Tony Gentile

South Florida Boss Pleads Guilty

Longtime Broward (Fla.) Teachers Union president Tony Gentile admitted Nov. 30 that he arranged for a sexual tryst with an Internet pal he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Gentile, who resigned last month after 22 years as head of the BTU, faces a likely prison term after pleading guilty to federal charges of attempting to entice a minor into a sex act and sending child pornography over the Internet. Gentile was arrested July 26 in a sting that started four months earlier in Ala. and ended at a Circle K store in Ft. Lauderdale, where Gentile discovered that the girl he had been corresponding with was actually an undercover cop. He was indicted by federal grand juries in Florida and Alabama.

South Florida Boss Indicted

Broward Teachers Union president Tony Gentile surrendered to U.S. Marshals after his indictment Aug. 30 on federal child pornography charges. Gentile is charged with one count of trying to induce a minor into engaging in a sexual act and one count possession of child pornography, according to the indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The charges carry a combined penalty of up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

The union boss was arrested July 26, when he allegedly showed up outside a Ft. Lauderdale store where he planned to meet an Internet acquaintance who had presented herself as a 14-year-old girl. The "girl" was an undercover police detective working with a special task force that handles crimes against minors over the Internet. Gentile has run the union in since 1979 and has taken an indefinite leave of absence since his arrest.[Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) 8/31/01]

New Subpoenas Stir Florida Probes

Federal labor racketeering investigators are looking into the possible misuse of $210 million worth of employee insurance contracts in the Broward Co. (Fla.) School Dist. After 30 months of apparent dormancy, the investigation is alive again with grand jury subpoenas delivered Feb. 12. The subpoenas requested minutes of the Superintendent's Insurance Committee. A key member of that committee is Broward Teachers Union president Tony Gentile. [Sun-Sentinel 2/17/99]

Alternatively, the subpoenas may be targeting Fed. of Public Employees boss Walter "Buster" J. Browne. Brown heads a union the represents many non-teacher School Board employees and he is a member of the Insurance Committee. The union boss is also the ex-Port Everglades Commission chairman. Investigators have been looking into payment to Browne since Jan. 1992 from local shipping firms and two other unions: Dania Beach Am. Maritime Officers and Teamsters Local 769. Further, they're interested in Browne's influence on the Insurance Committee. Browne has a corrupt history. In 1996, he pled guilty to mail-tampering to rig a union election. He just finished two years probation.

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