Some Pols Not Buying Castillo’s Excuse


Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo denied the widespread speculation that he is hiding the truth behind his decision to quit the county commission race late Friday.

Castillo was the talk of political activists who attended the opening of the new Broward Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday.

Almost no one believed his excuse that he quit the race for ethics reasons. 

Castillo said he was told this week by an ethics lawyer that he couldn’t be a commissioner and remain the $157,000-a-year chief executive of Broward House, an AIDS center that gets county grants.

 He chose to remain the head of the Broward House.  That job pays him almost $60,000 more than he would receive as a county commissioner, not counting the thousands he would have given up as a Pembroke Pines commissioner.

“I don’t buy anything he is saying. This is a guy who was thirsting for this for years and he never checked on this before yesterday?  It doesn’t make sense,”  said one leading Democrat.

Castillo called “ridiculous” the speculation that he was hiding the truth.

“There is nothing else, Castillo said. “This is the kind of talk that happens now in the cynical world we live in.

“I’m in no trouble.  There isn’t an ethics complaint, or a concern that I have.  There are no investigations.  Nothing is wrong, Castillo said.

Castillo explained that the day after he filed for office on April 5,  he hired an ethics lawyer in Tallahassee to make sure he could hold his job as the head of Broward House, a Fort Lauderdale AIDS center.

He waited until then because incumbent Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin was in the seat. He didn’t want to spend the $2,700 it cost him for the attorney if there was going to be no campaign.  

This week he heard from the attorney.  He couldn’t hold both jobs, he was told.

Castillo also was told the Ethics Commission could produce a written opinion, but it would take four-to-six weeks. He didn’t want to keep campaigning, knowing that letter was coming.

“I still can’t understand why disclosure and recusal are not enough, he said.

He even told his attorney he would freeze his Broward House salary for the time he was on the commission, so he would get no additional benefits from any money voted for the agency.

“It wasn’t enough, he said.

One Democrat said: “There are three people upset with these developments. Angelo, of course.  (Lobbyist) Judy Stern, because she lost a vote on the county commission.  And (Pembroke Pines Mayor) Frank Ortis, who thought he had gotten rid of Angelo.”

Ortis and Castillo are said to be political enemies.

While Democrats gossiped about Castillo, some moved on.  Black Democratic support quickly started to jell around Shevrin Jones.

The son of the pastor of the Koinonia Worship Cener, Jones is now the only Democrat in the race in this Democratic-leaning southwest Broward commission district.

Jones picked up the support of several black elected officials on Saturday.  Since just under 50 percent of the likely voters in a Democrat primary are black, Jones could have a good chance of winning against any candidate despite his lack of experience in government.

No other Democratic candidate surfaced Saturday.

Castillo said Jones called him Friday and he plans to meet with his former primary opponent soon. 

I’ll leave the last quote to Lisa Castillo, the spunky wife of Angelo. I actually know Lisa better than Angelo, since she was a county commission aide to former Commissioner Jim Scott for years.

I can tell you first hand, Lisa probably is used to getting the last word in the Castillo house.

I asked her how she felt about Angelo dropping out.

“This is life, she said. “Fortunately we don’t rely on this (politics).

Talking about her husband, she said, “When you are talented and you have degrees, you have other possibilities, other options.

She is right.  Angelo has a law degree, more than two decades working in health and human services, extensive experience in elected government and a wealth of wonderful ideas.

The county’s loss is Pembroke Pines’ gaineven if I still hate your red light cameras,  Angelo.

16 Responses to “Some Pols Not Buying Castillo’s Excuse”

  1. Politico says:

    Hard to believe that someone of his educational and professional caliber would not have known the “conflict information” up front.

  2. Lets Guess says:

    Wanna bet that the Tallahassee lawyer was Judy Stern’s buddy Mar Heron. I think Heron was counsel for Stern’s opps I mean Todd Wilder’s Common Sense Coalition.

    Maybe he quit because he knew he could not escape the taint of Judy Eggletion Stern. I read here she was there with checks at Platt’s house last week. Angelo know everyone know his bs of no involvement with Stern wasn’t going to float.

    Looks like a tough cycle for Judy Eggletion Stern…no one to replace old friend Joe, losing a certain yes vote lilke Castillo. Geller takes her money but hold his nose at the mention of her name. Helping LaMarca against Keechel is risky since she still needs those east side dems to get her daughter elected. All this topped off by the new ethics rules at the County that seem to be directed towards her. Tough times since she couldn’t deliver on Israel.

  3. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Buddy:

    Widespread speculation? Quoted but unidentified Democratic yentas questioning my word? Please. And by the way, none of these people said that to me.

    In the last 24 hours, I’ve spoken to over 100 top Broward Democrats, including most of the top leaders in this community. All have said the same thing to me — that they respect the way I handled this matter and understand why.

    So let’s review some recent history shall we?

    First, I had no plan at all on running for the county until Diana suspended her campaign. That was just five weeks ago. I had just been re-elected three weeks before, remember? I’m in this race exactly one month.

    As I said a hundred times, even on this blog, and still nobody would believe me, I was not (as in ever) running against Diana Wasserman-Rubin. You people seem totally unable to believe that an elected official might actually feel an emotion as foreign as loyalty and appreciation for someone who had been kind to him in the past. Well, you learn something new every day.

    Now, forgive the “oversight” but no I did not previously pay $2,700 to an attorney, out of my pocket and bbefore it could become a campaign eligible expense, to conduct an ethics review of a job that I had not decided to pursue.

    Rather, following my well established pattern for irresponsiblity, I chose to conduct my legal due diligence of a county race at exactly the time when I decided to explore running for county office — but before I had filed to qualify officially as a candidate. How silly of me.

    Third, and I will say this for the last time. It is a sucker’s bet for anyone to believe that I am, ever was, or would ever become “a vote” for any particular lobbyist.

    I’m way too stubborn, way too independent and a tad too awnry to dance to anyone’s strings. Go look at my voting record and you’ll see. Go look. You can’t ever put that rap on me.

    Better yet, go ask Frank Ortis. Ask Frank if I’m afraid to vote no even when lobbyists are involved in a matter. Seriously, ask him.
    He’ll set you straight.

    And by the way, Frank and I sometimes disagree but this continued insinuation that we are political enemies is way off base.

    Frank and Barbara were first to endorse my run for county commissioner and planned on having a huge Memorial Day weekend barbeque at their home to raise money for my campaign. Enemies don’t do that for one another.

    And even when we disagree there is never a doubt in my mind that nobody loves Pembroke Pines more than Frank Orits does. Perhaps just as much, but nobody loves our city more than he does.

    Fourth, and I really do hate to disappoint, but there truly isn’t anything more to this situation than what I reported. There’s no second story, nothing lurking behind my statement, no hidden skeletons in the closet, no cover ups. You can expect no follow up event. The whole thing is as straight forward as reading my announcement. That’s it.

    Fifth, to Buddy, please stop your bellyaching and stop for red lights. And by the way, the red light cameras are not and never were mine. True, I think they save lives. But red light cameras is a Florida statute now, awaiting our Governor’s signature.

    And last, Buddy’s right about Lisa. She absolutely does have the last word in our house. I insist upon it.

    Best wishes to all,


  4. Hey Angelo says:


    For a guy who didn’t run due to not wanting to sacrifice family time you sure spend a lot of time reading and writing on blogs.

  5. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    True, I think they save lives.

    It appears that you have not done your research.

  6. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Not done my research about what?


  7. Just Stop It and Move On! says:


    If everything is a lie, stop going back and forward with these people on the blogs. I believe you to be a good guy! If these people want to act like jerks on here, so be it, but you should not have to defend yourself! Just chill!

    Furthermore, I believe you would have made an awesome County Commissioner! Now we have another great guy in the race, Shevrin Jones, I had the opportunity to meet “the kid”, and he is VERY, VERY IMPRESSIVE and I believe he would be great! I don’t know him personally, but wow! I was impressed, BIG TIME!

    Angelo, you’re a good man!

  8. Find A Replacement says:

    The Jones kid is a 26 year old church pastor’s son. That is his resume highlight. He has no experience and is only looking to make a name for himself. He has nothing to offer Broward. What does any 26 year old kid know about anything much less running a county of 2 million people?

    Castillo was a perfect choice. That is not going to happen now. They need to identify someone who can do the job. Jones is not even a factor in that consideration.

  9. disenchanted says:

    over 160,000 to run a not for profit suppoeted by the great taxpayers, that is more than any elected position in browaRD, NOT BAD, THE ONLY ONES WHO GET MORE ARE THE POLICE AND FIREMEN OF BROWARD, its a greaqt country. at least the fire and police have something to do what the hell is there to running a half way house.

  10. I Don't Believe It says:

    Angelo excuse is lame and unbelievable. Recusal has been the rule in Florida as long as I can remember and Angleo knows that. There IS SOMETHING ELSE AT WORK HERE. Where is the lawyer’s letter and bill? Did he even really get an ethics opinion?

  11. Got It Wrong Way says:

    “The county’s loss is Pembroke Pines’ gain”….
    It is the reverse, Buddy.
    The county is spared a puppet of Judy Stern,that scab on our political body. Pines gets the Sternite back.
    Angelo, do you have your marching orders from Stern yet? She probably has a list of clients that are looking for work in Pembroke Pines.

  12. jim tylock says:

    man o man, this stern person must be one hell of a person to have or at least have the perception of so much power. always thought it was the formans who ran the show now its some little person named judy.

  13. jim tylock says:

    and i might add is she cute or a hottie.

  14. Say what says:

    Hey Jimmy

    I think you mistook Browardbeat for Jdate.

  15. alan says:

    This is a done deal. He had to have an idea this would come back to bite him. Second changes at this level are hard to come by. Lets move on to some new blood.

  16. Deep Disappointment says:

    Nobody would have been better for that job or more honorable.