Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said he didn't vet the background of construction millionaire Robert Pereira before going on a weeklong cruise with him.
So he said he didn't know that Pereira was in the adult entertainment business. But, he said, it doesn't matter.Pereira, the Republican-turned-independent who is one of the sheriff's newest good friends, was in the adult entertainment business in Massachussetts. Pereira, public records show, for many years owned a nudie club called Blue Moon. He sold it in 2011.
Pereira's Airport Entertainment LLC also recently built The Penthouse Club in Reno, an adult entertainment establishment.
Pereira is better known for founding The Middlesex Corporation, a construction company out of Massachussetts.
He lives in Hillsboro Beach, where he's reportedly got a $30 million home improvement project under way.
Israel said that there are strict rules about using law enforcement backgrounding databases for non-law enforcement reasons, and he didn't run Pereira's name or check his background prior to taking his family on a five-day excursion to the Bahamas with him.
I left a message for Pereira and will let you know if he calls back.
Israel said Pereira "told me he's had, I'm gonna say hundreds of companies. Anybody who would know him and think he'd be involved in anything other than an ethical, legal business doesn't know anything about him. The man is the salt of the earth and I’m very privileged to call Robert Pereira a friend.''
Israel said adult entertainment clubs are "a legal business'' and he doesn't "sit in judgment.''
"If he had the business,'' Israel said, "I would be certain the business was legal, ethical, was not in Broward County, and doesn't affect me in any way, shape or form.''
Still, the sheriff said he has no problem with the public examining who he spends time with. He met Pereira on the campaign trail and became fast friends. Pereira put $245,000 into Israel's campaign, though Pereira, like Israel's opponent, was a Republican. Pereira switched to no-party-affiliation shortly after the November election.
"Integrity and honor are what you do when no one's looking,'' Israel said. "I have had an umblemenished record for 32 years. I'm a man of honor, I’m a man of courage, I’m a man of decency, and I know there's nothing wrong with any relationships I have with anybody.''