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Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeLocal NewsTamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton cleared of Wrongdoing. Gomez and Villalobos still...

Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton cleared of Wrongdoing. Gomez and Villalobos still facing Violations.

The Florida Commission on Ethics has unanimously voted to dismiss an ethics complaint filed against Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton. The complaint, filed by Kathleen ‘Kate’ Johnson, alleged that Bolton had a voting conflict of interest regarding the City’s purchase of the Shaker Village Clubhouse, which is intended to be transformed into a community center serving all Tamarac residents, particularly on the Eastside.

Johnson, known by some as ‘The Enemy of the East’ for her perceived obstruction of progress in the area, claimed that Bolton would receive a direct or indirect benefit from the sale of the clubhouse. However, the Florida Commission on Ethics found no evidence to support these baseless and frivolous allegations and dismissed the complaint entirely.

This decision clears Bolton of any wrongdoing and allows him to continue working towards improving the community without the shadow of ethical impropriety. The planned community center aims to provide vital services and resources to East Tamarac residents, promoting progress and development in the area.

THE NEED FOR A COMMUNITY CENTER

A feasibility study conducted in 2017 revealed that the Eastside of Tamarac lacked essential resources and facilities, with residents of District 1 being underserved. This study authorized by the City Commission highlighted the need for a community center to address these disparities.

THE DELAYS

The fight to locate a City Community Center at Shaker is ongoing, up to Wednesday, April 10th, the Association faced a lawsuit filed by Tonya Nesbit, a resident of Shaker Village. The lawsuit claims that the Board improperly entered into a sales agreement with the City, requiring 75% community approval. However, the Board conducted a vote, garnering over 75% support, making the lawsuit moot. The case was set for a motion for summary judgment on April 10, 2014, and Shaker Village prevailed!

Members of the board hinted the suit was engineered by Mayor Michelle Gomez to halt the sale of the Clubhouse.  Whether or not Gomez engineered the lawsuit, someone will have to pay Shaker Village’s court costs.  Will Tonya Nesbit sell her house to pay, or demand that Michelle Gomez sell hers?  We shall see!

MAYOR MICHELLE J. GOMEZ AND COMMISSIONER ELVIN VILLALOBOS MISCONDUCT

During the April 10th City Commission meeting, a resolution was passed by a majority vote to cover legal fees incurred by elected officials, the City Manager, the City Attorney, and department heads when faced with ethics complaints. The move comes as several high-profile investigations are underway, including one involving Commissioner Elvin Villalobos, who is accused of eating and drinking alcohol on a city lobbyist’s tab. The Broward County Office of Inspector General is investigating.

Mayor Michelle Gomez, who also faces legal trouble, stated that she does not have an issue with the resolution, but wanted it drafted differently, expanding it to all types of legal cases, not just ethics violations. “it is too narrowly written,” said Gomez. Please “just trust me.” she added.

Gomez herself is facing legal issues, having been deposed in the lawsuit involving former City Manager Micheal Cernech, who is accused of racketeering and extortion. In a statement, Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office said, “The defendant conspired with convicted felons, using his position of authority to relay false information to the highest levels of city government to further this multimillion-dollar extortion scheme — disgraceful…”

The case has led to accusations of corruption and abuse of power within the city government.  Court documents are expected to reveal more about Gomez’s involvement, but she revealed on Wednesday night that other city employees, not just department heads, may be implicated in the lawsuit.

As the investigations continue, the public is left wondering what other secrets will be uncovered and how the city government will address the allegations of corruption and misconduct.

THE FUTURE

Other news outlets, sponsored by Commissioner Elvin Villalobos, always try to paint Commissioner Bolton as unethical, but ONLY Bolton has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the State’s Commission on Ethics.

With the ethics complaint dismissed against Bolton and the Shaker Village Association lawsuit victory, the future seems bright for Tamarac’s eastside. The City Commission and Community Leaders must continue to work towards finding a solution, ensuring that the residents of District 1 receive the resources and services they deserve. Only through collaboration and perseverance can the dream of a community center become a reality, promoting progress and development in Tamarac’s Eastside.

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