Barbara Sharief named Broward mayor

State auditors say South Florida Pediatric Homecare overbilled Medicaid

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter , Ben Candea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Barbara Sharief was named mayor of Broward County on Tuesday, although there was no mention of state auditors finding her home health care company to have overbilled Medicaid for thousands of dollars.

"Barbara is a role model for all of us in Broward County," said Commissioner Stacy Ritter.

Sharief's company, South Florida Pediatric Homecare, agreed to settle the first audit and reimburse taxpayers about $540,000, including nearly $50,000 in fines. The second audit is still in litigation, according to a state spokesman.

Fred Messer later filed an ethics complaint alleging she failed to disclose assets and filed conflicting information about her own income in state and county filings.

Sharief declined comment on the audits on Tuesday. Her fellow commissioners also had little to say.

"At this time, I'm waiting to hear all the information so I don't have an answer to you," said former mayor Kristin Jacobs.

"I focus on county issues and moving the county forward but that's something I really don't know much about," said Marty Kiar.

Others, like Sue Gunzburger, offered no comment.

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