by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Dean Trantalis, city commissioner for Fort Lauderdales second district, strenuously distances himself when asked about Alex Pussieldi.
On February 25, Trantalis assistant Scott Wyman emailed Concussion Inc. in response to an inquiry about Pussieldi: The commissioner wanted me to let you know that he had no information about these allegations.
Later that day we copied Trantalis, among other city officials and elected leaders, on a request for public records in the Pussieldi matter. Assistant Wyman wrote, I responded earlier today in regards to your previous request for an interview, saying that the commissioner had no information in regard to the matter. In terms of the public records request, Commissioner Trantalis was not in office in 2007 .
This morning Trantalis, through Wyman, told us, I honestly have no recollection of this episode.
It is true that Trantalis was not in office in 2007. That was the year a dossier of information was leaked to city commissioners by an anonymous source. The packet was described in an article that year in the New Times weekly, and Concussion Inc. deduced that some of the contents referred to the Pussieldi scandals.
However, Commissioner Trantalis was in office in 2004, when the Pussieldi information first broke — through swimmer Roberto Cabrera Paredess allegation that Pussieldi physically assaulted him at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, and through the swimmers further allegation that the coach had secretly videotaped him in the bathroom and maintained child pornography and videos of his own sex with underage boys. The first part was reported in the local media. The second part was suppressed, thanks in large part to the collusion of Sharon Robb of the Tribune Companys South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Commissioner Trantalis not only was in office in 2004 — he was the vice mayor. And documents weve obtained show that he was in the email loop of the Pussieldi cover-up orchestrated by acting city manager Alan Silva, parks and recreation director Ernest Burkeen, Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex manager Stu Marvin, and others.
On February 16, 2004, Trantalis was on the cc list of an email by Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson to a citizen who had complained about the aftermath of the Pussieldi-Cabrera Paredes pool deck altercation. Hutchinson wrote, Im requesting that our City Manager do an investigation and follow-up with the Commission as it relates to this incident. (See http://muchnick.net/lauderdaledocs1.pdf.)
What happened to that investigation?