Signs of Negligence

Despite this newspaper's best efforts, drivers still must suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous billboards

The State of Florida. Aha! Surely they will take on the sign scofflaws. A call to Francine Steelman, general counsel for the state Department of Transportation's Miami office, reveals FDOT's inspector general is conducting a widespread fraud investigation into the permitting of billboards along state and federal roadways in Miami-Dade. "This is much bigger than [an inquiry into four or five questionable signs]," Steelman adds, refusing to offer any details. The state official directly responsible for targeting billboards in these parts, however, isn't likely to take action soon. She is new to her job. "This is an Olympic-size pool of information," roadside administrator Jeanne Cann acknowledges. "And I'm in the deep end swallowing little gulps."

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