John Pacenti

John Pacenti is an investigative reporter for The Palm Beach Post with an emphasis on the justice system and health. He is a veteran reporter of 30 years who recently worked for the Daily Business Review in Miami covering justice. He returned to the Post in 2015 where he served as a courts and investigative reporter for several years. A graduate of the University of Arizona, John has also worked for The Associated Press, The New Times and The Arizona Daily Star. 

Latest from John Pacenti

West Palm: Brightline quiet zones not coming for 4-6 months
 It’s not exactly the way West Palm Beach residents living near a section of the Florida East Coast Railway wanted to ring in the new year — not with party favors but a promise of more screaming locomotive horns outside their windows for months to come. Those living along the route slated for the new Brightline passenger service...

Posted: 16 days ago

It’s not exactly the way West Palm Beach residents living near a section of the Florida East Coast Railway wanted to ring in the new year — not with party favors but a promise of more screaming locomotive horns outside their windows for months to come. Those living along the route slated for the new Brightline passenger service...
Miracle plant or threat? Kratom users say it helps addiction, pain
 Florida resident Ali Noble has a 2-year-old boy and is a recovered opioid addict and a frequent victim of panic attacks. She credits her sobriety and serenity to working the 12 steps and a little green leaf getting a lot of attention from the federal government in the past few years — kratom. When she left substance abuse treatment...

Posted: 17 days ago

Florida resident Ali Noble has a 2-year-old boy and is a recovered opioid addict and a frequent victim of panic attacks. She credits her sobriety and serenity to working the 12 steps and a little green leaf getting a lot of attention from the federal government in the past few years — kratom. When she left substance abuse treatment...
Miracle plant or threat? Kratom users say it helps addiction, pain
 Ali Noble is a Boynton Beach-area mom of a 2-year-old boy, a recovered opioid addict and a frequent victim of panic attacks. She credits her sobriety and serenity to working the 12 steps and a little green leaf getting a lot of attention from the federal government in the past few years — kratom. When she left substance abuse treatment...

Posted: 18 days ago

Ali Noble is a Boynton Beach-area mom of a 2-year-old boy, a recovered opioid addict and a frequent victim of panic attacks. She credits her sobriety and serenity to working the 12 steps and a little green leaf getting a lot of attention from the federal government in the past few years — kratom. When she left substance abuse treatment...
Trump in Palm Beach: President returns to D.C. after day of golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham
 UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 7:14 p.m. UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: While supporters of the president congregated toward Palm Beach, about 25 protesters braved what constitutes a Florida cold snap near to Interstate 95 on Sunday as his motorcade headed to the airport to return to Washington...

12:30 AM Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 7:14 p.m. UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: While supporters of the president congregated toward Palm Beach, about 25 protesters braved what constitutes a Florida cold snap near to Interstate 95 on Sunday as his motorcade headed to the airport to return to Washington...
West Palm Beach VA nurse practitioner saves infant on plane
 It’s a well-worn scene from the movies: a medical emergency, thousands of feet above the Earth on a typical airline flight. The call goes out on the intercom: Is there a doctor in the house? Joselito “Lito” Velasquez, an immigrant from the Philippines and a nurse practitioner at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center...

2:45 AM Sunday, Dec. 03, 2017

It’s a well-worn scene from the movies: a medical emergency, thousands of feet above the Earth on a typical airline flight. The call goes out on the intercom: Is there a doctor in the house? Joselito “Lito” Velasquez, an immigrant from the Philippines and a nurse practitioner at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center...
Flynn’s plea: Mar-a-Lago now a landmark in Russian probe
 When history is written, Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s winter White House, could well be a landmark forever linked to the investigation into whether there was collusion between the president’s campaign and the Russians during the 2016 election. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Friday...

12:20 AM Saturday, Dec. 02, 2017

When history is written, Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s winter White House, could well be a landmark forever linked to the investigation into whether there was collusion between the president’s campaign and the Russians during the 2016 election. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Friday...
Scripps researchers: There’s a better way to make a flu vaccine
 Like master safe-crackers, scientists and researchers worldwide try to dial up the combination to fight one of the most cunning viruses known to man: influenza. If they are lucky, in any given season, they might get it half right half of the time, according to spot studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu is an elusive...

12:03 AM Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

Like master safe-crackers, scientists and researchers worldwide try to dial up the combination to fight one of the most cunning viruses known to man: influenza. If they are lucky, in any given season, they might get it half right half of the time, according to spot studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu is an elusive...
Deadly kratom could add to opioid epidemic, FDA official says
 The government — whether its federal, state or local — can’t seem to make up its mind about kratom, a substance sold at head shops, gas stations and kava bars that a Palm Beach County mother blames for her son’s death. Advocates say it can be a tool in fighting the opioid epidemic and is a safe pain reliever. Now the...

6:21 PM Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

The government — whether its federal, state or local — can’t seem to make up its mind about kratom, a substance sold at head shops, gas stations and kava bars that a Palm Beach County mother blames for her son’s death. Advocates say it can be a tool in fighting the opioid epidemic and is a safe pain reliever. Now the...
Overdose-proof opioid? Scripps’ new drug could reduce deaths
 Solving opioid addiction remains elusive as ever as doctors rely on weaning those physically and psychologically dependant on the drugs through troubling substitutes such as methadone and buprenorphine, which can be addictive in their own right. The lack of such a magic pill is readily apparent in the overflowing 12-step rooms and bodies...

4:00 PM Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Solving opioid addiction remains elusive as ever as doctors rely on weaning those physically and psychologically dependant on the drugs through troubling substitutes such as methadone and buprenorphine, which can be addictive in their own right. The lack of such a magic pill is readily apparent in the overflowing 12-step rooms and bodies...
Why Palm Beach County is the ‘epicenter’ of the deadly opioid crisis
 The opioid epidemic gripping the state hit epic proportions in 2016 with the largest number of heroin-related overdose deaths found in Palm Beach County for the second year in a row, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of state death data released on Wednesday. It is a crisis driven by deadly fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller said to be...

1:18 AM Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

The opioid epidemic gripping the state hit epic proportions in 2016 with the largest number of heroin-related overdose deaths found in Palm Beach County for the second year in a row, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of state death data released on Wednesday. It is a crisis driven by deadly fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller said to be...
Palm Beach employee’s challenge over suspension heading to Town Council
 For nearly 17 years, the main complaint public works employee Allen Powery received on his annual evaluation was that his desk was too messy. Now Powery is the center of a messy public hearing where the former right-of-way supervisor says his bosses drop f-bombs when berating him before eventually making him a scapegoat. And Powery&rsquo...

3:03 PM Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

For nearly 17 years, the main complaint public works employee Allen Powery received on his annual evaluation was that his desk was too messy. Now Powery is the center of a messy public hearing where the former right-of-way supervisor says his bosses drop f-bombs when berating him before eventually making him a scapegoat. And Powery&rsquo...