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Lozano attorney sues over fees

Former Miami police Officer William Lozano's attorney has sued the city to recover $1.8-million in legal fees incurred while representing Lozano in his racial shooting trial. Roy Black filed suit in Dade County Court on Wednesday. He originally presented the city with a $710,000 bill, a discount of 60 percent. But city commissioners voted Sept. 8 against paying it, citing a Florida law that gives municipalities discretion over whether to pay legal fees for police officers. Black said in the suit the higher amount was the actual cost of representing Lozano, who was cleared of wrongdoing after two trials and 10 appeals that lasted four years. Lozano shot and killed two men on a motorcycle in 1989 but was acquitted. He was fired from the police force, however. The shooting triggered three days of riots in Miami.

Turnpike flasher

arrested in Orlando

ORLANDO _ Turnpike toll takers had come to dread the flasher in the blue Camaro. Between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. each weekday for the past month, the driver gave toll takers his ticket, 80 cents and a long stare until they noticed he was exposed. "He never said anything. He'd just stare at them. Really weird," said toll collections manager Robert Kane. But the flasher's fun ended Wednesday, authorities said. Phillip Laird, 22, of St. Cloud, was accused by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper of flashing a toll taker and speeding away. He was charged with exposing himself and possession of marijuana. "I've arrested people for all kinds of stuff, but never one like this," said Charlotte Christian, the trooper who made the arrest.

Problem child jailed

after hitting teacher

LOCKHART _ An 8-year-old boy with emotional problems was handcuffed and jailed, charged with felony battery on his teacher. The teacher told authorities she wanted to press charges after the boy punched and kicked her repeatedly. But the boy's mother expressed outrage at the way the incident was handled. "I think it was very ridiculous," she said. "He's in that class because he has a behavior problem. I took him to that school because I thought they were trained professionals and could help me with my son."

Mother to ensure

girl is at school

WEST PALM BEACH _ A mother charged with allowing her daughter to skip school has agreed to relinquish the 13-year-old to state custody if the girl continues her absences. Carolyn Smith has an agreement with state prosecutors that requires her to attend parenting classes and ensure that her daughter, Kristi, continues attending magnet program classes. The girl missed 127 days of school last year. If Kristi's attendance record improves after six months, the mother's misdemeanor charge will be dropped, officials said.

Agents suspect

assassination plot

ORLANDO _ Federal agents are checking a report of an assassination plot against judges and congressional members following the arrest of an Orlando jeweler on illegal weapons charges. A police officer testified in federal court Wednesday that Gary Mires, 52, bragged about the plot during visits to an Orlando-area gun shop, where he told the gunsmith his semiautomatic rifle had been converted to a machine gun with a silencer. Mires was arrested by agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms last Saturday on charges of modifying the weapon, which is illegal without a permit. Prosecutor Randy Gold said Mires also told the gunsmith there were 60 similar weapons in circulation and a plan to kill unspecified judges and congressional members across the country. ATF investigators were trying to determine whether such a plot existed.

Jacksonville mayor

switches parties

JACKSONVILLE _ The city got its first Republican mayor since Reconstruction on Thursday without a single vote being cast. Mayor Ed Austin switched to the GOP. "Philosophically, the Republican Party stands for where I am on the issues," said Austin, a lifelong Democrat.

Teen survived coma,

but now has anemia

ORLANDO _ Philip Chandler, who was kidnapped, locked in the sweltering trunk of his father's car for hours, then left for dead in an empty parking lot in July 1993, is in the hospital being treated for aplastic anemia, a dangerous disorder in which the blood-producing bone marrow fails to function properly. It's a serious setback for the Chandler, 17. Since defying doctors' predictions that he would never emerge from a coma, Philip has battled to overcome permanent brain injury. A marrow transplant may be considered.

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