Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?

State Rep. Carolina Amesty just can’t stay out of the news. A month after an Orlando Sentinel story accused her of lying about financial matters when she was running for office, she’s being sued for defamation. Former legislative aide Nicolas Frevola claims Amesty told others that he tried to run her over with his car on the campaign trail. She denied the allegations to Florida Politics, accusing him of using the allegations for political purposes. While there’s still much of the story that hasn’t yet played out, there is no doubt one of the two will emerge as a clear loser when it is all said and done.


Michael Fackler -

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan has had a run of bad luck, with two of her picks for top jobs in her administration failing to get the confirmation votes they needed from the City Council. Most recently, former City Council member Randy DeFoor withdrew her name from consideration for general counsel. Now Deegan is naming Michael Fackler, so far thought to be a shoo-in, to be the city’s top attorney. Does it help that he's a Gator too?

Jim Silvernale -

An official in the union representing all non-teacher Broward County Schools employees, Jim Silvernale looked on as his members locked in 5.5% raises after negotiations with the district were approved this week. The district’s 31,000 employees make it the biggest employer in Broward County, meaning a large swath of the area’s workforce will have more money to bring home to their families. 

Stuart Sternberg -

The multimillionaire owner of the Tampa Bay Rays has hit a home run. The St. Petersburg City Council and the Pinellas County Commission have struck a deal with the professional baseball team to build a new stadium. The project will cost $1.3 billion, with taxpayers contributing $600 million of the total. The team has plenty of other expenses, though, as redeveloping the area around the stadium is going to cost $6.5 billion total.


Tiffany Carr & Patricia Duarte -

Tiffany Carr is the former CEO and Patricia Duarte the former CFO for the now-defunct Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Both are now being charged criminally for reportedly “padding the books at the taxpayer-funded organization to compensate themselves using funds provided through grants intended to help fund domestic violence shelters across Florida.” Innocent until proven guilty, yes, but the evidence is pretty damning. And credit Mary Ellen Klas for her relentless reporting on the story. 

Alex Díaz de la Portilla -

Miami’s most controversial city commissioner was notified that he was being arrested during a city meeting. Alex Díaz de la Portilla is facing corruption charges for an alleged scheme to launder $245,000 in political contributions in exchange for his support of a plan to build a sports complex in the city. This definitely isn’t the type of scandal any politician wants to be facing when they are about to gear up for a reelection bid. Doubt he can use his mugshot on merch like Donald Trump can.

Kirk Reams -

As the Tallahassee Democrat reported this week, “Kirk Reams, who courted controversy and scandal during his embattled tenure as Jefferson County clerk of court, was arrested on charges he misused the office credit card, took part in a kickback scheme and misappropriated funds.” We’ll pull out the “innocent until proven guilty” card here too, but note that Reams may not be as lucky as when he previously got into legal trouble.