Dania Beach mayor's wife says vice mayor is 'no poor sweet old lady'

Mayor's wife says Local 10 News reporter has a 'thug style'

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – According to a Facebook post, the wife of Dania Beach Mayor Walter Duke implies Vice Mayor Chickie Brandimarte is, "no poor sweet old lady. I can assure you."

And that's not all. According to the Facebook post, Lisa Duke, also calls Local 10's Jeff Weinsier a "thug style" reporter and that's why her husband refuses to talk to him.

Weinsier has done a series of reports after the mayor and Commissioner Bobbie Grace refused to excuse Brandimarte from a commission meeting June 24th.

Brandimarte was in the hospital recovering from surgery and at one point was in the intensive care unit.

According to the city charter, the vice mayor could be removed from office if she misses another commission meeting.

Weinsier tried to ask Duke why he didn't vote to excuse the absence, but the mayor refused to comment.

Political insiders say Duke and Grace are political allies and are using this to try to remove the vice mayor.

"Are you surprised that your colleagues did not excuse your absence from the dais?" Weinsier asked Brandimarte.

"I am very surprised, because it was beyond my control," said Brandimarte.

Commissioner Albert Jones made the motion to excuse the vice mayor, but it was not seconded by Duke or Grace, and it died.

"This is abominable for them to not excuse her when they know she is flat on her back," said Jones.

Jones claims absences are always excused.

"It is unconscionable that this happened, and happened in this city," said Jones.  "And these are the type of things that happen in Dania Beach."

While Duke refused to talk to Weinsier, in a written statement to Local 10 News, Duke said, "Attendance at commission meetings has been made even more critical since the "tea-party" style impasse forced on Dania Beach by Commissioners Jones & Brandimarte over the past year.  Neither the City nor my office has been notified of Commissioner Brandimarte's reason for her recent absences and an excused absence from official duties should not be automatic."

Jones said he was aware of her illness and he had mentioned it at a couple of meetings and events.

Brandimarte is now recovering at home and isn't sure she will have the strength to make it to the next meeting on  July 22.

Jones said he will make a motion to reverse the unexcused absence.