FBI investigating Port Everglades fraud, suit says

Chris Rosinski didn’t know what he was getting into when Port Everglades hired him in April. In less than two months on the job, he said he uncovered widespread fraud and purchasing abuses by trade workers there, leading to ongoing investigations by Broward County auditors, the Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The abuses could go back years, if not decades, said his attorney, Matthew Weissing.

Rosinski, who worked as a skilled trade supervisor at the port for four months, filed a whistleblower suit against the county Feb. 14. He claimed he suffered “workplace retaliation, harassment, threats and other consequences” for his role in bringing illegal practices to light. The reaction made it impossible for him to continue working there, the suit said.

The county fired one employee, plumber David Moore, last summer soon after the investigations started, but later allowed Moore to resign after his union stepped in. Investigators found he made more than $18,000 in questionable charges in over a year. The purchases included 11 faucets, 11 backflow preventer repair kits and 108 feet of red brass pipe that could not be found installed at the port or in stock there.

In his suit, Rosinski says Moore tried to recruit him into the operations, which it says involved a scam with purchasing cards — P-Cards.

“During that attempted recruitment, Moore showed [Rosinski] a hidden room in the port plumbing shop where port records were hidden,” the suit said.

Rosinski later did “dumpster diving” — at the direction of a supervisor — to retrieve records disposed of by Moore, the suit said.

County auditors have not yet finished their report into procurement practices at the port, County Auditor Bob Melton said. The suit said Melton had Rosinski deliver some files directly to his downtown Fort Lauderdale office out of fear the records could be destroyed.

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