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Next step for petition to recall Miami mayor is verification

MIAMI

MAYOR FACES PETITION DRIVE FOR REMOVAL

A billionaire businessman says he has collected enough petition signatures for a recall vote on Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. Norman Braman said Monday his drive has already surpassed 90,000 signatures of registered voters. That's almost twice the number required. The signatures must be verified by elections officials. Braman and others are upset with Alvarez over a 12 percent tax increase for some property owners while salaries rise for county workers. A recall election would be held within three months after signatures are verified. Braman is an auto dealer and art collector who previously tried to stop public funding for Miami's new baseball stadium.

JACKSONVILLE

Baby dead, boy hurt in 2 pit bull attacks

A newborn baby is dead after being attacked by a pit bull in a Jacksonville home.

The newborn died at a hospital. Authorities have not released the baby's name.

In a separate case Monday night, Manatee County deputies fatally shot a pit bull that charged them after attacking a 5-year-old boy in Bradenton. Authorities say the boy tried to climb a tree to get away but the dog bit into his arm and tried to pull him down.

Neither the boy's name nor condition were released.

MIAMI

Stolen medical files lead man to prison

A Miami man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for participating in a scheme to sell stolen patient records to lawyers for injury claims.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard also imposed a $100,000 fine on 62-year-old Ruben Rodriguez, whose attorney had sought a six-year sentence.

Lenard said she was compelled to issue the tougher sentence because of the high number of patient records — more than 3,000 — Rodriguez paid a Jackson Memorial Hospital employee to steal. He then brokered the patients' information to a personal-injury lawyer in exchange for part of any legal settlements won from the claims.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges and aggravated identity theft in July.

TALLAHASSEE

Parole Commission now entirely female

Florida will have an all-female Parole Commission for the first time ever next year.

Cassandra Jenkins will join the three-member panel Jan. 5 following her appointment Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet.

Her 27 years of law enforcement experience also includes serving as a juvenile justice consultant and instructor at Florida State University.

Jenkins is a former Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Department of Juvenile Justice official.

The commission's other members are chairwoman Tena Pate and Monica David.

TAVARES

Postcard each week for killing a soldier

To stay out of jail, a central Florida man must send a weekly postcard to the family of the soldier he killed in a car crash.

Lake County Circuit Judge G. Richard Singeltary has ordered 22-year-old Andrew Gaudioso to send the family of Sgt. Thomas Towers Jr. a postcard a week for the next 15 years.

Gaudioso must present the stamped postcard to his probation officer.

Investigators said Gaudioso was speeding and had traces of drugs in his blood when he crashed into Towers' car outside Eustis in March 2008.

Associated Press

Next step for petition to recall Miami mayor is verification 10/26/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 11:02pm]
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