You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Exclusives


EXCLUSIVE: Don’t cut care to 23M, do reform drug prices, AMA head says

The American Medical Association’s top officer said in a visit to The Palm Beach Post he cannot support pushing 23 million people out of health coverage, but President Donald Trump could be on to something with talk of bringing down high drug prices. “It’s certainly encouraging that it’s a topic of conversation,” said AMA’s 171st president Andrew Gurman, an orthopedic...
What new law, rulings mean for Palm Beach County’s 7 on Death Row

What new law, rulings mean for Palm Beach County’s 7 on Death Row

When dozens of law enforcement officers gathered in a Palm Beach County courtroom in March to make sure a convicted West Palm Beach cop killer remained on Death Row, it heralded the beginning of a parade of the county’s most notorious murderers. During the next several months, attorneys representing others who have spent decades on Death Row also will be in circuit court to argue that their...
EXCLUSIVE: How did baby Tayla Aleman starve to death?

EXCLUSIVE: How did baby Tayla Aleman starve to death?

With 10 children, the Aleman family couldn’t be missed on the little Loxahatchee block, nestled among the slash and Australian pines. Dirty, shoeless and hungry, many of the children, ages 2-15, played outside almost daily, no adult around, when others their age were either in school or at daycare. Sometimes they banged on the door of their home, but no one would let them in. Neighbors described...
Drug overdoses among new challenges for hurricane shelters

Drug overdoses among new challenges for hurricane shelters

Nearly 16,000 people in nine counties from Indian River to Miami-Dade evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Matthew, toting typical sleepover accessories — and their own personal demons. Six evacuees who sought refuge at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach overdosed on drugs as the dangerous Category 4 cyclone approached South Florida. In another county, a bus full of teenagers from a residential...
Drug overdoses among new challenges for hurricane shelters

Drug overdoses among new challenges for hurricane shelters

Nearly 16,000 people in nine counties from Indian River to Miami-Dade evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Matthew, toting typical sleepover accessories — and their own personal demons. Six evacuees who sought refuge at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach overdosed on drugs as the dangerous Category 4 cyclone approached South Florida. In another county, a bus full of teenagers from a residential...
BREAKING: Sober home owner, manager accused of patient brokering

BREAKING: Sober home owner, manager accused of patient brokering

The owner and manager of a sober home west of Lake Worth have been charged with taking patient brokering payoffs from a Delray Beach drug treatment center raided last fall, according to records. The county’s Sober Home Task Force charged Zarinah Hargrove, 41, and Angela M. Weathersbee, 38, each with 10 counts. Both were booked Wednesday into the Palm Beach County Jail — Hargrove in the...
GL Homes wants to move giant project from Acreage to Ag Reserve

GL Homes wants to move giant project from Acreage to Ag Reserve

GL Homes wants Palm Beach County to consider a proposal that would allow it to unlock development in the Agricultural Reserve, a south-county farming zone where building is limited by county rules but home sales are lucrative. RELATED: Former commissioner Tony Masilotti rips county in comments on GL Homes plan Instead of moving forward with recently approved plans to build a giant development of 3...
First dose of opioid money favors Central Florida over South Florida

First dose of opioid money favors Central Florida over South Florida

Two weeks after Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Department of Health to declare a state of emergency over the opioid crisis, the promised $27 million in aid is starting to roll out. First priorities: medical treatment for people addicted to heroin or other opioids, and naloxone to reverse overdoses. The Florida Department of Children and Families, the agency charged with overseeing addiction treatment...
Notorious treatment center operator Chatman gets 27 years in prison

Notorious treatment center operator Chatman gets 27 years in prison

Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman was a relatively small drug-treatment provider despite the millions he raked in every year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafaña said Wednesday. But he was “the most dangerous,” she told U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks, and FBI agents “never worked harder” than the last few months of 2016, as they rushed to put Chatman...
Juror, lawyer confirm: Patrick Swayze widow was holdout in Seth Adams trial

Juror, lawyer confirm: Patrick Swayze widow was holdout in Seth Adams trial

After failing to convince one juror — the widow of actor Patrick Swayze — that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer had no justification for fatally shooting Seth Adams, other members of the panel on Tuesday voiced relief that Adams’ parents will be paid $2.5 million by the sheriff’s office to end the lawsuit. “I felt the family got a little bit...
Woman on Chatman: ‘Men came in and paid him money to rape me.’

Woman on Chatman: ‘Men came in and paid him money to rape me.’

Kenny Chatman kept a 19-year-old woman tied down in a house, where more than 100 men raped her, a woman wrote to U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks on Monday. The corrupt drug treatment center operator, who faces up to life in prison when sentenced today, held her for weeks, until she jumped out of a window and escaped wearing nothing but a T-shirt, according to the letter. “They IV-drugged...
‘Kenny Chatman kidnapped me’: Read one woman’s human trafficking story

‘Kenny Chatman kidnapped me’: Read one woman’s human trafficking story

Corrupt drug treatment operator Kenny Chatman will be sentenced Wednesday, and for the past few weeks, parents and victims have been writing letters to U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, telling him that they believe Chatman killed their children or furthered their addictions. But perhaps none of the letters is as chilling as one filed with the court Monday, from a woman who says Chatman...
EXCLUSIVE: FAU, Glades are county’s big winners if Scott signs budget

EXCLUSIVE: FAU, Glades are county’s big winners if Scott signs budget

Florida Atlantic University and the Glades are poised to be big winners in Palm Beach County if Gov. Rick Scott signs the state budget legislators have cobbled together. The university’s Honors College could get $1 million for an expansion project. Another $14.5 million could be directed to the university for a new STEM/life sciences building on the Abacoa campus in Jupiter, the replacement...
Will President Trump be used as witness in sex offender Epstein case?

Will President Trump be used as witness in sex offender Epstein case?

President Donald Trump is a shadowy, but ever-present, figure in the never-ending saga of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Mar-a-Lago, the commander-in-chief’s private-club-turned-southern-White-House in Palm Beach, was the backdrop for Epstein’s introduction to one of his dozens of teenage victims, according to court records. In a short-lived lawsuit that Trump decried as &ldquo...
POST INVESTIGATION: Eagle Arts charter in chaos: Are kids being educated?

POST INVESTIGATION: Eagle Arts charter in chaos: Are kids being educated?

Like hundreds of families before them, Jill Sheffield and her mother walked the halls of Eagle Arts Academy last summer with growing excitement. Touring the sprawling campus, the shy 11-year-old and her mother followed the school’s director across the dance studio’s shiny wood floors, through the guitar-filled music room, and into the gleaming computer lab, listening as he explained...
EXCLUSIVE: State shuts down Tri-Coast Pharmacy in Juno Beach

EXCLUSIVE: State shuts down Tri-Coast Pharmacy in Juno Beach

A Juno Beach compounding pharmacy has been closed after the Florida Department of Health accused it of dispensing dangerously contaminated drugs and then altering documents in a failed attempt to cover its tracks. In a 20-page emergency order, Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip last month suspended a special state permit held by Tri-Coast Pharmacy that allowed it to mix drugs which have...
Sober Home Task Force makes 26th arrest - takes aim at labs

Sober Home Task Force makes 26th arrest - takes aim at labs

After six weeks without an arrest, the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force roared back into action on Thursday, making four arrests in 24 hours and expanding its investigation into business practices of labs that perform costly urine drug tests. The new arrests — plus additional charges against a prior arrestee — bring the total arrests by the task force to 26 and also mark the...
Owner of West Palm Beach sober home accused of patient brokering

Owner of West Palm Beach sober home accused of patient brokering

The owner of two Palm Beach County sober homes where police responded to 28 calls last year — including six overdoses — was arrested on multiple counts of patient brokering on Wednesday. Matthew Anderson, 38, offered free rent to residents of his sober home, Anastasia’s Way, contingent on their attendance at London Treatment Center, according to a police report. Detectives reviewed...
Tax savings for voters means cost cutting for county — or tax hikes

Tax savings for voters means cost cutting for county — or tax hikes

State lawmakers are expected to finalize the budget Monday, but for many officials in Palm Beach County, the most important votes already have been taken. Those were the votes that passed a joint resolution allowing residents to determine if they want to expand the homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000 for homes worth $100,000 or more. The state House and Senate passed the resolution, HJR 7105...
Here’s what Florida lawmakers did — and didn’t do — about the heroin crisis

Here’s what Florida lawmakers did — and didn’t do — about the heroin crisis

Florida lawmakers attacked the heroin overdose epidemic this year wherever they could find it — in courtrooms, call-centers, hospitals, sober homes and treatment centers. Unlike recent years, when bills related to addiction and sober homes faced indifference and pious judgment, this year’s legislative session saw bipartisan bills flying through both houses unopposed. Some of the urgency...
Heroin-related deaths skyrocket as Palm Beach County leads state

Heroin-related deaths skyrocket as Palm Beach County leads state

Correction: Because of a data reporter’s error, two comparisons were incorrect in a story Saturday on the skyrocketing number of heroin deaths in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. County deaths from heroin-related overdoses in a two-year period, not a six-year period, were as great as in 2015. And the average monthly toll of deaths across the entire state was 63, slightly more than reported...
Sober home cleanup bill on path to OK after dangling all week

Sober home cleanup bill on path to OK after dangling all week

A bill that would crack down on shady business practices in the drug-treatment industry is on a path to approval after its fate was up in the air for days. With a heavy dose of local lobbying, the bill to crack down on bad sober homes survived a key calendar call Wednesday to make it to the Senate floor Thursday. It must pass the Senate twice before lawmakers stop hearing bills on Friday. Palm...
‘Finally,’ Scott declares opioid epidemic a public health emergency

‘Finally,’ Scott declares opioid epidemic a public health emergency

Responding to months of public outcry, Gov. Rick Scott declared a public health emergency Wednesday in the fight against the opioid epidemic, a sea change in what had been a hands-off approach by state officials to a crisis that has killed thousands. “Finally,” said Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Melissa McKinlay, who in February sent the first of nearly a dozen local requests for an emergency...
Door remains open to Florida declaration of opioid health crisis

Door remains open to Florida declaration of opioid health crisis

Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip said Tuesday she has not ruled out declaring a public health emergency for the opioid epidemic. At the same time, officials announced the state would be getting a two-year, $54 million federal grant to attack the opioid crisis. At least $17 million would go toward medication-assisted treatment, such as methadone and Suboxone, which curb addicts’ cravings...
Strippers and crime: What brought police to Palm Beach County clubs?

Strippers and crime: What brought police to Palm Beach County clubs?

Booze. Strippers. And men. It’s a combination that loosens wallets and lights up law enforcement switchboards. There were 309 calls for service at the 14 adult businesses in unincorporated Palm Beach County from Nov. 11 through March 11, according to public records provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Some of those calls were generated by deputies making their rounds and...
Sober home certification: Nonprofit could again lose money to do it

Sober home certification: Nonprofit could again lose money to do it

Certifying sober homes was one of the top proposals for cleaning up the state’s fraud-ridden drug treatment industry, thePalm Beach County State Attorney’s Task Force concluded last year. But for a second year in a row, the organization that does the certifying statewide could see its financing gutted by lawmakers. In February, the Florida Association for Recovery Residences asked the...
Top clinician for notorious treatment center gets 5 years in prison

Top clinician for notorious treatment center gets 5 years in prison

A former clinical director at the notorious drug rehab center run by Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman was sentenced Wednesday to four years and nine months in federal prison. Barry Gregory was responsible for overseeing treatment plans at Chatman’s Reflections Treatment Center in Margate. But he largely turned a blind eye to problems there; he admitted in February to signing orders...
Statecraft & controversy: A fifth of Trump’s first 100 days in Florida

Statecraft & controversy: A fifth of Trump’s first 100 days in Florida

President Donald Trump has put a distinctive Florida stamp on his first 100 days in office by making seven trips to his Mar-a-Lago estate that have mixed golf, statecraft and controversy. Trump has spent more time on presidential getaways than Barack Obama did in his first 100 days but not as much time away from Washington as George W. Bush did at the beginning of his presidency. Much...
Sentences handed down for 3 associates of drug treatment owner Chatman

Sentences handed down for 3 associates of drug treatment owner Chatman

Jaime Holley once wrote a Mother’s Day card that’s now part of the federal criminal case against notorious drug treatment center operator Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman. “The only thing better than having you as a mom is my children will have you as Grandma,” Jaime Holley wrote, drawing hearts throughout. Holley’s family blames Chatman and his associates for the...
Jailhouse snitch gets sentencing reprieve until December

Jailhouse snitch gets sentencing reprieve until December

Notorious jailhouse snitch Frederick Cobia on Friday won yet another reprieve — five years after he admitted to pistol-whipping and then fatally shooting a 57-year-old Belle Glade man in 2009. Once planning to seek the death penalty against Cobia for the murder of Desmond Dunkley, state prosecutors in 2012 allowed the career criminal to plead guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. In exchange...
Cleared of drug charges, pharmacist switches career — to the law

Cleared of drug charges, pharmacist switches career — to the law

Roughly three years ago, Peter Del Toro was facing 295 years in prison. Today, the 44-year-old Jensen Beach father of two is shopping for office space to open a law practice. “Technically, I’m not supposed to be here. I’m supposed to be dead. Well, I’m supposed to be in prison and that’s being dead,” Del Toro said of the drastic turn his life has taken since February...
Trump administration’s policy change undercuts county puppy-sales law

Trump administration’s policy change undercuts county puppy-sales law

A Trump Administration policy change and complaints tied to a pet store in Royal Palm Beach have led to a renewed call for Palm Beach County to reconsider its policy of allowing existing pet stores to sell puppies and kittens. The County Commission passed a rule last year barring new pet stores from selling puppies and kittens in an effort to kill the profit motive at so-called pet mills, where critics...
Heroin epidemic: As deaths rise, program a ‘glimmer of hope’ for life

Heroin epidemic: As deaths rise, program a ‘glimmer of hope’ for life

Six weeks ago, Shawn Walker was shooting heroin at least once a day, feeding a two-year addiction that he supported by pawning and selling whatever he stole from family and stores. “Heroin was my girlfriend. It was my everything,” he said. “I was in a messed up, co-dependent relationship with that drug.” Now, the Lake Worth man has been clean since March 13. He works in construction...
EXCLUSIVE: Details of 6 Chinese protesters charged during President Xi visit

EXCLUSIVE: Details of 6 Chinese protesters charged during President Xi visit

At least three of the six people charged with trying to block motorcades last week during China’s president’s visit to Palm Beach County claim that Chinese government entities stole their land, according to a Washington, D.C.-based Chinese human rights group. “Initiatives for China” office director Daniel Gong said from Washington that he accompanied four of the protesters...
Using Palm Beach County bed tax to pay for Trump security dead for now

Using Palm Beach County bed tax to pay for Trump security dead for now

An idea to use Palm Beach County “bed tax” money to help pay for security and roadway management during President Donald Trump’s visits to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach is dead for now. On March 19, County Commissioner Steven Abrams asked whether money from the tourist development tax, the 6 percent tax on hotel and motel stays, could help defray costs of Trump’s frequent...
Governor’s opioid workshop in Palm Beach County set for May 1

Governor’s opioid workshop in Palm Beach County set for May 1

Palm Beach County will be the first of four counties visited by state officials next month in their plan to seek ideas for combating the opioid crisis. Palm Beach County’s “community workshop” is set for May 1, according to an email from the Department of children and Families. It will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the West Palm Beach Police headquarters, 600 Banyan Blvd....
Tiger attack: Zookeeper’s parents want ‘honest truth’ of why it happened

Tiger attack: Zookeeper’s parents want ‘honest truth’ of why it happened

Donning decorative cat ears, Stacey Konwiser spoke on video to The Palm Beach Post on the importance of Global Tiger Day in July 2015, explaining the breeding program for big cats at the Palm Beach Zoo. Behind her, looking majestic — even suave resting on some rocks — is a 350-pound Malayan tiger named Hati. This animal would be her killer. A year after Konwiser’s death by a neck...
Opioid overdose deaths double to nearly 600: ‘I don’t see any stop’

Opioid overdose deaths double to nearly 600: ‘I don’t see any stop’

Every 15 hours last year, someone died of an opioid overdose in Palm Beach County, nearly double the rate of murders and fatal car crashes. The 590 opioid overdose deaths in 2016, an all-time high for the county, are nearly twice as many as the year before, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of records from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office. “That’s just a phenomenal...
Aronberg wants to speak with Scott about opioid emergency

Aronberg wants to speak with Scott about opioid emergency

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has joined a growing list of officials trying to get Gov. Rick Scott to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Aronberg, as head of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force, sent a letter on Thursday to Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Palm Beach County Health Department, asking her to contact the state surgeon general to arrange a meeting...
Three national contests honor Palm Beach Post’s heroin coverage

Three national contests honor Palm Beach Post’s heroin coverage

The Palm Beach Post’s 2016 reporting on the community’s heroin crisis was honored this month with three national awards, including recognition for the ethical struggle involved in publishing the faces and stories of those who died from the epidemic. “The Palm Beach Post brought the issue home in stunning detail,” wrote the judges for the Association of Health Care Journalists...
COMMENTARY: Security tight inside Mar-a-Lago as U.S. missiles hit Syria

COMMENTARY: Security tight inside Mar-a-Lago as U.S. missiles hit Syria

PALM BEACH — For the members of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club lucky enough to score reservations, Thursday’s dinner was different from previous Prime Rib Nights. For starters, the club was almost entirely shut down except for a handful of tables on the terrace and an early-wrap veterans benefit downstairs. And there was no prime rib. But there were two presidents...
EXCLUSIVE: Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano running Delray addiction-treatment center in offseason

EXCLUSIVE: Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano running Delray addiction-treatment center in offseason

Anthony Fasano’s life was about to change that day a relative failed to show for a high school game he was supposed to coach. Rather than realize the personal, long-term ramifications of what was unfolding, all Fasano cared about over the next couple of days was finding his relative and sorting out whatever was wrong. Drugs, that’s what was wrong. Fasano, like many, knew little about addiction...
Jupiter Farms foes of Slater wave pool cite Austin wave park problems

Jupiter Farms foes of Slater wave pool cite Austin wave park problems

Surfing legend Kelly Slater himself could ride the waves at his proposed surfing ranch in northwestern Palm Beach County, and many in Jupiter Farms still wouldn’t be impressed. They have urged the county not to move ahead with plans to allow the wave pool to be built at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce, citing the travails of a similar facility in Austin, Texas. That Austin pool opened with a...
Palm Beach County considers czar, spending $1 million in opioid fight

Palm Beach County considers czar, spending $1 million in opioid fight

Palm Beach County commissioners will consider a variety of options next Tuesday to combat the rampaging opioid epidemic, including the hiring of a senior-level administrative staffer, creating two new positions with the Medical Examiner’s Office and pouring $1 million into a range of treatment programs. Those options are among the recommendations of a 72-page report outlining the scope of the...
Judge asks governor for opioids help: ‘It’s just the right thing to do’

Judge asks governor for opioids help: ‘It’s just the right thing to do’

As Palm Beach County’s chief circuit judge, Jeffrey Colbath has had a courtroom view of the opioid epidemic’s toll on society during the past few years. He also is aware that local leaders have pleaded to Gov. Rick Scott for help to curb the crisis, only to be ignored. That’s why Colbath decided to write his own letter to Scott, asking the governor to declare a public-health emergency...
Doctor who worked at notorious treatment center pleads guilty

Doctor who worked at notorious treatment center pleads guilty

One of the three doctors accused of helping notorious drug treatment operator Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman commit millions of dollars in fraud pleaded guilty Thursday. Dr. Donald Willems, who was out on bond until he was caught last week prescribing drugs to himself, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He could spend up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled...
EXCLUSIVE: Dad wants Cash Me Outside girl out of Hollywood, in therapy

EXCLUSIVE: Dad wants Cash Me Outside girl out of Hollywood, in therapy

Around this time a year ago, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Ira Peskowitz stood in a greeting card aisle, fingers trembling as he fumbled through rows of pink and purple birthday wishes to find something pretty for a little girl with eyes like his. Months before the six words she uttered on a Dr. Phil episode propelled her to internet infamy, Danielle Peskowitz Bregoli reluctantly...
UPDATE: Ex-PBSO deputy bonds out of jail on patient-brokering charges

UPDATE: Ex-PBSO deputy bonds out of jail on patient-brokering charges

A former Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy arrested Tuesday on patient-brokering charges has been released from the county jail. West Palm Beach police say Robert “Bobby” Simeone, 46, posted $45,000 bond late Tuesday, hours after his arrest. He is accused of paying two sober home owners hundreds of dollars a week to send their residents last year to his center, Epiphany’s...
Former deputy, state House candidate faces patient brokering charges

Former deputy, state House candidate faces patient brokering charges

A former Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy who left to open a West Palm Beach drug treatment center was arrested Tuesday on 15 counts of patient brokering. Robert “Bobby” Simeone, 46, owner of Epiphany’s Treatment Center and an unsuccessful 2016 candidate for state House, was the latest person arrested by the State Attorney’s Sober Home Task Force, which now ...
Did Sheriff Ric Bradshaw mislead ethics investigator?

Did Sheriff Ric Bradshaw mislead ethics investigator?

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and his chief deputy appear to have misled a state ethics investigator looking into whether they used their position to go after political enemies, the investigator’s findings and sheriff’s records show. Both Bradshaw and Chief Deputy Michael Gauger told the investigator, under oath, that they had never instructed an investigator to go after political...
Sober home owner Kenny Chatman pleads guilty, faces life in prison

Sober home owner Kenny Chatman pleads guilty, faces life in prison

Notorious drug treatment center owner Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracies to commit money laundering, health care fraud and sex trafficking, charges that could land him in prison for life. Handcuffed and shackled, Chatman listened as a federal prosecutor told how he turned patients into prostitutes: He gave them drugs to induce them. He pimped them on the websites...
Owner of notorious drug treatment center pleads guilty today

Owner of notorious drug treatment center pleads guilty today

Drug treatment center owner Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to recruit persons into sexual acts, a charge that could send him to prison for life.
2 candidates among 500 who got ‘no cutoff’ status from water utility

2 candidates among 500 who got ‘no cutoff’ status from water utility

The city’s utilities department has a special code it places on accounts where a life-safety issue exists to prevent staff from turning off the water if the account holder doesn’t pay the bill. More than a year ago, after utilities director Colin Groff ordered a routine audit of all accounts to make sure they were recorded properly in the department’s financial system, the staff...
Doctor in Chatman case caught working for drug treatment center

Doctor in Chatman case caught working for drug treatment center

Dr. Donald Willems, one of two doctors charged with insurance fraud at notorious drug treatment programs operated by Kenneth Chatman, was re-arrested on Friday and accused of violating the conditions of his bond. According to court records unsealed Friday afternoon, Willems continued working for a drug treatment facility, wrote prescriptions without a license and had contact with witnesses &mdash...
How The Post got the absentee ballot story

How The Post got the absentee ballot story

Spurred by unusually high vote-by-mail turnouts in south county neighborhoods in both the March and August elections in 2016, Palm Beach Post reporters went door to door and talked to dozens of voters to find out why. Many residents could not say whom they voted for. They said they were directed how to vote by candidates and campaign workers, who casually came into their homes and were fixtures in...
Candidates paid high amount of campaign money to friend for signs

Candidates paid high amount of campaign money to friend for signs

Three allied candidates who generated thousands of votes by mail in the August Democratic primary had something else in common: unusually high payments for campaign signs to an obscure company run by one of their friends. Campaign insiders wonder why any candidate would spend so much money on yard signs — considered a necessary but ineffective part of any campaign. County Commissioner Mack...
EXCLUSIVE: Winning candidates helped voters fill out their ballots

EXCLUSIVE: Winning candidates helped voters fill out their ballots

A Palm Beach County commissioner and a state House member clinched their seats last year by stepping into voters’ homes and helping them fill out their mail-in ballots, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found. Commissioner Mack Bernard and Rep. Al Jacquet, both Democrats running in the August primary, took advantage of gaping holes in Florida’s vote-by-mail laws to pressure and cajole...
Comparing signatures: Good enough to hang an election on?

Comparing signatures: Good enough to hang an election on?

Comparing signatures is assumed to be a foolproof method of verifying someone’s identity. Indeed, with a third of Florida voters now voting by mail, elections depend on it. But in reality, it’s a poor way to confirm a voter’s identity, experts say, and it’s far less secure than showing an ID at the polls. Elections workers charged with verifying signatures are not certified...
Why 30% of Florida’s voting is ripe for fraud

Why 30% of Florida’s voting is ripe for fraud

Florida law has failed to keep up with the growing popularity of mail-in voting, leaving candidates and campaigns free to manipulate voters — even to the point of helping them fill out their ballots, a Palm Beach Post investigation found. Legislators haven’t helped. They’ve taken away valuable tools and ignored warnings to reform the absentee ballot system, which now accounts...
New charges in Kenny Chatman case: Evidence “massive”

New charges in Kenny Chatman case: Evidence “massive”

  New charges have been filed against a doctor who worked for Kenneth Chatman’s notorious sober home operation, where women addicts were prostituted, held against their will and allowed to continue using drugs, according to court records. The new charges against Dr. Joaquin Mendez include conspiracy to commit health care fraud, giving a false statement relating to health-care fraud and...
Delray mayor to lawmakers: ‘We are being crushed’ by opioid epidemic

Delray mayor to lawmakers: ‘We are being crushed’ by opioid epidemic

One day after Florida Governor Rick Scott did not mention the opioid crisis during his State of the State address, a contingent of 250 Palm Beach County officials pressed legislators hard Wednesday for help to combat a problem that has devastated families and strained first responders. During a meeting with state Senate President Joe Negron — one of 50 meetings county officials had...
Sober home task force raid nets 20th arrest

Sober home task force raid nets 20th arrest

The Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force made its 20th arrest on Wednesday, charging Steve Johnson with 48 counts of patient brokering, alleging he paid referral fees to sober home operators for insured addicts. Johnson, 45, a 1990 graduate of Wellington High School, was being booked into the Palm Beach County Detention Center on Wednesday morning as agents raided Palm Beach Recovery & Wellness...
Three more sober home operators arrested in Delray Beach

Three more sober home operators arrested in Delray Beach

Two brothers and a tattoo artist surrendered at the Palm Beach County jail on Sunday after learning they were being charged with dozens of counts of patient brokering for allegedly accepting kickbacks from Chapters Recovery, a drug treatment center in Delray Beach. Brothers Adam, 25, and Eric, 28 Lahr, of Palm Beach Gardens, each face 34 counts of patient brokering. According to arrest reports, the...
POINT OF VIEW Whose child has to die before somebody does something?

POINT OF VIEW Whose child has to die before somebody does something?

“Whose child has to die before somebody does something?” That was the question my former aide, Johnnie Easton, asked me shortly after I was elected. It was one of what would become many sleepless nights she had to call me to tell me she would be late because she was out searching the streets for her daughter, Tasha. In mid-November of 2016, she got the answer to that question. Hers. Since...
ANALYSIS: Trump nudges conservatism toward his brand of nationalism

ANALYSIS: Trump nudges conservatism toward his brand of nationalism

President Donald Trump has had a bumpy history with the conservative movement. The part-time Palm Beacher is a former Hillary Clinton donor who once said George W. Bush should have been impeached and whose variegated ideological past includes support for abortion rights, universal health care, an assault weapons ban and a massive “wealth tax.” Only a year ago, as Trump was emerging as...
Drug treatment CEO arrested on 93 counts of patient brokering

Drug treatment CEO arrested on 93 counts of patient brokering

The owner of a Delray Beach drug treatment center raided in December was arrested Thursday on 93 counts of patient brokering for allegedly paying kickbacks to sober home owners who enrolled insured addicts his treatment program. Daniel Kandler, 41, owner of Chapters Recovery - formerly known as Good Future Recovery - was arrested on Thursday morning by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force...
Therapist: 90% of addicts in Chatman sober homes openly used drugs

Therapist: 90% of addicts in Chatman sober homes openly used drugs

As many as 90 percent of the addicts who were supposed to be getting treatment while living in sober homes connected to the notorious drug-treatment businesses operated by Kenneth Chatman were openly using drugs, enabling Chatman to continue billing their insurance for millions of dollars in unnecessary drug tests, according to the former clinical treatment director. New details of Chatman’s...
Drug-treatment operator Kenneth Chatman expected to plead guilty

Drug-treatment operator Kenneth Chatman expected to plead guilty

Kenneth Chatman, the accused operator of a notorious drug-treatment business who allegedly pimped out female addicts, is expected to plead guilty in a federal case that accuses him of money laundering, health care fraud and sex trafficking, recently filed court records show. The documents also reveal that investigators recorded more than 100 phone calls Chatman has made in jail since his arrest in...
EXCLUSIVE: Workers say contractor fired them after immigration protest

EXCLUSIVE: Workers say contractor fired them after immigration protest

On Thursday, 40 employees of a Boca Raton construction company skipped work to participate in a national “Day Without Immigrants” protest. When they returned to their Miami job site Friday, workers say, four were fired — although the employer said the terminations were unrelated to the protest. The other 36 decided to sit out another day to support the fired workers. READ ALSO: Trump...
State checks World War II sites at PBIA, Trump club for contamination

State checks World War II sites at PBIA, Trump club for contamination

When World War II ended, and the boys came home, the federal government turned most of its military sites to federal, local or private entities. But they also left in the ground gasoline and oil, lead and other chemicals, machinery, and even bullets and bombs. At the end of the 20th century, governments tested several of those sites, including an area in and around Palm Beach International Airport...
Voters will head to the polls March 14 in 21 cities, towns

Voters will head to the polls March 14 in 21 cities, towns

Voters in 21 of Palm Beach County’s 39 cities and towns will head to the polls on March 14, while others will see their elected leaders return to office unopposed. As the qualifying period for most municipal elections ended Tuesday, no one filed paperwork to challenge 42 candidates, including 35 incumbents. That means 12 of the county’s cities and towns won’t hold elections next...

EXCLUSIVE: Who’s running for municipal office in Palm Beach County

Here are the municipal office candidates who qualified for the March 14 election in Palm Beach County. Those marked with an asterisk (*) have no opposition and are automatically elected. Incumbents are indicated with an (i). ATLANTIS City Council Group 2 Aaron Rinker (i)* City Council Group 4 Michael LaCoursiere (i)* BELLE GLADE City Commission Seat B Steve B. Wilson (i) Yousef Muslet BOCA RATON Mayor...
Exclusive: Related, Hilton eye second hotel at convention center

Exclusive: Related, Hilton eye second hotel at convention center

Hilton Hotels and the Related Cos. are so pleased with the success of their new Hilton West Palm Beach at the county convention center, the companies are talking about building another hotel at the site. The early talks center on building a boutique Hilton hotel, likely the luxury Curio Collection, next to the West Palm Beach Hilton at 600 Okeechobee Blvd. The 200-room boutique hotel would be...
FBI: Sober home owner offered deal: Prostitute yourself or steal

FBI: Sober home owner offered deal: Prostitute yourself or steal

The investigation into Kenny Chatman’s drug treatment empire began in September 2013, when two patients at a treatment center operated by him told West Palm Beach police that Chatman provided them with drugs and condoms and forced them into prostitution. Police told the FBI about the patients’ claims and as the investigation progressed over three years, more witnesses came forward with...
How a new rule could help Gardens keep tabs on sober homes

How a new rule could help Gardens keep tabs on sober homes

When a sober home isn’t helping their patients get better, there’s not much officials in Palm Beach Gardens or any other city can do. But that could soon change. Addiction is classified as a disability under federal law, so people who are in recovery are protected by the Fair Housing and Americans With Disabilities Acts. When a municipality’s regulations are challenged, the U.S....
EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Phil ‘Cash me outside’ viral star is from Boynton

EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Phil ‘Cash me outside’ viral star is from Boynton

If you haven’t heard about the “Cash me Outside” girl, you must have dial-up Internet and a Nokia. Seriously. Here’s what the world already knows: The current obsession with Danielle Bregoli, 13, started last year after she appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil (video below). Her unique, Cajun-street-thug persona and rowdy attitude inspired memes, bitmojis ...
Boca Raton treatment center owner charged with patient brokering

Boca Raton treatment center owner charged with patient brokering

UPDATE: A judge set bond on Thursday at $75,000 for James Tomasso, a drug treatment owner with two prior fraud convictions and 25 new charges of patient brokering. However, before Tomasso can post bail, he must prove at a court hearing Friday that money to be used to get out of jail did not come from illegal activities. Tomasso, 57, was arrested on Wednesday after the Palm Beach County Sober Home...
Lantana airport boss: Continued Trump visits could ‘kill this airport’

Lantana airport boss: Continued Trump visits could ‘kill this airport’

The total in estimated lost commerce from President Donald Trump’s first weekend visit to Palm Beach is up to nearly a quarter million dollars, according to a county report. Tops on the list: $217,000 in lost gross revenue by a “fixed base operator” at Palm Beach International Airport. On top of that, small plane traffic at PBIA dropped by 30 to 40 percent during the weekend because...
“Bizarre and unusual” judge says of PBSO claims in Seth Adams’ death

“Bizarre and unusual” judge says of PBSO claims in Seth Adams’ death

When Lydia Adams rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center nearly five years ago after learning her son, Seth, had been shot by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, she didn’t know he was dead. Seeing his bare, blood-covered body on a gurney, she ran to him. Instantly, she says, she was grabbed by a sheriff’s crime scene investigator and thrown to the floor. “Get away. He&rsquo...
2nd sober home owner linked to Chatman pleads guilty to health fraud

2nd sober home owner linked to Chatman pleads guilty to health fraud

The owner of Redemption sober homes in Delray Beach on Tuesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for accepting $240,000 in kickbacks from Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman, who is accused in a wide-ranging scheme to use people in recovery to rip off insurance companies. Michael Bonds, who said he completed a 28-day drug and alcohol treatment program in 2006 before opening...
More Exclusives Stories