Rick Boettger

Rick Boettger had a Top Secret security clearance in the Army and studied nuclear chemistry at MIT and law at Yale before getting a PhD in business at Berkeley. He earned tenure as a business professor at TCU in Fort Worth before going to Moscow as a Fulbright Professor, writing a book on the economy, hosting a semi-national talk radio show, and retiring to Key West in 1996 at the age of 48. Since then he has worked part-time as a tax and financial advisor, and has been doing investigative journalism since he began at the Blue Paper in 2007​. He is very happily married to his superb copy-editor Cynthia Edwards, the former long-time PIO for the Key West Police Department.

Apr 072017
 
SUFA Aftermath Gets Even Worse

by Rick Boettger……. The County will vote April 12th to give the SPCA an extra $150,000 a year “effective immediately” to operate the Marathon animal shelter. This further compounds, until the end of time, the already-$1,000,000 taxpayer loss I have described previously due to the County’s illegal demolition of Stand Up For Animals (SUFA) in 2010 and its replacement by a group of Commissioner George Neugent’s friends, SHARK, who ran it into the ground. Shortly after the County extended SHARK’s’ contract for the Middle Keys shelter [continue reading…]

 April 7, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am * Featured Story *, Issue #213, Rick Boettger 12 Responses »
Feb 242017
 
Public Censure Makes George the Mayor, as Rest of Commission Is Worse Than George on Financial Reporting

by Rick Boettger……. I went to the County Commission meeting when it came to my neighborhood on Feb 15th in order to object to George Neugent, as the Commission’s honorary Mayor, giving ceremonial recognition to a local nonprofit that teaches leadership. My objection was threefold: First, they voted George in as Mayor within a month of his getting public censure and reprimand by the Florida Commission on Ethics. Second, the Commission sued the innocent members of a nonprofit board for two years, until it was [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:08 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #207, Rick Boettger 6 Responses »
Feb 032017
 
Anti-Grinder Pumps Face More Legal Hurdles

by Rick Boettger……. Judge Koenig Supports Self-Recused Judge Helms, Requiring a 3rd Amendment of Plaintiffs’ Case The installation of grinder pumps up the Keys in many homes that should have gravity systems has gotten a dedicated group of citizens to the barricades. In my mind, there is no doubt this was a foolish and illegal decision made by FKAA and the County. The Dump the Pumps group simply wants a judge to look at the same statutes that I’m looking at and agree that gravity, [continue reading…]

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #204, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Nov 112016
 
We Will Survive King Donald

by Rick Boettger……. I’m writing this mainly for Cynthia, who is depressed and scared. There is no way I can “cheer you up” if you hate our new President-Elect, but I’m hoping you’ll take the gun out of your mouth. It is not as bad as you think. The Republic will survive, maybe even thrive. The actual good news? TED CRUZ. If nothing else, Donald saved us from a true extremist Tea Partier. Compared to Ted’s, Donald’s policies are highly enlightened. The ones I like [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #192, Rick Boettger 41 Responses »
Oct 282016
 
Ethics Commission on Neugent: It's Final—A Light Slap on the Wrists

by Rick Boettger……. I flew again to Tallahassee to attend the sentencing hearing for George Neugent’s three violations of our state’s ethics laws. I went to object to their absurdly light penalties—in particular, only a single $500 fine for not reporting his golf membership for years, missing dozens of quarterly reports of the $1,500 quarterly gift, 15 times the reporting requirement of over $100. The Ethics Commission had given George a separate violation and $500 fine for each of the two years he had filed [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #190, Rick Boettger 8 Responses »
Oct 142016
 
Local Mission to the Bahamas

by Rick Boettger……. Pulling into a checkout lane in Publix last Friday after Matthew, I saw dirt on the floor. The checkout lady was wiping up dirt from all along the counter. The cause? A dozen potted plants in one of four grocery carts stuffed with goods. The buyer had walked away to get his credit card approved, because, I saw on the screen, his bill was $2,760 dollars. When he got back to swipe his card, I said, “That’s the biggest grocery bill I’ve [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #188, Rick Boettger No Responses »
Oct 082016
 
Neugent Punished by Ethics Commission ... but Not Enough

by Rick Boettger……. George Neugent avoided going before a state Administrative Law Judge by stipulating that he committed three violations of the Florida Constitution and Ethics Statutes. As reported here in August, he did not declare his free golf club membership for many years, and made numerous material false reports on his financial disclosure forms.

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 2:00 am * Featured Story *, Rick Boettger 4 Responses »
Sep 232016
 
“In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.”

by Rick Boettger……. County Attorney Bob Shillinger on Destroying SUFA: “In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.” That was his response in an attorney-client closed session to Commissioner George Neugent’s question, “Where do we stand right now?” This was in April of 2012. The County had destroyed Stand Up For Animals, which had an outstanding record of animal control in the Middle Keys for 7 years, by freezing their funds. The Third District Court of Appeals had ruled [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am * Featured Story *, Issue #185, Rick Boettger 11 Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Good Boy!

by Richard Boettger……. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When asked this as kids, we understood that what we would “be” is actually what we would do to earn money. That is, what earns money is what defines who we are as human beings. Well, all of us are grown up now, and in fact the majority of my crowd have long ago quit doing what we used to do to earn money. So what are we now? What, or who, are [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #180, Rick Boettger 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Florida Ethics Commission: A Sham Regulator

by Rick Boettger……. You would think I would be a big fan of the Ethics Commission.  After all, I filed three complaints, and two were upheld for a total of three violations. Many people are amazed and impressed that I got any favorable holdings at all, given their own experiences. They told me the Ethics Commission is just like the FDLE and police internal reviews, just white-washing for the guilty. After seeing the details of how my case was handled, I now agree, with a [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am * Featured Story *, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Jul 292016
 
County Mayor Pro Tem George Neugent Found in Violation and Facing Sanctions on Three Ethics Charges

  by Rick Boettger……. On Friday the Florida Ethics Commission meeting in Tallahassee concluded a 21-month investigation of long-serving George Neugent by finding “probable cause” he violated two ethical laws a total of three times. He got off, as expected, on the charge that initiated my investigation of his affairs: the destruction of SUFA, Stand Up For Animals, and its director, Linda Gottwald, in 2010. My second charge was clear. I saw his financial disclosure forms for two recent years and they were so poorly [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 9:27 pm * Featured Story *, Issue #177, News, Rick Boettger 14 Responses »
Jul 242015
 
103 Bins, Zero Flies

by Rick Boettger……. I really like Tony Yaniz. He was the lone Commissioner who fought to get two-way traffic back to North Roosevelt Boulevard, saving desperate local businesses. I know he is always on the job, and believe he always tries to do what is good for his district and the city. But on returning to twice/week garbage pickup, we respectfully disagree, as in “Tony, you gotta be kiddin’ me!” We met by chance last Wednesday afternoon and I asked if I could get city [continue reading…]

 July 24, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am * Featured Story *, Issue #124, Rick Boettger 6 Responses »
Mar 132015
 
Inept Justices Rule Against Monroe

by Rick Boettger… The Third Court of Appeals has ruled that private corpations owning rental housing located on federally owned land associated with a military base do NOT have to pay local real estate taxes. This costs us here in Monroe almost $8 million/year in educational costs for those children, costs the rest of us shoulder, to say nothing about police, fire, roads, etc. The reasons the court gave were simply wrong. They say the Navy retains control over the property. But the point of [continue reading…]

 March 13, 2015  Posted by at 3:10 am Editorial, Issue #105, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Mar 062015
 
The Tragedy of the Ocean

by Rick Boettger… A common small-town practice in olden days was grazing cows in the town common. If every family grazed one cow, there would be enough grass to support all. But if enough people grazed more cows, the pasture would collapse, and no one could graze his cow. It is such a major problem that it has earned the name Tragedy of the Commons. It’s happening right now here in the Keys, with the Key West City Commission voting 4-3 to allow more grazing, [continue reading…]

 March 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:46 am Issue #104, Rick Boettger, Water World 6 Responses »
Feb 272015
 
Corporations Pleasuring Themselves

by Rick Boettger… What are America’s corporations doing with their record profits, and why are their stock prices rising? The same answer to both: they are using their money to buy themselves. That is, they use their record profits and cash reserves to buy back shares of their own stock on the open market. Instead of giving their employees raises, building new factories, researching new products, or even paying dividends to their shareholders, they are taking back the shares of stock they issued in the [continue reading…]

 February 27, 2015  Posted by at 1:15 am Issue #103, Rick Boettger 20 Responses »
Feb 062015
 
Big Development: Out of Control

by Rick Boettger…. In the last 20 years we’ve seen grand promises for the Truman Annex and Sunset Key be dishonored, the Truman Waterfront get lost in the wilderness, and Wisteria Island enmeshed in a dangerous tangle of lawsuits and brutal law enforcement. What have we learned from our errors of oversight in the Nineties and Oughts that can help us do better on the Waterfront and Wisteria? I will be analyzing mainly how the City of Key West controls the development of immensely valuable [continue reading…]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #100, Rick Boettger 2 Responses »
Feb 062015
 
Rick Skwiot’s Fail: Too Close to Home

Book Review by Rick Boettger Key West author and Hemingway First Novel Award winner Rick Skwiot’s latest book is set in St. Louis, but it speaks precisely to our local problems. Its protagonist is a cop censured for violence. The politicians are hip-deep in development kickbacks. The public schools are failing. The college instructors are grossly underpaid. And the hero is a bravely idealistic teacher. The plot revolves around the teacher’s disappearance. The censured cop, a half-Latin, half-Black long-time friend of the Mayor is assigned [continue reading…]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #100, Rick Boettger No Responses »
Jan 162015
 
The New Illuminati

by Rick Boettger The original Illuminati was a Bavarian secret society, kind of like Yale’s Skull and Bones, created to spread the enlightenment in Bavaria in 1776. It lasted only ten years, but in that short time got people to believe it had such power it survived to mastermind the French Revolution, the Battle of Waterloo, the French Revolution and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination –as well as encouraging a communist plot to hasten the New World Order by infiltrating the Hollywood film industry. So [continue reading…]

 January 16, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #97, Rick Boettger 6 Responses »
Dec 262014
 
Police Endangering Police

by Rick Boettger The recent assassination of two innocent New York cops by a crazy man who wanted revenge for the killing of Eric Garner by other New York officers has appropriately outraged the nation. No one defends the revenge killing. I hope and pray nothing like it happens again.

 December 26, 2014  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #94, Rick Boettger 34 Responses »