Dateline Florida

Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 1:54 a.m.

Rilya's caregiver found guilty of fraud

MIAMI - The caregiver of Rilya Wilson, the foster girl whose disappearance revealed disarray at the state's child welfare agency and prompted a massive management shake-up, was convicted Thursday on four counts of fraud for using a friend's identity to buy a sport utility vehicle.

Geralyn Graham showed no reaction as the six-member jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for an hour at the end of a two-day trial. She was convicted of vehicle title fraud, obtaining a vehicle by trick and two counts of forgery.

Calls grow for elections chief to resign

FORT LAUDERDALE: - Broward County Mayor Diana Wasserman-Rubin has joined the growing chorus of lawmakers asking embattled elections supervisor Miriam Oliphant to resign, saying that her decision is simply ``a remedy of last resort'' to fix the office's many woes.

Wasserman-Rubin has called an emergency meeting of county commissioners for Friday and said she will ask them to make a formal request for Gov. Jeb Bush to suspend Oliphant. The governor has the right to fire Oliphant though she's an elected official.

State to appeal decision on sexual predators

Attorney General Charlie Crist said Thursday that his office was still determining how it will challenge an appeals court decision striking down Florida's version of Megan's Law, which publicly identifies ``sexual predators.'' Meanwhile, Crist's office said it would seek a stay to keep the order from going into effect pending the outcome of any appeals.

DCF attorney fired over sex scandal

WEST PALM BEACH - Florida's child-welfare agency fired an attorney this week after learning he was accused of using his position as a Michigan judge to solicit sex from women.

The Department of Children & Families hired James ``Skip'' Scandirito in June 2000 as a senior attorney representing caseworkers and abused children but didn't know about the scandal that preceded his resignation as district judge in Macomb County, Mich., six months earlier.

DCF spokesman Bob Brooks said he cannot explain how the agency missed the scandal when it checked Scandirito's background and references.

- Compiled from The Associated Press

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