According to 2016 Federal records, Broward State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli made multiple contributions to the Presidential campaign of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Those same records show DeNapoli gave $0 to President Donald Trump. Is this why the Sarasota Herald-Tribune called Richard DeNapoli a “moderate” Republican in August 2016?

In October 2015, Richard DeNapoli was named to Governor Jeb Bush’s Broward campaign team along with frequent ally Rico Petrocelli. Federal campaign records show DeNapoli’s support of Bush began months earlier. In January 2015, DeNapoli made a contribution to the “Right To Rise PAC,” a pro-Jeb Bush political committee which attacked Sen. Marco Rubio. According to the New York Times:

“Some Right to Rise donors have been worried for months about attacking Mr. Rubio, especially after Right to Rise showed a video it had made portraying him as unelectable, because of his hard-line views against abortion…”

In June 2015, Richard DeNapoli made two contributions to the Jeb Bush political committee. He made his last contribution in September 2015. By late February 2016, Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. Less than two weeks later, DeNapoli jumped ship to support Donald Trump.

DeNapoli tried to explain his rationale to the Sun-Sentinel. “Clearly the sentiment out there is a lot of Republicans are fed up. Not only with the establishment, because they haven’t delivered on a lot of promises. And they want someone who can disrupt the system and get things accomplished. And Trump is their champion,” DeNapoli said. “They’ve heard these promises for years and years, and they don’t feel they’ve been delivered on.” Even though DeNapoli was part of the party establishment, he was named “Fort Lauderdale area director of Trump’s presidential campaign.”

Federal records show DeNapoli’s words of support for Donald Trump were not backed up by his checkbook. Campaign records do not show any contributions to President Donald Trump. The Federal records show DeNapoli made two contributions in 2016: one to the Republican Party in June 2016, and an October 2016 contribution to Sen. Marco Rubio.


Even though Richard DeNapoli likes to say, “I always support our Republican nominees,” he has been dogged by accusations of lukewarm support of these candidates. In 2010, DeNapoli was a strong supporter of Charlie Crist’s US Senate campaign. Federal records show DeNapoli was an early supporter with a $1,000 contribution in December 2009. After Marco Rubio defeated Crist for the nomination, some Rubio backers claimed DeNapoli did little to help. Javier Manjarres gave DeNapoli the dreaded “Charlie Crist Republican” label.

Federal records do not show any 2010 contribution to Rubio by DeNapoli.

That same year, Richard DeNapoli was an early supporter of Bill McCollum’s bid for Florida Governor. According to his “conservative” resume provided to members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) in 2010, DeNapoli was, “Named to Broward County Political Leadership Team, Steering Committee, Bill McCollum for Governor.”

DeNapoli made two contributions to McCollum in 2009 and a third just before the August 2010 primary. McCollum was soundly defeated by Rick Scott. DeNapoli told BREC members:

“I proudly supported Bill McCollum in the primary – my commitment to his campaign began prior to my time as BREC Treasurer…and when McCollum lost I proudly supported our Republican nominee and now Governor-Elect Rick Scott. I always support our Republican nominees.”

State records show Richard DeNapoli made a single $25 contribution to Rick Scott on October 10, 2010.

As REDBROWARD exposed last week, Richard DeNapoli’s claim to “always support our Republican nominees” does not extended to women running for Broward County Judge.

In 2016, BREC failed to include Judge Nina DiPietro on its list of endorsements. Her husband, David DiPietro was former legal counsel for BREC.

After some prominent Republicans complained about DiPietro’s exclusion, BREC was forced to print new endorsement cards. Buddy Nevins of

“was also told that the board of directors of the local GOP were split over whether to redo the cards, which will be distributed to select voters. A number of directors opposed changing the list to include Judge Di Pietro.”


According to former BREC Chairman Robert Sutton, one particular BREC Board member did not want Judge Nina DiPietro the palm card.

“Richard DeNapoli did not want Nina DiPietro to get the BREC endorsement”

Sutton told REDBROWARD.

In an October 2016 e-mail to REDBROWARD, DeNapoli included the endorsement card without DiPietro. He said it was available on the party Facebook page. DeNapoli wrote:

“This was the finalized guide as decided by the Board and amendments voted upon by the BREC members at the September meeting.”

Sutton said party leaders in Tallahassee were extremely angry over the slight and the cards were reprinted.

This year, the BREC Board endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for the Broward County Court Judge Group 9 seat. Twice! In August 2016, the BREC Board endorsed Tanner Channing Demmery over Leonore Greller and Corey Amanda Cawthon. In the November runoff, the BREC Board once again endorsed Demmery over Cawthon.

The BREC Board members are Chairman George Moraitis, Vice Chair Celeste Ellich, Secretary Rupert Tarsey, Treasurer Kevin Moot, State Committeewoman Michele Merrell and Richard DeNapoli.

In October, Javier Manjarres of the Shark Tank asked why the BREC leadership decided to endorse Demmery, a Democrat public defender over Corey Cawthon, a registered Republican.

Manjarres wrote, “This is disgraceful for Republicans, but is an expected move from the embattled misfit group of Republicans who supposedly represent all Broward Republicans.”

According to Manjarres, Chairman George Moraitis:

“affirmed the decision, stating that the decision was made to endorse after ‘the attorneys’ recommended it. Moraitis did not say who the attorneys were.”

Other than Moraitis, the only attorneys on the BREC Board are Kevin Moot and Richard DeNapoli.

Now, Richard DeNapoli wants BREC members to back his ally Jeff Brown’s campaign to be BREC treasurer.

Is Brown another “moderate” like DeNapoli?

Did Jeff Brown know DeNapoli was an intern in the Clinton White House?

Is Brown part of the “Praetorian” guard soliciting business from local candidates?

What does Richard DeNapoli know about Jeff Brown’s involvement (if any) in websites attacking BREC members?

When we asked Jeff Brown some of these questions, he hung up the phone.

Richard DeNapoli has not replied to repeated requests for comment.

BREC members deserve answers before the December 10th meeting, right?

Original article at:

The CPAC Blogger of the Year, Javier Manjarres has reported on another misstep by the Charlie Crist loving establishment in South Florida. As Erick Erickson has stated, they have been out to get Javier ever since he annihilated Charlie Crist’s Senate aspirations in 2010. This the kind of weak leadership that is hurting the Republican party, why doesn’t someone in charge deal with him once and for all?

Here is the article as posted on the Shark Tank:

The leadership of the Broward Republican Executive Committee has hit a new low with its latest act of desperation, as it authorized BREC Treasurer Mark McCarthy to file a false police incident report in order to try to instigate a false wiretapping claim. On July 7, 2011, BREC Secretary Sheela Venero conducted one  of her monthly ‘Coffee with your Secretary’ events at the popular Coral Springs diner Wings Plus. Prior to the event, Venero authorized videotaping and was slated to be interviewed shortly after the event concluded.

After the videotape of the event aired, DeNapoli instructed BREC Treasurer Mark McCarthy to file a  incident report on behalf of the BREC with the Coral Springs Police Department which sought prosecution. McCarthy filed the report with the authorization of Richard DeNapoli, who also sits on the Florida Real Estate Commission(FREC), knowing full well that the breakfast event was not a ‘BREC Meeting’ as he stated in the report and was authorized to be videotaped by Sheela Venero.

Last time I checked, lying to law enforcement is a prosecutable offense, and here we have McCarthy telling a Police Officer two lies attempting to make a case.

Before McCarthy filed this false incident report, the Shark Tank has learned that BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli wanted former BREC Chairman and current Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca to file the report, but LaMarca did not want to get involved with this illicit activity and refused.  Since resigning as Chairman of the BREC, LaMarca was elected to represent District 4 on the Broward County Commission.

07/28/2011  12: 04  9543461210  PAGE  0 5 / 8 6
Coral Springs Police Department  u r n  D711012D11 f2.16




Before McCarthy filed this false incident report, BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli called former BREC Chairman and current Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and asked him to file the report. LaMarca refused to do so based on the lack of merit of the allegation, to which an irrational DeNapoli argued with LaMarca why he would not do so, telling him that ‘This is our way of getting back at him.” McCarthy went as far as to state that he wanted to “drive a stake into his heart.” It was also stated to LaMarca that the ‘Board’ had voted and agreed to file the incident report regardless of its veracity. The BREC board consists of Chairman Richard DeNapoli, RNC Co-chair Sharon Day, Treasurer Mark McCarthy, Vice Chair Colleen Stolberg, State Committeeman Ed Kennedy and Secretary Sheela Venero.

Sharon Day has gone on record stating that she was kept out of the loop regarding the board’s decision to file the police incident report,  as has Venero.  The decision by the board most likely was made by members Kennedy, Stolberg, and McCarthy, and was finally signed off on by Chairman Richard DeNapoli.

Prior to this incident, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) issued a statement through its Grievance Committee regarding the questionable and ‘ineffectual’ leadership within the BREC:

 “Upon a subsequent telephone conference with all of the Grievance Committee members present, reconsideration of the recommendation the Committee unanimously reiterated its position state herein above, but further unanimously agreed to emphasize to you that there appear to be significant problems with the BREC Leadership and the Committee recommends you to take prompt and decisive action perhaps in the form of an investigatory task force or some Committee with authority to get you a clear snapshot of the problems and make recommendations to you and the Board for action. The feeling is that Broward is too important a Republican voting area for the RPOF to tolerate weak ineffectual divisive behavior in its leadership.”– Richard B. Davis, Chairman of the Grievance Committee

A couple of  weeks ago, the ‘task force’ that came down from the RPOF and interviewed BREC members in order to obtain a better understanding of the extent of the division within the BREC Committee. One of the interviewees was the former BREC Chairman Chip LaMarca, and in a written statement submitted yesterday, he expressed his utter disgust with what has happened to the Republican Party in Broward County:

“I am offended that the leaders of my party would go against the only Republican County Commissioner and a former Party Chairman to file this report. It equates to filing a false police report and I would expect more from our Chairman and the leaders of this party. We have so much work to do for 2012 and this is not productive in that mission.”– Current and Prominent BREC member who wishes to remain anonymous

BREC Chairman DeNapoli’s questionable leadership skills are now raising questions as to whether or not he it is appropriate for him to sit on the Florida Real Estate Commission Board (FREC). DeNapoli was appointed to the position by his ol’ friend Governor Charlie Crist several years ago, not current Governor Rick Scott, who ultimately has the last word on who is appointed or not to statewide positions.

Can the Broward GOP continue to get away with intimidating legitimate dissent from those who oppose its actions, or will its rank and file members and the Republican party stand up and denounce this behavior from its leadership and demand that those responsible resign their positions?

Original article at:

With Senator Marco Rubio giving a full-throated video endorsement of his “friend” and “only conservative,” Julio Gonzalez over his opponent Richard DeNapoli, is it a surprise to anyone that DeNapoli has scrubbed all of the pictures of him and Rubio from his website and Facebook page?

Contrary to what DeNapoli was telling Sarasota voters, Rubio really despises DeNapoli.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

The bromance between Rubio and DeNapoli first started when DeNapoli openly protested and tried to prevent a straw poll from occurring during a August 2009 meeting of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC).

At the time, Rubio was trouncing then-Republican Charlie Crist in Senate straw polls being held by GOP clubs around the state of Florida.

DeNapoli was in bed with Crist political campaign for the U.S. Senate, as were many Republicans at the time, including his current pint-sized political consultant, Anthony Pedicini, who turns out to be a very ‘colorful’ and out-spoken type of guy.

DeNapoli and friends all supported Crist’s full-bodied embrace of the Obama’s failed Stimulus Act of 2009.

That’s right. DeNapoli supported Crist’s hug of Obama and his Stimulus Act.

Then there were the two heckling incidents at two of Rubio’s Senate campaign stops in Hallandale Beach and Fort Lauderdale, where DeNapoli took it upon himself to interrupt Rubio and question him on why he was running, and why he thought he could be Charlie Crist.

DeNapoli continued supporting Crist through 2010, even when Crist left the GOP to run as an Independent, and told several past chairmen of the BREC that Crist would still beat Rubio in the general.

DeNapoli turned out to be dead wrong.

Being the shameless opportunist that he is, in 2010 DeNapoli would show up to Rubio events and snap a picture or two of him posing with the future Senator. DeNapoli’s pictures of him and Rubio have been used in campaign literature, and are the one’s he recently scrubbed from his campaign.

Original Article at:

It is unfortunate to report that the Republican party in Broward County is engaging in the same voter suppression and candidate intimidation tactics of the Obama administration, as the embattled local Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) led by their equally sketchy Chairman Richard DeNapoli (pictured) are using these same Obama tactics in an attempt to try to influence their upcoming Chairman’s election.

DeNapoli abruptly quit his post  as Chairman only days after he was actively campaigning for re-election-even after he tastelessly campaigned for the post at a funeral procession that he attended.

As soon as DeNapoli announced his resignation, Executive Director Rico Petrocelli- a close crony of DeNapoli’s- decided to run for the position.  Petrocelli was involved in very shady yet non-criminal ‘gift’ scandal back in 2009.  Petrocelli sent out an email blast announcing his candidacy which was then followed by one from Joe Kaufman, who was last seen on some street corner yelling at cars. DeNapoli then followed up with his own email blast that announced his support for Petrocelli.

The rub is this- the email blast sent out by these three parties is from the same BREC member list.  Karen Harrington, who is challenging Petrocelli for the chairmanship and her supporters including SWBRO President Jay Narang and former BREC Chairman Kevin Tynan have all requested the email list from Petrocelli and DeNapoli. Isn’t the GOP the party of openness and transparency? 

Both Petrocelli and DeNapoli have refused to share the list and have instructed interested parties to use the outdated Broward County Supervisor of Elections list that the BREC is mandated to submit every year which does not include the member’s email.  This is typical Obama Chicago-style politics at its best.

And now there’s this from DeNapoli and Petrocelli & Co.- they now want to make the Chairmanship a paid position.

The chair is currently an unpaid position — Petrocelli, a former Plantation council member, is paid about $36,000 a year as the director. Petrocelli wasn’t flat out calling for the next chair to be paid but he said he would raise that issue with the executive committee and the membership.-Miami Herald

DeNapoli  & Co. continue to embarrass what’s left of the Republican brand in Broward County, as the GOP is attempting to make its way back from political irrelevancy. Someone needs to step in and allow for a fair election- where is RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry?

Original Article at:

The Alinsky-style tactics of Richard DeNapoli, Rico Petrocelli and their supporters within the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) continue to amaze those who are paying close attention to the upcoming BREC elections that are slated for December 3rd

We have previously reported that DeNapoli and others have used the BREC email list to promote Petrocelli’s candidacy while simultaneously denying access to the list to Karen Harrington and her surrogates. (DeNapoli Alinksy-Tactics) While the emails being sent by DeNapoli-  his endorsement of Petrocelli and from Petrocelli himself are not identified as being sent directly by the BREC, they are.

Those of you who have received one of these emails from DeNapoli, Petrocelli, Joe Kaufman and others- scroll down on the email to the very bottom for a moment.

The email disclaimer sent by Richard DeNapoli will read:

Forward email

This email was sent to  by | 

Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy.

Richard DeNapoli & Colleen Stolberg | 4416 Jackson Street | Hollywood | FL | 33021

Click on the “SafeUnsubscribe”  link just above Richard DeNapoli’s address,  and you will be prompted to another page which asks, “Are you sure you want to stop ALL emails from the BREC sent to your email address?”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The email  that is being sent out IS being sent directly from the BREC email account.  DeNapoli and Petrocelli are playing BREC members for fools and believe that you’re too stupid to figure out their unethical and dishonest campaign practices.

Is this the kind of continued leadership that is suited to represent Broward Republicans? Think on that. A vote for Petrocelli is a vote for continuing the corruption and dishonesty that has plagued the BREC.

Here is the original email in question sent out by Richard DeNapoli.  Scroll down and click on the safe unsubscribe link for yourself:

Richard DeNapoli, ChairmanColleen Stolberg, Vice-ChairEndorse Rico Petrocelli for BREC ChairmanAdd your name to Rico Petrocelli’s Growing List of Endorsements by Clicking Here! As Rico Petrocelli said in his campaign announcement, the Broward GOP works as a team where no one player wins the game by himself or herself.  Well, one of the most valuable players on our Broward Republican Team is Rico Petrocelli.  We fully support his candidacy for Broward Republican Executive Committee (“BREC”) Chair.

 Rico knows what it takes to win elections.  We relied on his experience as a Town Councilman from Plantation and his extensive contacts in the community to assist us in leading the Broward GOP.  Rico knows how to build a team.  Rico has a kind servant’s heart and will make a great leader.  He knows how to energize our volunteers and build consensus around our mission of electing Republicans. After hiring Rico with very little funds in our BREC Treasury two years ago, he immediately dove into his job, helping to build our party by getting donations wherever he could.  It’s difficult to raise funds for a county party — a totally different task than raising funds for a political campaign — but Rico worked tirelessly on both fundraising and the regular business of the Broward GOP. 

Many of our members do not realize what goes into running the Broward GOP.  From setting up our monthly meetings, booking the hotel, coordinating speakers, maintaining our headquarters, making sure various bills are paid, advertising the party events, meeting with candidates, sending out emails, speaking with our almost 400 members on a regular basis … Rico has the skills, talent and experience to keep our party running smoothly from day one. We couldn’t have had our fundraising successes over the last two years without Rico Petrocelli. As your Executive Director:

  • Rico got sponsors for a majority our monthly meetings;
  • Fundraised for our first Lincoln Day Dinner with Governor Rick Scott, RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day and Congressman Allen West, netting $90,000
  • Organize our Grand Old Party BBQ, which attracted over 600 guests
  • Secured over 170 attendees to Presidency V, netting some $30,000 for the Republican Party of Florida and $4,000 for the BREC
  • Fundraised for our second Lincoln Day in May 2012 with Keynote Speaker Attorney General Pam Bondi and Special Guests CFO Jeff Atwater and Congressman Allen West
  • Collected tens of thousands of dollars throughout both years in our regular fundraising appeals

These are only a few of the things that Rico has helped out with behind the scenes.  As your next Chairman, Rico would immediately have the experience and to continue these successes and keep the Broward GOP on the right track.We need to continue our fundraising successes, attract new members, improve our technology and establish an improved GOTV Program.  Obama organizers had been deeply embedded in Broward for years before the 2012 election, focusing their persuasion efforts on person-to-person contact. Our Precinct Letter Project helped our members establish more personal contact with Republicans in their neighborhoods, and we know this will continue with Rico Petrocelli as your next Chairman. We need to start campaigning for 2014 today and we have been preparing for this by examining a new and user-friendly online program.  This will assist Rico in making available for every REC member to organize their precincts and gather voter information in ways like never before.

As your Chair and Vice-Chair, we have worked hard to empower you, our REC members, with precinct lists, Precinct Training Manuals, and other methods and information to help you reach out to the voters.  We hope that you elect Rico Petrocelli as your next Chairman so that he can continue our Eight Point Platform and build upon the progress that we’ve made with his positive energy and enthusiasm.  As your Chair and Vice-Chair, we know that no one can do this job alone.  The strength of our organization lies in its members.  Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our Broward Republican Party, and without you, there would be no Broward Republican Party and no victories in any cycle.  Rico has been there for us, and we hope that you’ll be there for him.  We hope that you will join us in supporting Rico Petrocelli and his team as your next Chair and Board of the Republican Party of Broward County.  CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO RICO PETROCELLI’S GROWING LIST OF SUPPORTERS! All the best, Richard DeNapoli, ChairmanColleen Stolberg, Vice-Chair

  This email was sent to by |Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy.

Richard DeNapoli & Colleen Stolberg | 4416 Jackson Street | Hollywood | FL | 33021

Original Article at:

Broward Republicans do hold lively meetings.

The party’s State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli accused local GOP Segeant of Arms Ben Bennett of calling the cops on him during a recent Lauderdale Beach Club meeting, according to an e-mail he sent to party activists over the weekend.

The incident was said to be the latest in an alleged witchhunt by Broward Republican Chair Robert “Bob” Sutton.  The party boss reportedly wantsto get rid of dissidents from the party organization.

My take:

Republicans should spend more time on trying to win elections and less time on these inner party shenanigans. They only serve to weaken the GOP.

What happened to the Big Tent Republicanism?

If the situation is as DeNapoli describes, it is outrageous.  If the time of law enforcement agencies are being wasted by dragging them into a foolish squabble based largely on personalities is not only disgraceful, it is unlawful making false reports.

DeNapoli did not give his e-mail to  It was forwarded by another Republican.

A lawyer and a former prosecutor, DeNapoli very carefully worded his e-mail to GOP activists.   And he was very cautious when he spoke to about the e-mail.

“You shouldn’t be afraid to go to a Republican meeting because the police may be called on you,” DeNapoli said.  “..They are trying to intimidate me.”

It should be remembered that DeNapoli won a countywide committeeman election, while Sutton was voted chair of the party by a handful of acolytes inside the GOP.

Below is an e-mail circulated by DeNapoli on Saturday.

You decide:

From: State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli  

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:20:26 PM
Subject: Update on BREC and Request to Vote NO on the creation of a BREC Grievance Committee

Dear BREC Members:

By now you have seen BREC Secretary Dolly Rump’s resignation notice, citing “major dysfunction, division, and disorder between officers.”

I am sad to see Dolly resign, as we both worked hard to get President Trump elected and I valued her input on the Board. I, too, am a longstanding loyal Republican, having served as BREC Chair and now the publicly elected State Committeeman. But I understand Dolly’s reasons and can echo her sentiments.

It is true that rather than focusing on critical tasks, certain members of BREC are instead focused on personal disagreements and vendettas. Dolly wrote that “instead of focusing on important things like raising money and Lincoln Day, time is spent on filing false police reports and making false and disgusting accusations…”

I, Richard DeNapoli, have also been the subject of these false and disgusting accusations and frivolous calls to the police. Dolly has been the victim of these accusations, and so have I.

You may be shocked by what I am about to write, but it’s all true and you need to be aware of the situation.

Instead of working together, certain members are bent on expelling other members or making their lives miserable so that they resign.

You may recall that on the day after the BREC election on December 5, 2016, in an attempt to bring everyone together, I sent an email to all members congratulating all the victorious candidates.

We all know that candidates from different slates were elected. I truly want to work together with everyone and focus on getting Republicans elected and making the BREC a more effective organization. But, like Dolly, my efforts to make BREC better have also been met with hostility.

On March 8th, 2017, Ben Bennett, the BREC Head Sergeant at Arms who was appointed to this position by Chairman Sutton, called the police on me. This happened at the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting, in front of over 35 people, where I had been asked to speak.

My guess is that the call was made at this particular location in an attempt to publicly embarrass me.

Without Mr. Bennett having even been a witness to any of the events he described in his phone call to the police, I was falsely accused of “assault.” I say “falsely accused” because the police determined immediately that there was no assault.

Click here to listen to the phone call made to the police. The first call was made before the Lauderdale Beach meeting began and is from the beginning of the tape to 2:08, and then a second call begins at 3:51.

Mr. Bennett claimed that this “disturbance” occurred two weeks earlier and that his “client” wanted to report this.

(As an aside, you would think that if a real crime had occurred, it would have been reported sooner, and that the police would not be called two weeks later to show up at a Republican club meeting where it was known that I would be speaking).

The police also informed me that I was accused of the crime of falsely imprisoning someone. Chairman Sutton knew full well of Mr. Bennett’s phone call to the police. Chairman Sutton was standing next to Mr. Bennett on the sidewalk outside the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting on the night the police were called on me. As I walked out of the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club meeting past him, I heard Chairman Sutton tell the deputies, “there he goes walking to his car.” This was in reference to me.

The Deputies then came over to me and asked me a series of questions and determined, of course, that I had committed no crimes and did nothing wrong. The matter was closed and there was no further investigation.

They knew that this was just a political disagreement. One of the deputies, in fact, personally told me to “watch your back” because “these people are out to get you.”

I received many calls from BREC members who weren’t even there about this incident.

People in BREC have also informed me that Chairman Sutton has informed them that I am under some sort of “FBI Investigation” for supposedly hacking the BREC website. This is another ludicrous and false accusation.

I am unsure about the genesis of this accusation and have asked Chairman Sutton to stop referencing such an accusation, but even well after my request a BREC member informed me that it was brought up by him again.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that more fake criminal accusations may be coming my way. From whom I don’t know. But here’s an example of what might happen – an ordinary handshake could be portrayed as a trumped-up battery charge.

Clearly, this is a “witch hunt” orchestrated to intimidate, harass and defame me, and you as BREC members need to be aware of this. This culture of intimidation and using the police for political purposes needs to stop, and I call upon Chairman Sutton to do something to stop this ridiculousness.

I personally don’t understand the motivations here. I know that Mr. Bennett ran against me unsuccessfully for State Committeeman and that my friendship with Rico Petrocelli has apparently caused Chairman Sutton to dislike me since Rico challenged Chairman Sutton in the December BREC elections. But we are all Republicans, and people really need to put their obvious animosities aside and get back to the real business of BREC.

Rumors occur in politics…I get that… but calling the police to make outrageous accusations is something on an entirely different level.

The bottom line is that no one should treat fellow Republicans in such a manner.

No one should falsely accuse a fellow Republican, former Chairman, and current State Committeeman of committing crimes for their own political purposes.

You do not try to ruin someone’s life simply because they disagree with you or you don’t like them. You do not waste the taxpayers’ dollars by involving the police to solve your political problems. You do not tie up the police from handling other life-threatening matters in the community by making frivolous and false calls to the police. I am an attorney and former prosecutor who has been falsely accused of assault, the crime of false imprisonment, and being under an imaginary FBI investigation.

This is beyond ridiculous for someone volunteering for the Republican cause.

But these are just a couple of examples of what has been going on over the last few months.

The police were also called the night of the BREC election on Mike Rump (Dolly’s husband) for no real reason in front of over 200 people in what amounted to an attempt to embarrass and intimidate him.

(You can view that police report here.)

None of these police actions go anywhere, but the fact that members of a volunteer Republican organization have to deal with this is outrageous.

There are other incidents that have happened that other BREC members are afraid to come forward on.

Original Article at:

Another victim of the Democratic ticket’s crushing victory may be Broward Republican Chair Richard DeNapoli.

Party dissidents are plotting against DeNapoli.  They want to make a run at him during the election for chairman next month.

The chairman is charged with…well, just look at the election results.

Remember, the raison d’être for any political party is to win elections.

Some in the party organization, formally called the Broward Republican Executive Committee or BREC, say DeNapoli’s team muffed it.

Well-funded Republicans losing include Sheriff Al Lamberti, state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and candidate for U. S. House, Adam Hasner.  And President Barack Obama pulled the same Democratic margin out of Broward as four years ago.

In addition to losing some key seats, critics contends he failed to staff the polls with volunteers adequately during Early Voting and Election Day.

Other than the election, DeNapoli is accused of making problems for the future.

A critic says he failed to protect the only Republican county commissioner during redistricting.  Now Commissioner Chip LaMarca has a much tougher re-election.

A DeNapoli functionary, Michael De Gruccio, was appointed to the School Board redistricting committee and failed to attend meeting.  That left Republican member Katie Leach without party help in the fight to preserve her district.

Most of all I sense that DeNapoli turns off some Republicans with his personality.  He is repeatedly called a self-aggrandizer who runs BREC with one eye on the party and another in the mirror.

“Everything is about Richard.  It is Richard did this and Richard did that,” said one BREC member.

DeNapoli must see the attack coming because he sent an eight point e-mail this week defending his reign.

Both DeNapoli and Democratic boss Mitch Ceasar are facing a wave of criticism at their respective elections next month.  Yet DeNapoli  instituted many of the reforms that Democrat dissidents demand including a solid Internet presence and an strengthening of the political clubs.

DeNapoli stumbled on redistricting.  But he helped hold on to two School Board seats in an overwhelming Democratic county.

Could anybody have done better against the overpowering Obama machine?

I doubt it, but Republican committee members will have to make that call.


DeNapoli’s lengthy e-mail, which also was posted on Facebook:

Promises Made, Promises Kept

Dear Fellow Broward Republicans,

When Colleen Stolberg and I ran for Chair and Vice-Chair two years ago, we issued an Eight Point Platform for the Almost Eight Hundred Precincts in Broward County. Below, we detail the Platform and how the promises we made were the promises we kept.

All the Best,

Richard DeNapoli, Chairman

“1.  GOP Unity.  By focusing on our shared conservative values and what unites us rather than on what divides us, we can build a better organization. Together, we can accomplish anything.”  

  • Together, as an organization, we grew our membership and built the largest REC in the State of Florida…in the most Democrat-dominated county in Florida.  Together, we had over 300 people at every meeting.  Together we pulled in crowds of 450 at Lincoln Day 2011, over 600 at the Grand Old Party BBQ, and almost 500 at our Lincoln Day 2012.  A growing membership and blockbuster attendance at meetings and events is a sure sign of a united organization. 

“2.  Growing Our Membership through the “800 Club.”  There are almost 800 precincts in Broward County.  For the upcoming elections, we should try to fill these precincts with active Committemen and Committeewomen.  Only through an active and large membership can we achieve our long-term goals of getting more Republicans elected.”

  • We added almost 200 new members in the last two years thanks to our outreach efforts.  Thanks to Vice Chair Colleen Stolberg for her amazing work building our organization. 

“3.  Empowering our Members and Local Clubs.  The Board of the BREC exists to serve its committee members, and servant leaders are what we aim to be as your Chair and Vice-Chair.  We should also provide our committee members with the opportunity to make public comments at every meeting.  We must strive to give each and every committee member and club the tools they need to succeed in organizing their precincts.  The stronger our local clubs and organizations are, the stronger the Executive Committee will be.  Our local club Presidents should meet regularly and elect a Chair of the Club Presidents on a yearly basis that sits on the dais with the rest of the Board and participates in Executive Board meetings. …”       

  • At our very first meeting, we allowed public comments and motions…and continued this for the last two years.  
  • We provided all of our members with training manuals and precinct listsin 2011 – far in advance of the elections.
  • The Weston Club was restarted and the Republican Club of Central Broward was created.  Both quickly became very successful.  The BREC Jewish Outreach Committee was also started which in turn became very successful.
  • We offered our members a way to reach out to the Republicans in their precincts via our Precinct Letter Project.  This allowed our members to contact over 50,000 Republican households and provide them with a customized voter guide to help all of our candidates on the ballot. Though we won’t know turnout numbers by registration for a couple of weeks, in precincts where members sent letters, there was higher performance compared to neighboring similar precincts.  Additionally, the BREC sent out 40,000 of these letters and guides to areas not represented by REC members to help turn out the vote.  This assisted our preferred candidates in the nonpartisan races tremendously.  An example is Coral Springs: Every precinct in Coral Springs was covered, where Vincent Boccard and Dan Daley won election.  The entire city of Margate was covered, and our two candidates there came very close to winning their races.  
  • We held regular Club Presidents meetings, and the club presidents elected Chairs of the Club Presidents (though they didn’t want to sit on the dais). 

“4.  Fundraising.  We need active fundraising throughout the year through regular Lincoln Day, Reagan Day, and other functions that will enable us to hire an Executive Director to run our operations and headquarters as well as to provide more resources for our members and candidates.  As your Treasurer, Richard took it upon himself to focus on fundraising to keep our organization going through the November election.  We need to remain diligent throughout the year so we always have enough money to achieve our goals.”  

  • The total of all monies raised during the last two years was revenue of $385,144.
  • Less than three months after our election, we held our first Lincoln Day, featuring Keynote Speaker Governor Scott and Special Guests RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day and Congressman Allen West.  We netted $90,000.  
  • In June 2011, we held our Grand Old Party BBQ featuring Congressman Allen West and just about every Republican candidate running for office in Broward County. We netted about $15,000.  
  • In September 2011, Presidency 5 we had more than 170 attendees from Broward.  This resulted in some $30,000 netted for the Republican Party of Florida, which in turn referred $4,000 to the BREC. 
  • We held our second Lincoln Day in May 2012 with Keynote Speaker Attorney General Pam Bondi and Special Guests CFO Jeff Atwater and Congressman Allen West.  
  • We collected tens of thousands of dollars throughout both years in our regular fundraising appeals and monthly sponsors at meetings.     
  • We opened a Federal Account thanks to the hard work of Treasurer Mark McCarthy – this enabled us to make purchases of Romney/Ryan signs, bumper stickers, etc.  We distributed over 8,000 Romney/Ryan signs and bumper stickers throughout Broward – mostly paid for through contributions to the Federal account.

5.    Committees.    There is a lot of talent among our Executive Committee members.  We are all leaders of our own precincts. We need leaders for (a variety of) … committees…” 

  • We appointed various members to various committees.  Colleen Stolberg managed our Membership Committee, and we added almost 200 new members
  • Michael De Gruccio spearheaded our Registration Committee, and many of our members went out doing voter registration.  The RPOF set a goal of a little more than 12,000 new Republican registrations. Together, Broward exceeded our goals with new Republican registrations of over 18,000 since the 2010 General Election.
  • Richard focused on Candidate Recruitment, and we had more candidates than at any point in recent memory, and appointed members to various leadership councils and outreach committees.
  • We held monthly charitable drives that were spearheaded by Heather Moraitis, wife of George Moraitis, our State Representative. 

“6.    Technology.  As the county with the second largest number of registered Republicans in Florida, we need a website that is second to none.  Campaigns have become increasingly focused on technology, and we need to keep up with these advances while remaining focused on the time-tested, effective grassroots techniques.”

  • Richard redesigned our website and updated it regularly over the past two years.  
  • Richard established our Facebook Fan page in 2011, and it has over 20,000 fans today.  We also utilized Facebook advertising to attract attendees and new members to our events and meetings.  
  • Our email list has attracted over 20,000 contacts.
  • Utilizing sign-up forms online, we referred over 500 volunteers – many first time volunteers – to the Romney and Broward GOP Victory offices.  
  • Richard also reached out to new people via robo calls.
  • We received accolades in local press for our advances in technology.

“7.     GOTV Training.  It can be overwhelming when someone first gets involved in our organization.  Through regular precinct training, we can help our members succeed.”   

  • The Board created and designed, after consultation with the Club Presidents, the Broward GOP Precinct Training Manual, which was presented at four different training sessions throughout the four corners of Broward in November 2011.  
  • This training manual was presented by Richard at an RPOF meeting and it quickly became the model for all the RECs across the state of Florida.

“8.      Shared Celebrations.  Recognizing the efforts of our local clubs, volunteers and members will promote more goodwill throughout our organization.”            

  • We have thanked our members with mentions at meetings, presented lifetime achievement awards to our long serving members, presented awards to our elected officials, presented member-of-the-year awards, Young Republican of the Year awards, and recognized our host committee members for our various fundraisers in print and online advertising.    

Lastly, beyond the Eight Point Platform, we also accomplished the following as an organization: 

  • We garnered national news attention when we unearthed evidence and were successful in having thousands of dead voters removed from the rolls in Broward.
  • We fought the Broward Supervisor of Elections and successfully restored an Early Voting Site to the east side of Broward (this site had the highest percentage of Republican voters of all the Early Voting sites in the August 2012 primary).
  • We fielded candidates in more races than ever in recent memory throughout the county.
  • We had the liberal League of Women Voters Guide removed from the Broward Supervisor of Election’s website.
  • We chased absentee Republican voters with robocalls, mailings, and phone banking, and had a higher return rate than the Democrats.
  • We distributed 85,000 palm card voter guides for Early Voting and Election Day, and online recommendations were downloaded over 1,000 times.
  • We remodeled the BREC HQ, and opened it up to all candidates.
  • We defended Congressman West and multiple other candidates during redistricting hearings that many of our members and officers attended. 
  • We opened two Broward GOP Victory offices South of I-595, where tens of thousands of calls have been made to turn out the Republican vote.
  • Broward saw the first Republican elected to the School Board since the year 2000 when Katie Leach was elected in August, and all of our recommended candidates either won their August races outright or made it to the November election. 
  • Though is was a tough year, redistricting hurt our prospects and the National Democrat surge claimed as many as five GOP incumbents (some in what many would consider “safe seats”) from the Florida State House (including the incoming Speaker Designate), two State Senate seats, and three Congressional seats, there were some bright spots in Broward County….
  • George Moraitis was reelected by 10 points in a district that went from having a 7.5% Republican registration advantage to only a 1.1% Republican advantage after redistricting. 
  • Vincent Boccard was elected Mayor of Coral Springs, and Dan Daley is a new Coral Springs City Commissioner. Republicans now hold 4 of 5 seats in Coral Springs.  Patty Asseff won reelection to the Hollywood City Commission.  Jeff Nelson was reelected in Southwest Ranches and Jeff Green was reelected in Cooper City.  Congressman Mario Diaz Balart will also continue to represent a portion of Broward County.  
  • Donna Korn won election to the School Board in the at-large seat, an amazing feat in Broward County against the former Democratic Leader of the Florida House!

While there may be good election cycles and bad election cycles, you can be assured that our promises made have been our promises kept.  We will always work hard on behalf of our Republican candidates and the BREC.   

All the best,

Richard DeNapoli & Colleen Stolberg

After only two years, Richard DeNapoli is done. Chairing the perennially underachieving Broward County Republicans — like coaching any team that sucks — hasn’t been easy, and DeNapoli, who’s a tad thin-skinned, won’t seek reelection.

“It’s not a glamorous position,” he said, adding he’s taking a position in another part of the state outside of politics. “This job is a labor of love.”

You’ve got that right, Dick.

For evidence, look no further than the royal shellacking the Republicans took a few weeks back. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill beatdown. The Republicans took it in every place it hurt — on issues, on popularity, on demographics. And here’s the hilarious part: They had no idea it was coming.

On Election Day, we got DeNapoli on the phone, and he expressed confidence. While conceding Republicans will never take the state’s most Democratic county, he said is party would crest the 35 percent mark, a barometer forecasting the rest of the state. Meaning: Over the past few statewide elections, if the Republican contender gets more than 35 percent of the vote, he or she will win the entire state.

That, however, didn’t happen this election. The Democrats flexed with 67 percent of the vote, while Republicans whimpered with 32 percent.

But was DeNapoli to blame for the loss?

He doesn’t think so. He said demographics led to the outcome, adding that the county has swelled with an additional 100,000 fresh minority voters in the past four years, who overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama et al.

“It’s very odd for a national trend to be blamed on anyone locally,” he said. “And anyone thinking to scapegoat a local party chairman I think is discouraging participation.”

DeNapoli is talking about the woman who wants his job, Karen Harrington, who said in a statement Monday: “Unfortunately, our party has suffered from a lack of leadership.”

DeNapoli gets a little touchy when he takes heat. “C’mon!,” he said. “We worked countless number of hours. We did plenty of outreach. You shouldn’t go after the volunteers.”

The Broward Republican Party, mired in a take-no-prisoners civil war, is now being rocked further as members learn about the violent criminal background of one of their officers.

As long-simmering tensions between party factions boiled over in recent weeks, Republicans discovered that the party secretary they elected four months ago, Rupert Tarsey, beat a young woman with a claw hammer in a 2007 incident in California.

Tarsey was a student at an exclusive private high school in California 10 years ago when he bludgeoned a female student, who was severely injured.

Ultimately, the criminal case ended with a sentence of probation. Tarsey changed his name and moved to Florida about five years ago, and got involved in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and local Republican politics.

Collapsing party

Tarsey is the most dramatic, but not the only, problem facing the Broward Republican Party.

In the past month, the executive board voted no confidence in party Chairman Bob Sutton, a move that doesn’t affect his status as party leader. The chairman suspended Tarsey, even though the rules don’t give him the authority to do so. A congressional candidate is pushing to have the entire membership remove Sutton from office. And another party activist’s long-ago criminal past is receiving renewed attention.

The county party also is desperate for cash. Reports filed with the Supervisor of Elections Office show the party raised $7,378 in the first six months of 2017, with more than two-thirds of that the value of donated office space. The annual Lincoln Day fundraising dinner wasn’t held this year. In the previous four non-election years, Broward Republicans average $105,800 in income. The lack of money could hinder the party as it attempts to organize for the 2018 elections.

One of the few things various factions of Republicans agree on is just how bad things are.

“It’s a joke,” said Bob Wolfe, founder of the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club and co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign in Broward. “It is sort of embarrassing.”

Richard DeNapoli, the state Republican committeeman for Broward and former county party chairman, called it “a mess.”

The party’s vice chairwoman, Celeste Ellich, was even more blunt: “We’re in hell in the Republican Party.”

Shocking past

Earlier this month, Republican insiders began hearing whispers about Tarsey’s past. Tarsey himself offered an explanation and defense emailed to many in the party.

In several 2007 articles, the Los Angeles Times detailed the attack and the criminal case:

Rupert Tumin Ditsworth of Beverly Hills — who is now Rupert Tarsey of Parkland — was charged in a felony complaint with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly beating an 18-year-old woman with a claw hammer.

Ditsworth was 17. Police said the victim, a fellow student at Harvard-Westlake School, one of the nation’s most prestigious college-preparatory schools, was left with a broken leg and a broken nose. Her mother said the victim was struck 40 times and her scalp was split.

Police said the teens had gone for a drive in Ditsworth’s 2000 Jaguar after school. The victim’s mother said she was invited to get smoothies after finishing an Advanced Placement exam. Ditsworth began talking about suicide and began striking her with the hammer, her mother told the Los Angeles Times.

The victim’s mother, a physician, described what she saw when she arrived at her daughter’s bedside. “Her hair and face were caked with blood,” she said. “On the left side, her head was shaped like a football.”

The student newspaper at Harvard-Westlake reported that after she was released from the hospital, the victim attended the prom in her wheelchair and graduation on crutches.

In a telephone interview and subsequent email to the Sun Sentinel, and in an email to Broward Republicans, Tarsey, now 28, provided a different version of events and the woman’s injuries.

“The individual went on to go to the school dance several days after this incident, and I believe was in class after the weekend,” he wrote.

In his email to the Sun Sentinel he said it was self defense, explaining “my classmate was taller and 30 lbs heavier than my slight 5’10”, 125 lb frame, (as documented in the police report,) when I was pinned to the car door by my classmate’s foot against my chest unable to breathe.”


As the case made it through the courts, Tarsey said it was dismissed twice in juvenile court. He ultimately pleaded no contest to one charge as an adult because “I didn’t have the time to continually fight the case over many more years.”

The charge was aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. “The fact that any and all other serious charges against me were dropped after the court reviewed the evidence speaks for itself,” he wrote.

He said he served probation but wasn’t sure for how long, and served no jail or prison time. Tarsey said the charge was initially a felony that resulted in probation, but it ultimately was “amended [by the court] to a misdemeanor assault so that I was never convicted of a felony.”

That distinction is significant in terms of Tarsey’s role in the Republican Party. If Tarsey is a convicted felon and hasn’t had his rights restored, he can’t legally be a registered voter and couldn’t be a Republican Party official.

Setting up in Florida

Tarsey said he changed his name “around seven years ago” from his father’s last name to his mother’s “because I am estranged from my father.”

A article describes Tarsey’s mother, Patrice Tarsey, as a “real estate heiress.” Her late father — Tarsey’s grandfather — Jason Tarsey was an owner of the Dunes Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Tarsey said he’s lived in Florida for slightly over five years.

He said he has a wife and two children, works in real estate and is involved with the Knights of Columbus, the Roman Catholic fraternal and community service organization. Property records show he lives in a $1.7 million home with a pool, gazebo and basketball court in the Heron Bay East community in Parkland.

A California court ruling declared the crime a misdemeanor on Jan. 12, 2016, records show. Voter registration records show he registered to vote in Florida two days later, on Jan. 14, 2016.

In 2016, he said he had a paid job as a “field officer” for the Republican Party of Florida, which involved door knocking for the Trump campaign.

In May, after the previous Broward Republican Party secretary resigned, Tarsey was picked over two other candidates in a special party election to fill the vacancy.

As a member of the party’s six-member executive board, Tarsey became a thorn in the side of Sutton, the party chairman, according to interviews with 11 board officers, lawyers and other senior Broward Republicans, and a review of internal party emails.

On Sept. 5, as many people started turning their attention to Hurricane Irma, Sutton announced he was suspending Tarsey as party secretary. Tarsey said that action isn’t valid because state Republican Party rules don’t allow it.

Kevin Tynan, a lawyer and former county Republican chairman acting on Sutton’s behalf, asked Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes to determine the legality of Tarsey’s voter registration.

Patrick S. Smith, a California lawyer representing Tarsey, filed a response, telling Snipes that his state’s court has the authority to determine whether a charge is a felony or misdemeanor, and the Superior Court ended up declaring it a misdemeanor.

Snipes said she referred the question to the Florida Division of Elections to review the question.

On Wednesday, Bob Nichols, the county party’s general counsel, emailed Tarsey that he must “cease & desist” communicating with party members “under the guise of your former position.”

On Thursday, Ben Gibson, general counsel for the state Republican Party, wrote to Nichols that the state party “has concerns with the actions” of Sutton in suspending Tarsey and his “unilateral determination that Mr. Tarsey is a convicted felon.”

In an emailed response to questions from the Sun Sentinel this week, state Republican Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said: “Rupert’s arrest is a piece of information that should have been disclosed when he originally ran for the position. Since he already holds the position, and members of the local body are now aware, their autonomous body can make a decision what to do now that this information has come to light.”

Sutton declined to discuss the controversies involving Tarsey or himself, referring questions to Nichols and Tynan, the attorneys. “I am focused on keeping Broward Republican strong,” Sutton said. “We are dealing with multiple issues.”

Gibson’s letter said someone can use the state party’s grievance procedure to attempt to remove someone from the party or two-thirds of county-level committeemen and committeewomen can vote to remove the member.

DeNapoli, a lawyer, Tarsey ally and Sutton foe, cautioned against a rush to judgment. “There is a concept I see at work here of ‘Hey, you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent,’ which is contrary to American jurisprudence.”

Ellich, who said she knew Tarsey from St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Fort Lauderdale, said he shouldn’t be a county Republican officer. “I read the stuff like everybody else has,” she said. “It was shocking.”

Losing control

The party’s executive board was left deeply divided, with three people in the pro-Sutton camp and three in the anti-Sutton group, after rank-and-file committeemen and committeewomen elected officers in December.

On Aug. 28, party members were told at their last general membership meeting that longtime state and national Republican committeewoman Sharon Day of Fort Lauderdale was resigning because she is the new U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica.

On Aug. 31, the remaining five board members met at the party’s donated office space in a building overlooking Interstate 95 in Pompano Beach.

No one else was allowed in. As volunteers began arriving to help plan an upcoming party dinner, the door was locked and they were kept in the hallway. “They kept coming to the door and knocking and trying to come in,” Ellich said.

With Day gone, Tarsey, DeNapoli and Treasurer Kevin Moot voted “no confidence” in Sutton. Ellich and Sutton voted against the motion.

Within days of the vote against Sutton, Republicans started hearing about Tarsey’s past.

“Obviously it was direct retaliation,” Tarsey said, explaining that he had been warned by a Sutton loyalist that there would be “negative articles spread about me” if he challenged the party chairman. He said he won’t be intimidated into stepping down as party secretary.

DeNapoli said Tarsey had “made pretty crystal clear his intentions in the last couple of months. He telegraphed what he was going to do to try to go against Sutton.”

Tarsey, who said he was concerned about “chaotic meetings” and poor fundraising, isn’t alone in questioning Sutton’s leadership. Joe Kaufman, a frequent past candidate for Congress who is running again in 2018, has launched an effort to have the entire membership remove Sutton, citing similar complaints in an email: internal party discord and ineffective fundraising.

Ben Bennett

As word spread about Tarsey, he and his supporters started raising questions about a long-time party committeeman, Ben Bennett, who is a Sutton supporter.

Bennett, 71, is the party’s sergeant-at-arms, a post he’s been appointed to by Sutton and several past county chairmen.

He is also a former police officer who went to prison. Involved in drug dealingin the early 1980s, he pleaded no contest to grand theft, attempted armed robbery, delivery of cocaine and possession of cocaine.

He served 3 ½ years of a 15-year prison sentence and was paroled in 1986 after he came to the aid of a correctional officer who was being beaten.

Tarsey described Bennet as “a disgraced ex-cop and convicted felon.” Tarsey said it is odd that Sutton is coming after him while keeping Bennett as his sergeant-at-arms.

“He has a felony,” he said. “I was just pointing out the hypocrisy that he’s going after a misdemeanor when I was a minor and he has a felony.”

Many of Bennett’s civil rights were restored in 1989, allowing him to hold a private detective’s license and register to vote. Bennett said he hasn’t tried to cover up what he did decades ago. “I’ve been here 71 years. I was a police officer for most of my adult life. I made a mistake. I paid the price,” he said.

“They can say what they want, make all the allegations they want. This is not about me. This is about some guy that took a claw hammer and did a horrendous act and tried to come here and tried to start over and keep us from knowing about it. They can do whatever they want and say whatever they want about me,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”