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Special session formally called for June 12-22

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 10, 2007


TALLAHASSEE

House and Senate leaders Wednesday formally called a special session on property tax relief for June 12-22 and appointed a joint committee to draft proposed legislation in the interim. The joint committee is scheduled to meet May 21 to review and discuss options and June 4 to present proposed legislation. Gov. Charlie Crist has said he may expand the session to include auto insurance and children's health insurance issues, but he has not yet made a decision.

MIAMI

Medicaid fraud pegged at $140M

After documenting more than $140-million in Medicare fraud in South Florida, federal officials said Wednesday the will take a more thorough look at other providers of medical equipment. An investigation in the Miami area has led to 38 arrests, including 20 on Tuesday. Many defendants set up sham medical equipment dealerships. The defendants are accused of stealing the Medicare numbers of beneficiaries or buying their numbers, and billing the government for power wheelchairs, walkers, or kits for testing blood sugar levels, said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. Home health agencies also will be reviewed more thoroughly.

Third cop pleads guilty in mob sting

A third Hollywood police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to heroin conspiracy charges arising from an FBI sting in which federal agents posed as mobsters involved in drug trafficking, illegal gambling and stolen valuables. Detective Thomas Simcox, 50, pleaded guilty to being one of four Hollywood officers who helped escort what they thought was a large shipment of heroin concealed inside a truck from Miami Beach to northern Broward County in November 2006.