Indicted Broward Health officials attack Broward state attorney's case

Officials claim Michael Satz's office was biased in investigation

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Rocky Rodriguez, the indicted chairman of Broward Health, told Local 10 News on Friday that he's not guilty of any crimes. 

"I'm going to fight it," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is one of four Broward Health officials who was charged this week. The others are CEO Beverly Capasso, General Counsel Lynn Barrett, Board Member Christopher Ure and former Board Member Linda Robison. 

Each is charged with violating the state's Sunshine Law after allegedly having illegal secret meetings outside the public eye to orchestrate the firing of former Broward Health CEO Pauline Grant. 

Rodriguez denied he had any secret discussions, but witnesses present at the Dec. 1, 2016, meeting during which Grant was fired said it was clear the fix was in.  

Former Commissioner Maureen Canada, the lone "no" vote on firing Grant, said Barrett, who is accused of coordinating the plot, tried to contact her before the meeting but she didn't take her call.

Rodriguez wouldn't say whether he spoke with Barrett about Grant prior to the meeting. 

"It appears you all knew something the public didn't know before the meeting started," investigative reporter Bob Norman told Rodriguez. 

"I knew my vote. I made up my mind on my vote when I was sitting on that dais," Rodriguez said. 

When asked how he seemed to understand the allegations that were made against Grant to support the firing, Rodriguez simply said, "That will come out in the wash."

The indicted officials have hired attorneys, who along with lawyer Bob Butterworth -- a former Florida attorney general who was hired by the district with taxpayer dollars to represent the agency in the investigation -- issued a vitriolic statement calling the investigation deeply flawed, biased, manipulated and "the most misguided prosecution we have ever seen." 

Capasso emailed the attorneys' statement to all Broward Health employees on her account. All four officials are still in their offices.

Gov. Rick Scott, who appointed Rodriguez and other indicted board members, and is known to have a friendship with Barrett, is reviewing the case to determine whether he will suspend them, pending the outcome of the criminal case. 

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