Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sheriff's Office criticized over inmates' Social Security benefits

The following was information provided to The Sun-Sentinel regarding this story but not included in their reporting, as well as clarifications to the facts contained in the story dated January 16, 2008.

"...The Broward Sheriff's Office collects $400 every time the Social Security Administration learns about and suspends benefits for inmates within 30 days of their incarceration."

CORRECTION: As was explained to the Sun-Sentinel reporter, BSO does not keep ANY money connected to the suspension of benefits. The money is sent by the Federal government and forwarded to the County government. This is because the jail belongs to the county, and BSO operates the jail for the county.

Also told to the reporter, who made the decision not to include in the story, is the fact that BSO was the one that approached social security four years ago to set up a system to track inmates' benefits. At the time, social security was not able to work with BSO. Therefore, BSO instead, on its own, developed a system to assist inmates in the the jail's mental health unit who may have their benefits suspended by the federal government.

"...If they're turning the spigot off, they can help turn it back on, too," said Doug Brawley, a chief assistant public defender.

CLARIFICATION:As was also explained to the reporter, BSO does not have anything to do with the suspension of federal social security benefits. BSO does not send social security any kind of a list of inmates, and BSO is not notified by social security when an inmates benefits have been suspended. Often, by the time BSO finds out an inmate has had benefits suspened, the inmate has already been released from custody.

Also told to the reporter, and included in the competing story on this subject in the Miami Herald is the fact that BSO would welcome individuals from Social Security into the jail to help assist inmates with their benefits.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Broward deputy reportedly stabbed herself, faked attack

The following is a correction to a story run in the Sun-Sentinel dated November 29, 2007.

"...A Broward sheriff's patrol sergeant lied when she claimed an assailant stabbed her on Sunday but won't face any criminal charges or discipline from the agency, officials said Wednesday."

CORRECTION: BSO Internal Affairs will be looking into this. Filing a false report is a serious violation of policy. Punishment for filing a false report can include termination of the employee.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Homeland Security grants used to buy gym gear

The following is a correction to a story run in the Miami Herald dated November 6, 2007. The story was a rehash of an original report that aired on WFOR-TV November 5, 2007.

"...Broward County firefighters have $86,410 worth of weight machines, treadmills and exercise equipment that were paid for by federal money that FEMA sent to the former Lauderdale Lakes fire department. ..."

CORRECTION: The amount spent on the exercise equipment was not $86,410. The amount was only $6,410. The remaining $80,000 was spent on the following:

A generator, rescue saws, hose nozzels, rescue tools, ladders, hoses, a rescue stair chair, fire extinguishers, axes, pry bars, hammers, lighting, crow bars, other specialized rescue equipment as well as over $20,000 of the total that was spent on repairs to the fire house.

All this information was contained in a detailed spreadsheet that was given to WFOR reporter Stephen Stock, but incorrectly reported in the Miami Herald. That spreadsheet is available for download from the BSO Media Relations section of our website,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lamberti has challenges to face quickly

The following is a correction to an editorial in the Sun-Sentinel dated October 31, 2007.

"...Lamberti has to figure out how to trim nearly $17 million from his budget of over $700 million, because of mandatory property tax cuts. There is also the issue of Pembroke Park possibly dropping the Sheriff's Office in an economic move..."

CORRECTION: The Sun-Sentinel once again is incorrectly reporting that the city of Pembroke Park is considering dropping BSO for its law enforcement and fire rescue services. Again, we point out that the city has already agreed to a new, multi-year agreement for both law enforcement and fire rescue services. This was first incorrectly reported by the Sun-Sentinel this past Saturday, October 27, 2007. In fact, the Sun-Sentinel acknowledged its original error in its own correction that ran the day before this new editorial.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lamberti appointed Broward sheriff

The following is a correction to a story in the Sun-Sentinel dated October 27, 2007.

"...Lamberti faces several challenges in the near future....Pembroke Park is considering dropping the Sheriff's Office for a cheaper alternative..."

CORRECTION: This is incorrect. The City of Pembroke Park has already agreed to remain with the Broward Sheriff's Office for both its law enforcement and fire rescue services. In fact, the city has agreed to a multi-year contract with BSO.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Crime Spree - Hold-ups in Boca of all-night stores

The following is a correction to a picture caption in a Miami Herald article dated October 19, 2007.

"...IN POMPANO: BSO calls this man, who visited a CVS minutes before a Sept. 4 hold-up, a 'person of interest'."

CORRECTION: BSO released the picture of the individual over a month ago. Since then, he has been identified and has come forward to talk with detectives. Several weeks ago he was ruled out as having any connection to the robbery. The Miami Herald, which received the picture on September 6th, did not check with BSO for an update before running the picture on October 19th. BSO does not consider this man related to the September 4th robbery.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Man beaten and robbed after being left at scene following cousin's arrest for DUI

The following are excerpts from a WSVN 7 News story that aired Tuesday, May 1, 2007, along with corrections and clarifications regarding the reporting in the story. There is also information that 7 News reporter Rosh Lowe knew at the time of air, but neglected to include in the story.

"...Borges and his brother were forced to walk home at 1:30 in the morning in a bad neighborhood by themselves.."

CLARIFICATION: At the time of the traffic stop, Borges (who is an adult) had a cell phone with him, and told the deputy that he was, in fact, calling his mother to come and pick him up at that location. The deputy continued to process the DUI arrest of Borges' cousin. When he was able to refocus his attention on the passengers, they had already left the scene on their own.

Reporter Rosh Lowe knew that Borges had, in fact, called his mother from the scene, but neglected to include that in the story.

"...According to BSO, they allowed Borges to call his mom, Luz Borges, but he started walking home without their knowledge. However, Borges' mother says the first time she heard from Borges was when he was walking home being robbed."

CLARIFICATION: Not only was Borges able to call his mother from the DUI stop, but his mother went to that location to look for him. Her claim that she first heard from Borges when he was being robbed is not supported by her own account in a separate police report filed with a separate agency.

According to report #07-3488, filed with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department that evening, Borges' mother told police: "...Luz [Borges] stated that her son, Harry Borges, had been drinking alcohol tonight and got stranded at the 2700 block of W. Broward Blvd. Luz stated that when she arrived at the 2700 block of W. Broward Blvd., that Harry was not there. Luz stated that she spoke with Harry via cell phone at approximately 0200 hrs this morning. Luz advised that at this time Harry said he was walking on 27th Ave and that he could see the SWAP SHOP. Luz advised that Harry also told her some people had a bottle and were trying to get his necklace. Luz stated that she and other family members were looking for Harry. Luz was issued a case number."

Borges' attorney who is planning on filing a lawsuit said..."If a BSO police officer stops a Greyhound bus, and if the driver is arrested for drunk driving, do they tell all the passengers to walk home?"

CLARIFICATION:If a Greyhound bus has a mechanical problem, Greyhound would probably send a replacement bus to take the passengers. We suspect Greyhound would do the same if one of their drivers became incapacitated.

Regarding passengers in private vehicles, citizens should ask whether it is a wise use of their taxpayer money and manpower to pull law enforcement personnel from patroling their neighborhoods to transport adult passengers who are able to call for someone to get them, and who made the informed choice to get into a car with a drunk driver.

No one deserves to become a victim of a crime, and someone does need to be held responsible for shooting Mr. Borges, but the question is whether the responsible person is the suspect who shot him, or a law enforcement officer who, hours before the shooting and in another part of town, prevented Mr. Borges' intoxicated cousin from possibly hurting himself, Mr. Borges and others...a law enforcment officer who watched Mr. Borges (an adult, not a juvenile) call his mother to come and get him (a called verified by his mother's own account to police)...a law enforcement officer who had nothing to do with Mr. Borges' choice to walk away from the scene rather than wait for his mother to arrive.