Report: Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Threatened Late Broward Health CEO





Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca was part of a “concerted campaign” to divert public Broward Health money to pay for a marketing effort run by his employer, Zimmerman Advertising.

Zimmerman had sought to convince Broward Health CEO Dr. Nabil El Sanadi that the district’s “budget was insufficient to do the marketing job that the district needed,” according to a report by a lawyer provided to the district on Wednesday.


chip lamarca

Chip LaMarca



LaMarca allegedly got so heavy-handed during the push to obtain a no-bid, $71.4-million advertising contract that he once threatened El Sanadi to get him fired.  The CEO’s Jan. 23 suicide triggered a series of disclosures about investigations and insider deals that have rocked the public hospital system.

“I put you here, and I can take you out,” LaMarca warned El Sanadi, according to Broward Health Vice President Doris Peek.  Her statements are contained in a report presented to Broward Health’s governing board on Wednesday.

LaMarca vehemently denied he charge, saying “Having been raised by a good mother, the only way I can describe that woman [Peek] is that she was untruthful.”

Read more through this link. 

47 Responses to “Report: Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Threatened Late Broward Health CEO”

  1. 4 simple words to wrap this up says:

    Why would Peek lie?

  2. Floridan says:

    Who knows? However, I have known Chip for a dozen years or more and I find the “threat” totally out of character from anything I have ever heard him say or, for that matter, his demeanor.

  3. Wally Skyler says:

    This literally made me LOL this morning. What a load of malarky. Chip is a lot of things, and even though I don’t share his politics I am officially calling BS on Peeks. Maybe just by virtue of being an employee of Zimmerman and DiPietro’s BFF was enough to influence the board but using those words to Nabil? Not buying it.

  4. Biff Barff says:

    Usually when it is a he said, she said, you look at people’s motives. In this case, what could Peek possibly gain by claiming El Sanadi was threatened? Zero, nada, nothing. Now what could Mr. LaMarca have to gain by denying this ever happened? Hummm. Houston, I think he has a problem!! If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it usually is a duck!

  5. Come on Chip says:

    Okay Cip, you weren’t “lobbying” to help get Zimmerman more money from the BH contract. Sure thing ; ).

    Question: Chip did the money you used to payoff your house and get you out of a years old foreclosure come from Zimmerman?

    This whole thing stinks. Citizens of Broward County deserve better. I bet this will be the end of you on the Commission. It’s only a matter of time.

  6. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The whole thing stinks to High Heaven because hospitals which are in need of the best professional expertise in medicine finance and physical n support services management are governed by a non elected board appointed by an elected official without legal requirements to assure qualified board members.
    IF Miss Peek’s allegations are true THE REPUBLICANS ARE TOAST IN BROWARD COUNTY

  7. John Henry says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why the Hospital would need to spend $71mil on advertising to begin with?

  8. Blood on his hands says:

    He should be wracked with guilt. For a guy who does not meet with lobbyists this is not just hypocritical but disgusting behavior.

  9. Singing Chipster says:

    There is no way in hell Chip will let Di Pietro be portrayed around town as the celebrated wounded warrior fighting against the corrupt Rick Scott while Chip looks like a cheap imitation of Don Corelone.

  10. Leslie Feldman says:

    I barely know Chip LaMarca having only been introduced by a mutual friend although I was immediately impressed and would be surprised if not shocked that he would do anything except what would be in the best interest of Broward County residents.

  11. no kidding says:

    from the write-up –

    “…Hired by Zimmerman last May, LaMarca held the title vice president of community relations, reporting directly to company founder Jordan Zimmerman……“I liked working for Zimmerman. It was a great place,” said LaMarca. “My regret is that Jordan Zimmerman ever met Dr. El Sanadi or got that contract.”

    so was chip paid a salary or by commission? and what was his salary?
    he will have to declare the 2015 salary on the June 30, 2016 electeds form all in FL must file.


    Everything will be disclosed as required by law. He says he was paid a salary and not a commission.

  12. Chaz Stevens, I Heart Satan says:

    Has anyone asked Chip where he was on the night the Doc was offed, I mean committed suicide.

  13. Stormwatch says:

    Here’s an interesting tidbit.

    The plaintiff’s witness list that Wells Fargo submitted in the foreclosure case on July 31, 2015, contains the name and title “Timothy Ryan, Loan verification analyst.” Then, 4 months later on November 3, 2015, Wells Fargo dismissed the foreclosure after a settlement was reached.

    Is the “Timothy Ryan” on the Wells Fargo witness list the same Tim Ryan who is LaMarca’s fellow commissioner?

    If so, did Tim Ryan grease the wheels with respect to convincing his employer to refinance his fellow commissioner’s delinquent mortgages?

  14. tell the truth says:

    @13. Stormwatch-
    both the Wells Fargo and the JP Morgan Chase ‘mortgages’ were ‘satisfied’ in Nov 2015 and no new ‘financing’ on the property has been recorded. According to recorder site hundreds of thousands of dollars were ‘pulled out’ in ‘equity’ since the 1999 purchase.

  15. Charlie says:

    Sounds like another south Florida public official is going to wind up in jail soon! If Chip used his influence as a public official to sway the hospital board, it’s Keith Wasserstrom all over again.

  16. Come on Chip says:

    Buddy- whether Chip was paid a salary or a commission, this still stinks.

    The defense that Chip wouldn’t threaten someone like he is alleged to have done to Dr. El Sanadi is not very compelling. There is no dispute that Chip was in a bad financial situation for years. He was not able to keep a roof over his wife’s head. Desperate people often do desperate things and act out of character. That is why I think it is generally a bad idea to elect people in financial straits to public office.

  17. charlie says:

    You are reading the ethics laws too narrowly. Regardless what you call yourself you can’t use your position as public official to enrich yourself by influencing staff or board action. I see a lot of stripes in someone’s future.

  18. WELL SAID says:

    Buddy…..why is this story not covered in the Sun Sentinel?

  19. @ 4 Simple Words says:

    That’s an easy one. Go read the minutes from the December meeting. Peeks is having buyers remorse and is looking for someone to blame. Easier to blame LaMarca than to admit that she and El Sanadi made a bad decision.
    Next question?

  20. Gone Girl says:

    Chip has made similar comments/threats to me personally and in DDP’s presence. I call BS on anyone who would doubt this is true.

  21. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    In all candor n to be fair to Commissioner Chip LaMarca, in several years dealing with Wells Fargo from Miami to Vera Beach, all decisions EXCEPT FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSCATIONS were decided in San Francisco or Sioux Falls where bank officials wont know a Broward County Commissioner to save their life. International Foreign Exchange decisions are made in New York City. There is less to this mortgage issue than people conjecture.

  22. Simmer Down says:

    My don’t you all have such a propensity for the high drama here. Peeks comment is hearsay. LaMarca isn’t going anywhere. Good Lord. And paying off the mortgage through a contract that was never paid? How exactly does one pull THAT off? Do you honestly think Zimmerman handed LaMarca a check for that amount of money because of the POSSIBILITY that Zimmerman would stand to make a profit? It’s almost comical to read some of these comments – the accusations are so far reaching it’s downright funny!


    You make a good point here.

    Any office holder draws enemies during their tenure and County Commissioner Chip LaMarca is a veteran politician. He has been in office, as a Lighthouse Point City Commissioner and now a Broward County Commissioner, since 2005.

    The Internet is a marketplace of ideas. However, the anonymity of Internet allows people to attack others in ways they don’t have the guts to do publicly. Many comments are unsubstantiated. This is especially true when writing about politics, which has always been a nest of gossip and rumors.

    The views displayed in the comments of Internet sites, however, are still representative of somebody’s opinion.

    You have read the comments and interpreted them as “comical.” I also find some comments “comical.”

    That is a beauty of the Internet. You can read opinions and accept them or reject them. It’s up to you.

    Thank you for your contribution.

  23. Biff Barff says:

    Chipster: Say hello to Scott Rothstein when you see him!!!!

  24. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @22 is right and we should let the investigations find the FACTS. However @22 says the Peek Statement was heresay and I thought she wss there n wasa witness BUT HE SAID SHE SAID is a thin weed to ruin anyone’s life while the Real Estate Collapse ruined millions of INNOCENT Americans.
    All in all @22 is right

  25. legaleeze says:

    If the comment was made in Peek’s presence it is not hearsay. It would be hearsay if Peek said El Sanadi told her Chip said it to him outside of her presence.

    Lots of pro chip comments here, yet no one can say what is the motivation for Peek to lie.

    Also very telling that Chip could easily clear up the questions of how his house was paid off, yet refuses to do so.

    To his credit DiPetro has been very up front and transparent throughout this ordeal. One thing the Berger report makes clear is that DiPetro was not in on this Zimmerman stuff and it was Chip.

  26. Come on Chip says:

    @ Simmer Down #22-

    You ask: “Do you honestly think Zimmerman handed LaMarca a check for that amount of money because of the POSSIBILITY that Zimmerman would stand to make a profit?”

    Are you serious? What’s comical is your question. Of course Zimmerman would pay a hefty sum for a lobbyist to increase the likelihood of expanding their existing contract by over $60 million.

    Companies routinely pay lobbyist millions of dollars with the hopes of getting lucrative contracts. In fact, success fees are prohibited by statute, but still get paid.

    You say “that amount.” How much was it exactly? We don’t know yet (perhaps you do), but we will in due time. We know it had to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    If Zimmerman didn’t pay Chip to help land the lucrative contract extension, then what was he paid to do? I highly doubt that they would pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure they sat at the right table at business or charity events. Come on!

    This whole thing is rotten to the core.

  27. @22 Can't stand the heat? says:

    1.unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one’s direct knowledge:
    Peek had direct knowledge. Her statement is not hearsay. It is her testimony of what occurred. Chip is a goner.

  28. Stormwatch says:

    Well. Im of the opinion that Zimmerman hired LeMarca to grease the wheels at BH, and paid him enough to settle his foreclosures before the deal went south. The whole thing presents a huge appearance of impropriety in which LeMarca walked a very thin line that he may have crossed. Is that too far reaching?

  29. Chips panic says:

    Chip: if you’ve done nothing wrong, why are you panicking? All these “never met chip but he’s greatest guy ever” posts reek of sockpuppets.

  30. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I think that Comm.Lamarca needs to have a press conference down at county hall to clear his name and tell us th e facts as he knows them. I think he should disclose hi s financial disclosure forms now , and not wait until July 15. Ok so he was a paid lobbyist for Zimmerman, is this known fact illegal? As far as him threatening the Dr, all hear say, fodder. I think Chip needs to move forward explain all this and then move on. What comment does the OIG have, is who I would like to hear from. I don’t like all this ridicule concerning Chip until we have all the facts. He has proven to be a good effective commissioner. Until I see differently I think the residents should have his back. Lets see the books so to speak Chip, and then lets move on. Have the press conference and put this to bed , one way or the other….

  31. Simmer Down says:

    I don’t need to expend the energy to refute all the further ridiculousness in the comments today. Eventually Chip will file the financial disclosure forms and that will be the end of the insane speculation. I too wish he’d do it now just to see how let down the above commenters will be at their “much ado about nothing.”

    I will say this: because Peet made that statement doesn’t make it true. Why would she make it then? Because she needs a scapegoat. Sooner or later the truth always comes out. No matter what your opinion is of LaMarca, he worked hard to be elected (TWICE) and wouldn’t risk that by making such a threat.

    Mr Walsh, Chip did in fact do an interview with Bob Norman the other night making it clear that the accusations are false.

    Now the real question… I find it highly suspicious that all the focus is on LaMarca and Zimmerman … what about the other contracts under investigation? The oncology outfit that Rick Scott owns a piece of? Deflection seems to be the name of the game… pay no attention to the man (and women….) behind the curtain.

  32. Dear Buddy says:

    One interesting thing that has not been addressed….It appears that Chip is claiming he left Zimmerman because they would not allow him to cooperate with the investigation. If true, doesn’t that mean Zimmerman is refusing to cooperate with the investigation? Hmmmm


    The answer appears to be “yes.” Let me say that fact doesn’t make him guilty of anything.

  33. Charlie says:

    To “simmer down”

    1. You are obviously the old Chipster himself
    2. As someone above pointed out, your post is the one that is comical.
    3. I hope you have a lawyer. I hear Ilene had a good one. Don’t use Stephinie’s!

    To Buddy, why aren’t the papers covering this? It smells so bad the flies are holding their next convention there.

  34. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @33 Charlie has put his finger ON THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE HAVE IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION and MISAKES BY GOVERNMENT: the lack of a decent number of LOCAL REPORTERS to report the news!
    The plain fact is when, starting back in the 1960s (Mr. Nevins can correct any errors of my memory here) the “morning paper” and then “evening paper” in NEARLY EVERY TOWN and CITY IN AMERICA died WHEN NETWORK NEWS arrived, a process started of smaller papers, owned locally being purchased by OUT OF STATE COMBINES who only looked at the “bottom line”. LOCAL PAPER OWNERS WHO OPERATED THEIR PAPERS were replaced by salaried “professionals” in DISTANT OFFICES who only looked AT IMMEDIATE PROFITS.
    When in New York City a wealthy retired merchant banker started a weekly WITH REPORTS ON NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS, he ran it at a loss, and as he had no heirs who wanted to continue it, it was sold to a real estate developer (Donald Trump’s son). Shortly afterwards the sharp political reporters (and their salaries) were gone and the local neighborhood news.
    How many people remember when Ft. Lauderdale had MULTIPLE PAPERS? Miami?
    Television only broadcasts “short stories”, it has NEVER REPLACED THE NEWSPAPERS.
    The demise of newspapers parallels the end of the locally owned large department stores which supplied the local advertising dollars to the local newspapers. Ownership of Department Stores followed the same pattern as newspapers.
    The Blogs – and Mr. Nevins of Ft. Lauderdale is hugely more productive and followed and active then a corresponding blog in the much larger and richer City of Miami and Miami-Dade County incluing Fort Lauderdale – do as much as they can but Mr. Nevins does not have the resources to cover everything in the County and I would assume operates with a fraction of the money being spent by the Sun-Sentinel on the same areas of interest.
    What is the solution outside of Mr. Nevins? NONE! The plain fact we are lucky to have a world class blog which can compete with the best of the major cities like New York City.
    I must admit if you go to Miami, Miami Beach, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and many parts of Virginia and Maryland they marvel at what Mr. Nevins achieves compared to what they have.
    Sadly, Mr. Nevins seems to be one of a kind.


    I appreciate the kind words, but I am not the answer. I could never live off of the income that provides. Luckily, I have sources of income not related to The sad fact is that most local or regional websites do not generate enough income to cover the news in any comprehensive way.

    This is the quandary that Old Style media like the Sun-Sentinel are already facing. The Internet provides a lot less income than the print newspaper, which is dying.

    One reason that the Internet doesn’t generate as much cash is competition. There is a lot of competition on the Internet for ad dollars compared to the old days when the newspaper was a near monopoly for Broward advertising.

    The other reason is that competition creates low ad rates — good news for advertisers and bad news for publishers.

    There is no doubt that the Sun-Sentinel could not afford even its diminished current reporting/editing staff with just the money it made from the Internet.

    On another problem you mention for publishers like the Sun-Sentinel: There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of large local advertisers because of mergers or business failures. Remember the department stores Jordan Marsh, J. Byrons or Richards? All major advertisers that no longer exist. Macy’s and Burdines merged, eliminating many ads. This trends involved other businesses, from car dealers to airlines and beyond. This has cost local media big bucks.

    There is little question in my mind that the lack of local reporting allows government to run wild. Broward Health, enveloped in a huge financial and corruption scandal, hasn’t had a regular reporter attend its meetings for years. Most of the cities in Broward lack regular coverage, which is great for the politicians but bad for the public. Who knows what they are getting away with?

    What is the financially viable path to good local coverage in the future? I don’t know the answer. No one does.

  35. Zimmerman HR says:

    Just the Facts from HR:
    Lamarca was paid a salary at Zimmerman.

    Lamarca would not receive and commission on any existing project or new business.

    Brow Health was an existing client when Lamarca came on board.

    Lamarca had no large checks or payments made through Zimmerman in his time here.

    By a project search, Lamarca was not assigned to Brow Health team. He was listed as initiator on 19 projects or campaigns.

    Not sure about his politics because he wasn’t here for that, but he was a joy to have at the agency and knew a great deal about Broward County and the people here and around the state. Sorry to see him leave.

    PS: We run a $3.8B agency and Brow Health is literally one of our smallest clients by revenue. Seems that Jordan really wanted to turn this one around for the right reasons. Lamarca said in his close out interview “I recommended to JZ that we terminate our agreement and seek to work with Baptist or Cleveland in healthcare.”

  36. Ron Mills says:

    Stormwatch says:
    Commissioner Tim Ryan is a Lawyer, and not a Loan Verification Officer for any bank

  37. Kenny Keechl says:

    I want to have a big parade on Rainbow Dr! Chippy will you be my grand marshal?

  38. Charlie says:

    To the Z group: unfortunately for your employer and mr la Marca there is plenty of evidence (knowledge gained from the new reports I have read) that in fact Chipster was in fact lobbying for z.

    As for, BH being a drop in your HUGE portfolio (for illustrative purposes I’m rolling my eyes) if it was up to Chipster, that drop in the bucket would have turned into quite a substantial amount. Bigger, even, then your boss’s biceps.

  39. More Lamarca Lies says:

    Zimmerman HR

    Wait, didn’t Chip tell the Sun Sentinel that he served as political liaison? Someone who sat Zimmerman with the right people a political dinners? Now according to Zimmerman HR he was not there for “politics”.

    Since Zimmerman has not admitted that chip was not a political hire but an “initiator” on 19 “projects” I look forward to them producing who or what entitles were involved in those “projects”

    Finally, no large checks from “Zimmerman”, no surprise.
    Of course that could mean the company not the man himself.

    Lets face it, if there was something shady in paying off LaMarca’s mortgages, no one is going to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to the actual payee.

  40. He's a Lobbyist says:


    If you walk like a lobbyist, talk like a lobbyist and act like a lobbyist, you are a lobbyist.

  41. Ha Ha Ha says:

    FROM BUDDY: What is the financially viable path to good local coverage in the future? I don’t know the answer. No one does.

    Answer: Wikileaks – Broward County Edition

  42. Come on Zimmerman HR! says:

    @ Zimmerman HR:

    You say:

    “Lamarca had no large checks or payments made through Zimmerman in his time here.”

    That sounds fishy. You didn’t say he was not paid any large amounts. You only say he was not paid THROUGH Zimmerman during his time there.

    What about payments to him prior to his employment? What about any indirect payments made for his benefit by and/or to any intermediaries.

    Can you tell us with certainty that if investigators follow the money trail backwards from the payoff of Chip’s house it will NOT lead to Zimmerman or a Zimmerman related entity or insider?

    You also say he worked on 19 projects. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that BH at $71.4M was by far the largest of the 19 projects. What was the actual or hopeful contract price for each of the next 2 largest projects?

    The truth is going to come out. This is far from over.

  43. Zimmerman HR is funny.... says:

    Zimmerman HR said:

    “Seems that Jordan (Zimmerman) really wanted to turn this one around for the right reasons.” – I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    Let’s assume your right, although I find it hard to comprehend how a $1.9 million/year fee is peanuts. In fact, that fee is almost equal to what’s been reported as Broward Health’s ENTIRE annual ad budget ($2.1 million) pre-Zimmerman. In other words, what Broward Health spent in advertising for an entire year is the amount Zimmerman did or would have received in just fees.

    And I’ll also point out that Zadv was granted $1.5 million to spend in the last two weeks of December 2015, but they actually spent $1.2 million. Did anyone see a lot of Broward Health advertising in the weeks leading up to Christmas???

    I would argue money is the sole reason Jordan Z really wanted it. But I don’t really blame Zimmerman — they were dealing with a bunch of idiots who are clueless so it was easy to take advantage of them. Unfortunately it was the citizens of Broward who got screwed.

  44. @zhr says:

    Zimmerman HR just admitted chip was paid success bonuses on lobbying. They can call it community relations but success bonuses are paid to lobbyists. Sorry. Exhibit A up there.

  45. @27Hearsay says:

    I don’t disagree with the dictionary’s definition of hearsay but Ms. Peek has lied on many occasions in the workplace. I would seriously doubt her credibility. She can testifying to whatever she likes however, most who know her would agree they are not buying it unless it was recorded.

  46. @45 says:

    …and anyone who knows Lamarca knows he is a self inflated narcissist and that it is likely true.

  47. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Although anyone is innocent until proven guilty and simply saying someone is a liar, etc. is worthless without documentary proof substantiated by a proceeding of some kind, public officials, like the Clergy or bank and corporate and charity officials are held to a HIGHER STANDARD because they HANDLE OTHERS MONEY, which is a TRUST.
    A public official should NOT get himself into the situation County Commissioner LaMarca has gotten himself into.
    Personality and politics are not the point, the point is: has a PUBLIC official gotten himself into a situation where his conduct BASED ON DOCUMENTS and CREDIBLE TESTIMONEY is “questionable”.

    And, in all fairness, as Mr. Nevins has reminded us, when the financial reports are due, apparently in July, we cam make a jugdement based on the record, not “surmises” and “guesses” and “he said, she said”.