Dania commissioner: 'The weekends are all mine'
Tracking the ever-elusive Dania Beach politician Pat Flury has become a bit of sport.
The current Dania commissioner and former mayor stays in so many residences -- in the Keys, Bimini, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach -- that it's hard to ever know where she may be.
One thing is clear from the video above: Flury's recently leased townhouse in Dania Beach is a huge step down from the others and she clearly doesn't stay there all that often. And it's not where she claimed she would be living when I found her living back in August on Avocado Isle in Fort Lauderdale, in an $825,000 home purchased in the name of her long-time domestic partner, Lee Lavery. The problem is the city charter demands that all elected officials in the city be "bona fide resident and citizen" of her city or "immediately forfeit" her office.
Dania Mayor Walter Duke, who took the gavel from Flury on Tuesday, says he doesn't buy the idea that the commissioner is a bona fide resident of the city at this point. But Flury told me she "regularly" stays at the Dania townhouse (though some neighbors said she's rarely ever there). "I have a bigger house in the Keys and I have a beautiful home in Bimini," she told me, "but you know I serve the residents of Dania Beach, I'm obligated to be in Dania Beach."
She admits that she stays in Fort Lauderdale "once in a while" and she says that she feels no obligation to be in Dania on the weekends. "The weekends are all mine," she says.
The legal definition of residency, according to city records, is that the elected official must have "fixed an abode [in Dania] with the present intention of making it their permanent home." Patrick Phipps, who ran against Flury in 2010, continues to keep an eye on Flury's residences and calls the Dania townhouse a "sham." He says she keeps cars parked outside the townhouse for days at a time to make it appear she's there when she's not.
"I think Mayor Flury needs to go enjoy herself in Fort Lauderdale," he says, "... she just needs to let go of Dania Beach."
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