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LaFontaine's court record subject of attack flier

Wilton Manors Mayor and House District 92 candidate Scott Newton hammers opponent Mark LaFontaine for his court record in a campaign flier distributed Friday.

"Mark LaFontaine has broken one financial obligation after another, and has broken the law repeatedly,'' states Newton's flier. "If he can't manage his own money or respect the law, why does he expect us to trust him with OUR money and OUR laws?''

The flier lists several of LaFontaine's court cases -- the most serious is assaulting a police officer.

LaFontaine said in an email that the assault charge stemmed from a verbal domestic with his partner. He says police beat him up when he refused to leave the scene. Broward court records show he pleaded guilty to lesser charges and that adjudication was withheld.

Another case in the flier refers to LaFontaine getting evicted. The accountant said he temporarily lost business after Hurricane Wilma and told his landlord he couldn't pay on time. LaFontaine said the landlord had his security deposit and that he didn't owe anything when he left.

"I'm human and I have made mistakes,'' said LaFontaine, who says Newton is trying to avoid issues.

Newton says he highlighted LaFontaine's court record in response to his attacks on Newton's financial management of the city the past eight years.

In one ad LaFontaine says taxes rose nearly 300 percent since 1999. City officials disagree with his characterization, arguing that increases taxes are capped at about 3 percent for residents with the homestead exemption. Also the addition of new properties have caused an increase in the tax rolls.

An  electioneering communication group sent a separate flier bashing LaFontaine.

"We shouldn't be picking our next legislator out of a lineup,'' it states showing four figures in a lineup.

That flier comes from the "Integrity Counts Committee'' chaired by Russ Oster, a campaign consultant.

Former Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Gwyn Clarke-Reed is also on the ballot in Tuesday's election.