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August 18, 2010: City Commission recognizes locals for contributions

During the Tuesday, August 17, Commission meeting, City officials recognized State Representative Ari Porth for sponsoring bills on Statutes of Limitations and Crimes Against Homeless Persons.

“Ari has been a public servant for many years and he is dedicated to our community like no other state representative that I’ve ever come across,” Mayor Scott Brook said.

One of the six bills sponsored by State Representative Ari Porth in the last session of the legislature, three of which passed, was the Jeffrey Klee Memorial Act, which Governor Crist signed into law last month. Klee disappeared when he was 18 years old in 1977 and his body was found more than 30 years later inside a van at the bottom of a canal in Coral Springs.

David Cusanelli, one of Klee’s friends, admitted to authorities that Klee died in an argument and he later disposed the body by dumping his body inside a van into a canal.  Sen. Nan Rich also sponsored the law, which removes the statutes of limitations for wrongful death from acts described in the manslaughter statutes. As a result, civil actions can now begin at any time, even if the body is not recovered until years after the crime is committed.

“I want to thank Ari for spearheading this bill for us. It’s been a long 31 years since Jeff has had any representation and I’m so grateful for what you did for us,” Jeffrey’s mother Florence Klee said.

The other bill that passed protects the homeless under a state hate crime measure.

The City Commission then recognized Neil Jenkins for his outstanding contribution as a music educator in our City for more than 40 years, 21 of which he led the J.P. Taravella Marching Band. Some of Jenkins top honors include his students marching in the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade and performing in Rome, Italy in front of the Roman Coliseum.

“”We miss you already. We’re very proud of you and are thankful that you have contributed so much to the lives of our children and have had so much success over the years as you’ve had,” Brook said.

Jenkins is also a recipient of the 2010 Broward Arts Teacher of the Year award. Jenkins will continue to conduct the Broward Symphonic Band at Broward College, which meets on a weekly basis.

“The 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade was the highlight of my career…I have great memories to reflect back on and I’ve really enjoyed all 40 years,” Jenkins said.

Then, Kelly Alvarez, Director from the American Heart Association’s Start! Health Walk, recognized the City for being a Gold Level Award recipient for instituting a wellness culture in the workplace. The City participated in the American Heart Association’s 2010 Broward County Start! Heart Walk and contributed to the American Hearth Association total of raising more than $440,000 for research and education. Employee Jim Hickey was also recognized for his volunteer efforts on behalf of the City.
“I want to take this opportunity and thank Jim Hickey for his continuous support. He’s been an avid volunteer for us for the past eight years and he has raised a total of $10,000 for the American Heart Association,” Alvarez said.

The Coral Springs Youth Lacrosse League also presented appreciation plaques to the City Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department for assisting in getting their league started.

“We’ve had over 100 kids register for the Coral Springs Chiefs,” Vice President Ken Cowley said. “We’d like to present this to the City for all their help as a sign of our appreciation.”

Lastly, officials recognized Coral Springs Police for their recent promotions. Lieutenant Brad Mock was promoted to Captain, Sergeant Joe McHugh was promoted to Lieutenant, and Officer William Capplis was promoted to Sergeant.
Captain Mock graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and began his career with the Coral Springs Police Department in 1998. He served as a Patrol officer and as a Tactical and Gang officer and in 2007, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and supervised Patrol, the Tactical and Gang Unit and the K-9 Unit. 
Lieutenant Joseph McHugh graduated from Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.  He began his career with the Coral Springs Police Department in 1996 and served in the Patrol Unit and the Traffic Unit until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2005.  As a Sergeant, he has supervised the Patrol Unit, the Training Unit and serves as Public Information Officer.
Sergeant William Capplis graduated from Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and obtained his Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Madison University.  He began his career with the Coral Springs Police Department in 2000 and has served in the Patrol, Substations, and Training Unit. 
Photos of these recognitions are available at 

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