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

Suit: Jail keeps teens in solitary for months without care, education
 One young inmate in solitary confinement at the Palm Beach County jail hallucinated, staring at the blank wall of his cell, thinking he was watching a television show, a federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. A 16-year-old got his teeth knocked out by deputies after flooding his cell with toilet water when his telephone privileges...

Posted: 3 days ago

One young inmate in solitary confinement at the Palm Beach County jail hallucinated, staring at the blank wall of his cell, thinking he was watching a television show, a federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. A 16-year-old got his teeth knocked out by deputies after flooding his cell with toilet water when his telephone privileges...
Magnets, magic mushrooms, Special K? New ways to treat depression
 Madelin Manso wanted to die. Just like designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. But instead of reaching for the noose, she grabbed a lifeline in a drug that club kids used to take to get high. The 56-year-old South Miami woman opted for one of the unorthodox treatments increasingly available for clinical depression. By taking...

Posted: 10 days ago

Madelin Manso wanted to die. Just like designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. But instead of reaching for the noose, she grabbed a lifeline in a drug that club kids used to take to get high. The 56-year-old South Miami woman opted for one of the unorthodox treatments increasingly available for clinical depression. By taking...
77 percent of state’s nursing homes don’t have permanent generators
 When a dozen seniors died last summer after temperatures reached 99 degrees in their powerless nursing home, Florida Gov. Rick Scott made it a priority to require such elder care centers be equipped with an on-site emergency power source, preferably built-in generators. Now with hurricane season gearing up — and the specter again...

Posted: 15 days ago

When a dozen seniors died last summer after temperatures reached 99 degrees in their powerless nursing home, Florida Gov. Rick Scott made it a priority to require such elder care centers be equipped with an on-site emergency power source, preferably built-in generators. Now with hurricane season gearing up — and the specter again...
Nearly 2,000 assisted living facilities fail to report on generators
 After seniors died last summer in a powerless, sweltering Hollywood Hills nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency mandate that all such facilities — including assisted living facilities — be equipped with generators or have some plan in case the electricity is punched out in a weather event...

Posted: 22 days ago

After seniors died last summer in a powerless, sweltering Hollywood Hills nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency mandate that all such facilities — including assisted living facilities — be equipped with generators or have some plan in case the electricity is punched out in a weather event...
Opioid crisis: cities, states use tobacco playbook to sue Big Pharma
 Palm Beach County’s lawsuit against key pharmaceutical companies states that its case is about runaway corporate greed where profits were put above the health and well-being of consumers duped into believing addictive opioid painkillers were safe. Sound familiar? It should. It’s torn from the same playbook that brought another...

Posted: 30 days ago

Palm Beach County’s lawsuit against key pharmaceutical companies states that its case is about runaway corporate greed where profits were put above the health and well-being of consumers duped into believing addictive opioid painkillers were safe. Sound familiar? It should. It’s torn from the same playbook that brought another...
‘It’s a mystery.’ Who set public sculpture ablaze in Boca Raton?
 Chieko Mihori received an honor from the emperor of Japan for her practice of ikebana, the ancient art of flower arrangement. But Mihori received a different kind of response on May 9 when her mixed-media sculpture at the Boca Raton Museum Art School went up in flames, creating a brief bonfire on tree-lined Palmetto Park Road. An investigator...

10:23 AM Thursday, May. 24, 2018

Chieko Mihori received an honor from the emperor of Japan for her practice of ikebana, the ancient art of flower arrangement. But Mihori received a different kind of response on May 9 when her mixed-media sculpture at the Boca Raton Museum Art School went up in flames, creating a brief bonfire on tree-lined Palmetto Park Road. An investigator...
Keepsake or asset? Inside the fight over Mary Montgomery’s jewels
 Few items carry more sentimental value to their children as the jewelry their parents once wore. But what if that jewelry is worth at least $5.5 million — if not millions — more? Once missing, the jewels belonging to Palm Beach renowned socialite Mary Montgomery now sit in a safe deposit box. Her daughter, Courtnay Montgomery...

7:01 PM Tuesday, May. 15, 2018

Few items carry more sentimental value to their children as the jewelry their parents once wore. But what if that jewelry is worth at least $5.5 million — if not millions — more? Once missing, the jewels belonging to Palm Beach renowned socialite Mary Montgomery now sit in a safe deposit box. Her daughter, Courtnay Montgomery...
Assisted living owner charged with elder abuse; sisters tried to sound alarm
 Long before Bhoodram “Ken” Parsaram was arrested on elder abuse charges last month, sisters Mary Steffen and Joan Stanton tried to sound the alarm that not all was right with the assisted living home the Wellington man owned and managed. Their parents, Richard and Elizabeth “Betty” Weber, ended up at Parsaram&rsquo...

4:06 PM Saturday, May. 12, 2018

Long before Bhoodram “Ken” Parsaram was arrested on elder abuse charges last month, sisters Mary Steffen and Joan Stanton tried to sound the alarm that not all was right with the assisted living home the Wellington man owned and managed. Their parents, Richard and Elizabeth “Betty” Weber, ended up at Parsaram&rsquo...
How a parent’s burden never ends with the disease of addiction
 The disease of addiction tells many lies. Abusers tell themselves one more pill, one more hit, one more shot will be different this time. Addicts buy into the myth that it’s just a matter of willpower, that this time they will control the imperious urge to use. They just need to try harder. But the biggest lie they tell themselves...

2:32 PM Thursday, May. 03, 2018

The disease of addiction tells many lies. Abusers tell themselves one more pill, one more hit, one more shot will be different this time. Addicts buy into the myth that it’s just a matter of willpower, that this time they will control the imperious urge to use. They just need to try harder. But the biggest lie they tell themselves...
Prosecutors: Stuart men exploited teen runaway for sex, pornography
 Last September, a report of a 16-year-old runaway led police to two Stuart men who had distributed explicit images and sex videos involving the teenager. On Friday, Richard William Lockley, 34, was sentenced by a to 15 years in prison by a Miami federal judge. He was ordered to register as a sex offender. A co-defendant — Joshua Lane...

12:37 AM Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018

Last September, a report of a 16-year-old runaway led police to two Stuart men who had distributed explicit images and sex videos involving the teenager. On Friday, Richard William Lockley, 34, was sentenced by a to 15 years in prison by a Miami federal judge. He was ordered to register as a sex offender. A co-defendant — Joshua Lane...
Another weird Florida story: Stormy and Trump create vortex 
 In Florida, the land of hanging chads and where the Cash Me Outside girl is a local celebrity, a porn star and self-proclaimed former mistress of the president of the United States wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a drive-by burlesque show. That it was within spitting distance of the Winter White House at Mar-a-Lago and the golf course...

5:44 PM Sunday, Apr. 15, 2018

In Florida, the land of hanging chads and where the Cash Me Outside girl is a local celebrity, a porn star and self-proclaimed former mistress of the president of the United States wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a drive-by burlesque show. That it was within spitting distance of the Winter White House at Mar-a-Lago and the golf course...