The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 27, 1998 · Page 17
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 17

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, March 27, 1998
Page 17
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The Palm Beach Post SECTION B MEDITRUST MOVE Massachusetts health care firm is moving 200 workers to Palm Beach Gardens. BUSINESS, ID j LOCAL I GRANTS FOR YOUTH The Department of Juvenile Justice awards $254,000 to Palm Beach County programs. STORY, 5B I r FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 1998 Top fest Palm official fails to resign, return bonus and entertainment. "I'll meet with Nancy and we'll discuss it" today, he said. Mayor Nancy Graham, meanwhile, continued to say Thursday she doesn't want her top aide to leave. But she does want the money back. And, the mayor said, she'll ask Wright City Administrator Michael Wright says he can't cover the $7,500 check yet. By Marcia Gelbart 1 Palm Beach Post Staff Writer I WEST PALM BEAH City Administrator Michael Wright never delivered his resignation letter Thursday because he didn't have enough money in his bank account to cover the return of his $7,500 bonus, which he wants to deliver at the same time. 1 Wright, who has no written contract and earns $111,770, also hinted that he'd remain. Arriving late to a regular morning meeting with department heads Thursday, Wright paraphrased Mark Twain. "The rumors of my leaving are highly exaggerated," he said. The tumult began March 13 when Internal Auditor Imogene Isaacs released a lengthy investigative report. Besides finding the bonus improper, Isaacs criticized loose reimbursement practices in the mayor's office, including the $36,321 staffers spent on local meals city auditor declared improper in an audit released two weeks ago. Nervous staff members said they were stunned. The news also overshadowed Thursday's swearing-in of newly reelected Commissioners Jeff Koons, Joel Daves and Howard Warshauer and Koons' second term as commission president. n But by the day's end, some wondered whether Wright ever intended to leave. "I'm not impressed by his offer to resign because I don't think he meant it," said Commissioner Mary Hooks. Graham blasted the report, and Isaacs personally, saying the findings were overblown. But she did concede the need to create and enforce spending policies and quickly issued rules about staff meals and gifts. Graham gave Wright the bonus Aug. 15 to reward him for proposing a way to reap $27 million by closing a city pension plan. After the city's finance director said he thought the city charter required commission ap- Please see WRIGHT55 Wright and other staffers to repay some meal and gift expenses the 'I was president of the United States and I liked that very much. It was a huge challenge. The biggest job in the whole world.' GEORGE BUSH Five teens charged in man's death T T T V3 l ! y ' J 'i I . ' A Yinh 1 ' 13 r. - - ffV m : Roon CS,.. -V ' J- : J By Joe Brogan ' Palm Beach Post Staff Writer RIVIERA BEACH Five teens, including two siblings, were charged with second-degree murder Thursday in the beating death of a West Palm Beach man last weekend on Singer Island. The teenagers, ages 15 to 17, also were charged with attempted murder in the beating of Charles Boland, 32, of Riviera Beach. His brother, Robert Boland, 30, died at the scene. Police said the Bolands and the teens got into a fight just after midnight Saturday near Portofino Lounge, 2447 Ocean Ave., on the city's Ocean Mall strip. The teens were identified as Daniel Yinh, 17, of 5592 Eagle Lake Drive, Palm Beach Gardens; Scott Roon, 16, of 1588 Eagle Lake Drive, Palm Beach Gardens; Brad Heard, 15, and Scott Heard, 17, both of slip 315, Riviera Beach Marina; and Dennis Bouchard, 16, of 343 Laurel Oaks Way, Jupiter. According to police, an argument broke out after the brothers had allegedly bought beer for the teens. Roon told police he was punched by Robert Boland who thought Roon told a convenience store clerk that Boland bought beer for the teens, police reports show. When Robert Boland came at Bouchard, Bouchard told investigators, Brad Heard struck Boland on the head with a golf club, knocking him to the ground. Bouchard then hit him with a skateboard, reports said. Yinh told police that he also struck Robert Boland with a skateboard, according to arrest documents. Charles Boland was also struck in the head with the golf club by Heard and a skateboard by Bouchard, reports show. hi - 1 r ." i B. Heard . . . RICHARD GRAULICHStaff Photographer 11-year-old Ashley GJass has a question for former President George Bush who visited with 100 kids in West Palm Beach on Thursday. Students get inside scoop on Bush's 'wild side' k i S. Heard Then I lost and it hurt. But I got on with my life," Bush said. "If something goes bad in life, don't give up. That's one of the missions of the Boys & Girls Clubs too." Bush impressed his young audience. "I thought he would be grumpy and boring but I was proved wrong," said Trishana Seabrook, 12, of Roosevelt Middle School. "I was surprised about the parachuting," said Jeffrey Plante, 16, of Palm Beach Lakes High. The president is living on the wild side now." $125,000 for the county's Boys & Girls Clubs. But not before he toured the teen lounge, kitchen, arts and crafts room. The former president talked about his sky diving from 12,500 feet last year. "It was a great feeling of liberation," he said, adding that his only other time in a parachute was during World War II when his B-27 was hit by enemy fire. The kids asked about how tough it is to lose an election, whether he lived in a mansion and how hard it is to lose one's privacy. "I was president for four years. Beach and answered questions from 100 kids gathered from the nine clubs around the county. He talked about his old job: "I was president of the United States and I liked that very much. It was a huge challenge. The biggest job in the whole world." And his new job: finishing the Bush Presidential Library in Texas and, with his wife, Barbara, lending support to 158 charities and helping raise $26 million in the past two years. Bush later attended a $200-a-plate luncheon in Palm Beach Gardens to help raise $100,000 to By Tim O'Meilia Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH What do 11- and 12-year-olds know about George Bush, who was elected president when they were still in high chairs? "No new taxes," said Donald Wright, 11, of Calusa Elementary. "Saddam Hussein?" asked an uncertain Robyn Daniel, 15, of William T. Dwyer High' School. The former president fleshed out those fragments of recent history Thursday wheh he toured the Boys & Girls Club of West Palm S . v i , 4 - i. Bouchard On Thursday, lawyer John Please see TEENS3Z? Commission kills zoning change for colleague's son A n - ' "" 1 r . i . I - - Yv ! - a f ' ; " i' I. Port files being held 'hostage' By Michael Utley i Palm peach Post Staff Writer RIVIERA BEACH 4- The former top lawyer for the Port of Palm Beach has refused to return the port's case files following his resignation last week, officials said Thursday. ; "He appears to be holding our files hostage," Port Commissioner Michael Brown said during the port's first public meeting without longtime attorney Robert Cook. Cook was forced to resign on March 19 after admitting he transferred more than $6,000 from a port trust fund to his general office account. Cook, port attorney since 1975, says it was an honest mistake, but dida't return the money until port finance officials noticed the discrepancy. Now, Williams and Commissioner George Mastics are accusing Cook of withholding port files and refusing to provide a written summary of the port's pending legal maters. On the day he resigned, Cook agreed to do both. Cook could not be reached for comment Thursday. But in a letterto the port director, Coojc said he wants assurances that he will be paid for his time and his copying costs. Cook was paid $165 an hour for his services. Meanwhile, commissioners hired North Pain) Beach lawyer Thomas Baird to serve as interim port attorney until a permanent replacement can be found. Port officials said tbry expect to hue a permanent attorney , within 90 days. searched the issue at the request of Commissioner Warren Newell, who lives in the vicinity of the parcel, which is on Lantana Road near Lake Osborne. Mark Roberts first sought commercial designation for the property, which he doesn't own, in 1989. He hired a consultant to help with the effort, but he said he lost track of what happened with it after the deal to purchase the property fell through. When he started pursuing the land again in 1997, his attorney and partner in the deal argued that the land had commercial designation, based on minutes from a 1989 meeting where commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of it. Commissioner Roberts made the motion; state law did not include family members as conflicts of interest at the time. But in the past few weeks, county staffers found that the pe titioner in 1989 withdrew the request even after commissioners and the state approved it County documents are unclear about w hether the petitioner who withdrew the request was Roberts or the property's owner. Commissioners accused Carol Roberts' son of pushing for an improper zoning switch. By Rebecca Goldsmith Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH An error by county zoning staff opened the door for a politically colored flip during Thursday's zoning commission meeting. A quorum of four county commissioners withdrew its October approval of a zoning change requested by Mark Roberts, Commissioner Carol Roberts' son. They were slated to confirm the October vote, from which Roberts had abstained, for the Clerk's Office records. But with Commissioner Roberts in Tallahassee, and her son at his Boynton Beach dental practice, the commissioners Thursday lashed into Mark Roberts, accusing him of pushing commercial zoning for a one-acre parcel that he knew was designated for residential development, which is not allowed. The discrepancy was first noted by a 'unty zoning lawyer this week,"1 after staffers re LIU XIN, Staff Photographer Looking for signs of (turtle) life PALM BEACH Zen Youkoveg of Palm Beach strolls along the beach Thursday morning while a Caterpillar machine tills the beach to help nesting sea turtles. The town is required to test the compactness of the sand as a condition of the state permit for its beach restoration project. The town has been monitoring the beach for sea turtles since March 1, but none has nested yet. , bieast see FfO BERTS ji

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