Why Broward Health’s $167K Report Clearing Commissioners Will Be Ignored




When Broward Health was hit with investigations by the state and FBI, the seven public health care commissioners hired Fort Lauderdale lawyer Mitchell Berger to defend them.

Berger’s job was to “assist” in responding to the widespread state Office of Inspector General’s examination of Broward Health’s contracts.  The hospital system has been full of rumors and allegations that commissioners were leaning on staff to sign lucrative deals with favored businesses.

“My job is to clear the commission,” Berger told Browardbeat.com.


Mitchell Berger

Mitchell Berger


Clear it he fulfilled his job with his report.  He presented a lengthy document last week that found commissioners had done nothing wrong.

However, he blamed the staff for most of the problems at the system.  After all, it was the commissioners and not the staff that hired him and was paying him:

“Our review and analysis has not disclosed any instance of either (i) the Board exercising its Charter oversight function other than as a whole board, or (ii) any Board Member directing or interfering with any District employee, officer, or agent under the supervision of the President/CEO. To the contrary, our research indicates that the Board and its individual Members seemed to have operated within the confines of the District Charter and the Attorney General’s opinion. However, it is important to note that we have uncovered several instances where either the will of the whole Board in its exercise of its Charter oversight functions, or the efforts of individual Board Members in attempting to inquire or obtain information, seem to have been thwarted by the efforts of senior District personnel.”

Commissioners will now attempt to present Berger’s advocacy to the state Office of Inspector General.

My guess is that the Inspector General treat the report for what it is: An account from a paid mouthpiece.

Berger’s problem is outlined in the piece I wrote with Dan Christensen in the Miami Herald and Floridabulldog.org linked here. 

The Office of Inspector General is part of the governor’s office.  Gov. Rick Scott is the most highly-partisan Republicans ever to occupy the governor’s mansion.

The author of the report is Mitchell Berger, who is not only a Democrat but a super duper Democratic activist and fund raiser.

If Berger’s role filling the coffers of the national and state Democratic Party isn’t enough to make Scott skeptical, there is the little matter of the lawyer’s work the governor’s 2014 opponent, Charlie Crist. Berger held the first Crist fund raiser at his home. Then he hosted a second Crist fundraiser at a downtown Fort Lauderdale restaurant. And Berger was host of a third Crist campaign event — a reception for high rollers at a downtown Fort Lauderdale hotel.

Even Berger said he was the wrong person to deliver his defense of the Broward Health commissioners to Tallahassee.  He advised commissioners last week to hire a Republican lawyer or lobbyist…but not before making public his $167,000 estimated fees and costs, which he concedes may “expand, contract or otherwise change” for roughly six week’s work.

The report is linked below.  The key letter clearing the commissioners of interference is from pages 107-109:





10 Responses to “Why Broward Health’s $167K Report Clearing Commissioners Will Be Ignored”

  1. Archduke BFD Samuel du Shamrack says:

    In one breath you accuse Gov. Rick Scott of being “the most highly-partisan Republicans ever to occupy the governor’s mansion.” In the next you say he hired a “super duper Democratic activist and fund raiser.”

    Don’t you find these statements a little incongruous?


    Scott didn’t hire Mitchell Berger. The Broward Health Commission hired him to defend them as it says in the first paragraph.

  2. flushing sound says:


    omg, he only charges $750 an hour, don’t tell me he spent over 200 hours on this thing…what a waste of tax dollars.

  3. It's all air says:

    This is a 167K fluff piece. Zimmerman can take lessons from Berger on how to spin a tale.
    I worked there for “decades”, the illegal back door deals are done every day, nothing is even questioned.
    I love how Doris Peek is referred to as the Coordinator of Marketing and Dionne Wong as the Director of HR. Both of these women are Senior Vice Presidents, not mid level managers. Ms. Peek has what I Beleive Dr. El Sanadi referred to as “skin I the game”, She has a lot to lose if her real actions are put out there for all to see.
    I now work at a for profit hospital system. It is it perfect, no..but i don’t feel like I am working in a slime pit either.

  4. Archduke BFD Samuel du Shamrack says:


    “Scott didn’t hire Mitchell Berger. The Broward Health Commission hired him to defend them as it says in the first paragraph.”

    My bad. I guess I’ll read the article more closely next time.

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    l. Mr. Nevins I believe is correct, Governor Scott is the most partisan Governor we have had since I was born here in 1945 or even going back to my Mother and Grandparents and Greatgrandfather’s says (before World War I).
    2. I don’t believe a lawyer’s political affiliations should be considered in their honesty, intregrity or diligence. Whether Republican or Democratic, conservative or liberal, professionals like lawyers should be judged on their MERIT.
    3. I don’t believe anyone questions Attorney Berger’s intregrity or legal expertise
    4. The Habsburgs are the only ones entitled to the title of Archuke. An Archduke is referred to as Archduke THEN THEIR GIVEN or CHRISTIAN NAMES, “initials” or “family names” are never used, the ONLY EXCEPTION being the late assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand who added “Habsburg-d’Este” to indicate besides being a direct male descendent of the ancient House of Lorraine, he was the nearest male descendent of the d’Este dukes and marchese of Ferrara who are well known in Jewish history because they purchased the rights from the Popes (Ferrara is subject to the Pope not the Holy Roman Empire) to permit Jewish settlement. “The Garden of the Finzi Continis” is about the destruction of that wonderful, glowing jewel of a community, now a shadow of itself.

  6. Sam The Sham says:

    Count Chocula,

    I was only having some innocent fun with the name. But never the less, I do appreciate the history lessons of some now archaic customs. We in America do not really understand all those nuances of Archdukery and so on. Please do not misinterpret my little joke as an insult, it was not meant to be.

  7. Charlie says:

    That’s almost criminal they charged that much. I’d love to see those legal bills.



  9. poor nina says:

    She may go down in this

  10. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    My tax dollars AND YOURS THE READERS OF THIS BLOG ONE WAY OR ANOTHER pay for Public Hospitals and I doubt ANY OF US what vendors to a Public Hospital System to be SHAKEN DOWN FOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS FOR ANYONE ANYTIME ANYWHERE.