The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on June 8, 1990 · Page 39
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 39

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, June 8, 1990
Page 39
Start Free Trial

2B THE PALM BEACH POST FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 1990 m si Blaze causes $50,000 damage to Mar-A-Lago wing By RON KOZLOWSKI Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PALM BEACH - While Donald Trump tended his reportedly crumbling financial empire, groundskeepers at his mansion retreat Thursday morning found Mar-A-Lago burning. ' Firefighters who entered the southern servants' wing were greeted by smoke shortly after 8. They doused a bedroom fire quickly, but fire and heavy smoke damaged much of the ground floor of that wing, said Palm Beach Fire-Rescue spokesman Craig Stanfield. Smoke also damaged a guest bedroom upstairs. "The first crew in was confronted by heavy smoke," Stanfield said. "They had a tough time locating the fire." None of the Trump family was home, Stanfield said, and even the servants' wing was mostly deserted because the season has ended. There were no injuries. Investigators said faulty wiring started the fire, which they estimate caused at least $50,000 in damage. "It was electrical," Stanfield said. "There was a lot of different wiring In the area where it started. It's not suspicious." Most of the damage was to ceilings, walls and furniture, investigators said. Valuable art works are not kept in that part of the mansion. A Trump spokesman in New York would not comment. Not on the fire, not on anything. "We have no comment for Florida," she said. "We just aren't interested in' talking to the press right now." The media-friendly billionaire has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. His marriage troubles are still prominently displayed in the New York tabloids, and newspapers nationwide this week reported on cashflow problems in the Trump empire. Trump bought the 64-year-old Mar-a-Lago in 1985 for $7 million, and reports Wednesday suggested he may be considering selling the mansion. Trump Election '90 PBCC teacher seeks School Board seat Palm Beach Community College instructor Mitchell Kass has filed for the District 6 seat on the Palm Beach County School Board. The Sept. 4 non-partisan election is Kass' first run for political office, he said. The seat is held by Arthur Anderson. Kass, 39, teaches social sciences and sociology at the college and is an adjunct instructor of education at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, teaching multi-cultural and multi-ethnic schooling systems. Kass, a Brooklyn native, said he has taught college classes for 10 years, including at St. John's University and Queens College in New York. He also has a private practice in family divorce mediation. Kass was an investigator for the Kings County District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, he said. Kass said he plans to explore the issue of juvenile delinquency and disintegrating families, two of the biggest reasons Florida has the highest dropout rate of any state, he said. Kass and his wife live in Boca Raton. In Brief City, county endorse 3rd North Fork bridge FORT PIERCE - The need for a third Port St. Lucie bridge 1 across the North Fork of the St. Lucie River was endorsed by city and county officials Thursday, but the Metropolitan Planning Organization took no position on which of two proposed routes the bridge should follow. "This is not really new action," County Commission Chairman Dale Trefelner said. "We're just confirming what we've already said r in our comprehensive plans." Keith & Schnars, the Stuart engineering firm hired by the Port St. Lucie City Council, is focusing on two possible locations West Virginia Drive and Walters Terrace. A recommendation on which route should be used is expected in about three months. The planning organization, composed of county commissioners and officials from Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce, oversees transportation planning in the county. Garth Home of Keith & Schnars said the bridge probably won't have to be built for another 10 or 15 years but will be needed to relieve heavy traffic on Port St. Lucie and Prima Vista boulevards even after the roads are widened, i Man who killed twin denied new trial FORT PIERCE - Henry Crutchfield Jr.. found euiltv last month of killing his identical twin brother, won't be granted a new trial or charged with a lesser crime, Circuit Judge Charles Smith ruled Thursday. Crutchfield's attorney, Michael J. Kessler, argued that since the jury found Crutchfield guilty of second-degree murder, it must have found that he harbored "ill will, hatred, spite or evil intent" toward ms Drotner an allegation that was not proven in court. Prosecutors alleged that Crutchfield accidentally shot his brother because he thought Harry Crutchfield was a St. Lucie County sheriff's deputy serving an arrest warrant. Smith denied Kessler's motion to have the murder charge reduced to manslaughter or to grant a new trial because he said the jury may have decided that Crutchfield harbored ill will against the deputy. Kessler said a recent case decided by the Florida Supreme Court requires that the ill will be intended for the actual victim and said he will appeal Smith's decision. Crutchfield will be sentenced June 19. Lake Placid man charged in U.S. 1 crash FORT PIERCE - A 74-year-old Lake Placid man was charged with driving without a license Wednesday night after he struck another car head-on just north of Rio Mar Boulevard. The Florida Highway Patrol said Donald P. Chamblee was southbound on U.S. 1 in a 1982 Ford when he crossed the median and struck a 1988 Chevrolet driven by James Henderson, 58, of Fort fierce. Henderson's wife, Patricia, 36, and their son, Quinton, 8, were passengers in the car. All four were treated and released at HCA Medical Center of Port St. Lucie. Chamblee was charged with driving without a license. The investigation is continuing. Chiles, MacKay rally planned June 15 FORT PIKRPR I.awtnn Thilos anH RHM MV9n TW ' uiu uuuuj f tjciiiv cratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, will hold a campaign rally and cookout June 15 at Minimi's T.ako in thp Trinio m Groves west of Fort Pierce. People interested in attending mav call Mike Mintnn at 4fia.77nn or 562-7700 or Rick Minton at 466-7653. Disabled man sues state over bridge closing RIVIERA BEACH A 2S.vpar.nlH Sinoer Tola nH man txrhs j - wiiuiiu 11IU1I TTUV suffers from juvenile diabetes filed suit Thursday against the state Lyai iiiicm ui iidiispunauun xur closing me curni tsnage. Scott Davis and his stepbrother, Clifton Heckman, said in their suit that closing the Burnt Bridge would put Davis' life in danger because Of his need for emprtrpnrv mpHiral rare rtavic ic Knmnlot.l,i disabled by juvenile diabetes. He has heart attacks and problems digesting food. "He could die," said his attorney, Terrell Arline. "The extra 10-15 minutes traveling up U.S. 1 or 1-95 when you have heart failure, it's a matter of time." Davis and Heckman also argued that as residents of Singer Island, they were put at risk because of the hurricane season. "I'm not convinced there isn't an alternative," Arline said. "I see DOT widen roads and bridges all the time and keep them open to the public." This week, the mayors of Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Shores Clara Williams and Thomas Chilcote sent letters to Gov. Bob Martinez to protest the closing. Chilcote noted that the Blue Heron Bridge, which is the only other evacuation route from the island, has drainage problems that left 12-18 inches of standing water during the last thunderstorm. Marijuana, $19,000 seized; 3 charged FORT PIERCE Police arrested three men and recovered 25 pounds of marijuana and J 19,000 Thursday evening, officer Robert O'Hare said. . Arrested after 6:30 p.m. in a supermarket parking lot at US 1 and Virginia Avenue were Mike Brunsed, 29, of Sanderson; Bruce Douglas. 45, of Jacksonville; and Jeffrey Clough, 32, of Fort Pierce. The three were charged with buying 20 grams of marijuana from undercover officers, police said. Brunsed was also charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, O'Hare said. Bail was set at $10,000 for Clough, $15,000 for Brunsed and $20,000 for Douglas. v Boynton Redevelopment Tour Boynton Beach city leaders on Thursday night took a bus tour of the aging downtown and a blighted neighborhood they are working to revitalize. Johnnetta Broomfield, director of the Community Improvement Department, passes LYNNE SLADKYStaff Photographer out aerial photos. After the tour, the group tried to settle a ' dispute over whether the Community Redevelopment Agency has authority to spend money. No action was taken at the workshop. Broker surrenders on fraud charges Mortgage firm chief vows to fight allegations he skimmed $5.5 million By EMILY J. MINOR Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - A 44-year-old mortgage broker who investigators say skimmed $5.5 million from Kuwaiti lenders to cover business costs and gambling debts surrendered to state authorities Thursday on nine fraud and racketeering charges. William "Ben" Pace, the chief operating officer of Congress Mortgage Corp., has been facing financial collapse since the state Office of Comptroller seized his mortgage company in July and confiscated records, changed the business locks and put his company into receivership. Comptroller investigators and the State Attorney's Office said Pace "played a shell game" with millions of dollars loaned to him for mortgage deals. "When the court-appointed receiver went in, we found on the premises markers from Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City," said Ray Lemme, a financial investigator with the comptroller's office. "He appar ently was well noted as a gambler." Comptroller investigators accuse Pace of diverting residential house payments made to Congress Mortgage Corp. The money was supposed to be in escrow to pay property taxes and make loan payments to the Bank of Kuwait. In addition, Lemme said Pace staged fake loans often in millions of dollars then borrowed against them. Pace, who knew he was under investigation, surrendered Thursday and was released on $54,000 bond. His attorney, David Roth, said Pace will plead not guilty. Kuwaiti bankers began Pace's line of credit in 1987, eventually extending it to $14 million. By 1989, officials with the Bank of Kuwait were worried they'd made a bad choice with Pace, according to documents. Bankers confronted Pace about late payments and missing money, and Pace blamed the bookkeeping on "the volatility of the mortgage market and (the company's) inability to confirm mortgage closings." In fact, investigators said, Pace was putting money in two personal checking accounts for casino debts. Meeting on South Bay growth plan extended By DEAN JONES Palm Beach Post Staff Writer SOUTH BAY - An administrative hearing scheduled for Thursday and today to work out a difference of opinion over the city's comprehensive plan has been continued while city officials study a new list of problems. City Manager Mike Arciola said he and the city's consultants had satisfied all but one problem a state planner had, when another state planner was assigned and added several demands. "We thought we'd worked out everything but one question on zoning and development," Arciola said, "but now, it looks like we're almost back to square one." Arciola said new demands include using peak levels of traffic flow instead of average flow in planning transportation, adopting a proposed Everglades cleanup plan before it becomes a law and adopting strategies to avoid urban sprawl. "They want us to arrest people for dumping any materials or liquids into drainage canals," Arciola said. "That means we'd have to arrest someone for pouring a cup of coffee into a canal. That's ridiculous. "They want South Bay to take steps to prevent urban sprawl. We have about 4,000 people, and we don't have any sprawl. I think it's obvious they're trying to stereotype us with every other city in the state. "We don't have the same problems as West Palm Beach or Miami. If we try to do everything they want, we won't have enough money left to run the city." Arciola said he first saw the new demands during the Tuesday night City Commission meeting, when they were distributed by City Attorney Thomas Montgomery. He said he contacted the Department of Community Affairs in Tallahassee and was told the requirements had been sent to the City Manager Mike Arciola says discussion of the comp plan may be 'back to square one.' city's consultant. "I told them I'm the one responsible for making any changes and they should have sent the document to me, not the consultant," he said. "I've got to set up a meeting between the consultant, Mr. Montgomery and maybe the mayor to decide what we want to do." MDA auction set despite theft WEST PALM BEACH -Despite the theft of a truck-load of donated goods, a local real estate firm plans to go ahead with a scheduled charity auction Sunday. BK Properties will hold the auction at 1225 N. Military Trail between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. TVs, clothes, luggage and other goods were being stored in a truck when the theft occurred, auction organizer Debbie Brymer said. Replacement donations have been coming in. "We'll be glad to take anything," Brymer said. BK Properties is associated with ERA Real Estate, which frequently sponsors benefits for the MDA. To make a donation, call 471-3399. Delray landowners not liable in pollution suit against firm By JOE NEWMAN Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - Workers at a military contractor's former plant in Delray Beach might have dumped toxic chemicals into the ground but that doesn't mean the property owners are responsible, a judge ruled Thursday. John and Lawrence Razete, owners of the property on Southwest 10th Street, are not liable in the city's $15 million lawsuit against Aero-Dri Corp., Circuit Judge Edward Rodgers ruled. Rodgers also ruled that Purvin Industries, a stockholder in Aero-Dri, is not liable for the chemicals that polluted wells supplying half the city's drinking water. The remaining defendant is Aero-Dri, a division of Ohio-based Davey Compressor Co. The ruling came after city attorneys rested their case, two weeks into the expected three-week jury trial. "It means that the city failed to prove its case against my clients," said Nancy Graham, attorney for the Razetes. "We picked up our bags and walked out." The city had argued the Razetes were responsible for the pollution because they had owned the property since Aero-Dri began operations in 1980 and were its majority stockholders until 1986. Graham said her clients weren't responsible because they lived in Cincinnati and didn't oversee operations. "They assumed it was going to be done legally," Graham said. And as property owners, the brothers aren't responsible for what their tenants did, she said. In 1987, state environmental inspectors identified the Aero-Dri plant, which closed early last year, as the source of groundwater pollution. Workers there testified they routinely dumped chemicals used to clean machine parts. Delray Beach is suing for the amount it expects to spend to recover from the contamination. The city has spent more than $3 million to drill new wells and purify its drinking water. Sewage recycling study set Plant's board agrees to state's demands By KIRK BROWN Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DELRAY BEACH - Under pressure from state regulators, operators of a Congress Avenue sewage plant voted Thursday to start making plans to reuse treated waste water now being dumped in the ocean. The governing board of the South Central Regional Wastewater Treatment and Disposal plant agreed to investigate the cost of diverting treated sewage to the Hunter's Run golf community for irrigation within the next year. Residents from Hunter's Run, one of 13 golf courses covering 3,800 acres within a few miles of the plant, had raised the issue of obtaining treated waste water in April. "My feeling is let's get going," Delray Beach Mayor Todd Lynch said. He urged the plant's staff to work with Boynton Beach utility officials as well as new Delray Beach City Manager David Harden, who had experience with water reuse programs when he managed Winter Park. The South Central Regional plant, which serves Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, flushes 15 million gallons of treated waste water into the Atlantic Ocean daily from a pipe that extends a mile offshore. The plant board also agreed to update a consultant's preliminary water reuse study that was part of the facility's master plan last year. The study showed it would cost' about $9.5 million to create a program in which at least 6 million gallons of treated sewage would be used for irrigation daily. . Florida Department of Environmental Regulation officials had threatened Wednesday to delay a long-awaited odor abatement and expansion project at the plant unless the board agreed to take a closer look at reusing some of the water. The $10.9 million project, which is supposed to begin in September, includes lids on two outdoor tanks believed to be the source of odors that upset homeowners in the near- , by Pines of Delray North development. Pump stations also will be upgraded during the 15-month project. The improvements will increase the plant's maximum daily capacity from 18.1 million gallons to 24 million gallons. State inspector arrested on drug charges By JAN LINDSEY Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ' WEST PALM BEACH - A ' state Department of Natural Resources investigator is on paid ad- '. ministrative leave after she and a ; companion tried to buy about 40 1 pounds of marijuana Wednesday ' from a Palm Beach County Sher- ; iff 's Office undercover agent, offi- ; cials said. ', Camille Thompson, 26, of 1920 i Cathy Lane, Juno Beach, was .; charged with conspiracy and possession of marijuana with intent to '. distribute, a sheriff's spokesman ; said. i Thompson is on leave for 10 days while internal investigators , complete their work. j Thompson makes slightly more than $20,000 a year as a land man- j agement specialist, one of five peo- pie in the state charged with in- ; specting state lands being used by i private parties to ensure they are ', used in compliance with state regu- j lations, said Mark Janes, opera- tions and management consultant ' with the Division of State Lands. ; Thompson and Armand Glocker arrived in the parking lot of the ! Holiday Inn at 1301 Belvedere ' Road about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to complete a $20,000 drug buy with '. undercover agents, the sheriff's ; spokesman said. ; Identical charges were lodged against Glocker, 43, of 4044C Palm . Bay Circle, suburban West Palm ; Beach. Glocker was also charged with possession of a firearm during , the commission of a felony. Thompson was released from the Palm Beach County Stockade ', and Glocker was released from the ; County Jail after each posted -$3,000 bond. - j

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 21,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Palm Beach Post
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free