Letter: Royal Palm’s Gang Of Three

Royal Palm Beach, don’t wag your finger at Wellington anymore because you too have slumped to the low level having an unethical and questionable council of leaders owned by special interest groups.

The recent election added David Swift back into office. Swift was convicted of ethics violations by the Florida Elections Commission. He re-joins his cohort, Mayor Matty Mattioli, who was also found guilty of campaign violations. Add to that the ongoing investigation of Vice Mayor Fred Pinto by the Florida State Ethics Commission for voting to benefit his employer, County Commissioner Jess Santamaria, while sitting on the village council.

The facts are that David Swift, Matty Mattioli and then Councilwoman Barbara Isenberg, now Barbara Yoresh, author of the glowing endorsement of David Swift in a letter to the Town-Crier (“Former RPB Councilwoman Supports Swift,” March 8), were all found guilty of campaign violations, including accepting contributions in excess of the allowable limits, excess cash contributions, bogus contributions and incorrect political disclaimers. Each were fined and paid legal fees to the state. These were not innocent incidents of forgetting to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. They were knowingly perpetrated by seasoned politicians who knew better.

Mr. Pinto got off on a technicality with the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics for conflict of interest only because it was determined by that group that his employer is the county and not the commissioner. Although everyone knows that the commissioner’s administrative aide position is not an open position available for anyone to apply for, but instead a political plum for friends, friends of friends and relatives of friends, all of which categories Fred Pinto fits.

Everyone clamors for transparency and integrity. Everyone demands high standards and continues to “wag their finger” at the infamous Corruption County signified by Masilotti, McCarty, Newell and Koons, yet people are not willing to accept that there is corruption right before their eyes — active corruption in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach. It is there because you voted for it, or worse, didn’t vote at all to prevent it.

Evan Knepley, Royal Palm Beach