financial reporting. You’d think this is pretty straight forward but sometimes it’s not. There’s a difference between “spent” and “encumbered.”

    You can set up an activity and “encumber” the money for it in the federal system. This effectively sets the money aside to fund a particular activity. Yet the program itself starts later and the money is not yet “spent.”

    Cities also get to move that money around, changing activities, un-encumbering and then re-encumber those funds, etc. It happens all the time and there is a standard process at HUD for moving money from one activity to another that has to be followed.

    Generally, money is “missing” if it was drawn down for reimbursement by a grantee (representing that it was indeed spent) but same was not paid out by the grantee. There is constant confusion between encumberance made and federal funds spent, and between activities reflected in financial records and what the HUD system shows. It is the HUD system records that govern, because they reflect the actual state of the grant portfolio, not a city’s internal financial records which are snapshots in time.

    When there’s a concern about how CDBG funds are utilized, the city should be contacted for explanation and typically the matter is explained there. Matters can also be referred to the HUD Miami Office of Community Planning and Development which oversees these grants. Alternatively, information can be shared with the HUD Office of Inspector General for review.

    HUD staff have the ability to monitor, track, audit and determine questions that arise regarding CDBG funds because at all times applicable program statutes, rules and regulations apply.

    The City of Lauderdale Lakes has been in good standing at HUD for a long time and while I have no knowledge of the specific matters you raise, in reading these comments it appeared to me that the above clarifications might be useful if not helpful. I hope that’s the case.

    Best wishes,


  12. please stop says:

    If Chaz can’t refrain from his foul ways here, please don’t include his comments.

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    There is no reason NOT TO BELIEVE Mr. Stevens’ story, but the major point is missed, THESE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS and CITY COMMISSIONERS WERE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE! Yes, they lie, break the law, etc. BUT THEY STILL GET ELECTED! Either the majority of voters are deaf, dumb, and blind in Lauderdale Lakes and don’t know what is going on – despite the blogs which give them information – or THEY ARE AS CORRUPT AS THE POLITICIANS AND THINK STEALING AND LYING IS OK. Again, It’s the VOTERS stupid! They are the PROBLEM in South Florida!

  14. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    We have provided comments on the adminstration of the Lauderdale Lakes CDBG programs. The Commission does and has approved over time the distribution of HUD funds to particular activites as you say through a formal annual approval process corresponding to the annual award from HUD. This goes to HUD, who in turn encumbers the funds for the individual activities for that particlar year’s activities.

    And any change to the distribution requires formal approval by the city commission.

    Jon Allen decided to skip that step.

    Problems identified at Lauderdale Lakes are related to “missing” HUD funding spent for activities not always as it was approved by the City Commission. In other words, HUD encumbered fundng for particular activities as approved, that appear to have been spent on other activities. And when we finally brought this issue to light, all of a sudden there is a new effort to spend the HUD funding on the projects as authorized in 2016.

    Had we not pointed this out who would?

    As we often say around here, if not us, then who?

    Certainly not the Sun-Sentinel beat reporter Larry B.

    HUD, like other federal granting agencies, rely on external auditors of a city doing the financial audits required under Florida Statutes to also perform audits under the Single Audit Act, OMB Circular 187, for administration, spending, etc. of grant funds. Absent the rare compliance reviews and audits done by HUD itself, there is no other oversight by HUD. As as shown in recent HUD reviews, many cities and other entities receiving grant funds have been required to pay back grant funds for misuse.

    Happened to the tune of $400,000 in Deerfield Beach (and yes, we take some of the credit there.)

    This is even after the annual required Single Audits have been performed and submitted.

    And we have pointed out potential problems and conflicts with the external auditor for Lauderdale Lakes many times.

    So that comments that Lauderdale Lakes is good with HUD probably just means that HUD has not been to Lauderdale Lakes yet.

  15. Crackin' da porcelain says:


    Featured soon in the WSJ? Kool.

    Like how you told folks on this blog that you were going to be on the Today show? ( You weren’t).

    Or how you also said you were going to be on Third Rock? ( You weren’t).

    When was that date for the WSJ appearance?

  16. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    While you wait for my WSJ piece, you can tune into:

    or this:

    or this:

    or this:

    or this:

    And all that was just within the last week.

    Why don’t you share a couple of links, maybe a video from the Colbert Report or the Daily Show (I was on there twice!)…

    Go ahead, there’s no need (or reason) for you to be so modest.