Florida Bulldog by Dan Christensen
December 12, 2017
A state grand jury investigation of alleged Sunshine Law violations at taxpayer-supported Broward Health appears to be wrapping up, and sources familiar with what’s happening say one or more indictments are likely.
“I would not be surprised that there’d be an indictment, although there’s no basis for it given the way this matter has been presented to the grand jury by the state attorney’s office,” said Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Bruce Lyons, who represents Broward Health Chairman Rocky Rodriguez.
“It could be one of two things. They could indict [Broward Health general counsel] Lynn Barrett by herself, which I doubt, or they could indict them all.”
Former Miami U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez represents Barrett. He was out of the country, and a request to discuss the case was referred to attorney Lindsey Friedman, who declined to comment.
Florida Bulldog previously reported that Broward’s grand jury began hearing from witnesses Sept. 27 in the wake of allegations that Broward Health’s board violated state law last December when, at a hastily arranged meeting, it voted 4-1 to fire then-CEO Pauline Grant for alleged violations of a federal anti-kickback law.
Commissioners who voted to fire Grant were Chairman Rodriguez, Commissioner Christopher Ure and then-Commissioners Beverly Capasso and Linda Robison. Commissioner Maureen Canada, who has also since departed, voted no.
Broward Health has retained lawyers for Barrett, Rodriguez, Ure, Robison and Capasso, who currently serves as the hospital district’s interim CEO.
“I decided our office should focus on possible Sunshine Law violations and related matters that had come to our attention,” Broward State Attorney Michael Satz told Florida Bulldog in September.
Capasso voted to give herself a job
Those related matters likely include Capasso’s decision last May 8, while still on Broward Health’s board, to vote to give herself the lucrative job of interim CEO. Her salary was later set at $650,000. Minutes of that meeting show that when Capasso’s name was called during the roll call vote she “questioned if she could vote” but was assured by Barrett that she could. [READ MORE]