PORT ST. LUCIE — Miraculously, St. Lucie County Commission candidate Howard Fein has been skating through this election unscathed by negative coverage.
But now, just three days before most voters head for the polls, Fein is going to have to deal with revelations about his spotty background, including a charge of domestic battery on the mother of his four children as well as elderly abuse and a foreclosure action filed just two weeks ago.
Fein, 50, is running for a seat on the St. Lucie County Commission against Democrat Linda Bartz on a Republican platform that includes the lowering of property taxes, limiting government regulation and cleanup the Indian River Lagoon.
Until you start peeling the skeletons out of real estate investor/trailer park owner Fein’s well-stocked closet, which also includes the alleged mistreatment of some of his trailer park tenants.
— It’s yet another Gossip Extra scoop showing that the faceless corporations that run local media have abdicated their duty to keep the public informed. Isn’t it time you, too, #dropthepaper and join our news alert subscribers?
Here are the details, all backed up by police and court records:
— In November 2007, then a Broward County resident Fein is charged with assault on a man who, according to records, was 75 at the time. The Plantation Police Department report obtained by Gossip Extra shows Fein allegedly got mad at Leonard Bierman, whose job was to administer a polygraph test on Fein. Fein allegedly flew into a rage and threw a chair at Bierman then a broom. Facing two felony charges, Fein was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to one year’s probation and anger management counseling.
— In January 2012, Fein had an office in a US1 strip mall in Port St. Lucie near lawyer Mary Harvey. Apparently, on Jan. 26, the two started arguing in such as way that Harvey said she got scared. She called PSL cops and told them Fein was on the phone with a friend and loudly said of Harvey: “The bitch needs to be bent over!” There was no arrest.
— In October 2013, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies headed to Fein’s Colony Club Mobile Home Park on US1 in Fort Pierce to check on a burglary complaint. There, a resident told deputies Fein evicted her from the trailer she rented despite the fact the rent was paid up. The tenant said Fein had his worker break into the trailer and throw out the $4,600 worth of stuff that was inside. Since the rent was paid, deputies wrote a burglary report naming Fein but prosecutors declined to pursue the case.
— In August 2014, Port St. Lucie cops were called to Fein’s house at 2601 N. US 1 about 10 a.m. to check on a report of domestic violence. Fein’s wife and real estate investment partner Jennifer, 37, described how Howard grabbed her by the arms during an argument, swore he’d “knock her out” and shoved her out of their house AS THEIR CHILDREN WATCHED. Actually, the candidate was arrested after the children told police they saw their dad pushing their mom. Charged with battery, Fein beat the rap after his wife refused to testify.
— In May 2015, Fein allegedly orders a tow truck to remove the car of a trailer park tenant. The car was on the tenant’s property. In their report, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies accused Fein of trying to evict the tenant without going through the legal process. They presented their case to the State Attorney’s Office, which refused to issue a warrant for Fein’s arrest on a charge of auto theft.
Fein explained the police trouble by the fact the trailer park business can get a tad dirty at times.
“When I bought Colony Club, it was full of drug users, drug dealers and women who sold their asses,” he said. “Sometimes, I’ve got to be tough on people and sometimes they call the police. But the reason the state attorney never filed charges is because it simply wasn’t true.”
As for the domestic violence incident, he claims he never touched his wife but got really made because “she shifted money in bank accounts without asking him.”
“I don’t beat my wife,” he said.
One of Fein’s companies, meanwhile, was just named in a foreclosure action in St. Lucie County.
Fein’s Fine Realty Corp. is being sued by Monopoly Mortgage Corp. of Lantana, which wants to force the sale of Fein’s trailer Colony Club Mobile Home Park.
Records show Fine Realty bought the place in 2007 for $1.25 million.
Fine obtained two mortgages worth $1 million to buy the land, including one from Monopoly.
The company now wants a judge to order the property sold on the courthouse sets so that it can recoup the loan that Fein allegedly hasn’t been paying back, records show.
Said Fein: “I’ve been contesting that lien for years. But it’s all covered now. I actually paid it off. There’s no foreclosure.
“I didn’t want all that stuff preventing me from running,” he said. “People deserve representation.”