Outrageous news this morning from our friend and colleague Bob Norman, who writes for New Times Broward-Palm Beach in South Florida.
For a few years, Norman has been following the story of a 40-year-old self-made millionaire named Fane Lozman, who dared to stand in the way of a corrupt mayor’s plans to give away his town’s marina to Wayne Huizenga, sports owner and boat builder.
Lozman lives on a houseboat at the marina in the town of Riviera Beach, which is in Palm Beach County. Riviera Beach officials wanted to use eminent domain to tear down the marina (which was home to many other houseboat residents who weren’t millionaires) and then hand the property over to Huizenga for a new development that would cater to the rich. Lozman sued to stop the $2.4 billion boondoggle, and won.
But that victory didn’t come without years of harassment from the city, which has tried to evict Lozman or arrest him over trumped-up nonsense. (Like that his wiener dog, who also lives on the boat, was a menace.)
But the news this morning is simply beyond the pale. Norman explains how the city took advantage of a federal judge unfamiliar with recent history in the case to order that Lozman’s home be seized. The reason? Lozman’s floating home doesn’t have a motor.
Federal agents showed up, boarded the home, and had it towed to Miami.