Retired deputy sought in 80K union theft

Katherine "Kay" Whiffen may look like a harmless, but Plantation police say this 75-year-old retired Broward sheriff's deputy stole $80,000 from the Fraternal Order of Police lodge she led. 

Now Whiffen is on the run, suspected to be in New York, said Plantation police Det. Phil Toman.

"If you look at her picture it looks like somebody's grandmother," said Toman. "Over the past seven years since 2005 she's embezzled about $80,000 from their lodge account."

Whiffen was president of FOP Lodge #53, which represents Broward Sheriff's Office detention deputies. The lodge had an address listed at Whiffen's Plantation apartment, which Whiffen, who -- who retired from BSO in 2001 after 23 years with the agency, abandoned last month. Her neighbor, Marcell Beaulieu, said she believes Whiffen left during the night.

"She wasn't nice to me," said Beaulieu, who is French. "I learned all the bad words in English when she was here." Toman said the theft was detected when the state FOP audit. "It's bad, it's hurtful because that money goes toward officers in need of money whether it be legal needs or medical problems," said Toman. "That's what's that money is used for, not to rip off."


It's voting day, folks. So I'll go ahead and make a few ridiculous predictions.

-- In the sheriff's Democratic primary, I'd bet on Scott Israel, but it won't be a walk. His opponent, Assistant Hollywood Police Chief Louie Granteed, worked hard to try to win this race. I think it's gonna be close; we'll get an idea tonight of what effect the Roger Stone robocall onslaught aimed at Granteed will have. The latest call has a George W. Bush impersonator saying the Democrat Granteed is his "kind of guy." "Tough guy ... shoot first and ask questions later," the impersonator says. Stone ran TV ads of exactly the same underhanded -- and, yes, funny -- nature in the last sheriff's race. Only that time he aimed them at Israel when he was favoring Sheriff Al Lamberti (and working for now imprisoned Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein). 

-- Michael Satz wins handily over Chris Mancini for a SEVENTH term (guy's been in office since Carter was president). I believe his emphasis on political corruption during the past few years (after years of neglect) helped him mightily.

-- In the most interesting Broward County Commission race, I'm going to have to bet on Charlotte Rodstrom over Ken Keechl and Tim Ryan. Two reasons: I think the geography of the district, which puts her in the center, favors her and I also know her husband, John Rodstrom, knows how to win that district. Plus voters ousted Keechl from office last time for legitimate reasons and Ryan, well, he's not exactly Mr. Charisma.

-- Lois Frankel in a walk over Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs in the Congressional primary. Hey, at least Jacobs was able to pick up a nice paycheck from taxpayers while she ran.

-- Finally the most intriguing race in Broward: Kathleen McHugh vs. Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman. Lieberman, as one of the best-known politicians in the county, is the hands-on favorite against the previously unknown McHugh. But I think it's going to be very close, in part because McHugh actually has the courtroom experience to be a judge and Lieberman isn't all that popular. Only the most hardcore voters come out to the polls in August and many believe that will favor McHugh, but it cuts both ways as the lobbyists and business interests that favor Lieberman will be out in force. In the end, I think Lieberman squeaks it out. No, actually I think McHugh will eke it out. Okay, it's a toss up. Let's see.

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