Museum Park Trial Balloon Bursts

"The public has been hoodwinked."

Brown is already thinking ahead to May, when the impatiens will likely die out. She's considering what to replace them with for the summer. "This will probably be my project until I retire," she said. — Rob Jordan

Wackenhut gets whacked

Mike Gorman

In January County Manager George Burgess miraculously recommended that the security firm Wackenhut receive a general service contract worth $4.9 million a year, for the next seven years, to guard several government sites. The deal seemed set to pass, in spite of Miami-Dade County's pending lawsuit alleging fraud by the company, and a county audit of Wackenhut that has been promised, and delayed, for nine months.

But at a recent Budget and Finance Committeee hearing, County Commissioner Rebecca Sosa spoke up, asking why any company under investigation would be awarded such a meaty contract.

"Any time that I see a message from the inspector general, I try to pay attention," she told New Times. With Sosa's prodding the commission awarded contracts to Alanis Security and Delad — two companies that are not being investigated for fraud.

Cathy Jackson, the head of the county's Audit and Management Department, did not return two phone calls for comment. The release date for the audit remains a mystery. — Calvin Godfrey

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