How Would Medical Marijuana be Sold and Controlled?

TAMPA BAY.COM -- Four years ago in Colorado, pot trounced latte in a head-to-head storefront count. Starbucks had 209 franchises in the state. Denver alone had 390 medical marijuana dispensaries operating with no regulations. READ MORE HERE … [Read more...]

Hospital Agrees to pay $7 Million in Whistleblower Settlement

TAMPA BAY TIMES -- ST. PETERSBURG — All Children's Hospital has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging it violated antikickback laws by paying inflated salaries and bonuses to doctors so that they would bring in more patients and revenues. The suit was filed in July 2011 by Barbara Schubert, who was director of operations for the doctors' practice at All Children's for more than a decade. She claimed the hospital overpaid doctors by about $5 million in 2010 alone, violating laws regulating the financial relationships between hospitals and the physicians who bring in patients. All Children's, which denied any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, relies heavily on the state-federal Medicaid program. In 2010, the year it opened its new facility, 70 percent of its patient care revenues, or $370 million, came from Medicaid, according to an annual … [Read more...]

Florida Spent Millions on Flawed Fingerprint System

MIAMI HERALD -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s troubled 5-year-old automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS) is experiencing technical problems that are causing delays in investigations and arrests across the state. It has also cost far more to maintain than it did to design and build. A former engineer for Motorola, the company that built the system, has come forward and claimed the company delivered a product riddled with problems. His claims are documented in internal Motorola reports that he said were never shared with the FDLE. Documents reviewed by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting detail a series of costly maintenance requests and upgrades needed to keep the fingerprint system functioning properly. The documents also include internal Motorola reports recording accuracy issues with the fingerprint system. If true, in addition to delaying … [Read more...]

Retired cop accused of fatally shooting man for texting in Florida movie theater

A retired police officer allegedly shot two people, one fatally, during a cell phone dispute inside a Florida movie theater Monday, authorities said. The dispute began around 1:30 p.m. at a theater in Wesley Chapel when Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, told 43-year-old Chad Oulson to stop texting during a showing of "Lone Survivor," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. When Oulson refused, Reeves alerted the theater staff, which escalated the confrontation. READ MORE   … [Read more...]

Florida law firm fights new online advertising

MIAMI HERALD - TALLAHASSEE -- A prominent Florida law firm is challenging new state rules regulating attorneys' advertisements on the web, saying the restrictions are a violation of free speech and are too vague. In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Tallahassee, attorneys for the personal-injury firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley wrote that the new rules are "so overly broad they would have subjected Abraham Lincoln to discipline for stating, in an 1852 newspaper advertisement, that his firm handled business with ‘promptness and fidelity.’ ” Searcy Denney challenged the rules, adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in January, after The Florida Bar decided that several of the firm's Web pages did not meet the "objectively verifiable" standard required for all advertisements. Searcy Denney requested the Bar's review of the sites before the rules went … [Read more...]