Fort Lauderdale DDA Awards No-Bid Contract to Congresswoman’s Friends


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jack Seiler<>
Date: Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: Fort Lauderdale DDA Security Ambassadors
To: Mark Neeley <>
Cc: John Herbst <>, Lee Feldman <>, Cynthia Everett <>, Safeea Ali <>, Maxine Singh <>

We will investigate.

Thanks for your input.

Jack Seiler

On Oct 20, 2015, at 9:00 PM, Mark Neeley <<>> wrote:

fyi – please investigate the DDA –

Date: Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 2:40 PM
Subject: Fort Lauderdale DDA Security Ambassadors

Dear Inspector General,
The Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority has issued a $100,000 no-bid contract to PSC for Security Guard services. There are numerous companies in the market-place that stand ready to compete for this work, but the DDA excluded all others in favor of one firm who apparently exploited the influence of an elected official to secure their exclusive standing.


In February the DDA met with Lois Frankel “and it was positive” (Excerpts from the meeting minutes)


R-4 Projects
Mr. Petrillo thanked Jim Ellis and his team for their work regarding the Ambassador Program saying they’ve done an outstanding job.
Mr. Ellis said they went up to West Palm and met with Lois Frankel and the DDA and it was positive.

In early May the Board decided to Hire PSC without considering other firms

R-6 Projects Update
Security Ambassador Program: Mr. Ellis said the funds that they thought would be available through the Police are not able to be used for the program. He said he believes they need to talk to the City Attorney’s office again. He said the amount they are talking about is $100,000. Mr. Wren said the City Manager indicated he was willing to come up with money and discussion was held. Mr. Milledge said he will set a meeting up with the City Attorney’s office about the interpretation of the confiscated funds. Discussion was held about boundaries where All Aboard Florida was mentioned and incorporating this project near the transportation hub. Mr. Wren said he believes they should start with a basic package and modify it once issues are identified and create a scope. Mr. Wren said staff will set up a follow up meeting with the City Manager, Mr. Petrillo, Mr. Wren and Mr. Ellis regarding the City’s contribution. After discussion the Board decided that they wanted the WPB security team hired and a presentation on the program done in June so they can launch in July. Mr. Wren mentioned that he had planned on having a budget workshop and the impact on the millage rate first before moving forward because monies will not be here until October but that he will do it anyway the Board prefers.

“Mr. Wren said the program he would like to use for the downtown is modeled after the West Palm one and that he is poised to hire PSC and that Willie Perez is here to present”..

R-4 Contract Approval on Security Ambassador Program
Mr. Wren said the program he would like to use for the downtown is modeled after the West Palm one and that he is poised to hire PSC and that Willie Perez is here to present. Mr. Wren said this is a partnership with the City and that he’s met with general counsel about the financial contract. He said Tim Petrillo has been the Committee of one and he wanted to know if the Board wanted to authorize them to move forward once the contract is finalized or whether they prefer a workshop first.

A motion was moved by Mr. Durden with Mr. O’Shea seconding to have Mr. Petrillo, Mr. Wren and Mr. Milledge negotiate a month to month agreement to move forward with the pilot program at a monthly fee of approximately $8,333 and not exceeding $100,000 annually. Additionally, the contract will address how monies from the City and other partners will allow increased services. By roll call, all approved. The Board discussed how soon the other funding would begin. Mr. Wren said it would be a contract with the DDA and PSC and then others. He said Flagler Village has said they are ready as well as the Himmarshee merchants to assist in funding. He said the City will have the funds October 1st.


“Chairman Weymouth reminded the Board that Lois Frankel introduced them to PSC.”

R-2 Monthly Security Ambassador Update
James Weatherington said the Ambassadors have teamed with the Police and it’s been very positive. He said their hours have been increased with them off duty at midnight. He said the areas that were previously congested are not anymore and that he’s seen Police presence out a lot and residents have commented. He said the skateboarding issue occurs at night and he’s addressed the individuals. He said he tells them to leave the area so it does diminish for a while but they go off to other areas. Mr. Ropes said the Ambassadors are very visible and thinks they are doing a great job. Chairman Weymouth reminded the Board that Lois Frankel introduced them to PSC.

Perez, a 42-year-old Army vet, also serves, at times, as Mayor Lois Frankel’s bodyguard.

According to the Palm Beach Post: On April 29 2010, “Perez – escorting Frankel through the SunFest protest – admits he spat at and lightly head-butted protester Jim Whalen (the same protester who the next day was involved in an argument with Frankel’s son, Ben Lubin, which led to Lubin’s arrest).

Perez, a 42-year-old Army vet, also serves, at times, as Mayor Lois Frankel’s bodyguard. Perez said he does it on a volunteer basis, when he’s off the clock. The mayor’s secretary will call him to see whether he’s available when Frankel requests assistance.

Frankel praises Perez for “dedicating his life to the revitalization of downtown West Palm Beach and the Northwood Area” and for “running a very professional organization.”


Since 2013, Perez’s Company PSC has contributed $9500 to Congresswoman Lois Frankel’s Campaign Committee. PSC is one of Frankel’s “Top 100” donors. PSC Founder Moshe Alon has personally donated $4400 to Frankel since January of this year.



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