Sterling’s $100,000 Fee From Charity Is Outrageous



There is lots of money in blood for lobbyist Neil Sterling.

Sterling is the go-to guy at the School Board under investigation by the feds in their probe of Broward government corruption.

The Miami Herald today said Sterling earns $100,000-a-year as the lobbyist for Community Blood Centers of South Florida.

When I was reading the Herald story I had to stop.  I had to read it again to make sure I got it right the first time.


This is an outrageous amount for a charity to pay a lobbyist. It is literally blood money.

Because blood donated for free to the Community Blood Centers is then sold to hospitals.

The Community Blood Centers of South Florida had revenues of $79.7 million in 2007, the last reporting period to the state. Of this amount, they had a surplus after expenses of $7.6 million.

A surplus (profit?) of nearly 10 percent or revenues would be a lot even for many for-profit businesses.

The blood centers’ president, Dr. Charles Rouault, told The Miami Herald that “Sterling helps the nonprofit organization navigate the bureaucracies of the School Board and local governments.

In addition to paying Sterling an outsized amount, Rouault’s charity was paying School Board member Bev Gallagher another $53,000 to oversee a college scholarship fund for students who donated blood. 

Sterling helped her get the job, which is interesting when you realize he has 17 clients she voted on at the School Board.

Since Gallagher was charged with taking a bribe, the Community Blood Centers has fired her.

The Sun-Sentinel had a new twist on the scholarships that Gallagher was  supervising.  The paper revealed last week that from 2005 to 2008 “tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships were never awarded.

According to the newspaper, in fiscal 2007-08, school graduates were owed $564,249 in scholarships, but $240,000 wasn’t awarded and left in the blood bank’s bank account.

I wonder what Gallagher was doing for her salary? 

The Community Blood Centers does a necessary job. That doesn’t mean they have a blank check to operate any way they want.

The Community Blood Centers are a charity.  They should start acting like one.


The Miami Herald story on Sterling is here.

9 Responses to “Sterling’s $100,000 Fee From Charity Is Outrageous”

  1. Insider says:

    All I get when I donate my pint is a cookie and a soda …

  2. ann says:

    Hard to argue with your logic on this one!

  3. Witt Stone says:

    I find it amazing that they have a surplus at all. Charge the hospitals less and help with the cost of health care.
    As far as Sterling goes, can somebody tell me what a blood bank needs a lobbyist for at all.

  4. School Employee says:

    This is another example of the School Board doing favors for their friends. I am in DROP and get letters and advertisements every day from insurance companies and brokers. The School Board obviously sells or gives my name to these private companies. I am sure that the owners are friends of various board members.
    Collecting blood is benefit for society. That doesn’t mean that they should collect at schools. If the blood centers can use our students, the doors of schools should be open all charities and have children work for the Red Cross or various hospitals, too. Maybe between all the volunteer work for the friends of the School Board we can find time to educate the kids.

  5. The Reason Why says:

    Community Blood Bank is not the only game in town. There are other blood suckers in town (sorry, could not resist!) just as outstanding as Community Blood Bank. Each of them has a business plan to maximize their collection of blood and it is absolutely in the public interest that they do all they can to collect as much blood as possible.

    The purpose of Community Blood Bank’s lobbyist is to help keep competitors away, so that Community Blood Bank can continue doing as much business as they can. Sorry for your Polly Anna’s out there — but this is a perfectly legitimate business move given the environment that exists in this county. It violates absolutely no laws. It is not immoral or unethical.

    Now, if you want to talk about why a lobbyist is necessary at all in Broward in order to do business, that’s a legitimate conversation. Nobody seems to want to have that discussion. However unless that changes let’s face some basic facts. Not using a lobbyist in Broward, when you could, is a stupid move from a business standpoint. They absolutely help get business done here.

    What cannot be condoned is that scholarship money that kids could have used was not allocated. That problem needs to be fixed ASAP.

  6. Coconut Creek says:

    Buddy: This is no worse than the Resource Recovery Board paying patronage ($132,000.00 per annum) to Ron Greestein to live in Tallahassee. What’s that? Stay away money? You made such a mess of things why you were here we like you to go away for awhile and here’s the cash to do it? At least Sterling lives here! Why is anyone surprised by this in Broward County? A better story about Sterling might be about which School Board member’s spouse he employs and gives work to.

    FROM BUDDY: Resource Recovery is not a charity.

  7. gonzo says:

    re “Coconut Creek”, BUDDY’s response”,
    it is hard to accept Mr. Greenstein’s salary being acceptable and him not being down here in Broward, earning it week to week, being in the trenches..maybe Resource Recovery is a charity, rewarding old friendships…all kidding aside, maybe Greenstein should be a consultant, not an employee, making less than 6 digits annum..
    any thoughts?

  8. Beth The Bounty Hunder says:

    It’s time somebody learned about Sterling’s greed. They fired Bev and why not Neil????

  9. Beth The Bounty Hunder says:

    Too bad about the unissued scholarships, that money could change many student’s lives for the good for the future. So could the $100,000 given to Sterling, that could help many students.