Last September, DERM sued DuBois in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleging he had failed to pay fines and he had refused to plant new mangrove trees to replace the red, white, and black mangrove trees in his backyard he illegally cut down in 2003. At the time the complaint was filed, DuBois was a candidate in the Palmetto Bay elections. In a failed motion to dismiss it, he complained the timing of the lawsuit was suspect, saying he was "disappointed the plaintiff decided to file suit eight weeks before the election." The lawsuit is still pending.
The "suspicious activity" incident on March 7 is much weirder. DuBois told county cops that at 10:45 in the morning he observed a grey helicopter with a blue stripe hovering at approximately 100 feet above his house. Five to seven minutes later, the chopper flew away and he saw a boat, also grey in color, approaching his property at a high rate of speed. The boat stopped about 200 yards away from his backyard and stayed there for approximately 15 minutes.
This was particularly interesting because Commissioners are not supposed to direct staff - a request from staff by a Commissioner amounts to an ORDER, that is why Commissioners are suppose to go through the Mayor's office who then contacts staff:
Lee Hefty, DERM director, told ethics investigators that shortly after Bell took office in November 2010, she requested that he meet with DuBois, who later told the county bureaucrat that "he would do all he could to get rid of DERM." DuBois, Bell, and her husband Mark all denied a "quid pro quo" deal. They told investigators that DuBois agreed to provide Mark Bell with a $225,000 loan at a six percent finance rate and a 10 percent down payment so that he could purchase a hotel in Homestead.
The ethics commission closed the case in June after finding no evidence that the Bells benefited financially from DuBois' loan.
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