Plantation Mayor Threatens Crack Down On PAL Board


The board of the Plantation Athletic League and Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong are on a collision course.

PAL insists on forcing whistleblower Pat Roberts off its board of directors. 

Armstrong warned PAL not to touch him.

I’m placing my bet on Armstrong, based on the strong language in her warning to PAL obtained by

Roberts got in trouble by publicly airing PAL’s dirty little secret.

Instead of being a simple group of volunteers working in youth sports, the board runs a multi-million organization that has loose controls over its finances. 

Roberts publicly accused City Commissioner Rico Petrocelli of using PAL money for a private party.  Petrocelli admitted the charge and quit the PAL board of directors

Petrocelli now faces a state ethics complaint over his actions as a PAL director.

Instead of thanking Roberts, the PAL board has moved to throw him out.

Thumbing their noses at the mayor, the group earlier this month moved ahead with a plan to put Roberts on probation for four months. 

That would give the PAL directors time to change the bylaws to forbid any public employee from serving on the PAL board.

The new bylaw would force Roberts out without having to actually vote to kick him off the board. He’s a state law enforcement agent.

The board must believe it’s being clever. 

But the new bylaw also means that cops, librarians, teachers, fire fighters, and any one else who works for government can’t be on the PAL board.

Oh, the group will still take public employees’ money if their kids want to play sports in Plantation.  Those parents just can’t serve on the board.

What arrogance!  

The gauntlet has been thrown.

The mayor could seek to cancel the contract it has with Plantation to run youth athletic programs.

And she may.   


Her language in letters to PAL was particularly tough for Armstrong. She usually avoids conflict and confrontation.

The stronger of the two letters is dated February 2, on the eve of the vote against Roberts.

She accused the board of moving “away from having a primary focus of closely cooperating with Plantation.

She called the PAL bylaws being used to punish Roberts a “gag order provision.

The bylaw she was citing forbid a board member from discussing PAL affairs with city officials. Roberts told officials about PAL’s financial mess. 

“This gag order provision is not consistent with the spirit and intent of PAL’s public contract with the city, she wrote.

She pointed out that PAL goes back “many, many years to a time when the organization operated on a shoestring budget. 

Now, it is a multi-million operation with few safeguards on how parents’ money is spent.  

“Instead of viewing the contractual relationship with Plantation as a bestowed public privilege, it seems to me that it is now being arrogantly viewed by PAL’s controlling leadership as a business entitlement.

“I will not stand idly by and permit this new and abusive leadership culture to continue. Instead, I insist that significant change to this organization occur immediately so that its focus returns solely  to exercising its public privilege with the public trust being paramount in mind.


I am rooting for Armstrong.

This group has to be reined in.  They are an embarrassment to Plantation.


11 Responses to “Plantation Mayor Threatens Crack Down On PAL Board”

  1. Plantation Mom of a PAL child says:

    PAL is a disgrace and the board should be voted out of office tomorrow for what they have done.
    Mr. Roberts should get a medal, not a punishment. Mayor Armstrong needs to do the right thing.


    What is the Mayor waiting for? She needs to pull the plug on the program now before the program goes down the crapper!!

  3. Sam Fields says:

    I am a Plantation resident and my kids were in PAL.

    Although on a small scale, PAL seems to fit into an observation of Eric Hoffer the author of “The True Believer”:

    All great movements 1.start as an idea, 2.become a business and 3. end up as a racket.

    I might add that the clearest evidence that we are in Stage 3 is when group loyalty becomes more important than group mission. Punishing and/or silencing Mr. Roberts seems to fit the bill.

    The mayor needs to do something about this and do it immediately.

  4. Pal Parent says:

    I entirely agree with Mr. Field’s last statement which reads: “group loyalty becomes more important than group mission”. I attended the PAL Board meeting last Tuesday evening and was disgusted by what I witnessed. There was little talk about the kids.A large part of the 2 1/2 hours was spent by the Executive Board crying about how they are being attacked unjustifiably by the Mayor, the Press, and many others who were called out by name and had their reputations besmirched in that room. The level of animosity this Board feels toward the City of Plantation overwhelmed the evening.Can they effectively and honorably carry out their mission for our kids? I think not. Pull the plug, Mayor Armstrong.

  5. Plantation Activist says:

    Every candidate in the March election should be asked what they believe should be done about PAL.

  6. Plantation Gossiper says:

    Here is the next major issue that came up during last weeks PAL meeting. They voted and approved to look into a company that shreds documents and records. They voted to shreds all records older than 5 years. The reason for this is to protect board memeber Attorney Generotti who represented the person on the board who stole $104,000 from PAL in 2002. We the people of Plantation want our money back that was stolen!!!!!!

  7. Teri Gatewood-Sieber 1 says:

    I have lived and grown up in Plantation for the last 44 years and I am not only
    alarmed and concerned by this article, I am appalled. The fact that $104,000.00
    has been stolen and there has been no one arrested I do not understand. Isn’t
    PAL governed by the Board of Directors? Why is there any discussion of
    documents being shredded (which would destroy all evidence of the theft)? Why
    does the board wish to protect someone that has stolen money from the residence
    of Plantation? Doesn’t anyone in Plantation wish to see justice served? The
    registration fees for our children to play at P.A.L. is double what most city’s
    charge. Is this why and where our money went!!!!

  8. Watchful says:

    Get rid of Ricco and all the other PAL cronies! They are crooked, crooked, crooked.

  9. old planatation says:

    ask Rico and Bill Bezdek why they always hid the fact about the stealing that occur and attack anyone who try to bring the matter forward in the last ten years calling them liars. well look who was a liar, Bill, Rico. shame on both of you for hiding behind our kids. Rico must of thought that if one guy could get away with it why not take some himself again using pal and then playing off on disabled children. Rico do you know how much you suck? I tell you what steal 102,000.00 from a real man and see how you would be dealt with. and shame on plantation FOP for endorsing that scum we know Mr Halon only cares about Rico being dumb enough to control him during contract talks but really Mike you could fit right in with the likes of current pal board always about you not what best for the kids.

  10. Watchful says:

    Has Buddy written a story on the $102,000 in question? I don’t know the whole story. What’s the scoop?
    Who stole the money? When was it stolen? Who covered it up? Why was it covered up?

  11. old planatation says:

    past PAL treas. BIG Bill Bezdek the town idiot and Rico the council Idiot thought they could just sling mud at anyone who brought up the subject not thinking about the Plantation police having a record of the theft also dig a little deeper and one will find historical society had same issue that was hid from public treas stealing. If you want city to set up your club be a thief and mayor Armstrong will embrace you. come clean on historical group Rae Carol. no wonder Jacobs, Edwards and Merritt left Plantation .