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

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...

Posted: 5 days ago

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...

Posted: 12 days ago

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...

Posted: 14 days ago

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 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...

Posted: 24 days ago

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...

Posted: 25 days ago

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...

Posted: 25 days ago

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...
DEA: Doctor dismissive of Wellington’s woman OD death from his fentanyl
 When Dr. Johnny Clyde Benjamin heard one of his homemade fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone killed a Wellington woman, he retorted that she was just another “page in a large stack,” according to court documents. The Vero Beach spinal surgeon “did not seem too concerned about the death caused by the pills,” according...

12:04 AM Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2017

When Dr. Johnny Clyde Benjamin heard one of his homemade fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone killed a Wellington woman, he retorted that she was just another “page in a large stack,” according to court documents. The Vero Beach spinal surgeon “did not seem too concerned about the death caused by the pills,” according...
Ruling ends effort to find $400K missing in Savitt guardianship
 Attorneys Webb Millsaps and Donna Greenspan Solomon spent years trying to right the wrong done to senior Frances Berkowitz. Millsaps and Solomon recovered $835,000 they say was stolen from Berkowitz before deciding to seek the protection of a guardianship, fearing further fraud. Instead, they found themselves fighting controversial professional...

3:04 PM Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

Attorneys Webb Millsaps and Donna Greenspan Solomon spent years trying to right the wrong done to senior Frances Berkowitz. Millsaps and Solomon recovered $835,000 they say was stolen from Berkowitz before deciding to seek the protection of a guardianship, fearing further fraud. Instead, they found themselves fighting controversial professional...
Appeals judge: Savitt case shows guardianship system in ‘disarray’
 A state appellate judge said from the bench that one of professional guardian Elizabeth Savitt’s most controversial cases is an example of Florida’s guardianship system in “disarray” — a system that is supposed to protect incapacitated seniors but instead “sucks the ward’s estate dry.&rdquo...

6:00 PM Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017

A state appellate judge said from the bench that one of professional guardian Elizabeth Savitt’s most controversial cases is an example of Florida’s guardianship system in “disarray” — a system that is supposed to protect incapacitated seniors but instead “sucks the ward’s estate dry.&rdquo...