The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 11, 1976 · Page 26
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 26

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 11, 1976
Page 26
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Page 26 article text (OCR)

C2 Palm Beach PostiTlmeg, Saturday, December 11, 1976 Sheriff Fires One Officer, Disciplines Four 'These people were involved in circulating a petition to have a supervisor removed. You can't have that sort of thing going on in an organization of this kind.' - Sheriff William By JEFFERY KAHN Post Staff Writir Claiming an in-house petition drive had degenerated into a "lynch mob," supervisors at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Delray Beach substation have disciplined five officers allegedly behind a "power play" in that office. Fired this week was five-year force veteran Detective James Mahoney who officials said circulated a petition signed by 29 persons asking that Lt. Joseph Weaver be transferred to another bureau. Demoted because of their support of the petition were Detective James Rendell and Sgt. Earl Johnson; both to the rank of patrolman. Suspended for three days were Sgts. Jerry Arbour and Al Vidal, both of whom will remain on probation for six months. "These people were involved in circulating a petition to have a supervisor removed," Sheriff William Heidtman said. "You can't have that sort of thing going on disciplinary actions, termed the petition effort a "power play" aimed at railroading him into action he opposed. "I'm embarrassed by this. So are a great number of people. It boiled down to a morale problem created by two or three individuals who hoodwinked about 25 others into signing that petition. "It turned into almost a mass lynch mob trying to dictate terms. But when we called the men in and asked them about why they wanted Weaver transferred, we found almost all the men had relied on statements made by one or two people," Haley said. Weaver, former Marine and 16-year veteran of the department and current administrative assistant to Haley, said he doesn't understand what prompted the petition effort. "I don't know if it's jealousy or what. I know at times I have to deal with disciplinary action, such as proper dress. We all have to be properly dressed in this department. Evidently there are a few people that resent this," he said. up a petition to have him removed. I don't need that kind of thing and my successor doesn't need it either," Heidtman said. Mahoney and others who signed the petition (a majority of South County personnel signed) siad they initiated the measure because of mounting morale problems and an inability to work with Weaver. "I was fired," said Mahoney, "for circulating a petition. I drew it up at the request of some of the men. "The 29 people that signed this did so because the situation had grown so strained with Weaver that we felt it had to be called to the attention of Capt. (Valjean) Haley, the ranking officer. But Haley and the supervisors downtown couldn't let any of the people on the ground level open their mouths about this. The real tragedy in this is that the men can't bring a legitimate problem to the attention of their supervisors," Mahoney said. Asked if he is seeking reinstatement, Mahoney said he planned to ask incoming Sheriff Richard Wille to look into the matter. Haley, who said he is responsible for the :'" J ' an organization of this kind somebody in doesn't like a sergeant or a lieutenant so he gets Jury Urges Construction Inspection Palm Beach County Area News By THOM SMITH Post Staff Writer The Palm Beach County grand jury yesterday recommended Boynton Beach hire independent inspectors to determine the extent of construction problems at Village Royale condominium. And the investigation of garbage franchise extensions by the previous County. Commission will be continued, the grand jury said in its final report for December, which also included an indictment for second-degree murder. Village Royale was cited for 11 building code violations by city inspectors last June William Medlen and Lake Lytal appeared voluntarily Thursday afternoon to answer inquiries about the commission's vote to extend franchises for four collection companies to 1986. The State Attorney's Office would not comment on whether Culpepper would be subpoenaed before the January session. Culpepper could not be reached for comment about his absence. A second-degree murder indictment was returned against John Henry Pittman who allegedly stabbed to death James Early on Oct. 26 in Belle Glade. Pittman is in custody in the Palm Beach County Jail. quired firestops in the attics. Assistant State Atty. Jack Scarola said that a grand jury cannot require anyone to do anything, but he added that failure to act on the recommendations would be "bad public relations" at the least. The Village Royale investigation will continue, the grand jury said. Former Commissioner Robert Culpepper, the fifth and last member of the previous commission invited to appear before the grand jury in its garbage probe, did not appear yesterday. Former Commissioners Robert Johnson and E. W. (Bud) Weaver and Commissioners and the State Attorney's Office has received complaints from residents about construction problems at the 14-building complex. The grand jury suggested hiring an independent engineer to analyze improvements made on the north wing of Greenview building to determine if it is now structurally sound. "The (city) Building Official is requested to take any steps necessary to uncover any possible defect and to take any action necessary to alleviate any problem that may still exist," the grand jury said. Evidence indicated some buildings in the first construction phase may not have re Palm Beach Author Dies At Age 59 Mark Rascovich of Palm Beach, author of "The Bedford Incident" and other books, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 59. "The Bedford Incident," a Cold War novel about a destroyer tracking Russian submarines, was made into a movie and is being rerun on television. Capt. Lloyd Bucher, commander of the Naval vessel, The Pueblo, that was captured by the North Koreans, listed Rascovich as the "chief scribe" of the book "Bucher: My Story." Other Rascovich novels were "Flight of the Dancing Bear," "The Eagle and His Egg" and, more recently, "Falkenhorst." Rascovich was president of the Sailfish Club of Florida in Palm Beach for two years and initiated the club's annual Gold Cup Invitational Sailfish Tournament, which draws teams from all over the country each January. He is survived by his wife Florence, sons Mark Jr. and Lars, and a brother in Sweden. The Quattlebaum- Holleman-Burse Funeral Home in West Palm Beach is handling arrangements for the funeral at 11:30 a.m. Monday. -' - ' O' " .' - 'N , .-.. ... . , . - " - '- . StH Photo by J. Scott Applewhite crews have piled on West Palm Beach, where constructi up mounds of crushed rock. DESERT It looks as if this fellow might be in the middle of a desert, wandering across vast mounds of sand. Actually, he is walking along Belvedere Road in Delray Board Settles Racial Split with their "caliber." He also noted me to stop raising the issue of race. He said that what he had stated in the letter was true "as we all know." "Your letter stunk ... it was untrue . . . we were trying to get away from the letter and you're trying to push it down my throat," Taylor replied. Thomas and Commissioner Clifford Dur-den, also a black, jumped in as peacemakers. "I thought we could put this asside," Thomas said. "If we are going to forget this situation, let us do that and not doubletalk," Durden said. The meeting ended with peace between the commissioners and Middlebrooks the accepted architect. By RAFE KLINGER Post Staff Writer DELRAY BEACH - Feuding Delray Beach Housing Authority members settled -at least temporarily - a racial split surrounding the hiring of black architect Joseph Middlebrooks to revise and complete the Stewart Arms housing project. However, the settlement did not come before some sharp words were exchanged. Black and white commissioners have bandied charges of racism, claims of wounded integrity and requests for investigations since the conflict began a month ago. Yesterday's agenda for the authority contained as topics for discussion two letters written by white commissioners Michael Bro- dy and John Banting, along with the method for removing a commissioner. Black commissioners had been insulted over Brody's letter, which they felt contained lies and branded them racist for selecting Middlebrooks. Banting's letter to James Scheifley resulted in suggestions of probes of the vote by a grand jury or ethics commission. Chairman Semmie Taylor, a black, had vowed at last Monday's City Council session to attempt to have Banting, who was recently appointed, removed from the authority. Authority Executive Director Larry Bir-chmeyer, who had opposed Middlebrooks' selection, started yesterday's meeting with a report saying Middlebrook's staff "impressed Middlebrooks' firm would receive about $100,000 for the job, not $200,000 as erroneously reported earlier. At the close of Birchmeyer's report, Banting, who had questioned Middlebrook's qualifications and the time he could spend on the project since he also taught, called the report "terrific." Brody said, "I think it's about time we stopped bickering about this." "I think that's the right perspective," Taylor said. "A lot of wounds have been opened, but wounds can be healed," added Commissioner John Thomas, a black. The purpose of the letter, Brody said, was James: I Had No Input J their assignments. Each said they got at least one of their first two choices but the delegation will go unrepresented on the important education, agriculture and natural resources committees. Rep. Ed Healey (D-West Palm Beach) said there was no attempt to coordinate committee assignments among the delegation but "1 am hoping we can use each other's committee clout to find solutions to local problems." The delegation is represented in Rules, Appropriations, Finance and Tax, Commerce, Transportation, Tourism, Standards and Conduct, Elections and Community Affairs. James was assigned only to Rules and House Administration but said he had asked Tucker not to place him on any substantive legislative committees. James said he made the request so he could spend more time assisting other Republicans. Rep. Don Hazelton (D -West Palm Beach), earlier named chairman of the new Corrections, Probation and Parole Committee, said he is "pleased" with additional assignments to Commerce and Rules. Three members of the delegation were named to the 12-member, urban dominated Transportation Committee, Considine, Tom Lewis (R-North Palm Beach) and Reid Moore (R-West Palm Beach). Moore, too, was one of the few to receive three assignments. He will also serve on Finance and Taxation and Community Affairs. By MARTHA MUSG ROVE Post Staff Writer TALLAHASSEE - House minority leader Bill James (R-Delray Beach) yesterday disputed Speaker Don Tucker's assertions that James had been consulted on Republican committee assignments. "I don't have any great disagreement about them but I wasn't consulted and I didn't have any input and there's no use making out like I did," James said candidly. "The speaker called me at home the night before, said these are the assignments I've made and read them off. My records on Republican members requests were at the office so I made no suggestions." Palm Beach County representatives were generally pleased with Roca Treasurer To Resign Dec. 31 BOCA RATON - City Treasurer Wallace Weis has resigned from his $16,000-a-year post effective Dec. 31. City officials refused to comment on whether Weis's resignation was requested. Weis also refused to comment on the reason for his sudden resignation. He said the letter he wrote offering his resignation was still unsigned. City Finance Director John Williams said he had accepted Weis's resignation and would be advertising the position after redefining the responsibilities the job includes. Friends To 'Roast Heidtman at Dinner Palm Beach County Sheriff William Heidtman will be "roasted" by friends tonight in a gala benefit dinner that kicks off with a cocktail party at 7 p.m., at the Colonnades Beach Hotel in Palm Beach Shores. Former astronaut Ed Mitchell will head a list of roasters on tap for the event. Tickets, priced at $35 each, are available at the door. WPH Police Seek Robbery Suspect Police were searching last night for a knife-wielding robber who took approximately $200 from an insurance agent making his collection rounds. A West Palm Beach Police Department spokesman said the robber accosted Donald Osterhoudt at the intersection of 14th Street and Spruce Avenue around 7 p.m. The robber fled on foot after taking the collections, the spokesman said. Boca Raton Police To Hold Auction BOCA RATON - If you're looking for something unusual for Christmas and don't mind less than ideal shopping conditions, you might want to stop by the parking lot of the police station today. The city will be auctioning off a variety of merchandise recovered by police including bicycles, radios, television sets, fire extinguishers, pocketbooks, tape decks and cameras. There's also a set of silverware, a white automobile top, a fifth of liquor, an electric guitar and a can of shaving cream. The auction starts at 10 a.m. behind the police station, 100 NW Second Ave. Then you may want to visit the Boca Raton Mall and let the police show you how to protect your new purchases. They'll be conducting an exhibit that includes movies, displays and a demonstration on home security and driver safety. The exhibit runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. it- ' "Zw" - Boca May Adopt Tougher Laws To Curb Damaging Boat Wakes rine patrolman, Walter Spiegel, that the problem exists not with the law but with its enforcement. Budget cuts eliminated all enforcement action on the waterways in 1975, and when Spiegel returned to duty the first of this year, "it was real havoc out there." He patrols the waterways from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The remainder of the week there is no enforcement. A resident may, however, file a complaint about a speeding boat if it is accompanied by an affidavit with sworn testimony as to the identity of the boat's operator, the color, description and length of the boat, number of passengers on board and other information. "The law's definitely there," he said. "It's just a matter of enforcing it." City Atty. Al Galbraith said the city would be installing signs on seawalls calling for boaters to "slow down." The board will hold a public hearing on the issue before presenting recommendations to the City Council. By DEE WHITTINGTON Post Staff Writer BOCA RATON - Bert Crockford spent $450,000 for his home on the Intracoastal Waterway, but he docks his yacht in Pompano Beach because high wakes created by speeding boats damage his boat. Former Boca Raton Mayor Norman Wymbs spends $600 a year to maintain his seawall because of high wakes. Crockford and Wymbs are among a dozen or so residents who have filed complaints with the Community Relations Board, alleging that excessive wakes are damaging their docks, boats and seawalls. The board is studying the issue to determine if tougher legislation should be suggested for the City Council's consideration. Board member Irvin Snyder said he discovered many property owners who are spending "thousands of dollars" a year to maintain their seawalls. The board heard this week from the city's sole ma Staff Photo by John Bartlett BENCHED - High tides and storms continue to batter away at beaches along Florida's Atlantic Coast. In Fort Pierce, this bench, which has fallen captive to the surf, is an example of what the waves have done near the South Jetty.

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