Investigation Into Stolen Plywood Just Before Hurricane Irma Struck Dropped Against Mayor





An investigation into the theft of plywood from a lumber store just before Hurricane Irma struck has been dropped against Dania Beach Mayor Tamara James.

The owner of Sheridan Lumber in Hollywood refused to cooperate with the prosecution, police say.

The Hollywood police report states:

When an officer arrived at Sheridan Lumber in Hollywood on September 8 — one day before Irma’s winds began buffeting South Florida —  they found a group of men taking a  pallet of 480 linear feet of plywood from the store’s parking lot. Mayor James was also on the scene.

The report states that Mayor James told police, “I received a call that they were giving away free wood.”

Jones told that any allegations that she was involved in the theft was “false” and that she did not accompany the men to Sheridan Lumber.



Tamara James


Francisco Vidal, a man police identified as Sheridan Lumber’s owner, was preparing his store for Hurricane Irma.

Vidal reportedly told the Hollywood Police officer at the time he didn’t want anybody prosecuted but just wanted the incident documented.

A short time later, police returned to the store.  Vidal let an officer watch his cell phone video which appeared to show James with several men removing lumber from the parking lot and then running from the scene,  according to the police report.

A Hollywood Police Det. A. Pontigo later investigated what was then labeled grand theft of roughly $1,500 in lumber.

On Oct. 11, Pontigo contacted Vidal, who told the detective he would first meet with the Dania Beach mayor before deciding whether to prosecute.

On Oct. 13, Pontigo again contacted Vidal.  The store owner said he had met  James  and he now believed the mayor was not involved in any crime.

Vidal refused to share the video with the detective and again said he didn’t want to prosecute anyone, the police report says.

The police report is below:

Sheridan Lumber




13 Responses to “Investigation Into Stolen Plywood Just Before Hurricane Irma Struck Dropped Against Mayor”

  1. Tamara James says:

    Good Morning,

    I have a few issues with you publication. I did not accompany ANYONE. I came alone and I left alone. As I walked up, there were people passing out lumber. When the police showed up, I introduced myself, AS THE MAYOR OF DANIA BEACH, to both the officers and the owner, Frank. Once I found out the lumber was being stolen and not given out, I apologized to the owner for the unfortunate situation. I later met up with Frank and we have a very productive conversation. I’m so happy we have decided to move past these false allegations so we can do productive business for both cities… Dania Beach and Hollywood.


    Thank you for your comments, mayor.

  2. Same old same old says:

    We truly have the best of the best running our cities in Broward….

  3. Disgusted says:

    It sounds to me like a smartass store owner who caught a Mayor up to no good and decided that being able to blackmail her to gain some advantage was better than pressing charges. What a mess!

  4. Hmmm says:

    Isn’t she a Walter Duke protégé? If so, watch out Fort Lauderdale. Typical Dania.

  5. Who called? says:

    “The report states that Mayor James told police, ‘I received a call that they were giving away free wood.’”

    Who called the mayor to tell her there was free wood? Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Dania Duh! says:

    @ #4
    Tamara James was ushered into office by Walter Duke, who also backed a convicted felon for office as a Dania Beach Commissioner. When the felon was disqualified, Walter Duke still backed him. The ballot presented by Brenda Snipes had the felon’s name on it and even though a disclaimer stating the man was disqualified was attached to every voting booth several people cast their ballot for the felon.
    Now, Walter has resigned his seat as a Dania Beach Commissioner in mid term and moved onto greener pastures in Fort Lauderdale where he is running for the District 4 seat.
    Indeed, Fort Lauderdale District 4, be careful who you vote for. Ethics????

  7. Fort Lauderdale Know It All says:

    I just hope “the mayor” wrote the above in a hurry and forgot to check her work. If that paragraph is indicative of her level of education, “Dania, WE Have A Problem.” It’s just too bad Tim Ryan didn’t get busted as well dipping his beak in the “community plywood.”

  8. Tamara James says:

    Let’s correct this… I got a call saying “Sheridan Lumber was open and distributing plywood.” Once I got there, there were individuals passing out plywood, whom I assumed worked for the business. I asked a few questions and they told me they were giving them away. I never touched or received any. It started raining, people left, the police came and I then found out what was going on. Why would I need to steal plywood? I’d just finished bagging sand for residents from the morning. Steal plywood? Nice try. I usually would comment, but clearly you don’t know me or care to. Have a nice weekend.

  9. Garl Pinkerton says:

    Tamara, there are only two questions which matter at this point. First, why did you go? Second, did you truly believe that a for-profit establishment, just ahead of a major storm, would be donating this particular product when others are jacking up prices on the same thing at the same time?

  10. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    After reading all these what stands out is this Hollywood detective really wanted to arrest this mayor.I get it if the alleged victim refuses to press charges then the detective is left kicking rocks.I would have had consult with the enforcement to clean this up.Bottom line no matter how successful thism mayor was in making nice,nice the owner of the lumber yard still called to report the theft.This is a lesson in-pay for everything no mattet who says its free,just take it etc..She could have been arrested in this situation very easily.Be careful Mayor…

  11. Silly semantics says:

    “distributing wood”? who really talks like this? I mean if someone called and said they were donating or giving it away, so be it. “distributing wood” come on. It is true, a private business does regulary distribute wood…in exchange for money. That is like saying the Foot Locker that got looted during the storm was “distributing sneakers”.

    The above poster is right, she should disclose who told her this information and the names of those she recognized “distributing wood”

    More importantly Mayor, this is prime example of refraining from comment and be happy you were not charged. Unfortunately you took a page from the Lisa and Walter Duke playbook, opened your mouth and showed you may not be a slick as you thought.

  12. Corrupt Politicians? says:

    I am reminded of Broward Commissioner Barbara Sharief predatory over billing for medical services to the most vulnerable in our society, when caught blame it on someone else.

    #7 If you did not have a need for plywood why would you go to Sheridan Lumber Yard for free plywood? How many sand bags did you have in your pickup truck?

    According to FBI records all bank robbers are prosecuted & receive jail time even when all monies are fully recovered.

  13. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #11 Great comparison.Again, the persistence from the detective says it all.I mean when you make a criminal complaint and clearly the owner of the lumber yard did.I feel bad for the detective.All he was doing was his job.However,this detective ,even though thw owner od the lumber refused now to press charges after meeting with the mayor can still submit the comomplaint to the SAO.If the evidence is over whelming the SAO may not need the alleged victim.Why did you call 911 then.He us lucky the Hollywood detective doesn.t go after Mr.Lumber yard man for filing false police report.Careless judgement on the mayor.s part.Although if the detective really wants to pounce it was alleged that 1500.00 dollars worth of ply-wood was taken etc.Thats grand larceny ,which is a felony(which im very familar worth)…Next….