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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Broward voting supervisor's ouster upheld
Published May 4, 2005
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Senate on Tuesday accepted a report upholding the 2003 suspension of Broward County Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant by Gov. Jeb Bush, over objections from the body's seven-member black caucus.
Sen. Mandy Dawson offered a substitute resolution that would have not only reinstated Oliphant, but exonerated her of the charges and awarded her back pay and attorney's fees.
Dawson withdrew the amendment after more than an hour of debate and several impromptu meetings of senators. The Senate then voted 33-6 to accept special master Steve Kahn's report. Bush suspended Oliphant without pay in November 2003 for alleged neglect of duty, incompetence and misfeasance stemming from the fouled-up 2002 primary election.
Kahn rejected suggestions that Oliphant's suspension was racially motivated. "That doesn't cut the mustard with me," he said, noting that Bush replaced Oliphant, a black woman, with another black female Democrat: Brenda Snipes, a former school administrator who served as an interim elections supervisor until she was elected to the post in 2004.
The case could be far from over. Oliphant's attorney, Ellis Rubin of Miami, has scheduled a news conference for noon today.
"My response will be in the forum of legal action," Rubin said Tuesday. He said he plans to allege in federal court that Oliphant's civil rights were violated when she was suspended.
Kahn, who presided over an eight-day trial last summer, issued his recommendations after wading through a 2,365-page trial transcript, including testimony from 30 witnesses.