[Email] Fwd: Bob Norman's Deerfield Beach Report

Joan Maurice joan at avionmetalworks.com
Wed May 7 16:43:04 CDT 2014

For those who might have seen the Bob Norman TV  report about Deerfield Beach employees being mistreated by city staff here is the real story.  Please know that the whole video was a shame and Mr. Norman never checked out the story he was given !  Our town was played and we were made to look pretty bad . We need some emails and or phone calls to Channel 10 stating our displeasure with this type of reporting

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Rebecca Medina <rmedinastewart at deerfield-beach.com<mailto:rmedinastewart at deerfield-beach.com>>
Date: May 7, 2014 at 11:16:45 AM EDT
To: "'joan at avionmetalworks.com<mailto:joan at avionmetalworks.com>'" <joan at avionmetalworks.com<mailto:joan at avionmetalworks.com>>
Subject: FW: Bob Norman's Deerfield Beach Report

Bill Pohovey -  News director

Bpohovey at wplg.com<mailto:Bpohovey at wplg.com>

(954) 364-2727

From: Rebecca Medina
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 10:58 AM
To: 'bpohovey at wplg.com<mailto:bpohovey at wplg.com>'
Cc: 'Andrew Maurodis'
Subject: Bob Norman's Deerfield Beach Report


I hope you’ve taken a look at Bob’s report.  There are a few items I wanted to point out that I believe are crucial with regards to this story.

-       Bob stated that the employees were written up for stopping at a convenience store to buy water. I supplied him with a photograph that stated the obvious. The men were sitting and hiding behind a shopping plaza when they were supposed to be working.  There was no evidence of that in Bob’s report.

-       The employees were given oral reprimands as a result and they proceeded to retaliate against their supervisor (who happens to be African-American).

-       Bob stated that the men were being forced to carry the water jugs with them. By whom? No city supervisor, director, elected official etc., ever directed the employees to do such a thing.

-       Bob stated the union representative made these allegations on behalf of these employees. When I spoke to Bob, on a conference call with my Commissioner and Dept. Director, I asked him point blank if the union rep had ever come to the city with those concerns? I asked if Mr. Durham ever pick up the phone to call a supervisor? It’s pretty unusual that a union member would not use the available channels to get what they need or fix what is broken.  To my shock, Bob said he never asked that question and instead assumed he went through the proper channels.

-       Did you know that the only person Bob did interview, the so-called activist Sandra Jackson has her own ax to grind?  Her husband is currently under investigation for stealing city equipment and could potentially face criminal charges and/or termination.  I attempted to give Bob this information and he refused to hear it and told me he was only interested in knowing if the City was directing these employees to carry the water jugs with them? Even after we made it clear that was not the fact he ran with it anyway.

-       Did you know that the recommendation for termination letters I sent Bob are part of several files containing hundreds of pages that document reprimands, suspensions, warnings, last chance employee agreements, etc. Did you know that one of the employees in the video just recently cost our taxpayers $200,000. He ran over an elderly man in a garbage truck and nearly killed him. We just settled that case. Did you know that one of the other individuals in the video was also assigned to sanitation because he’s been in countless accidents in a city vehicle and never reported the most recent one?  Did you know that the third fellow (the one on workers comp) requested to be out in the field instead of behind a desk for light duty? All of this information and more was made available to Bob but he was more concerned about making his deadline than doing his due diligence to investigate; I thought he was a Local 10 Investigator.

-       The Mayors comments were sexy enough for great evening TV.  I get it.  But she has her own political agenda. Sandra Jackson worked on her campaign. Bob willingly became the Mayor’s political pawn.  He is no stranger to the in-fighting and crazy politics that have been happening here.  He’s covered this Mayor before.  Why would a respectable news operation get tangled up in dirty city politics and move forward with a story about disgruntled employees who hate their bosses? There is nothing respectable or responsible about Bob Norman’s report.

-       Did you know that the Mayor is saying she never saw any video when she spoke to Bob? Did Bob show her the video?

-       Is the story about bad working conditions or is Deerfield Beach a local government full of racists management? What is the focus of this report? Again, please remember the supervisor who reprimanded his employees is African-American and a valued, hard-working young man who held his employees accountable.  Bob would have known that had he shown up for an interview and done actual news gathering.

-       Numerous times I explained to Bob that we were more than willing to talk with him, but I wanted to put all of the information before him. I maintained communication with him throughout the day and with more than two hours before deadline I had three City representatives ready to talk to him and documentation with the evidence of the truth. He declined our offer and instead opted to ask a few questions over the phone.

-       Finally, when Bob showed me the YouTube video he mentioned there were several videos taken over the course of a week. I viewed the video.  All 5 or six videos were taken on the same day, in the same part of the city and broken up into different dates then uploaded to YouTube.  How do we know this? There is a log that our supervisors keep that documents where the employee collected trash; on what days and the specific time. We know where and when the video was taken. Furthermore, two of the three individuals were on vacation when some of the video was supposedly taken (according to the dates).  They’ve yet to return from their time off. This video was staged and Bob Norman ate it up.  We had this information to give to Bob, but his deadline was more important than the facts.

Journalists have a very special responsibility.  I considered it a privilege to bring information to the public every day. My minute-and-a-half was sacred to me and I made getting the story right a good practice and I did so on tight deadlines for the nearly 13 years that I reported the news in markets along the Texan border, Memphis, Tennessee and Tampa.  I understood the power of the media to expose bad government, bad behavior or on the flip side, move viewers to commit random acts of kindness to help less fortunate characters of our stories. It is because of my great belief in this principal that I refuse to be a PIO who runs from the media, shuts the door, avoids phone calls or utter the words, “No Comment” much too often.  It is because I was once a member of the press that I understand the importance of answering the questions, maintaining transparency and telling the truth even if it means really bad PR.

I don’t think I need to tell you how very damaging it could be to throw out the word “Racist” in today’s society.  The NBA scandal involving the Clippers GM is evidence of what happens when there is the slightest bit of inappropriate behavior or inappropriate words are spoken.  I cannot understand how someone who covers Government Corruption could be so careless in using such words in his story.  I cannot understand how he could be so irresponsible when it comes to gathering information.  He, of all media professionals, should be the most careful.

As I mentioned when I spoke to you Bill, I have a great respect for you, which is why I asked my City Attorney’s to let me handle this with you personally.  We never got the opportunity to work together, but I know of your love for this business.  I know of your dedication to the craft and that is evident in your product.  I am asking that you do what is right and fair given the fact Mr. Norman never granted us that very courtesy from the beginning.

So, with great power comes great responsibility.  We ask that Bob Norman issue a retraction.

I appreciate your time to this delicate matter.


Rebecca Medina
Public Information Officer
City of Deerfield Beach
150 NE 2nd Avenue
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
P: 954.480.4417
F: 954.480.4268
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The City of Deerfield Beach is governed by the Public Records Act as set forth in Chapter 119, Florida Statutes. Emails and email addresses are subject to the Public Records Act and are public records subject to disclosure. All emails, and any corresponding email addresses, sent or received are retained by the City of Deerfield Beach as public records. If you do not want your email or email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact the City Clerk's office by phone at 954-480-4213 or in writing.

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