Plantation League Moves To Throw Out Petrocelli Whistleblower


So much for transparency.

The Plantation Athletic League has scheduled a meeting next Tuesday to discuss removing a whistleblower from its board of directorsand the meeting is closed to the public.

That’s the word from PAL president Evan Krakower.

The private PAL executive board meeting, to be held at Krakower’s law office, is being called to talk about the fate of Pat Roberts.

Roberts complained about the mismanagement of PAL funds by City Commissioner Rico Petrocelli.

Pat Roberts is accused of breaking several of the PAL bylaws, said Krakower.

According to the Miami Herald,  Roberts broke a PAL bylaw by meeting with Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong on his own.

What kind of cockamamie bylaw is that?

The mayor has warned PAL not to move against Roberts, but they are apparently ignoring her.

Armstrong is involved because the non-profit PAL has a contract with the city to run youth athletic programs.

Tuesday’s private meeting will be a “fact finding session.  If the PAL executive board determines privately that Roberts violated bylaws, a future public meeting will be held to drum him off the PAL board of directors.

Roberts called the move to debate his future behind closed doors a “disgrace. disclosed last month that Roberts filed an ethics complaint against Petrocelli for soliciting approximately $3,500 to PAL.  The money was then transferred to him for a political party.

Petrocelli was a director of PAL at the time.  He since has quit.

The complaint alleges Petrocelli violated state ethics law by not disclosing the money as gifts.

Although the complaint covers only a party in 2007, there are indications that money was funneled through PAL for two earlier Petrocelli parties.

The Sunshine Law is murky when it concerns non-profit groups having contracts with governments.  Some are covered by the law, some are not.

The Florida Attorney General’s guide to the Sunshine Law says:

“Although private organizations generally are not subject to the Sunshine Law, open meetings requirements can apply if the public entity has delegated ‘the performance of its public purpose’ to the private entity.  The quotations are language from a case that is cited.

Has Plantation “delegated its youth athletics programs to PAL?  If that’s the case, PAL is violating the state Sunshine Law by holding a private meeting.

Only a judge can decide that question.

But I don’t need a judge to know PAL’s directors are wrong to hold a closed door meeting next Tuesday.

It feels like a cover-up to me.

Maybe the PAL directors are ashamed to be seen kicking a whistleblower off their board.

Because by doing so, they are killing the messenger.  Rather than dealing with the message PAL’s finances need more transparency if they are going to have a contract with city taxpayers.

8 Responses to “Plantation League Moves To Throw Out Petrocelli Whistleblower”

  1. Boots says:

    Does this give you some small idea of why nobody involved in county government is willing to share the dirt we all know? It’s ALWAYS kill the messenger. Erin Brockovich notwithstanding, Whistleblowers usually come to a bad end. No matter what the official line is, tattletales are punished.

  2. Plantation parent says:

    Aren’t there honest organizations that can run the city’s programs? What about parks and rec.?

  3. A concerned PAL parent says:

    I sincerely hope the residents of Plantation are following this story. PAL has tried to keep their finances in the shadows for YEARS (anyone remember the girls softball controversy of years ago?).The Rico transgressions are just the tip of the iceberg. The money they are misusing belongs to the PARENTS and CHILDREN of PAL! One of the main problems is that the faces of the PAL Executive Board may shift, but it the SAME GROUP of people with the same old alliances running the show(does it surprise you that many, if not all of them are supporting Rico Petrocelli for reelection?). The sad part is that there are so many wonderful volunteers who make up the rest of the organization and most of them don’t have a clue what transpires behind closed doors. It is time for Mayor Armstrong to take a stand against Mr. Krakower and this executive board…can’t we find a more ethical group of people to run PAL, ones who can separate their political biases from what is best for the kids and the organization? I wonder how many parents in PAL even know what these individuals look like….they certainly aren’t on the fields.

  4. PAL mom says:

    It’s time for Mayor Armstrong to consider somebody rather than PAL to operate these programs. Maybe if there is not all the money being raked off the top for fancy cell phones and car allowances and Petrocelli’s parties, the fees would be cheaper and the operators honest.

  5. TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE !! says:

    I strongly believe that the mayor should tear up the contract with PAL and start over. And in doing so, forge a transparent partnership between a better volunteer run program and the city parks & rec dept. Why does a city need to have a “contract” with a volunteer run program anyway? To me, that’s a red flag!! Sounds like no trust was there in the first place.
    Oh, and choose the volunteers wisely: parents with kids in the program that are actively involved already, that happen to have the professional propensity as well as moral values to keep the program honest!!!! And hopefully no future board meetings with politics on the agenda!!!

  6. Watchful says:

    In today’s paper Petrocelli states that he was reimbursed for paper plates…WTF? $3,500 for paper plates??? It also states that PAL was covering up the fact that there was alcohol at the Christmas Party for the handicapped young people. Were these disabled kids given the alcohol? I don’t know…PAL sounds pretty creepy. We need MORE people like Pat Roberts, not less! Oh, and by the way. I don’t know the man. But KUDOS to Pat Roberts.

  7. old planatation says:

    what about the fact that Bob Levy was up to his ears in this whole cover up of waste management paying for his and rico’s party to push there re election parties. when is Bob going to be brought to accountability or is he being treated different because he is a rubber stamp for the mayor? when are the list of donors going to be made public for all to see that both bob and rico voted on thier behalf.

  8. old planatation says:

    did half the money that received go to Bob Levy since it was paid by the two of them? what about the female impersonators they used for entertainment was that somebody Levy hired if he thought it was a party for disabled youth. where was that blow hard Bill Bezdek did he write the checks to Rico? Why was Bezdek ran out of PAL besides being a fool? Why does new president of PAL want to fall on the sword for a lightweight like Rico? how about the good people take back PAL ever since Marty Cooper saw a way to make a buck for himself the league has has not been about kids more than travel teams. Rico is a phony that could not even get a job better than opening up the gym while with the city and now lost his job even as a truck driver because he is not a decent guy. and this is what we vote for shame on us. TAKE PLANTATION AND PAL BACK!!