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Controversial Riviera Beach legislative aide resigns

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — A controversial Riviera Beach legislative aide quit Friday after lying about his arrest last week.

Sammie Brown worked for Councilwoman Julia Botel, raking in thousands of dollars in overtime, which appears to have violated a policy set by the city manager. In turn, Brown often attacked Botel’s political enemies.

Contact 5 in March revealed that the FBI interviewed Botel about the charity she started. Now his trusted aide — and political pit bull — has quit.

After his arrest on an outstanding warrant last week, Sammie Brown said someone else used his name and address with the arresting officer.
He told Contact 5 on April 30andhe was the victim of identity theft, “This is what it looks like, someone using my identity fraudulently, what do you have, things happen.”

After body camera video allegedly showed it was Sammie Brown and there was no identity theft, he posted online, “I was able to find out that this post in question was mine…given that it happened nearly four years ago, I had completely forgotten about it.”

The city confirmed that Brown had resigned from his post.

Former Riviera Beach building official and current community activist Ladi March Goldwire blames Brown’s behavior and the circumstances that led to his resignation on Botel.

After: Riviera Beach councilwoman among those interviewed by FBI over charity

“It was obvious that she had gone quiet as this situation started to take shape,” said

Goldwire says Brown was out of control.

She is suing a social media group of which Brown is a member, which published that she received a bribe from businessman Fain Lozman allowing her to build a fence on Singer Island.

“I have never, ever, and will never accept a bribe from anyone,” Goldwire said.
Some of Brown’s criticisms relate to the fact that he earned $58,000 last year for a part-time job. That’s more than many full-time workers in the city, and thousands more than the other four legislative aides.

The $14,000 in overtime payments for Smith last year do not appear to be allowed under a policy set out by City Manager Jonathan Evans.

In a memo last year, Evans wrote, “Legislative assistants are not permitted to exceed 30 hours per week unless explicitly authorized by the City Manager’s office, adding that ‘overtime is strongly discouraged.’ .

WPTV

Riviera Beach City Council member Julia Botel explains why she’s confident her charity hasn’t been involved in any wrongdoing.

Brown’s $14,000 overtime accounted for 94% of all overtime paid to city legislative aides.

“When you compare it to some of the tenured police officers and first responders who are struggling from a base pay perspective, it can be a little frustrating,” Goldwire said.

Other critics add that Brown went from legislative aide to attack dog.

“Tradrick, you are a bully, a liar and, frankly, a jerk,” Brown said at a March 2 city council meeting, days before the mayoral election, as he lashed out at the councilor. municipal Tradrick McCoy, who frequently clashed with Botel.

“You’re an embarrassment to Riviera Beach,” Brown added, “And I see why your own family doesn’t like you.”

“What he saw tonight was awful,” replied Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder, who was furious at Brown’s remarks that he added he would fire Brown if he was on his staff.

Contact 5 also wanted to ask Brown if he had been interviewed by the FBI like Botel.

She was asked about the charity she founded, Friends of the Riviera Beach Schools. Brown was active in the charity, even playing Santa Claus at the non-profit organization’s holiday giveaways.

Brown declined our request for an on-camera interview, and Botel did not return our call.

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