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Here’s The Scoop…We Made The Paper…BOO’s For The Town Manager


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‘LAUDERDALE BY THE SEA – A raucous crowd of more than 100 filled the commission chamber Tuesday, demanding to know why Town Manager Esther Colon removed Broward Sheriff District Chief Scott Gooding from his post last week.

Colon’s decision was allowed by the Sheriff’s Office contract, but residents and business owners insisted Gooding be reinstated, citing his performance and the town’s low crime rate.

Of dozens of speakers, just six supported Colon. But she held fast.

Colon faulted Gooding’s plea at a June 23 commission meeting for $424,000 in renovations for a new police office paid with police forfeiture dollars and town money. When commissioners hesitated, Gooding said even a $50,000 upgrade would help.

“No department head that works under my administration will stand in this commission and demand funds,” Colon said, prompting boos from the crowd.

Broward Sheriff Col. Edward Werder described how Colon’s move surprised police management. He said she had never criticized Gooding’s performance before and that his removal was without cause.

“A career is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it’s not yours,” Werder said to Colon.

Business owner Bill Davis called Gooding, “a supercop. One of my bartenders was pistol whipped and they caught the guy the next day.”

After hearing two-and-a-half hours of comments, Mayor Roseann Minnet and Commissioner Stuart Dodd made a motion to reinstate Gooding and to offer him an apology. Told by the town attorney that the commission could not reverse Colon’s action, they revised it to ask Colon to reconsider, but were voted down by Commissioners James Silverstone, Birute Clottey and Vice Mayor Jerome McIntee.

The $2.9 million annual Broward Sheriff contract expires March 2011. Gooding will keep his job until Colon chooses his replacement from candidates presented by the sheriff.’


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