Conjuring Justice

Proof that One Person Can Make a Difference

Sheriff David Morgan’s stellar, top-notch counsel has now filed a Daubert Motion to Exclude Testimony of Plaintiff’s Expert Witness, Michael D. Lyman & Memorandum of Law in the Rogers’ girls cases against him. A Daubert Motion is motion to have a legal expert deemed to not be considered an expert in a particular case. In this instance, Michael D. Lyman is a police consultant who is formerly a criminal justice professor, formerly a narcotics agent, and formerly a criminal investigator with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. He is considered an expert in police procedure matters, use of force, arrests, search & seizure matters, as well as management and supervision issues (hiring, retention; evaluation/assessment; termination).

Lyman’s resume and CV is far more extensive than the combined command staff of the ECSO.

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Now look at Michael Lyman’s CV

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The funniest part of all this is that expert testimony is explicitly, expert opinion.  An opinion given by someone with a background who would know. If Michael Lyman is not to be considered an expert and his background is far more law enforcement/criminal justice extensive than the top tier at the ECSO, then the conclusion that the top tier is not competent to hold the positions that have currently.

But just for fun I am putting the entire Daubert motion for public perusal.

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The last few years, there have been a marked de-evolution of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.  The agency as a whole is failing the citizens of Escambia County as well as the deputies it employs.  I have asserted many times that the leadership of this agency has willingly and wantonly violated Florida Law. I have written posts on the illegal behavior by the ECSO Command Staff with respect to the treatment of employees. Examples of the leadership in the ECSO ignoring facts & evidence concerning illegal acts or behavior of employees have been numerous. Yet they still manage to accumulate more and more bad acts to add to their repertoire.

Nowadays, it is difficult to keep up with all the politics at the ECSO. Really no one should want too live in that world. The behavior of the Command Staff has become even more of an embarrassment across the state. There are too many jokes made about the lack of leadership, the dysfunction of management and not all are from officers. It has spilled out into the community.

Just to highlight, I have compiled the Top 5 joke worthy facts of the ECSO.

  1. David Morgan is not and has never been a cop. He has never completed any training that would allow him to function as a law enforcement officer in Florida. He has NEVER made an arrest of a suspect for a crime that he investigated.
  1. In 2016,  Frank Forte filed a false complaint on an officer. During the Internal Affairs Investigation it was proven that Lt. Forte is a verified and documented liar. He lied under oath about an officers’ conduct. Shortly after he was exposed for being a liar, Lt. Forte was assigned to the OIC position of Internal Affairs. He now controls every investigation that ECSO is responsible for completing that involves improper officer conduct.
  1. Steve Cappas confessed to mishandling sensitive evidence that could involve child pornography a few months ago. Now, it is reasonable to assume that immediate attention was given to this revelation. But, in fact, that assumption is wrong. Lt. Cappas continues his daily routine, not having been disciplined for mishandling evidence, nor re-trained on evidentiary procedure.  He, now, is busy spreading propaganda about those he feels is responsible for bringing his criminal acts to light. Cappas not only mishandled the evidence in the case, but in all likelihood, if we consider the preponderance of evidence, he destroyed evidence also. NOTE: During the time Cappas has avoided responsibility for possible criminal acts, there have been 3 other officers forced to leave the agency. One for simply cussing in a private setting. NONE HAVE BEEN ALLOWED DUE PROCESS!
  1. Chief Deputy Eric Haines was described by a federal Judge as being bias and having animus toward female employees. His recent conduct was captured on audio recording making threats to a female employee and her attorney. This audio recording is chilling especially considering the person refusing Due Process is a person that took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
  1.  The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office refuses to have a working relationship with ANY law enforcement agency. This should be alarming to all of us and why don’t they play well with other peace officers? What law enforcement leader would refuse the help of other agencies? Incompetence is the prime suspect; criminality is second runner up. That brings us to the biggest joke–Chief Deputy Eric Haines. Haines has cried and whined like a sleepy two-year-old about losing officers due to poor pay, and after receiving raises(that he withheld as a way to get deputies to open up their PBA contract to allow him to remove their rights), still cannot keep officers. As I have said for YEARS, the personnel shortage is because of the shortage of ability Haines displays as a law enforcement leader NOT low pay.

 

The people listed here are just a small sample of the corrupt individuals embedded inside the Morgan camp. There is more and more will be published until these individuals are no longer able to hamstring good, hardworking cops. None of those listed individuals have the integrity to admit wrong or admit not being capable to effectively perform their duties. The conduct they have displayed is criminal and they should be charged for the unlawful acts committed while in their official positions. The least that should occur is for the criminals destroying the agency to be removed and never allowed to present themselves as fraudulent law enforcement officers again.

So the Rogers vs. Morgan lawsuit has heated up. This is a new twist. Mindy Pare claimed her letters to and from Leah Manning were not relevant to this lawsuit only to be proven wrong after an inspection of the letters on camera.

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The excerpt says:

“I hope to make Morgan eat his words from the press conference (in 2015). He deliberately gave false information about the pictures and the computers, just to make a bigger better case. Fuck him and his election year! ANYWAYS! I feel he did it so it would make us look our daughters predators and it would get picked up by more news affiliates instead of just teens accusing of wrongdoings! And then he got to throw my sex life in and make the juicy twist. What goes around comes around and he has quite alot going around in his life. I wonder if he (illegible) his cell # when it showed up in my phone? LOL! Enough about that for now. It’s like a tv show. …to be continued!”

 

2 Sheriffs, One Sex Scandal

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On February 23rd, 2017, Chief Deputy Eric Haines started an internal affairs investigation into deputy Heath Jackson and with allegations of Jackson giving information to Leah & Doug Manning when they were on the run in 2015.  The IA investigation was thrown together and completed very quickly. It consisted of testimony of Doug Manning, Leah Manning, Heath Jackson and phone records. There was no true investigation as pieces of the criminal investigation and other internal affairs investigations were cropped together, to give the facade of an actual investigation being conducted. Naturally, the IA found the claims unsubstantiated. This was a political favor because Heath Jackson had political ambitions. He wanted to run for Sheriff in Escambia County, Alabama. In 2019, Jackson was sworn in after winning that election.

The sham of an internal affairs investigation doesn’t pass the legitimacy test. The key is in looking at the timeline of events.Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_1Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_2Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_3Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_4Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_5Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_6Pages from Chief Deputy Eric Haines - 30(b)(6) Deposition Exhibit Number 8 (1)_Page_7

The entirety of the IA file can be seen here.

This is an investigation that began on February 23, 2017, with Heath Jackson contacting Eric Haines. The first interview of this IA is Doug Manning from January 2016. Why was no IA started then? Then, an IA interview with Doug on February 10th, 2017 (before the IA began).  How is that possible?  Answer: IT ISN’T.

In previous posts, I have covered how Naomi Jones’s investigation was bungled; how the ECSO refused to do a missing person report when Gavin Clarke’s mom attempted to get help in her son’s disappearance; how so many children have been discarded because the ECSO failed to do their jobs. This story is more than that. When children go missing, there MUST be trust in law enforcement by the community. However, the distrust in this case is well earned by the ECSO.

The case I am speaking of is Jada McNeal aka Jadekiss McNeal. She went missing in December of 2015.  This case has been mishandled by the ECSO since day one. The original missing personsimage0000001 report was “lost” apparently by the agency without anyone as much as attempting to look into the disappearance. She was labeled a chronic runaway.

Three months later, when Jada’s grandmother contacted the ECSO, she was told no report was done in December, so she proceeded to file one right then. However, since Jada had been gone so long, the ECSO considered the case “cold” and used that as an excuse to do virtually nothing. Sometime soon after a lead came to the ECSO that the young girl was in a sex trafficking ring that ran from Louisiana to Las Vegas.4829175381491712.png

Until May of this year, nothing has transpired in this case, or so it appeared when the family did a press conference to refresh interest in the case. In typical Morgan fashion, Sir David held his own press conference lashing out at the family for doing such a thing. The investigator assigned to the case was promptly demoted for not making Sir David aware of the family’s press conference prior to it happening.

Skip ahead 2 months, I got a call from a colleague in the media who received a lead on Jada’s case. My colleague’s source claimed that a lead came to the ECSO about an inmate in Miami/Dade County jail  that had told investigators there that he had information on Jada being trafficked throughout the state of Florida and the last time he had seen her she was alive. The authorities in Miami contacted the ECSO and spoke to Mike Gilmore head of investigations. Gilmore told him the ECSO was not interested in sending anyone down to speak to this guy who had apparently been arrested in connection with sexual crimes. The authorities in Miami were shocked that the ECSO wasn’t interested in at least hearing what this man had to say. But that wasn’t the end of it. Mike Gilmore called Miami back later and made a request for the original statement this inmate made regarding Jada. Gilmore’s request for the “original” documentation concerned the authorities in Miami and they refused to send any original documentation to the ECSO. Chatter on LEOAffairs.com reflects this corroborating the story I was told

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I was stunned by this news. If I had a child missing and I found out even one lead–no matter how far fetched–wasn’t followed up on, I would have someone’s head on a pike. I proceeded pass along this information to a member of the ECSO admin who has attempted to convince myself and colleagues of his interest in correcting the problematic issues within the ECSO. I was apprehensive about this because anyone associated with this agency who either sees the issues of cutthroat behavior towards the employees not to mention the detrimental effect on the community this agency has built up or is there but unaware of these issues, wouldn’t typically get any benefit of the doubt from me. The list of casualties of this agency to the people within it and the community will take years to rehabilitate. I simply don’t know that it can be rehabilitated with the administration in place particularly Eric Haines and David Morgan.

Without any real options, I took a leap of faith and told this one person in a position of authority about the lead I got. He said he would look into it and keep me posted. In the meantime, my colleague I received the original tip from contacted me to tell me that her source clarified that the ECSO received this tip 2 years ago and failed to follow up. This tip sat–unfollowed–in a file for 2 years. I lost my mind. Statistically, the chances of finding this little girl alive are exponentially less every day; in the last two years, the lack of give a shit by the ECSO very likely cost this little girl’s life or depleted the chances of finding her to NIL.

The person at the ECSO I confided this tip in with the hopes of helping this little girl corroborated that this tip was indeed two years old and unfollowed up on. He refused to assign blame but promised to properly handle this lead ASAP. Since then, 3 trips to areas around the Southeast have been made running down this lead. A few names have been given and they are being run down–2 years too late–but possibly to some end.

My heart has been broken by this story. I was put into contact with members of the family via Cindy Martin, an advocate in the black community who contacted me about doing stories about crimes against people of color that have been inadequately handled and less sufficiently covered by any media. For example, James Beasley who contacted Pensacola PD about someone who was tried to kill him, only to be shot dead two hours after they refused to assist him. Or Devin Kennedy of Pensacola who was killed in Seminole, Alabama with neither the Pensacola PD, ESCO or the Baldwin County Sheriff’s office investigating the crime.

How is it possible in this day and age that these things can happen? The fact they almost exclusively happen to minorities adds a level of perception of rampant racism or indifference to those socio-economically below the threshold of most politicians level of sight.

Getting back to Jada, if anyone has any information on this little girl at anytime since December 2015, please contact Milton Search & Rescue’s Steve Williams. He seems to be the only one seriously investigating for this family.FullSizeRenderIMG_6222

Yesterday a document was filed in the federal case, Rogers vs. Morgan et al, that establishes that, according an official Apple store, Leah Manning’s IPhone 5S was water damaged. This is funny considering that damage occurred while in the ECSO custody.  We know that the phone was NOT water damaged when it was taken into custody because the phone was functional at the point that ECSO employees extracted data from it.  We know Steve Cappas testified UNDER OATH that the phone appeared to be in good condition prior to the judge ordering them to turn it over to the Plaintiff for inspection and extraction. But since that time (in July 2019), the battery has swollen and the phone has been damaged by water.water damage_Page_1.jpg

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How does that happen when the phone is in evidence in a law enforcement agency’s custody? This particular version of the IPhone 5S is more resistant that earlier versions of the phone to common humidity, sweat and simple drops of liquid. The indicator light in this model is triggered by pressure of water, meaning submersion. How does an IPhone, presumably independently damaged among other evidence in evidence storage, get submerged?

I will leave that to you to figure out. There is no simple or justifiable answer but this is highly indicative of evidence tampering and/or mishandling. And if this particular piece of evidence, which is stored with other pieces of evidence, from other cases, is damaged and/or tampered with, how do we know other evidence has not been mishandled, damaged or tampered with?

After at least 2 people in the past couple of years, Joseph Graves & Christine Rollins, have been convicted of stealing narcotics, which is evidence tampering, and now this, every single piece of evidence is absolutely suspect.

The unedited letter to the PBA members from Lee Tyree.
Greetings NWFPBA family,
   As many of you have been made aware there will be a change to the way the PBA will be handling the representation of our members who are facing discipline at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. I received notice of this change after some discussion with our General Council Stephanie Webster and our Executive Director Matt Puckett. The catalyst was the recent handing of a 112 violation for our Chapter Senior Vice President Tama Barber. This violation was a difference of legal right to communicate with council during an I.A. as it is viewed by the Sheriff’s Administration and the PBA. Both the PBA and the Sheriff’s Office have written to the Attorney General’s Office and both are awaiting a ruling.
   The initial letter from the PBA about this change was addressed directly to me from Matt Puckett. I did not release this letter to membership, the media, the public or even my board as a whole (although many of the upper board members knew what was going on). I’ve been asked why and I have told some directly when asked, I also explained the situation at the last General Membership meeting, but until now I’ve not released a statement as to why.
   There are several reasons why I didn’t put this letter out, which of course was all for not, since it eventually made its way to the public. First, I didn’t feel like a letter which was derogatory to the administration is one that I should be putting out to the public at this time and place. I’m of the opinion that this agency, just like many agencies has its share of dirty laundry, but it is the place that I have worked for the past 22 years, the same place that both my mom and dad worked and retired from and I hate seeing our department disparaged. In recent months we as an agency have had our image tarnished in the public. You only have to think of the Manning civil case which have been making the rounds on media, the case involving Zaid or the 2 cases involving former crime scene techs from our department. I didn’t want the letter to add to our ever evolving negative image.
   There is also a bit of embarrassment that came with the letter. I’ve been representing members for over 15 years and feel that the past 4 years as President, our Chapter has done a tremendous job not only in making our members better protected, but also to improving our contract and our salaries. Although Matt Puckett says in the letter that this is no reflection on the service that the Chapter Board and I provide the members, it still stings that an announcement of this type was needed at all. While I support the letter and know that it demonstrates the amount of displeasure the PBA feels over the situation involving VP Barber, I also have an opinion having worked as a rep for employees that this type of approach could create a bigger issue for some members who have discipline issues of a minor nature, where the bringing in of an attorney could make the situation more pronounced than it might need to be.
   Finally, while discipline is a big part of what I deal with as President, I also need a working relationship with the administration in order to work through all types of Union situations. I need to have an open line of communication, in order to assist our members with situations that pop up all the time. This time of the year, I get many questions about promotional exam eligibility, questions about the Chapters position on interpretation of situations that are not clear in policy and even questions about simple stuff such as detachments for training and such. For all of these reasons, I felt that the letter from Tallahassee to me would be best served as a simple notification from myself to the Administration to notify them of why all of the sudden lawyers would be showing up for all discipline matters. I let all of my reps know that lawyers would handling the discipline issues until told otherwise and to have all requests go through me so I could coordinate with Tallahassee.
   Do I agree with the PBA on their assessment of the 112 violation, yes, I have always said and will continue to say, what use is a rep or attorney in an I.A. if you cannot consult with them during the interview. My hope is that we will soon have an opinion which will put our agency I. A.’s back to normal. Should the AG’s office come back against us, then we will adjust and continue on assisting our members as best we can.
   If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and ask away!
Lee Tyree
Northwest Chapter President
Florida PBA
Can’t make this shit up! Tyree thinks he can decide what is a public record and what is appropriate to tell the members that pay dues to have men like him represent them. The letter was written to him to deliver to Haines and for him to pass the message to everyone accordingly. He was too chicken to do that.
With his intellect, he should be chief deputy in no time.
lee supergenius

I sent the following email to various agencies including FDLE:

I am contacting you in reference to violations of Florida Statute regarding LET fund. Via public records requests, I have found that the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is not obtaining the followup accounting per statute 932.7055(5)(c). I have requested this documentation from the Sheriff’s office. The CFO, Henrique Dias, was confused about my request but emailed me that his office just disbursed the funds, someone else did the followup.  So I contacted the Board of County Commissioners, who have to OK all donations and they do not do any follow up as they insist the Sheriff’s office should. But they did tell me that the Clerk of Court may have the documentation as they are supposed to verify that paperwork is done. Today, Pam Childers, the Clerk of Court, said there was no way for her to fulfill request and re-directed me to the Sheriff’s office.
Each step of the way I had to CONVINCE each of these entities that follow up reporting is required by statute. What that tells me is they aren’t properly handling the reporting. My question is if this can go on without anyone regarding the law that establishes procedure, what else is being mishandled?
A serious inquiry should be done. Even though this is just follow up reporting, it shows how used to cutting corners the officials in this county are. This is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem when all the checks and balances are not in place properly.
Jimmie Staley
This is the FDLE response I got:

Dear Mr. Staley,

Your recent correspondence with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was received by the Office of Executive Investigations (OEI). In your correspondence, you addressed concerns about the handling of civil asset forfeitures. Upon review, it was determined that your complaint does not warrant an investigation by FDLE. If you believe that employees of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office did not follow proper procedure or statute, you should provide that information to their internal affairs or command staff. Florida law states that the employing agency is responsible for investigating complaints against officers and employees within their agency. Therefore, any complaints regarding alleged misconduct by members of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office should be directed to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs / Professional Standards Unit for their review and any action deemed appropriate.

Sincerely,

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Office of Executive Investigations

 

This could be a form letter from any agency, honestly.  It is this sort of thinking that enables corruption; surely this is by design.  Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand & I will take over the world.” Sadly this is not the mantra of the average American. But what I wanted to point out to people is that just to get to the point to report wrongdoing or send a complaint, as simple as it was, takes someone a very long time to work up to doing. The average person has to weigh the cost of “rocking the boat”, either personally or professionally.  This person would have to be absolutely sure the result would outweigh the cost and be heard by the recipient. This is where people will abandon vocalizing their concerns. Once someone from an organization or agency, in effect, tells them there is nothing they can do, that generally ends it. The person re-thinks their intuition and rationale thinking that led them to the point of reaching out. They start to doubt their understanding of the process and procedures that make up “the system”–sometimes even falling in the trap of thinking they aren’t smart enough to navigate the plain language of laws, rules and regulations.

This isn’t true in most cases, but that is what people are led to believe. Stepping up against politicians, figures of authority, is a huge deal that can paralyze the average citizen. Robert F. Kennedy said in his speech, dubbed, The Ripple of Hope Speech,  “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Kennedy points out 4 dangers to people stepping up to do the right thing. The first is the risk of futility, or being afraid the stance they choose to take, isn’t enough to make a difference alone. The second danger is of expediency, not having an immediate impact that is measurable. The third is the timidity of being cast aside by trusted and respected people in the community, or being a pariah. Finally, the risk of falling into a position of comfort and not wanting to create discomfort in everyday life for themselves or their family.  All of these dangers are valid and reasonable obstacles that prevent 90% of the population to stay quiet in the face of obvious injustice and corruption.

FDLE tried to accomplish this with their response to me. They pointed out “after review” they are not the entity to be contacted, roughly a week after they received my initial email. This hits upon the lack of expediency, while they also assert that after their “review”, which gives the impression someone thoughtfully and attentively read my complaint and carefully crafted an answer. Nothing could be further from the truth because of the obvious fact they did not understand, THE SHERIFF is the issue, not just an employee on his staff. This reflects the futility Kennedy pointed out of being heard, but not making an impact. In reality, I wasn’t heard, so it is not futile to think that a complaint won’t render a positive outcome.

In my case, the final point that is relevant from Kennedy’s speech is pushing my comfort level by referring me to confront the ECSO directly. This is the laughable part because I have vocally and gregariously made statements directly to staff about this. I fail to fall prey to 3 out of 4 dangers in this example, as Kennedy outlined in this one speech over 30 years ago.  My message to everyone reading this is simply to be mindful of the traps of the insanity and wild goose chase that people may inevitably be directed to fall into via lack of analysis of what they are told and inattentiveness of the respondents to the initial contact.

One person can make a difference. I am living proof of this. So my advice is to scrutinize your answers as critically as possible before abandoning the path chosen.  Bureaucracy is red tape outlined to trip those up who are not serious about pursuing the right cause of action, for the right reasons. It says more about them than it does you.

Sheriff Morgan,

I feel compelled to respond to your letter to Matt Puckett of the PBA. You accuse the PBA of leaking the letter sent to Lee Tyree, stripping him of his PBA obligations due to Haines’s tyrannical handling of deputies’ rights.

I know you are aware I posted that same letter on Facebook a couple of days ago and did a blog post on my blog, ConjuringJusticeBlog.com, yesterday.

Make no mistake: your administration through a NUMBER of sources leaked that document to me, not anyone in the PBA, although I called PBA first after I heard about it. However, my voicemail to Ianna Durning was not returned. Haines’s attempt to hide the letter in his own IA investigation was a terribly misguided thing to do. Everyone aware of that was appalled and reached out to sources to leak it to me.  You have more people in your administration leaking information than ever before. Why do you think that is? Don’t bother with headhunting in this case. There were so many people who contacted me, you would literally have only the handful of people who did not want this left out. I have more supporters than you do, at least in terms of people you supposedly oversee.

As for airing your ex employees’ dirty laundry, I hope Bain Custer sues you for defamation.  You used county resources to do a DNA test of fluids found in his office to prove he had sex on duty. The problem is, the male DNA found was not Bain’s. Was it another sexual deviant in your admin? That expensive test the taxpayers footed the bill for backfired on you. It only reveals the more serious problems of in your agency with you and Haines turning a blind eye to favored employees while you conduct witch hunts for those you don’t. The favored ones are a smaller group every day.

Your prevarication regarding lawsuits is being observed by many. You were not honest in asserting that all cases were dismissed or abandoned, not settled. Anita Hemphill and Jeff Van Camp settled their lawsuits with you, just to name a few. And the ongoing cases include, Laura Montoya, Philip Nix, Mindy Pare, Adam Narvaez and Tama Barber and hopefully Bain Custer soon. And this is not an all-inclusive list. I believe there are more, but you would have to ask your counsel, who is paid for by the people. They have an accurate count I’m sure.

Your rush to judgment on how the PBA letter got out is not surprising. It is much like your impulsive press conference asserting you don’t remember ever meeting Leah Manning, or your rush to think there was no Billy Boyette was in woods next to the vehicle he left abandoned, when, in fact, he was; that poor decision cost another life. All these poor decisions from the number one law enforcement officer in the county. Is there any wonder the people who call you boss, are reaching out to anyone who will listen asking for intervention?

But to be clear, this is me accepting responsibility for leaking this letter that I RECEIVED FROM YOUR OFFICE. You may want to apologize to the PBA.

Sincerely,

Jimmie Lee Staley,

aka “The Blogger who doesn’t deserve airtime”

 

On 8-13-2019, I received a notice from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office concerning a public record request made. The request was for a letter prepared by the Florida Police Benevolent Association Inc. The letter details the change in procedure for employees being investigated or disciplined by the ECSO, taking the point of contact person out of the agency and replacing them with a PBA attorney. This is a drastic move but a positive one for deputies, if they know about it. The letter calls out Eric Haines & the IA investigators for multiple complaints of “intimidation and blatant violations of LEO bill of rights”.

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The letter is addressed to Lee Tyree. Tyree is the President for the local chapter of PBA. He is the only paid board member for the Northwest Florida PBA. Tyree receives a paycheck that is funded by the members of the PBA. The dues the members pay is to ensure that they are protected from improper employment practices. The members are paying to have their careers protected from corrupt leadership. They pay and trust that Lee Tyree will take the proper steps to protect them if needed. The members should be severely disappointed with what they have received from Tyree, while the PBA asserts his ineffectiveness to do his job as being in fear of retaliation, from people on the inside, the ineptness of Tyree is more about keeping favor with Haines, not avoiding retaliation, which is a different motivation altogether

After receiving this letter Tyree was instructed to hand deliver it to Haines. When Tyree provided Haines a copy of the letter, Haines, for obvious reasons, did not want the letter to be a public record. Honestly it is not a letter that belongs to Haines nor is it his call to determine what is a public record. The letter is addressed to the President of PBA, Lee Tyree. However, if Lee Tyree allows Haines to dictate his actions and tells him it is now part of an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation into Haines. Yes, Haines is overseeing his own IA investigation.  But without any balking, Tyree accepts this direction and without hesitation allows Haines to hide the letter from the PBA membership and public.

Every member of this chapter of the PBA should file a complaint against Tyree with the sender of this letter. Tyree has allowed countless employees to be mistreated and disciplined by Haines, knowing violations of employee rights were occurring.  Tyree even helped assist Haines by talking employees into resigning convincing them there is no other options. Tyree was seldom concerned enough to put up a strong defense for employees being harmed by Haines.

Now that we have seen the letter, we know it doesn’t relate to any investigation. There is not a true reason to refuse a public record request because of confidential status. In fact, it is an informative document advising the President of  this chapter of the PBA that a process that has been in place for over 25 years will change. A process for handling investigations and discipline will change because of improper conduct of “upper management” specifically Eric Haines and Internal Affairs investigators. This was a letter written to Tyree so he could inform the membership that PBA was taking action to protect them.

Unfortunately, but predictably, Tyree went the course of conspiring to hide the letter in a bogus Internal Investigation. Tyree is most concerned with being promoted apparently. He jumped at the chance to please Haines even though he was derelict in the performance of the duties he has been paid to perform as PBA President. He did nothing to inform the membership or post the letter for consumption by the membership. Tyree is the person responsible for protecting employees but instead assisted with committing law violations by concealing a public record. Why?

All PBA members should demand an explanation from Tyree and try to determine exactly how much he has kept hidden from the membership. A review of his conduct should be completed to determine if he should return funds received because of  shirking his required duties. In fact, it appears Tyree was more concerned with personal gain and has provided little service to members of the union. His recent contract negotiation left PBA with a shell of a contract and even less job protection. Seems more appropriate for Haines to be paying Tyree and not the membership of PBA for this service of undercutting deputies’ rights.

As far as Public Record request are concerned this is an old issue with Haines. He routinely makes attempts to delay or avoid Public Records requests. Haines should be held accountable for his conduct with this issue as well as the issues brought up by PBA. The fact that the ECSO would consider avoiding public record laws is a major concern. Why is that? What could they be hiding?
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Here are a couple of public records requests that have been difficult to obtain. Maybe some of the readers could attempt to obtain some records. If anyone is willing, go to this link  & please find out for yourselves how certain subjects really upset the ECSO leadership. You probably will not be successful, but you will get a first-person view of corruption at work. Here is the standard template. Copy and paste any all of the requests.

 

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. Monthly total of off duty fee collected from extra duty employment
  2. Any document indicating deposit, expenditure, or disbursement of funds collected from off duty

 

 

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. Any investigation relating to any employee investigated for improper use of SSN
  2. Any employee investigated for committing fraud by stealing identity of a deceased person
  3. Investigation completed by Capt. Ray Briggs on the listed issues.
  4. Any recorded interviews of the subject of the investigation
  5. Crime stoppers tip that notified the ECSO of employee not being a legal citizen

 

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. All training records documenting the training Steve Cappas has received concerning evidence handling.
  2. All training Steve Cappas has received making him qualified to examine electronic evidence

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. Any internal communications, emails relating to & from David Morgan or any public information officers from 7/9/2009-7/15/2009 (Billings case)
  2. Any internal communication relating to server failure for the above time frame

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. All Gulf Coast Crimestoppers payouts for any given year.

In Accordance with FSS Ch 119 I request the following record:

  1. Evidence logs showing chain of custody of all evidence in reference to the Manning case.
  2. All internal correspondence that mentions the name “Jimmie Staley” or “Conjuring Justice”

If anyone gets this information, please share. You will likely be told that the record doesn’t exist or there was never an investigation. Just because they say it doesn’t mean that it is true. A good rule to follow is to verify that the record exists from someone inside the agency. This is my rule of thumb but the powers that be inside the agency haven’t  seemed to figure this out yet.

Apparently, in the wake of my last few blog posts, Steve Cappas has been trying to figure out a way to sue me to get his transcript excerpts taken down. I find this so amusing because this man has committed numerous felonies against so many people, depriving them of their constitutional right to due process, and I am his concern. Cappas should be concerned about Joe Zarzaur’s next move or perhaps the real likelihood of prosecution or maybe the number of cases he has handled that may be overturned in light of his participation and questionable evidence handling.

In researching the duties Cappas should have upheld, according to FDLE, I found this (My apologies for the blurry quality. Please see the link for a clearer view):

Plainly, as simple as the rules appears to be, Cappas had difficulty following them .He stripped constitutional rights from individuals on a whim. He allowed evidence to be exposed to tampering threats and possibly lost that could be exculpatory to individuals currently incarcerated or that could have put more people who broke the law behind bars, justifiably.

In true fashion of the ECSO, there has been no response or change in policy regarding the shocking evidence handling procedures, Cappas has adopted. The agency staff members have been busy overseeing back to back investigations on one officer as well as preparing admin for the numerous jury trials against them in the near future.

One of the claims being investigated is that an officer used profanity. The recommended punishment is termination. The supporting evidence includes a statement given by Capt. Hall. She is also on leave for misconduct involving dishonesty. However, her statement getting an employee fired was taken as truthful, but she will likely suffer adverse employment action for being dishonest.

Another investigation into Facebook posts or gossip including derogatory remark about David Morgan has recently been completed. The employee suffered serious penalty as well. There was no law violation. There was no indecent behavior. Never tampered with evidence. Never destroyed evidence to avoid detection of a crime. This employee insulted David Morgan unknowingly and will suffer serious consequence.

In accordance to status quo, the idea that Cappas being untruthful would catch the attention of ECSO staff members is a fallacy. However, it seems like if officers can be terminated for using profanity when upset, there is no doubt admin would expeditiously handle the admitted criminal behavior of Cappas. But sadly, that assumption would be wrong. Cappas is a follower. He is willing to evade lawful conduct and hide behind the fact he is following orders. He should know he isn’t excused for improper behavior because his superiors don’t choose to follow law. Yet I am sure I will be the scapegoat if Cappas is, in fact, arrested for criminal activity.

Cappas should seek advice on how best to avoid that inevitable outcome because currently, he is a fall guy for improper/criminal acts in the Manning case. He may be satisfied with being sacrificed. If he is sacrificed and loses his freedom and/or job, he can at least celebrate not having to explain how one person could be so spineless and blindly follow orders that are contrary to procedure and law, affecting anyone’s freedom . His conduct should be addressed immediately by the ECSO Administration and he should be investigated while on leave just as all other employees when an investigation begins that is serious in nature like offending David Morgan. However, offending, Sir David is far more serious in the eyes of this administration than wrongfully, criminally mishandling cases. This is your Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Joe Zarzaur has found that Leah Manning’s IPhone, evidence in the Rogers vs. Morgan et al lawsuit was damaged while in the ECSO’s custody. It is speculation that it was microwaved or cracked to destroy internal data, preventing disclosure of pictures and videos of the explicit child molestation by deputies and other damning evidence of inappropriateness by Sheriff David Morgan.

In my last post, the procedure of how the “sensitive” or “exceptional” investigations conducted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office were handled was explained by LT. Steve Cappas. Zach Ward pointed out how a report with critical evidence that he handled was inexplicably missing from the case file while it was replaced by another report done a year later by a different person. This illustrates tampering and/or destruction of evidence. Steve Cappas tried hard to cover up and explain away inaccuracies told by Sheriff Morgan in his press conference. It was obvious that evidence that should have been handled professionally and securely, was not and many people were aware and had access to sensitive information that could be manipulated for self-preservation by many. I am not saying it WAS manipulated but just the fact that the opportunity and access facilitated the possibility of multiple hands altering evidence to preserve their livelihoods, reputations, and marriages, exists. It would just take one desperate person feeling backed into a corner, with the ability to distort the facts of the case via the digital evidence. While I am not saying it did happen for a fact, often, good people make bad decisions if the opportunity presents itself. This was a politically charged case that could have led to career ending implications, possible jail time repercussions and even personal life destruction. And the handling of evidence was so sloppy, that we cannot know for a fact it wasn’t tainted. That is the reason for police procedures is to minimize opportunities and preserve chain of custody. That did not exist in this case.  My question is how many other cases happened like that over the tenure of Sheriff Morgan?

 In trying to understand if it is possible other cases, big or small, may have been handled just as unprofessionally, we must look at the people in charge of such investigations. Today, I want to continue the discussion with a look at the most recent head of Internal Affairs investigations, Frank Forte. Under his watch, many deputies’ careers have passed through his hands.  Just to give some context and clarification, during Zarzaur’s deposition with Eric Haines, done last week, it came out there is no internal procedure or process of handling or even initiating IA investigations. IA has been used as a tool for the administration to conduct witch hunts against deputies they consider, unworthy of the badge. Any reasoning works and depending on how vehemently Eric wants people gone, it can be a nonsensical and even unlawful process. An example is Tama Barber’s writ of Mandamus, where Morgan decided there would be no compliance hearing that is available to deputies via Florida statute. Morgan doesn’t have the authority to deny that, yet he did. This is standard operating procedure.

None these mishandlings of IA investigations can go on, if a professional is at the head of this department, assuring deputies’ rights aren’t violated as well as procedure is followed to protect the ECSO from liability in wrongful termination suits. Forte being the head of this particular department, is very interesting because there is documentation showing Frank Forte perjured himself.

Because my colleague, Dr. James Scaminaci III delivers the facts as elegantly as I would be able to, I differ to his article on CJ’s Street Report from December 14, 2016:

The basic facts are these.  Sergeant Nix was working a side job in Pensacola Beach.  He gave permission to three vehicles to park in a “Loading Zone” area.  Sergeant Nix knew that there was no Florida statute prohibiting parking in such a zone (there is now).  Sergeant Nix advised Deputy Cripe that he had given the car owners permission to park there and that it was legal.  Deputy Cripe complained to Lt. Frank Forte who instructed Deputy Cripe to write the tickets.  Once Nix left his side job, Cripe wrote two tickets on Saturday and one ticket on Monday.  The three tickets involved two car owners.

Sergeant Nix was subpoenaed to appear as a defense witness, as was Deputy Cripe as a for the prosecution.  Lt. Forte attended as an observer.

After Nix’s testimony had concluded, Lt. Forte told Col Hardy that Sergeant Nix had violated ECSO guidelines in his testimony.  In the June 28, 2016, memo from Col Hardy to Chief Deputy Haines, Hardy wrote:  “Following the hearings, I was contacted by Lt. Forte and he informed me that it was his belief that the testimony given by Sgt. Nix against the Sheriff’s Office during the hearings rose to the level of Unbecoming Conduct in violation of ECSO policy.”

In the very same memo from Hardy to Haines, Col Hardy informed the Chief Deputy that he had checked to see if there were any evidence that could contradict or corroborate Lt Forte’s belief.  There was no such evidence.  Thus, the second Internal Affairs investigation began.

It is important to note that this second Internal Affairs investigation proceeded once Hardy and Haines were assured there was no evidence that could contradict Forte’s statement.  It would be an officer’s word against a sergeant’s word, backed up by a deputy, Cripe who was in the courtroom.

Unbeknownst to Haines, Hardy, Forte, and Cripe, Sergeant Nix, already in the gun sights of the ECSO due to the ongoing first Internal Affairs investigation seeking to charge him with felony grand theft, paid for a court reporter to record the proceedings of the traffic court.

Unfortunately, I do not have an electronic copy of the second Internal Affairs documentation.  However, I do have hard copy of Lt. Forte’s sworn recorded statement regarding IA # I2016-012 dated July 22, 2016.

On page 9 of his sworn to be true testimony, Lt Forte told ECSO investigators, “…and the exact words, I can’t remember but I can tell you that part of it was, I was assigned to that beach for a long time and I’m aware that deputies have a habit of writing illegal tickets there.  And I couldn’t believe that he made that statement in court.  First of all, it’s not a true statement.  But to make that statement is bad enough….Our deputies sitting there shaking their heads.  Got their heads down shaking their heads like they can’t believe those words just came out of Nix’s mouth.”

On page 10, Lt. Forte’s sworn to be true recorded testimony reads:  “POLLOCK: And is this opinion of these illegal tickets or did he just kind of make some blanket statement?  FORTE: Nix blurted the statement I gave you.  Uhm.  He was never asked, what is your opinion or anything of that nature.  I didn’t hear that.  What I heard was Philip Nix explaining how he gave them permission and then he continues on to say something to the effect of, I’m very familiar with that red curb because uh there’s been numerous deputies that have written tickets on that, uh illegal parking tickets on that red curb.  Uhm, and when he made that statement uhm I can assure you no one asked him his opinion or asked him any of that.  He, that was, that was solely on him.”

Pretty damning stuff.  Except not one word of what Lt. Forte swore to be true under oath under the penalty of perjury was true.  He lied through his teeth believing there was no way his perjured testimony could be challenged by Sergeant Nix.

According to the transcript of the traffic court hearing, here is exactly what was said in the exchange between Mr. Chris Rabby, the lawyer for the car owners, and Sergeant Nix, witness for the defense:

“Question: So the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department has been illegally ticketing people for years for parking in front of The Dock?”
“Answer [NIX]:  “I don’t–if there is no statute for it, I don’t know what they are being ticketed for.”
Mr. Rabby:  “I don’t have any further questions of this witness.”

Maybe in an alternate universe there is a Sergeant Nix transforming a question from a lawyer into his own statement, but in that traffic hearing on that day, Sergeant Nix answered in the negative.  Lt. Forte’s sworn to be true testimony is false.  He perjured himself.  Surely there is some violation of ECSO policy for bringing a false accusation against a fellow law enforcement officer, providing false testimony, and wasting the ECSO’s resources on a fake crime.

Was Lt. Forte investigated or otherwise disciplined for making a false accusation, providing false testimony, and wasting ECSO resources?  In the voice of an insurance company model, “No.”

Here, outsiders can see clearly two standards of justice.  If you are a favorite of the ruling class–Morgan and Haines and Hardy–you can lie under oath, as long as your lies are in the service of the ruling class.  In that case, you are golden.  But, if you stand up for ordinary residents being falsely accused by the ECSO of parking their cars in a prohibited loading zone, well, you better have a lawyer and a court reporter on your side.  But what is legal and what is true are of no concern to Morgan and Haines.  What counts for them is blind obedience–the law and truth be damned.

Any resident should be able to understand this case and the jeopardy that puts you in.  If Sheriff Morgan wants you to be fined and/or prosecuted, there are deputies willing to perjure themselves to keep their jobs.  And Morgan will protect them.  We know that because Sergeant Nix advised Sheriff Morgan as to the lies told and Morgan did absolutely nothing

So we have established we have a lieutenant over Special Victims or Investigations that doesn’t secure evidence, now the Lieutenant over Internal Affairs who has perjured himself and been apparently rewarded for doing so by subsequent promotion to his current position after the perjury was made clear to admin. Why should we expect any investigation to be handled correctly when we cannot expect proper handling of big cases, like the Manning sex case nor the civil case involving parking tickets illegally issued?

Anyone wanting to read the entire, lengthy statement of Frank Forte, the court transcript from the civil traffic court case or the result of the IA against Forte for perjury which exonerated him can click links above.

Lieutenant Steve Cappas & Deputy Zach Ward were deposed in the Rogers vs. Morgan civil case. Under oath, both ECSO employees contend evidence was not properly stored in a secured location and reports were missing from case file.

Zach Ward, the first of the two to be deposed, says that chain of evidence was in tact up until the reports he created on the composition of Leah Manning’s devices in this sexual abuse case. In review of the case file, it becomes obvious the reports Ward claim to have run on the evidence he received in 2015 were not in the case file but a second examination of the phone of Leah Manning had been inexplicably run over a year later and was in the file where his report should have been.

In Lt. Cappas’s deposition, this is what he says about storage of evidence

When asked where Leah Manning’s IPad is, Cappas replied

Cappas was asked about the fact Morgan’s number was in Leah’s phone and the veracity of the statements made by Morgan in his press conference

When Cappas was asked about my blog publishing that Leah had the Morgan’s number

” This case against defendant SHERIFF DAVID MORGAN “Sheriff
Morgan” as representative of Escambia County Sheriff’s Office involves
allegations that the Sheriff’s office was deliberately indifferent to the sexual activity between 20 to 30 ECSO deputies and Leah Manning. The allegations include arguments that the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division purposely ignored a sex ring that was occurring between deputies and Leah Manning, many of whom were visiting the Manning house during work hours.”

“This deliberate indifference to its own policies allowed for more and more sexual activity with Leah Manning, most of which occurred in the family home while the minors were present. Testimony has established that the internal affairs investigation into the two deputies that were charged with sexual abuse of the Plaintiffs was curtailed by ECSO administration because they felt it would be a “public relations” nightmare.”


“Despite the fact that ECSO had Leah Manning’s cell records which indicated graphic/sexual text between her and various ECSO deputies, IA investigators were instructed that looking into these other acts would be “running down a rabbit trail,” and they were instructed to focus on the narrow the scope of their investigation and ignore the potential sheriff office policy violations since behavior between “consenting adults” was not material to them.”

After finally getting back around to look at Leah Manning’s daughters’ case, I was floored to see a motion for protection by Sir David Morgan. In reading the motion, Morgan claims that he, the Sheriff, should not be deposed in this lawsuit, because of his position as the Sheriff. The truth is wants this sealed and to not be subjected to the inevitable questions in a deposition that is public.

But why should he be afforded that opportunity? He will use this lawsuit to eviscerate these young girls and the horrific things they were exposed to by their mother and step dad. In documents that will be public records, he will attack them as promiscuous and delusional, as he already has to people who will listen. There is no doubt he had a relationship of some kind with the girls because he gave them a puppy they named Morgan after him. Does that sound like something he has ever done for people he doesn’t know? Much like the self-serving hug he gave Ashley Markham that he has framed on his wall….that is not the relationship he has had with ANY other stranger in his tenure, leading to the obvious assumption there is a personal relationship prior to that moment.

Here is the protective order he filed that I hope will get denied by Judge Vinson.

What do you think?

As it has been predicted, the prophesy that Chief Deputy Simmons (aka Chipper) would be more of the same if elected to the office of Sheriff, has come to fruition. Several months ago, an employee outed an affair Chipper was involved in. She was disciplined for having an extramarital affair. Naturally, wanting the policies and rules to be evenly upheld, the employee believed it was wrong that she would be disciplined for an affair and Chief Simmons would not suffer any discipline for having an extramarital affair himself. There were ample details given to investigate this Chipper’s affair via a complaint made to the ECSO. This entire situation should have been investigated, especially since one of the possible victims of the extramarital affair is an employee at the ECSO and Chief Simmons is his boss.

Ultimately, two employees lost their jobs for having an affair. Neither employee was a part of the reported Chipper’s affair. The affair he had (or is having) was never investigated. The rules apparently don’t apply to Pensacola’s fair-haired boy. While the public once saw him as their favored and “honest” political personality, and he played the part by acting like such, he can no longer deny he is just as corrupt and as much of a hypocrite as Morgan or Haines.

The sad part is his conscience isn’t impeding his race for the top. Just imagine, knowing two employees were terminated, effectively ending their careers, for having an affair and you are doing the same thing without fall-out, should weigh heavy if you have any moral compass at all. Yet, with Chipper, not so much. He smiles and shakes hands with campaign donors while the people under him see him as minion of Morgan. As long as he abandons those he is supposed to lead (as he did when Haines held well earned raises over their heads) and stands by watching careers go down the drain for things he is guilty of while he basks in the sunlight, he doesn’t deserve the public trust just like the current administration doesn’t deserve the public respect and trust that was placed in them.

Let’s not forget there is a husband who calls Chipper his boss. This man must smile and grin, knowing that his boss is sleeping with his wife. That is twisted. That within itself is just not the stuff true leaders are made of.  Playing Devil’s advocate, if this is purely rumor wouldn’t any competent leader want to get to the truth in this matter?  However, it seems like, if an investigation were started, it would be documented that Chipper is an adulterer and has abused his power over the husband of his mistress and that is no good for political campaign.

Chipper wants to be the top law enforcement officer in our county. The citizens have the right to know if he is the person, he claims he is. He has worked diligently in his career to build a reputation in the public eye. Yet in almost 4 short years since he was hired, he has become as vile as the man that hired him. I, personally, would like to see some questions answered. I, personally, would like to see an appropriate investigation into this matter. I’d like to see him explain why an extramarital affair makes him worthy of being a Sheriff.

A true investigation would find Chipper involved in an extramarital affair and then there would be questions. He would have to answer why he watched two employees lose their careers because of something he was also doing without consequence. He would need to explain what makes him believe he should be Sheriff after lying about having an affair. I would want to know if he ever feels guilty for allowing himself to avoid responsibility for an act that cost others their career. Two people he knew well and worked with daily. People that he knew was aware of his inappropriate relationship if determined to be true.

One other question of great interest to the ECSO deputies is why he was exploiting his brother’s nepotism. Ken Simmons, Chipper’s brother, was promoted to a Captains position. There is not a career path for becoming a Captain. Historically it has been a political appointment. Morgan promoted Chipper’s brother when the statute is clearly being violated. None of the leadership at the ECSO stepped in and voiced concern for blatant law violations. (FSS 112. 3135) It would be difficult to argue Chipper had no input in the matter or for that matter, that it appears that Morgan was doing him a favor by promoting his brother over more competent candidates.

Neither issue is as concerning to the public as the deafening silence by Chipper, while he is able to make changes. If he is not actually allowed to rule against Haines, then he must be courageous enough to step away and fight to be elected. Taking a path of going along to get along is discouraging. That isn’t a new idea at the ECSO. That is an example of what is not needed. There have been several attempts to reach out to Simmons and beg for his leadership. He has ignored all the calls from employees to help the ECSO survive the failure of leadership. Tell me again why this is the person for the job of Sheriff?

So as many know I have been asking for emails to and from David Morgan and the national news outlets from 7/9-7/15/2009 (the Billings Murder). In 2015, Eric Haines attempted to extortion by demanding $50 for providing an estimate of $7000+ worth of emails. This extortion continued for 2 years. I could not request public records until I paid for an estimate that was crazy stupid. This is a public records violation in and of itself. Realizing how serious this was, Haines allowed me to request other records. How very white of him!

Anyway, the line the ECSO towed after this is that there were no records relevant to my request. Then last year it changed again; the line was “there was no records in the Sheriff’s custody to fulfill the request”. Even the response from Beth Medeiros has this line in quotes…no doubt a line Haines advised her to relay. You see the games they are playing, right? Well, I asked Hayley Minogue, former WKRG reporter, if she would request the same emails as to see if the answer would be the same or if they were just screwing with me. Sure enough, the quoted line was the response.

So, I analyzed the wording, “in the Sheriff’s custody”; ok, maybe there is a county backup server that I can request these emails from. So I emailed Shawn Fletcher, the IT director for the BOCC. I asked that very question. He explained the ECSO has its own backup server that is maintained by their head of IT, Will Meloy. He forwarded my request to Will and was confident that I should hear back by the end of the week. Two weeks pass and nothing. I email Shawn again asking if I understood him correctly and he said again they handle their own backups.

Why such pushback for these emails? I don’t know if there is anything in them but the pushback tells me 4 years later, there is something damning in there, because risking so many violations of Florida Statute over emails with nothing in them?

Reluctantly, I compiled all my documentation and forwarded it to SAO and Greg Marcille, specifically. I had zero confidence in this step as we all know the SAO has covered many crimes such as LET misappropriation for years. The AG and Governor were virtually worthless in years past, telling me to sue or go to the FBI. But we are talking about misdemeanors for the most part and that is not FBI worthy; hell, I knew that, but for public officials it is huge. The people enforcing the laws should comply with them. However, now we have a new AG and Governor, who seems to be no nonsense. I thought I’d try again.

Greg Marcille responded to me.

On Monday 5/13, I emailed Marcille for an update since 21 days had lapse. I was expectantly disappointed by an email from Jody, Marcille’s executive secretary saying the ECSO asked for more time to respond. When I asked how much time, I got crickets. So this was my next email:

As of yet, no response. Unaccountable AGAIN. Not a pair of balls in the county, I’m afraid. Nuclear it is.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office staff continues to demonstrate a lack of ability to lead the agency. So often Haines has been motivated to prove he is correct in any chosen dispute. Haines has described himself as having an “issue” with having to be right in any argument. In fact, Haines gave a presentation during a training class that described his irrational behavior concerning having to be correct. In the class, he gave numerous examples that ranged from family vacations to holidays.

There was one fact that everyone could agree on after participating in training class. Haines was such a narcissist he believed that rationalizing his irrational behavior showed how tailored he was to his job and how people must adjust to him in order to have the chance stay at this job. He was so captivated with himself that he didn’t realize he had just proved he was every bit the ego maniac everyone has claimed he was. His belief is that his own erratic and self-absorbed behavior had become an asset to others historically and therefore was a virtue not a shortcoming. He will go into detail to members of the ECSO about his “virtue” and explain why everyone should appreciate it. He is willing to openly describe family events that would make him look transparent and human. The flaw in that logic is the assumption that his self-important narcissism is the presumption he is actually always right. His version of right must be universal in his own mind. Yet he cannot control the thinking of others. So, no matter how long he elaborates on how “right” he is, people may only acquiesce to shut him up, and never agree that he is truly right. More likely, he is only living in a delusion of “rightness” not the actuality of being always right.

Many of the horror stories from the ECSO begin with Haines and end with Haines. His career as a “law enforcement officer” is like comparing a Dr. Seuss to a cardiovascular surgeon. Haines has never completed a true investigation on any major crime. His law enforcement career consisted of going to school and being promoted. Unfortunately, he was not able to achieve much success as an officer. I say unfortunately, not because he wasn’t a good cop, some people just don’t have what it takes to effectively master the psychology of effectively doing the job. It is unfortunate because he must feel he has something to prove to all the people that have been good cops. It is possible Haines would have been different had he possessed the skills necessary to be a true LEO.

Haines tries to square his deficiencies by using power to bully people. This works some of the time. Haines recently asked for an opinion from the Attorney Generals Office. This is a process that is not uncommon. Often there will be a need for the AG to provide guidance to those navigating the law. I believe it would be unfair to criticize Haines for wanting an opinion before deciding on an issue. However, I would expect, if the AG is asked for an opinion, the issue would be extremely important. It would be an issue that would not be a waste of time for the office handling the request. This opinion would make the ECSO become more professional and provide better service to the citizens. Yet it is wrong to make that assumption, in this case.

Haines asked for an opinion concerning internal investigations. Haines wants an opinion that supports his belief to strip an employee of all 1st amendment rights, while under investigation. He has refused to allow union representatives and attorneys to speak during an internal investigation. The statute is clear and leaves no room restrict a person not accused of a crime and not in custody. Haines, in true malicious fashion, seeks an AG opinion when he is finally faced with a situation, he can’t use bully tactics to win. It is a tremendous amount of effort for a case that involves an employee NOT accused of any crime.

The real reason for the effort is Haines is losing the argument. He is hoping for an opinion from the AG that no one can debate. He wants anything but a loss in the situation. He shows no shame in wasting the tax dollars for the time of actual leaders doing a job expected by the taxpayers. Haines has one goal. WIN THE ARGUMENT!

This pathetic individual and his abusive tactics are no secret to Morgan. Morgan is complicit in this as well. His refusal to stand for what is lawful is criminal. Morgan has allowed poor leadership to adversely impact the future of law enforcement in our county. The ECSO has had hundreds of officers and civilians leave or be terminated from employment in less than three years. Haines admitted that the agency is actually losing 4 times the state average in employee loss.  One answer could be that the ECSO is just so unlucky that they get 4 times the derelict applicants than the rest of the state receives.  But that doesn’t explain the loss of double to triple digit veteran employees either forced to leave or forced into retirement. When you have a Chief Deputy that has never made a case or investigated a major crime the problem should be clear. He initiates or causes internal investigations to initiate on deputies when in fact, he has never successfully completed a real investigation. Exactly as it has been said, Haines under the misdirection of Morgan, is the problem. Neither has obtained any level of respect in their law enforcement career. Both are egotistical and self-serving. Both want to show people they have the power. Morgan ruined every relationship with any other agency and Haines destroyed the morale within the agency. Unknown amounts of money wasted and unknown costs to the community in these two inept men who happen to be in leadership positions without being leaders.

The tide is changing, according to people in the department. Morgan is seeing he is only a sheriff who doesn’t get to make every decision on a whim. He has been halted in his steps for the first time. We could be witnessing Morgan losing his Mojo. Haines gets to work on his biggest case ever. A case that will do nothing to reduce crime. A case that has no victim or property loss. A case where there is no crime committed. A case that Haines must be proven right even if it destroys another life or family. A sacrifice Haines is willing to make for the sake of his ego.

One thing in life is always true. The sun doesn’t shine on the same dogs’ ass every day. Eric, you know your time is coming. The lies and deceit that you have been a part of will all be answered in time. You will soon be in a place you are for sure not familiar with…………. court. A level playing field void of the many shadows you have become so accustomed to hiding. Soon a place that you will not be able to fire the people that point out your hypocritical and destructive style you have fashioned. I look forward to seeing you there. I wouldn’t miss the show.     

 

I wasn’t going to dignify this video with a response but I reconsidered. It is important to speak out when it is necessary and this video reverberates the lack of respect this man has for his constituents. This was an overblown social media story that was essentially a misunderstanding but instead of correcting the misperception, Sir David decided to mock and even arrest a constituent because this misunderstanding.

Without further adieu, the Famous Chicken Video….

The fact he is the citizen thought they heard a gunshot and it was simultaneously when the deputy rolled by with his window open. If you perhaps heard, then exactly what happened might be ambiguous. That being said the deputy didn’t stop to say check on the animal or attempt to locate the owner as he would have probably done had it been a conventional pet. The fact he didn’t stop added to the misunderstanding of what happened. Had he stopped, he could have cleared the situation up immediately. But instead, he drove away knowing that there were witnesses. The owner was subsequently arrested for filing a false police report because he stated the officer shot the chicken.

Morgan is effectively mocking his constituents and looks like an ass in doing so. This situation was unfortunate but it was preventable with clarification and by not belittling the situation or people involved. It shows how low Morgan is for assuming he is any better than anyone, particularly when this same deputy was allowed to resign last week after being caught in a prostitution sting involving him providing illegal drugs for sex.

Now view the moral high ground the Sheriff is taking. He sounds like a jackass for talking down to citizens and building the moral high ground for this deputy because he obviously above shooting a chicken, right?

Ridiculous and sad that the Escambia County Sheriff even says you should be glad he and his office have a “modicum of character and integrity” for NOT ARRESTING A DEPUTY WHO COMMITTED MULTIPLE FELONIES, BUT DID NOT SHOT A CHICKEN.

Public Safety in Pensacola is purely a fictitious concept. EMS, Fire and the Sheriff’s Office are in a tattered state of being. No one is truly safe. Between crooked deputies, the tentative fire department hierarchy and untrained and certified EMS, I pray for the citizens of my beloved hometown. It is truly sad to see such a vibrant and dynamic city (county) become equivalent to Detroit (Wayne County), Michigan or Baltimore, Maryland, cities run into the ground by its own governance.

While this sort of inward breakdown is frequently seen in international cities struggling with regime change or some sort of cataclysmic, covert act that throws the government into chaos, these few US cities have found loopholes to the checks and balances in place to prevent this type of chaos. Their steadfast manipulations have made the cities in precarious straits. It’s not just abandonment of fiduciary duties, it is abuse of staff, misdirection of actual events, and blind eyes being turned towards these behaviors by colleagues and political alliances. It has taken years for the cities to fall into this anarchy and thus it will take years to repair.

Surgically removing individuals that are the source of the bedlam, like Kwami Kilpatrick in Detroit (whose every connection within the local agency was self serving and against the interest of his constituency), is the prudent and most expedient way to handle these situations without the cities caving in. However, sometimes removing the causal or most contaminating force such as Kilpatrick, isn’t enough. Time has shown that this strategy wasn’t the most pragmatic way to handle that local corruption, especially in Detroit, because the support staff and remaining government outside the mayor’s office, had adopted a mindset that showed that there unable to proceed ethically and legitimately. To this day, Kwami is nevertheless considered a martyr in many circles, politically and otherwise. He maintains support and backers who have never seen the depravity and deterioration done and they don’t know what he did wrong. Unfortunately, it is my belief, this is the case in Escambia County.

What is the answer? I don’t know. That is for brains bigger than mine. But it is an emergency situation, where NO locals can fix the problems set in place over the last few years. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I started talking to people and heard about the political favors and backroom deals, I called it corruption and EVERY ONE I talked to would immediately say, “no, it’s not corruption; it’s just people doing “favors””. I would say, “so it’s corruption”, because that is the definition of corruption, going outside the laws and policies/procedures to do “favors” for personal, professional, or political gain. THAT IS CORRUPTION, even if these “favors” are seemingly, benignly done, at first.

The hiring of Janice Kilgore and Janice Gilley were opportunities missed to correct some of the persistent issues within the county. They were hired because they knew the people and issues. They can seamlessly be shifted into positions. But those things that make them good, immediate answers are the things that make them the exact wrong people for those jobs. Yes, hiring from the outside will take more time and there will be a learning period for whoever comes in but that time in choosing qualified outsiders is also an investment into anti-corruption measures for the future. Right now, the county is in the same position of scramble they historically find themselves in, just prior to or after a colossal uproar which will inevitably happen. Same cycle, different day. People who do not heed history are destined to repeat it and we are in for that one more time.

The most dangerous but most reliable way to handle the problems at hand today, is what I assume Governor DeSantis will be forced to do, purge all the constitutional officers and bring in people from the outside, with an absolute clean slate of support staff from other counties within the state. Each resignation, firing and investigation into the various essential departments will insure that DeSantis will be forced to intervene.

Public safety in Escambia County is officially a joke. EMS is falsifying certification, failing to train EMT’s. The fire department well, that is a known issue. They both fall under Public Safety in Escambia County.

In the past several days, Escambia County has seen changes in personnel at the management level. After some rumbling about poor leadership and questionable management practices individuals at the top levels are gone. The employees spoke out and received some well-deserved attention. The Escambia County Professional Firefighters, the representing union, took the initiative to act against labor practices that caused the employees to lose confidence in the leadership. The union brought attention to the problems that plagued the employees. The result was favorable to the employees and those performing inadequately in leadership positions are no longer hindering progress of those simply doing the job they are being paid to do.

The recent news is refreshing to many in other parts of the county working for inept leaders. The Escambia County Sheriffs Office is another example of a county agency void of effective leadership. The ECSO has been under the microscope for some length of time. Complaints of LET fund mishandling to numerous lawsuits of misconduct or mistreatment of employees are at a high never seen by any other Sheriff in this county.

The Northwest Florida Police Benevolence Association, the representing union for ECSO employees, could learn some moves from Professional Firefighters. If some action was taken by PBA to expose the corrupt practices that have become so common at the ECSO. The employees could work again with some degree of confidence the leadership had the ability to effectively lead the agency. Exposing the corruption would place in the open how ineffective and destructive David Morgan has been during his time as Sheriff.

The PBA was criticized during the budget debacle in 2018. Eric Haines used the leverage a raise would have on officers and open a contract that was not due to be negotiated. Haines lied to the BOCC and to any citizen that he tried to sway to his side of the argument. Haines was aware he could use the raise to strong arm the union. He didn’t care about the deputies getting a raise. He wanted to spend someone else’s money to achieve a diabolical goal of stripping the contract PBA had negotiated.

Haines argued continuously that the main problem facing the ECSO was officer retention. The truth is poor leadership is the cause of officers leaving the agency. The numbers do not show that the pay increase helped ECSO retain officers. The mass departure of experienced officers to other agencies continues to burden Haines. The main cause of failed leadership practices is the person that can determine the solution and there would be little expectation of Haines firing himself. He still believes he was an actual cop.

The Firefighters had less reason to complain than the officers at the ECSO. It is public knowledge that a Federal Judge has determined in a court decision that Haines had a bias toward female employees. It would be reasonable to believe that Haines should be removed from his position and Morgan should be investigated by the Governor. Any person in a leadership position should not be bias toward male or female. It is either ignorance or arrogance for Morgan to ignore the opinion found in court documents concerning Haines unprofessional behavior toward females. Morgan has the ultimate ability and a sworn duty to protect employees from predators like Haines.

The PBA should understand that sitting back playing catch up is not proven to be the best plan to achieve success. The ECSO has an observable history, with Morgan and Haines at the helm, that would demonstrate an absence of conscious and ability to take the agency into the future. The employees have the right to be protected by the union. The dues payments of the employees are for the purpose of job protection and PBA is responsible to attempt to provide that protection. All employees should call on the President of PBA to form a plan and seek a path that is best for employees. It can be done and was just proven to be an achievable goal by Professional Firefighters.

Kudos to the Firefighters for having the courage to make your own path and demand the leadership your professional talents deserve. Now the ECSO should be next to be evaluated, perhaps by the Governor as Doug Underhill suggested.

The most ironic part of that suggestion is that if the Governor does get involved it will be the entirety of local government that will be investigated including Underhill, who has been caught inappropriately using grant money to the tune of over $2m from the feds and state. He was asked to repay the money back to the county because he usurped money that he was not entitled to.

Bottom line, when you call 9-1-1, you are taking a huge risk of getting an inexperienced, poorly trained first responder, be it EMT, firefighter, or deputy. This is what the county is today.

Every time the public encounters a law enforcement officer, all the experience they have EVER had with police, ever seen other people have with police, and also every story they have ever heard are present. Every story they heard on the news about the breach of trust in overzealous and lawless cops are sins that every cop carries to every encounter. More times than not, the public lacks confidence that law enforcement will help them if they need it, make arrests if necessary to provide a measure of justice.

This has never been no truer than in recent years. In order for a community to feel safe and in turn, be safe, is to have a measure of trust that law enforcement assigned to guard them from harm is actually doing just that. The people must feel and see law enforcement as the good guys doing good work. When that ceases to be the case, public unrest leads to crimes against police, and vigilantism can develop to overcome the sense of helplessness when law enforcement is not there to help for one reason or another. This hurdle has to be addressed by leadership in law enforcement. Perception is reality to people.

Having said that, my hometown of Escambia County, Pensacola, Florida, is facing an epidemic of ECSO lawlessness. WEAR had a story last week about this same issue but the story you are about to read is a separate incident and it is a distressing story has come to me and frankly it should scare the hell out of everyone who lives in the county.

The details are that a neighbors’ squabble results in one neighbor calling ECSO on another playing loud noise on the porch. When the ECSO arrives, the music is off. No more issues, right? Wrong. Deputies arrive and unbeknownst to them, there are outside cameras. Watch for yourself.

The biggest problem here is the report of the incident here:

The two are not even partially the same. The report is pure fiction. Why is that? Because the resident involved called to report the stolen stereo. He spoke with Sgt. Jason Young, who told him that the deputies would NOT ARREST him for disorderly conduct and in exchange they would return his stereo. Arrest him? No crime was committed other than the stolen stereo. But this is the manipulation to act as if Young is doing the resident a favor, for in turn not making any waves about the stereo. This unfortunately is a common thing. Assuming people don’t know their rights and believe if a deputy does it, it must be legal is a fallacy that most in this ECSO administration count on.

This report shows the lengths of the cover up and perjury that several deputies entered into in this one incident. Frankly, if so many will risk their badge and effortlessly cover up something like this, one has to question what major things are handled just the same. This one act of a deputy committing, what amounts to, an armed robbery is white washed and covered up because it was thought the resident would not know their rights.

The most egregious part of this is that this resident is unemployed and not in a financial position to make a fuss. He’s a vulnerable citizen. When law enforcement abuses power, people, like this resident are typically the ones they abuse because the victims of their abuse are marginalized by a criminal history, poverty, or both. When people of power victimize the most marginalized in their charge, that is such a deep violation of public trust. No one is safe.

One of the most important founding elements of this country lies in the varying checks & balances. The Founding Fathers knew that it is likely that one entity or facet of government will overstep; therefore, another facet would have to oversee or sign off, as it were.

Strangely enough, the ECSO is not privy to any oversight on the bulk of their budget. The fundamental problem with that is the clear misappropriation of LET funds exposed over the years by this agency. Currently, they are still out of compliance with Florida Statute on that, because they are not following up with the receivers of state/county funds to make sure it was spent properly. That is one of the checks and balances to verify there is no misappropriation by the agencies in receipt of money spent by the county. It’s common practice to require follow up documentation to show where the money went. Most agencies have banned organizations from future funds if they refuse to comply with this follow up accounting. They are shut off from state/county money. Why is this necessary? Governmental accountability….plain and simple. Trust but verify, as Ronald Reagan said.

So we still have millions of dollars being unaccounted by the ECSO, then I find out through varying requests that there is so much more that the ECSO juggles that never sees oversight. With the LET records being dubious at best, and the deputy raises that were provided for by the county but never trickled down to the deputies over the past years (as exposed in the budget impasse of late) when will taxpayers and the county coffers demand accountability and hold the ECSO up to the fiduciary standard that the rest of the county is held to?

Consider this:

This agency can charge a fee for gathering public records if a request is made. Few requests will have any costs associated with the request. If a person is told there is an exorbitant fee for a record request that should garner attention. Unless the request is so labor intensive, or requests information not normally maintained, the majority of the public records requests are easily gathered. In today’s technology world records are available with a few keystrokes in most cases.

Recently, a question was raised about the Escambia County Sheriffs Office involving money. Specifically, where certain monies go, since there is no account that that the ECSO has to deposit into, such as a checking account. It is not something that shows up in the official budget. There must be existing records. Simple request, right? This public record should be answered in a matter of minutes. But, because the ECSO is the agency that has the record, it will no doubt be overcomplicated to jack up the “fees” associated with research, or they will simply state “no records exist”. These are the standard 2 answers when a public records request comes in for information, the agency does not want to disclose. Any request that would expose Morgan as the inept law enforcement official he is always is met with unprecedented push-back as well as any request that requires the ECSO to explain where they are hemorrhaging tax dollars will be met with resistance.

In this case, the money being properly unaccounted for is money related to off duty employment. The ECSO has a policy in place that defines what the procedure is for deputies working “off duty” employment. The policy has a minimum amount deputy will be paid. It also has what the deputy must do to be allowed to work “off duty” jobs. One requirement is that a deputy must pay a fee off two dollars an hour back to the ECSO. The ECSO keeps record of how many hours each deputy works each month.  The deputy is then sent a bill that is paid to the ECSO (cash only for a long time, but now they accept debit cards).

This is Accounting 101. Cash is paid to the ECSO and they could easily furnish records about transactions involving a bill and a payment. But how much money does the ECSO collect from the deputies that pay a fee for working off duty each month? Where does the money go after it is collected? Is it considered income for the ECSO? Is there a requirement to report this income to be taxed? Has it been reported? No trick questions there but important questions that require an answer from the ECSO.

Oh, and I have told repeatedly that the ECSO has no duty to answer questions–only provide public records. They “are not inclined to or have the responsibility to” answer questions, according to Chief Deputy Eric Haines. Oddly enough, every other facet of Escambia County government I have dealt with, including the state attorney’s office, is remarkably willing to answer any questions about process and procedure. It is just the ECSO that is not.

And as we know the ECSO has proven that they are not honest with money issues. It may seem as if off-duty money collected is not a substantial amount of money, but for example, Navy Federal Credit Union is a regular off duty job opportunity for the ECSO. Deputies working that job alone have paid over $1500 back to the ECSO. Now consider that Navy Federal is one of hundreds of locations that have deputies throughout the year. The amount of income collected from the deputies for off duty security employment is thousands of dollars each month. This should not be considered insignificant. There is a former Sheriff in prison for misappropriating taxpayer money. The amount of misappropriated funds in the other Sheriff’s case was far less than the funds in question here.

Shouldn’t the media get involved with this issue? We are talking about multiple millions of dollars. Just in the past week, a Grand Jury was not pleased or impressed with how Escambia County handles money issues or oversight of the money grossly mishandled in Century. The dollar amount in question with the ECSO is at least triple the amount of money being questioned in Century. Wouldn’t a grand jury be even more appalled to see the reckless lack of oversight of the ECSO? Is it not a concern of comptroller or county administrator that there is likely (based on the brief preview of the LET fund) mishandling of the amount of money involved here? Accountability about how funds are handled should be everyone’s priority. It is time to ask these questions as well as the questions, others have. If the media is not going to ask questions and hold officials accountable, the citizens must do it.

Look for updates concerning this topic. If anyone decides to make requests or has information about this, please feel free to share with everyone.      

Well, folks, it appears all the blocked/banned people can post on the ECSO FB page. No communication just quietly unblocked/unbanned. Score one for the good guys!

Also, I came across something today. It is something I already knew but it may be news to you. There is a packet of info circulating to the various news outlets. It’s referring to the upcoming Laura Montoya’s upcoming civil trial against Sheriff David Morgan, Chief Deputy Eric Haines, Fred Alford, and Ricky Shelby. Here is the cover page of the packet.




This morning, the first email I say in my Inbox was a letter that I had been waiting for…..the letter to the ECSO from the ACLU. I went to the ACLU last year when I received a public records request from ECSO (amazingly) with a list of all the “blocked & banned” people the ECSO had compiled, a list of people unable to comment on their Facebook page. I am on the banned list and I wondered how many people were. There were only a few who were banned like I was but the list of blocked profiles was extensive.

Banned List

So this was the lead story on the Channel 3 News tonight.

More to come as it transpires…….

In honor of today’s holiday, I read some of Dr. King’s speeches and am humbly inspired to say a few words.

In the “Beyond Vietnam” speech, I felt an affinity by the following words:


I come to this great magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization that brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.


A time comes when silence is betrayal. A true call to action is in those words. Silence is betrayal when that silence results in harm to any other person or people. That was the accord Dr. King must have felt. Those words ought to convict every person’s soul when they are read. Are we not all guilty of letting our silence betray another person?


The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.


Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us

POWERFUL WORDS! While the conflict mentioned is Vietnam and it is a horrific and confusing conflict at that, inwardly, we are all heart broken with the conflict around us.

Those that know me know that I have been re-investigating the Billings Case because something never seemed right to me about how that was said to have happened. I also knew Patrick Poff or as most know him Leonard “Patrick” Gonzalez Jr. I have made no secret of the fact, I had nothing but contempt for this man, but my conscience told me there was something wrong here. Then came the inevitable question, is Patrick worth saving? Many said, NO and justified it by saying “if he didn’t do this, he probably would have done something this bad in the future” or “if he didn’t do this, what hasn’t he been caught for that he IS guilty of?”.

Both of these justifications are flawed. Our justice system runs on the premise that the guilty should pay for the crimes they have been charged with. The crimes for which no one was “caught” are moot as are the crimes not committed yet. And in looking at this case, Pat was not the only one who was wronged, many of the others were too. I have no way of knowing for absolute sure if Pat is guilty, but I tell you that the one thing he didn’t get was a fair trial. Based on the evidence used to convict him, we should all be afraid for our own safety, because he is on Death Row and there is NO physical evidence, no legitimate eye witness; he didn’t own the gun used nor the vehicle seen in the famous video the ECSO destroyed.

None of these things happened to people who could defend themselves. All the people jailed had history of crimes, drug issues, were minorities, or were brain damaged, and all were indigent with the exception of Donnie Stallworth’s first 2 trials. But in the final trial, after being driven into indigency, he was convicted. That alone should be noted. Wayne Coldiron, a serial criminal and Pam Long are the only ones not in the racial minority. This case is a cookie cutter example of what is wrong with the justice system. Rush to judgment followed by stereotypical victimization of people who cannot defend themselves.


It is the biggest anathema among us—taking advantage of those who are marginalized (minorities, lower class, victims, people weakened by life for one reason or another). Wrongful conviction is ultimately the most consummate act because it takes the only thing broken people have left—freedom. In all exonerations, there are people who were aware of the misinformation that led to such convictions. Silence, indeed, betrayed the exonerees. Isn’t it likely that Dr. King would be advocating for those who have been convicted due their socio-economic status or race, rather than actual guilt?

I am highly disappointed in myself for the lack of postings I made on this blog. So many things happened last year.

– The CFO of the ECSO was MIA for months and no one could ask about him.

-Morgan publicly showed his ass regarding pay for the deputies that his agency kept.

-Scott Trotter, a Democrat, united many Republicans & Democrats in an effort to overthrow the ineffectual, pathological liar, Doug Underhill. This was unprecedented in this political climate in the Panhandle. While the media perpetuates the flames of division in partisan politics, in Escambia County, the opposite was happening. People with differences put them aside to make the community better. Despite having lost, Trotter brought about a way of cooperation that could be longstanding in the community. That is huge.

-Morgan was slapped on his hand regarding LET money but with the incoming BOCC Chairman, Lumon May, this may have only been a temporary measure. Lumon backslid after the election. His flip-flopping view on Underhill and his ways of deceiving the BOCC have all been forgotten by May and Underhill and Morgan are his BFF’s again. A step backwards for the county, indeed.

-The continuation of convicting people, who are likely not guilty of the crimes they are convicted, continued. Robert Howard, the man arrested for murdering Naomi Jones, is possibly being wrongly convicted. In looking at her autopsy, it is impossible to call her death murder. Her hyoid bone is in tact…due to marine predation (animal feeding) there is no evidence of sexual assault either. This guy may be guilty but her autopsy does not support that. Yet he will likely be convicted due the media and law enforcement comments to the public.

Mary Rice is another one that is probably not guilty of the murders for which she was convicted of. Most certainly, according to deputies, Morgan is responsible for Kayla Crocker’s murder. Morgan ineptness as an LEO led to not searching woods close to Crocker’s home that Boyette and Rice were indeed hiding in. Morgan was convinced the ditched car next to woods was a result of Boyette ditching the car to get on the adjacent interstate. He refused to use resources made available to him to search the woods. Deputies frustrated by this decision called me from the location. They thought it was worth investigating and Morgan said to stand down. This decision resulted into Crocker’s murder. Yet somehow Mary Rice is more culpable than Morgan.

-A good friend of mine, and a hell of a reporter, Hayley Minogue of WKRG was summarily fired after being transferred from Pensacola to Mobile coverage after she pissed off Sir David in a Naomi Jones press conference by asking him what he thought the motive of her motive was. Morgan’s classic response, “I am a law enforcement officer. I don’t care why…..I leave the whys to the psychologists and the script writers.”

The insane part of that statement is that motive is usually the one thing that leads to an arrest. Motive is stepping stone to catching the suspect. Was it a sexual predator? Was there a personal riff that ended in accidental death? was this a suicide? The “why” always factors in to the “who did it”. That is why mens rea (intent) is so important; it is one of the elements of a crime and successful prosecution. If you don’t have a why, then anyone in proximity could be arrested as a potential killer. It is the why that narrows and eliminates the field of persons of interest. Anybody that has ever watched “Law & Order”, “Matlock” or “Perry Mason” knows that..it isn’t rocket science, yet ye olde sheriff doesn’t care what the why is.

But I digress, Morgan felt humiliated by Minogue’s why question and blackballed WKRG from info from the ECSO. Minogue was re-assigned to Mobile and later fired. Ironically, as soon as she was fired, WKRG came off the blacklist at the ECSO. Funny how that works.

After all these things happened, the bumbling Sheriff still has pull in the county. I think the citizens should scrutinize that for themselves.


Two days ago, a federal judge, Beth Bloom, dismissed a lawsuit filed by 15 students in Parkland against 6 defendants, including the Broward County Sheriff’s Office & Scot Peterson, a deputy who observed the massacre but refused to enter the school to prevent further deaths. Judge Bloom found there to be no legal obligation to protect children not in police custody.

” The claim arises from the actions of Cruz, a third party, and not a state actor. Thus, the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz. As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-finds-schools-sheriffs-officials-had-no-constitutional-duty-to-protect-parkland-students/

This is in direct conflict with a ruling a few days ago by Circuit Court Judge, Patti Englander Henning, who refused to dismiss a civil suit in state court for the same reasoning. Henning said Peterson had ” an obligation to act reasonably” in his capacity as an officer at the school during the shooting.

This entire line of thinking that the Sheriff’s office had no “legal obligation to protect” those students is asinine. As a duty to his community, not only did he have a legal obligation to do all that he could to save lives but a moral obligation that comes with the badge he took an oath for; you know, to serve and protect. In doing my own research, I found an advisory opinion by


Number: AGO 89-62
Date: September 15, 1989
Subject: Officer’s duty to provide aid to ill or injured

Mr. Michael A. Berg
Chairman
Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission
Post Office Box 1489
Tallahassee, Florida 32302

RE: LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS–POLICE OFFICERS–CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS–GOOD SAMARITAN ACT–MUNICIPALITIES—duty of law enforcement or correctional officers to provide emergency aid to ill, injured, or distressed persons not in police custody. ss. 768.13, 768.28 F.S.

Dear Mr. Berg:

You have asked for my opinion on the following questions:

1. Does a law enforcement officer have a legal duty to provide aid to ill, injured, and distressed persons, who are not in police custody, during an emergency?

a. If yes, are the provisions of s. 768.13, F.S., as amended by Ch. 89-71, Laws of Florida, the Good Samaritan Act, applicable to officers acting within the scope of their employment?

b. If no, is s. 768.13, F.S., supra, applicable?

2. Is a police officer protected from liability by the “Good Samaritan Act” if rendering emergency aid to persons not in police custody while off-duty?

3. Is a correctional officer protected from liability by the Good Samaritan Act if rendering emergency aid to persons not in custody while off-duty?

4. What standard of care is required of law enforcement and correctional officers rendering emergency aid within the scope of their employment? While off-duty?

5. What are the limits of liability for an officer, a supervisor, an employing agency, and the officer’s first responder instructor if the emergency aid rendered is less than the established standard of care?

In sum:

1. and 2. A law enforcement officer, including a police officer, has a legal duty to provide aid to ill, injured, and distressed persons who are not in police custody during an emergency whether the law enforcement officer is on-duty or acting in a law enforcement capacity off-duty. Thus, the Good Samaritan Act does not apply to such officers.

3. A correctional officer is not a peace officer and, therefore, does not have a legal duty to provide aid to ill, injured, and distressed persons. As a volunteer, a correctional officer would be covered under the Good Samaritan Act to the extent provided therein from liability for civil damages as a result of such care or treatment.

4. The standard of care required of law enforcement and correctional officers rendering emergency aid whether on-duty or off-duty is the same: to render such competence and skill as he or she possesses.

5. A law enforcement officer rendering emergency aid to ill, injured, or distressed persons on-duty or acting in a law enforcement capacity while off-duty is acting within the scope of his or her employment. The liability of the officer and his or her employing agency would, therefore, be subject to the terms and limitations of s. 768.28, F.S. A correctional officer providing emergency aid acts as a volunteer and would be protected by the Good Samaritan Act. The provisions of s. 768.28, F.S. (1988 Supp.), would not apply because the correctional officer is acting outside the scope of his or her employment. I am not aware of, nor have you brought to my attention, a situation in which the supervisor or the first responder instructor of a law enforcement or correctional officer would be liable for the actions of an officer providing emergency assistance to an injured, ill, or distressed person.

You have asked that this office reconsider the conclusion expressed in AGO 78-140 that a municipal police officer has a common law duty to render aid to ill, injured, or distressed persons during an emergency. Your request is based on a change in the judicially created test to determine a governmental employer’s liability under s. 768.28, F.S. (1988 Supp.), for the actions of its employee/agents. The holdings in these cases are based on the distinction between operational and planning level activities.[1] While AGO 78-140 was rendered prior to the change in this area of the law expressed by The Florida Supreme Court in Commercial Carrier Corporation v. Indian River County, 371 So.2d 1010 (Fla. 1979), the common law duty of a law enforcement officer as identified in AGO 78-140 continues to be viable, and, as discussed herein, appears to have been extended.

Your letter states that the relevant training required for basic certification as a law enforcement officer or correctional officer is the 40 hour First Responder Training Course developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Questions One and Two

Your first and second questions are interrelated and will be answered together.

Florida’s “Good Samaritan Act” provides in part that:

“Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor’s office, or other place having proper medical equipment, without objection of the injured victim or victims thereof, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent man would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.”[2]

Generally, in the absence of a contractual, special professional, or trustee relationship or a statutory requirement, a person is not under a legal duty to assist or care for the injured when the injury is not due to the fault of the person sought to be charged.[3]

The term “law enforcement officer” is defined in several statutory sections.[4] The most comprehensive definition is found in s. 943.10(1), F.S., which states that:

“‘Law enforcement officer’ means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof; who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. This definition includes all certified supervisory and command personnel whose duties include, in whole or in part, the supervision, training, guidance, and management responsibilities of full-time law enforcement officers, part-time law enforcement officers, or auxiliary law enforcement officers but does not include support personnel employed by the employing agency.”[5]

Thus, it does not appear that the Legislature has distinguished between municipal police officers and law enforcement officers in general and the statutory duties and responsibilities, as well as the training, of all law enforcement officers are comparable.

In AGO 78-140 this office considered a Florida appellate court holding that a sheriff’s officer is charged with the common law duty to render aid in emergencies to the ill, the injured, or the distressed, and concluded that in view of this holding municipal police officers are under a legal duty to provide such aid.

In Webster v. State,[6] the district court held that the right of officers of the sheriff’s department to enter and to investigate in an emergency situation, without an accompanying intent to seize or arrest, “is inherent in the very nature of their duties as peace officers and derives from the common law.” Thus, no search warrant was required to legalize an entry by police for the purpose of rendering aid to an injured or distressed person, “their duty certainly being to effect a rescue or to render aid to someone whom they had reasonable belief was in dire peril.” The Webster court declared that it is part of the nature and duty of a police officer, derived from the common law duties of a peace officer, to render aid in emergency situations. Subsequent Florida court decisions have upheld warrantless searches and seizures based on this common law duty of police officers.[7]

A “peace officer” is generally defined to “include[s] sheriffs and their deputies, constables, marshals, members of the police force of cities, and other officers whose duty is to enforce and preserve the public peace.”[8] (e.s.)

Thus, the common law duty to render aid to an ill, injured, or distressed person would appear to apply to all law enforcement officers whose duty it is to enforce and preserve the public peace not just police or sheriff’s officers.

However, the authority of a law enforcement officer is subject to territorial limitations.[9] As a general rule, the authority of a law enforcement officer is coextensive with the boundaries of his employing agency and, when acting outside his or her jurisdiction, a law enforcement officer possesses no more authority to act than a private citizen.[10]

Thus, as the power of a law enforcement officer to act as a peace officer is coextensive with his or her territorial jurisdiction, the common law duty of such officer to render aid in emergency situations would also be subject to such limitations and a law enforcement officer would act as a private citizen otherwise.

At the discretion of their superior officers, all certified law enforcement officers have the right to carry, on or about their persons, concealed firearms, during off-duty hours[11] and may perform the same law enforcement functions that they normally perform during duty hours, utilizing their weapons in a manner which is reasonably expected of on-duty officers in similar situations.[12]

The officers specified in s. 790.052(1), F.S., may act as peace officers while off-duty and perform law enforcement functions. Therefore, these officers, although off-duty, would continue to be subject to the common law duty to render aid which applies to an on-duty officer to the extent they are performing law enforcement functions.[13]

Because a law enforcement officer is under a common law duty to render aid while on-duty and when acting in a law enforcement capacity while off-duty, the provisions of s. 768.13, F.S. (1988 Supp.), Florida’s Good Samaritan Act, would not be applicable.[14]

Question Three

A correctional officer is defined as:

“[A]ny person who is appointed or employed full time by the state or any political subdivision thereof, or by any private entity which has contracted with the state or county, and whose primary responsibility is the supervision, protection, care, custody, and control, or investigation, of inmates within a correctional institution; however, the term “correctional officer” does not include any secretarial, clerical, or professionally trained personnel.”[15]

Because the duties and responsibilities of a correctional officer are directed to the supervision, protection, and control of inmates within the correctional system of this state rather than the general public, I cannot conclude that such officers are under the common law duty to aid the injured, ill, or distressed in an emergency as are law enforcement officers.[16]

Thus, as a correctional officer is not under a common law duty to render aid in emergencies to ill, injured, or distressed persons, he or she acts as a volunteer outside the scope of employment when rendering such aid off-duty.[17] Pursuant to the Good Samaritan Act, if a correctional officer provides emergency care and aid in good faith and in a reasonably prudent manner, he or she would be immune from liability provided that such care is rendered at the scene of an emergency outside of a place with proper emergency equipment and without the objection of the victim.

Question Four

I am aware of, and you have called to my attention, no Florida case law which prescribes a standard of care to be used by law enforcement or correctional officers rendering emergency aid. However, the following general comments may be of assistance to you.

The Good Samaritan Act prescribes as the standard of care for purposes of that statute the responsibility to “act[s] as an ordinary reasonably prudent man would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.”[18]

General authority suggests that the duty of one who voluntarily undertakes to care for and assist an ill or injured person is the same as that of one who is legally obligated to render such care or assistance.[19]

One who is under a duty to care for an ill or injured person is bound to use reasonable or ordinary care and to have a proper regard for the safety of such person, and is liable for further injury resulting from lack of proper care. The generally accepted rule is that one who provides relief or assistance to an ill, injured, or helpless person is under a legal obligation to use reasonable care and prudence in what he does. In such case the measure of the duty assumed is to exercise ordinary or common humanity, or to exercise with reasonable care such competence and skill as he possesses, or to exercise such care in the treatment of the injured person as the circumstances will allow.[20]

As discussed above, law enforcement officers are under a legal duty to render emergency aid to the injured, ill, or distressed whether such officers are on-duty or acting in a law enforcement capacity while off-duty. Thus, a law enforcement officer who renders emergency assistance to an injured, ill, or distressed person must exercise with reasonable care such competence and skill as he possesses, i.e., such skill as a person with 40 hours of “first responder training” would possess.

A correctional officer rendering aid in an emergency situation would be held to the same duty of care, i.e., commensurate with the competence and skill he or she possesses, but such officer acts as a volunteer outside the scope of his or her employment when rendering such aid.

Question Five

Section 768.28(1), F.S. (1988 Supp.), provides in part that an action at law may be brought against the state and its agencies or subdivisions to recover damages in tort for injuries caused by the negligent acts of an employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, if a private person would be liable under the same circumstances. Since the actions of a law enforcement officer in rendering aid in emergencies would be within the scope of his or her employment, the agency employing the officer may be liable for the actions of its employee.[21] A law enforcement officer, however, would not be subject to personal liability in tort for any injuries or damages suffered as a result of any act or omission of action done within the scope of his employment or function unless he acted in bad faith, or with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.[22] Any liability of an employing agency of a law enforcement officer would be limited to the monetary limits set forth in s. 768.28(5), F.S. (1988 Supp.), which are currently provided to be $100,000 for any claim or judgment by any one person or $200,000 for all claims or judgments paid by the state or its agencies or subdivisions arising out of the same incident or occurrence.[23]

A correctional officer, who is under no legal duty to render emergency aid, acts as a volunteer outside the scope of his or her employment when rendering such aid. Therefore, a correctional officer may be held personally liable for injuries resulting from his actions or omission of action unless he is held immune under the terms of the Good Samaritan Act.[24] A correctional officer who in good faith and in a reasonably prudent manner provides care and aid at the scene of an emergency, without any duty to do so, would be immune from liability provided that he or she renders such care outside of a place with proper emergency equipment and without the objection of the injured person.[25]

However, the employing agency would not be liable pursuant to s. 768.28, F.S. (1988 Supp.), for the torts or negligence of a correctional officer under such circumstances as the officer is not acting within the scope of his or her employment.

I am not aware of, nor have you related, any situation in which the supervisor of either a law enforcement officer or correctional officer or the first responder instructor of such officer would be held personally liable for the actions of an officer in providing emergency aid.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Butterworth
Attorney General

RAB/tgh

———————————————————–

[1] Everton v. Willard, 468 So.2d 936 (Fla. 1985) (relating to the discretionary judgmental decision of making an arrest under the police power of a governmental entity); Rodriguez v. City of Cape Coral, 451 So.2d 513 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1984), approved, 468 So.2d 963 (Fla. 1985) (neither a city nor a city police officer may be held liable for the exercise of discretion in not taking an intoxicated person into protective custody under s. 396.072[1], F.S. [1977]); Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services v. Yamuni, 529 So.2d 258 (Fla. 1988) (wherein the Court considered the distinction between operational and planning level activity in regard to actions of HRS case workers investigating and responding to reports of child abuse pursuant to Ch. 39, F.S.).

[2] Section 768.13(2)(a), F.S. (1988 Supp.).

[3] See 65 C.J.S. Negligence ss. 4(4), 4(9) (duty, breach of which may constitute negligence, must be a legal duty); 63(104), and 63(107). See also Modlin v. City of Miami Beach, 201 So.2d 70 (Fla. 1967) (fundamental element of actionable negligence is the existence of a duty owed by person charged with negligence to person injured); Drady v. Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, 193 So.2d 201 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1966) (negligence is a breach of a legal duty).

[4] See ss. 112.531, 316.1906, and 943.10, F.S.

[5] Compare ss. 316.1906(1)(d)1., and 112.531(1), F.S., defining “law enforcement officers.”

[6] Webster v. State, 201 So.2d 789, 792 (4 D.C.A. Fla., 1967).

[7] See State v. Moses, 480 So.2d 146, 148 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1985) (“[Officer] was responding to an emergency, fulfilling a function stemming from the common law role of police as ‘peace officers'”); and Campbell v. State, 477 So.2d 1068 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1985).

[8] Black’s Law Dictionary 1287 (rev. 4th ed. 1968).

[9] See generally 40 Fla. Jur.2d Police, Sheriffs, and Constables s. 118 (municipal police officers); 80 C.J.S. Sheriffs and Constables s. 36 (sheriffs).

[10] See AGO 71-72; State v. Schuyler, 390 So.2d 458 (3 D.C.A. Fla., 1980) (An off-duty municipal police officer outside his jurisdiction has no right of arrest other than as a private citizen. A private person has a common law right to arrest a person who commits a felony in his presence, or to arrest a person where a felony has been committed, and where the arresting citizen has probable cause to believe, and does believe, the person arrested to be guilty.). Cf. ss. 901.18 and 901.25, F.S., which specifically authorize a municipal police officer to exercise police powers outside the territorial limits of his municipality under specified circumstances such as fresh pursuit or when summoned by another officer.

[11] Law enforcement and correctional officers as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (6), (7), (8), or (9), F.S., are included within the scope of this statute. Thus, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and such officers as are auxiliary or part-time officers are authorized to carry concealed firearms during off-duty hours. Compare Garner v. Saunders, 281 So.2d 392 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1973) (in action against city and its insurers for injuries sustained by plaintiff when he was shot by a policeman who had completed his normal daily tour of duty and who was required by city regulations to be on duty at all times and to always be in possession of a firearm, issue of material fact existed as to whether policeman was acting within scope of his employment).

[12] Section 790.052(1), F.S.

[13] Cf. Minard v. Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 418 So.2d 288, 289 (3 D.C.A. Fla., 1982), wherein the court held that an off-duty state trooper had no duty to stop the car of a hit-and-run driver when the driver of the car had done nothing that would have caused the highway patrolman to stop the car had he been on-duty. While the court stated that the off-duty officer was not obligated to follow the car of the hit-and-run driver, it stated that “in fact, his responsibility was to render aid to the injured [victim]. . . .” (e.s.) The state trooper was off-duty at the time, driving his private car and was dressed in civilian clothes; compare Curtis v. Bulldog Leasing Company, Inc., 513 So.2d 238 (4 D.C.A. Fla., 1987) (off-duty municipal police officer who was outside his jurisdiction and on his way to work when he observed accident, who stopped to inquire if anyone was hurt, and who remained on the scene pending arrival of highway patrol was acting as a Good Samaritan and not within the scope of his employment for purposes of s. 768.28[1], F.S.).

[14] See 81A C.J.S. States s. 126(c) (a “good samaritan” statute exempting an individual from liability for negligence in attempted rescue does not protect a state officer who is under a duty to assist person in need of care.)

[15] Section 943.10(2), F.S. And see s. 112.531(2), F.S., which defines “Correctional Officer” for purposes of the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights.

[16] Cf. AGO 74-38 (Employees of the Division of Corrections who render emergency care in a reasonably prudent manner to a visitor injured on institutional grounds are immune from civil liability where treatment is provided outside of a hospital, doctor’s office, or other place having proper medical equipment and without objection by the injured victim.)

[17] This is not to imply that a correctional officer may not be under a constitutional or statutory duty to render aid in emergencies to ill, injured, or distressed inmates while on-duty.

[18] Section 768.13(2)(a), F.S. (1988 Supp.).

[19] See generally 65 C.J.S. Negligence s. 63(107).

[20] Id.

[21] See AGO 78-140 wherein the issue of liability of a municipality for the actions of a police officer who renders assistance in an emergency is discussed.

[22] Section 768.28(9), F.S. (1988 Supp.).

[23] Section 768.28(5), F.S. (1988 Supp.).

[24] Cf. AGO 78-140.

[25] See Botte v. Pomeroy, 438 So.2d 544 (4 D.C.A. Fla., 1983), rev. den., 450 So.2d 488 (Fla. 1984), app. after remand, 497 So.2d 1275 (4 D.C.A. Fla., 1986), rev. den., 508 So.2d 15 (Fla. 1987), in which the appellate court discusses the necessity of consent of the injured person to assistance when the rescuer is using the Good Samaritan Act as a defense against a negligence action.

http://www.myfloridalegal.com/ago.nsf/Opinions/85E4F114E318503185256570006E05B3

So what is painfully obvious is that Judge Bloom is not familiar with Butterworth’s ruling explicitly providing that it is legally required that an officer protect and render aid which is precisely what Peterson did not do.

So Morgan and Haines may be held to task for their gross misconduct by a former employee Laura Montoya, a Hispanic female.  One last settlement conference was yesterday and there was no real settlement offered and now it is on to jury trial. Montoya is the only employee out of the many who hasn’t settled, or given up on this long formidable legal proceedings. Congratulations, Laura!!!
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
PENSACOLA DIVISION
LAURA MONTOYA,
Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID MORGAN, Individually and
in His Official Capacity as Sheriff
Escambia County, Florida; ERIC
HAINES, Individually; RICKY
SHELBY, Individually; and FRED
ALFORD, Individually,
Defendants.
________________

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF

No. 78, is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, as follows:
1. Summary Judgment is GRANTED on all claims of race discrimination
and GRANTED for Defendant Alford on all claims;
2. Summary Judgment on Count I and Count II (First Amendment Retaliation) is GRANTED;
3. Summary Judgment on Count III (Equal Protection/gender) (Defendant
Sheriff , official capacity) is DENIED as to the demotion, GRANTED
as to the termination;
4. Summary Judgment on Count IV (Equal Protection/gender) (Individual
Capacities) is GRANTED for Alford on all claims, GRANTED for Shelby, Haines, and Morgan on claims respecting the termination decision, GRANTED on grounds of qualified immunity for Shelby, Haines, and Morgan on the demotion decision, and GRANTED
as to Shelby, Haines, and Morgan on the hostile work environment claim;
5. Summary Judgment on Count V (Gender Discrimination/Title VII and FCRA) (Defendant Sheriff, official capacity) is DENIED;
6. Summary Judgment on Count VI (Gender-Based Hostile Work Environment/Title VII and FCRA) (Defendant Sheriff, official capacity) is GRANTED;
7. Summary Judgment on Count VII (Race Discrimination) is GRANTED;
8. Summary Judgment on Count VIII (Race-Based Hostile Work Environment) is
GRANTED;
9. Summary Judgment on Count IX (Retaliation/Title VII and FCHR)(Defendant Sheriff, official capacity) is GRANTED;
10. Summary Judgment on Count X (Conspiracy, Section 1985) and Counts XI
and XII (Section 1986) is GRANTED.
Trial will be scheduled by separate order.
DONE AND ORDERED this 30th day of September 2018
M. CASEY RODGERS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Let the games begin…get these “honorable” citizens under oath. The lies will then begin flowing.  The people can then pass judgment.

Recently promotions were made at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Congratulations to one that deserved the promotion. Sgt. Tom Kelly was promoted and now Is Lt. Kelly. This IS an actual promotion that should have happen and Lt. Kelly can perform at a level expected by the officers under his command. He will be an example of leadership and professionalism. Many officers will have a chance to observe real supervision, that has become folk lore at the ECSO, for the first time in their career.                    ‘

Now, let’s talk about another– Lt. Frank Forte was promoted to 1st Lt Forte. While Frank will brag as if he had the winning numbers to the Mega PowerBall about this promotion but it is truly lackluster when compared to the other promotions. In fact, anybody should be insulted if they are compared to Forte. He has performed every cut throat task with diligence second to none, except maybe Morgan.  He was passed over for promotion when those promoted had half the years of experience as he does and they were promoted to much higher positions. Because Frank lacks morals and integrity, he was promoted to a position that will allow him to be used. He will carry water for Haines and allow plausible deniability when Haines deploys one of his search and destroy missions. Add the fact that Frank is a documented liar and Haines has the perfect minion for his devious duty assignments. Frank is incompetent, dishonest, and vindictive. All the boxes are checked for what Haines expects from a person running Internal Affairs Investigations.

It could be also that Frank needed to be removed from any position that allowed further destruction of an already weak morale level of current employees. Frank has also been called out for offering rewards for law enforcement activity when assigned to a shift. His failed leadership style reduced him to paying, presumably from his own pocket, and what officers are already hired to do. A law enforcement leader should know that is improper and that process should alert those with decision making authority to look for a problem. A  quick glance would reveal Frank had to bribe officers with gifts to request an assignment to his command and he paid officers extra to simply do their job. This conduct does not have any characteristic of what one would consider a valuable leadership tool.

Now, to another individual that was promoted—Lt. Ken Simmons. He was elevated to the rank of captain. It appears he has begun to reap the rewards of a relative (Chip Simmons -Sheriff candidate and current Chief Deputy) being in high places. His career has been less than notable to this point. He has few qualities that separate him from the pack and a reputation that is less than honorable. No special training, education or accomplishment that would qualify him for advancement ahead of others except for having a brother as Chief Deputy. The obvious question would be if this is a nepotism violation. I believe the law concerning nepotism is clear and this will be a promotion that is reversed in time. Haines would know this but agreed to not fight it so he could avoid being blamed at a future time.

Moving along there are 3 sergeant position that were elevated to captain or above and a  deputy position elevated to captain. One would pause to wonder how you promote sergeants all of whom were inadequate for a lieutenant’s position to a staff position. That is a kick to the teeth of the good officers that earned their position on the list for lieutenants. I assume the message to the ones that took the time to study for a test and dedicate the time to do well is, don’t waste your time and become a member of staff. Apparently, staff is seeking known failures and skipping the process to discover the individuals promoted are failures. This idea of leadership is the reason the ECSO has evolved into an agency that is ineffective and embarrassing to the citizens it serves.

There will be more to report soon. The monster that is known as David Morgan will continue to allow the destruction of the ECSO by the hands of Haines. He will continue to claim victory when placing last and fail to build leaders tasked with protecting our county. If Chip continues to ignore these failures and associate himself with this failed administration, as he has consistently done since taking his oath, he will prove he is not the person we should support for our next law enforcement leader. Some may even believe he is just a continuation of Morgan. The rumors of infidelity could be true and Haines has the relevant information to control Chip. There are few facts to support Chip being worthy of election at this point. There are many facts to cause one to believe he is only an extension of the failed Morgan administration. A brother is promoted, failed first line supervisors brought into the administration, failure to be a leader when deputies’ rightful raises were being extorted, rumors of infidelity being leveraged against Chip, and Chip is silent all the way through it all. That adds up to incompetence or corruption. Chip should either speak up or step away from Morgan. Staying the course he is on, only indicates he is the wrong person for the job.

The following ECSO Personnel Orders have been issued:

2018-369              PROMOTION – Effective 10/20/2018, Sergeant Thomas Michael Kelly, #082, to Lieutenant, new radio number #046, remain assigned Administration/Professional Standards/Training

2018-370              RANK DESIGNATION – Effective 10/20/2018, Lieutenant Frank Michael Forte, #024, to 1st Lieutenant, remain assigned Uniformed Services/NO/P4/F Shift

2018-371              PROMOTION – Effective 10/20/2018, 1st Lieutenant Darrell Scott Allday, #036, to Captain, new radio number #017, remain assigned Administration/Professional Standards

2018-372              PROMOTION – Effective 10/20/2018, 1st Lieutenant Kenneth Alan Simmons, #029, to Captain, new radio number #016, remain assigned Community Services/SRO

2018-373              RANK DESIGNATION – Effective 10/20/2018, Captain Mindy Marie Von Ansbach Young, #018, to Colonel, new radio number #009, remain assigned Community Services/Court Security

2018-374            RANK DESIGNATION – Effective 10/20/2018, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Eric Ross, #011, to Colonel, new radio number #008, remain assigned Investigations/Special Investigations

Danielle L Landrum, PHR, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Associate II

*Dawn Janes was also promoted from Sgt to Major, although not on this list. 

Now, this is just inflammatory to most deputies, but it is possibly the way Sir David may be using to manipulate his #2. Above there is one name in red, Kenneth Simmons, Chip Simmons’s younger brother. The problem with his promotion is a very strongly upheld and broadly defined anti-nepotism law in Florida which may obfuscate the horizon for Chip.

The law states:

A public official is prohibited from seeking for a relative any appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in the agency in which he or she is serving or over which the official exercises jurisdiction or control. No person may be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in an agency if such action has been advocated by a related public official who is serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency; this includes relatives of members of collegial government bodies. NOTE: This prohibition does not apply to school districts (except as provided in Sec. 1012.23, Fla. Stat.), community colleges and state universities, or to appointments of boards,other than those with land‐planning or zoning responsibilities, in municipalities of fewer than 35,000 residents. Also, the approval of budgets does not constitute “jurisdiction or control” for the purposes of this prohibition.

In the ECSO administration, it is POSSIBLE that Chip wasn’t behind this promotion for his brother, but the anti-nepotism law as it has been interpreted by the Ethics Commission and the Attorney General, really doesn’t take that into consideration. He merely must have been in a position to give input. Just the fact that someone has the potential to influence a promotion for a relative (deserved or not) is a violation of Florida law, in public agencies.

Now it is my suspicion is that Sir David will be running for Sheriff for 2020.  This is based on him not being able to go back to being John Q. Citizen. Without the power of the position, Morgan is just a common crook with no influence.  It simply isn’t possible for him to give up that addiction. For that reason, after backing Chip, it would appear that Chip’s extra-marital affairs and perhaps this nepotism issue with his brother are going to be used to leverage Chip out of the Sheriff position.

Because of the corruption in this area, if Morgan files his papers to run, he will win. His benefactors have him on the payroll and to break in a new Sheriff would be inconvenient. Morgan is already bought and paid for, why risk someone else stepping in that might clean up the corruption?  Personally, I don’t think Chip has the stones to do anything like that but he may be less controllable than Morgan.

Chip hasn’t even smelled the smoke, yet the house of cards under him is slowly burning away.

chip on fire

 

 

 

 

The following email was sent to the admin of the ECSO weeks ago; the commentary below is from a source inside the agency after seeing no response by admin.

 

I am aware of the investigation that has started on Col. Custer. I believe that if an investigation is being completed all involved should be part of the investigation. Much of our problems are with the staff members at the office acting one way and judging others when they do the same thing.

All witnesses should be interviewed in the investigation with Col. Custer. This would include Capt. Dixon and her boyfriend Dep. Hall. They had a party at their house for a football game one Thursday night. Col. Custer and Katie were invited and came to the party. They spent the night there after the party. Capt. Dixon and Dep. Hall both knew that happen and allowed it. Capt. Dixon knows Col. Custer’s wife and knows that it was not right to allow two married people spend the night in the home. Both spouses know about this and could verify it is true. If they are not continuing to talk with you there are others. Unless a real effort is placed into this there would be no need to provide that evidence at this time. It would only expose those employees to the likely possibility of losing their job.

This behavior speaks to the lack of values for most of the staff and the double standards that are always displayed. She should not be able to make decisions on our future when she is involved in such poor decisions in her own personal life. Her assistance with allowing an illicit rendezvous to occur jeopardizing two families is deplorable.

Also, Whitney Lucas should be interviewed. Her husband Jake should be allowed to give his thoughts too. If you are wondering how these fits in it is easily explained. Whitney and Katie are best friends. Whitney has been involved in an affair for over two years. Her affair that is continuing is with Chief Simmons. Jake doesn’t want to report the incidents that he knows of because he fears losing his job and causing a divorce with his wife. It is very reasonable to assume he could feel this way when the possibility is Chief Simmons is the next sheriff and he works at the office.

None of the issues with Chief Simmons were going to be brought out at this time because the intent was to expose him closer to the election. The decision was to expose all now because so many families are now involved. This issue goes beyond politics.

Chief Haines knew of this affair that Chief Simmons was having before the recent events. He should be removed from any dealing with any investigations because as he puts it “that money in the bank” and knows he can use it to his advantage. He is constantly involved in these situations and always gets out of it because he is part of the problem.

This information is being provided so the office can clean up the mess we are in. This is the perfect time to remedy many problems. This issue can absolutely be proved provided a legitimate investigation occurs. You will find many other witnesses and evidence if any type of effort is made to find truth.

Commentary by source:

The ECSO is often found at the center of decisions that are questionable at best. There appears to be no consistency in how decisions are made. Discipline is an area that should be consistent. There should be predictable outcome to any issue that has been dealt with in past incidents. The activity of the ECSO administration has routinely acted inconsistent with several issues.

The above email was sent to the ECSO that outlined facts that would concern any reasonable administration. The email was detailed and would allow a mediocre investigator to follow the breadcrumbs to the truth. The information is not what I would believe any citizen would expect from the leaders in the law enforcement community. The details should be investigated, and the truth should be exposed.

What has been proven is there can be no expectation for any investigations to be reliable if conducted by the ECSO. Chief Haines has been proven to be less than honest. He uses his “power” to manipulate lives of those he can control. When he is finished with you he decides of how to discard you. He uses others to do the dirty work and believes that he appears clear of any wrong doing. Those who know him also know that is not true. Chief Haines is always involved but is careful to avoid touching anything that could leave his finger prints. The longer he can do this without having to answer for his actions the more he destroys.

None of the investigations conducted by the ECSO on employees can be trusted to have facts. Chief Haines should not be allowed to control the investigators that conduct internal investigations. The investigation is only a step he uses to prop up his opinion of a person. If he likes you or needs you the investigation will reflect there was no wrongdoing. If he has decided that you are of no use to him the investigation will reflect you should be fired. Having a pre-determined outcome of an investigation is unfair and illegal. Chief Haines has proven he is not capable of being in control of the agency.

This email is an example of how Chief Haines only picks the investigations that benefit him to be investigated. There is not any person in this email that is on his hit list so there will be no action taken on any of this information. No investigator has been tasked with finding the facts surrounding this email. Chief Haines has determined that the email contains no information on a person he has placed on his hit list so there is nothing to investigate. He decided and that is final. However, he will use this email to support a person losing their job if the end up on the hit list.

No complaints should ever be sent to the ECSO to be investigated. They have proven to be bias and untrustworthy.  I would question any and everything from Chief Haines. He  should not even be supervising people at this point. There is far more than a simple preponderance of evidence against him to prove bias concerning his decisions. His career should be reaching conclusion at this point. He has harmed enough people already and future victims deserve to be saved from his tyrannical decisions. His view of people based on his standard and void of any consideration of what is ethical or lawful. Any citizen that has a concern regarding employees should be reported to FDLE. They will send it to the agency for investigation but eventually an issue will pass through and the realization will set in that there is a problem at the ECSO.

The information provided in this email shows an environment that is “do as I say not as I do’ and has no clear rules that apply to all in an equal manner. It gives a glimpse of what the sheriff they have picked for us will be like. As citizens we deserve better representation from those tasked with protecting our county. Chief Haines has fallen short of proving he is a capable leader with values that reflect honorable intentions.   He is a disgrace to the agency as is the leader the non-LEO, David Morgan.

mission statement

I want to address the fallacy spouted on Escambia Citizen’s Watch group on Facebook, aka JUECW or the Jackie Rogers Hate Group. Melissa Pino has been characterized as pursuing a personal vendetta after she told Doug Underhill she was coming for him. Let me explain this to the layperson that believes this is just a “personal vendetta”. There is a fortified, adulterated effort to pervert and abuse the processes of the county to secure personal gain either by political capital (favors in the wing) or subverted contributions to PAC’s or personal campaigns. This aligned effort by some of those in politics, like Underhill, Sheriff Morgan and Bill Eddins (Curtis Golden-light) are bought and paid for and act in there own best interest rather than honoring their oaths of office.

In full view of the public, this bunch act brazenly. They hide very little. Underhill subverts information for his own gain, such as the Seafarer incident, gating a public access beach, bought for the purpose of public access. Underhill also fixes fraud that he and his business partner, Morgan Speranzo committed via the contracting laws. When called on the illegal action, by me, he doctored the paperwork by telling people it didn’t happen and having the paperwork “adjusted” to fit an implausible circumstance, he claims happened.

Sir David became a millionaire on a public servant’s salary while his department went to hell in a handbasket. No one is safer since this man took his oath. Oh and let’s not forget the LET money he bought his reelection with, to the tune of $2million over 4 years.

Eddins showed his colors with the medical examiner recently, going against the county’s stance on Dr. Minyard’s bloated salary. Eddins supported Minyard when she is clearly replaceable. She was forced to step down twice in her career for incompetence. Failure to do paperwork (kind of essential in the Medical Examiner field) was her main flaw. While this sounds harmless, it is far from it. Imagine something happens to your loved one, and while, in Minyard’s care, personal items or autopsy reports are not accounted for or are missing. Also, imagine your loved one was possibly murdered, if the police say they suspect suicide, she concurs, when there may not be evidence to that effect because it lessens her case work.  Now imagine her taking home in excess of $500K for treating your loved one, with such disregard. Now imagine the State Attorney of the 1st Judicial Circuit is throwing his weight behind this woman, against all logic.

My point is that if someone says publicly, “I’m coming for you” to one of these corrupt officials, it is plight with little recognition or support (publicly) and is, in and of itself, an albatross.  There is nothing personal about this sort of targeting. In fact, if law enforcement were not so impotent, they would be targeting these individuals also, and that would not be considered a “vendetta”.

I have said to Sheriff Morgan via this blog that I am coming for him and hell’s coming with me. I set my sights on Morgan because I believe he is the most dangerous and most psychopathic of them all (Underling being a step behind and Eddins being merely a puppet working at the behest of his benefactors). Morgan has single handedly ruined more lives within his agency as he has outside his agency. He has neither the capability nor the psychological capacity to hold the position he was elected to steward. The evidence is in the public records, not the statistics, because there are deputies that will explain to you how they were directed to alter levels of crimes for the purpose of skewing the stats. Sexual assault is the tell-tale statistic. Currently, Frank Forte is giving gift cards for tickets written…highly unethical and probably illegal. But why should that be a factor for a law enforcement agency.

Predators on the community should be dealt with by the agencies designed to police them within the system, but since that is broken in this county, it falls on individuals with the moxie to stand up and name their target. Any bricks taken out of the wall of corruption, makes the others weaker. Divide and Conquer is my motto. While these men are not the true threats as much as puppets for those who are, pulling back the curtain is the mission. I hope Morgan, Underhill and Eddins know you can’t beat someone who doesn’t stop fighting. Melissa and I are ready for the long haul.

 

This came to me today from a source inside the ECSO.

 

We are in a time that society views sexual behavior of our leaders through a microscope, as well as the people in the workplace. We review what is right and what is wrong. Our views may not be the views of everyone. In fact, we have all heard of issues in the national media condemning people for issues that occurred over 30 years ago in some cases. That seems less relevant, but that does cause one to ask why society did not have the same thoughts about sexual harassment as they do now? It simply isn’t possible that people didn’t care about sexual harassment or sexual assault years ago, but there is a hypersensitive to sexual issues now. Story after story about people being affected by #MeToo movement. People are being used to further a movement that treats everybody the same, with facts being omitted, because the point is better made without facts. This is all an insult to people who have to deal with this situation.

CEOs across the country have turned a blind eye to the issues that could cause embarrassment or be problematic. This was done to save themselves all the pitfalls that come with addressing the sexual harassment, such as having spouses of married people becoming involved in the workplace issues. That can get messy, but this lack of formal acknowledgement, it appears there is a complicity to the harassment. If you are not part of solution, you are part of the problem.  The true intent of sexual harassment movements should be to inform the public and others of what is wrong with using sexual actions for any gain personally or in professional environments. In turning a blind eye, the message that this behavior is acceptable seems to rise to the top, not to mention the increase in employee tension, and the increased chance of being sued.  We should trust our leaders in the workplace to ensure that employees are being kept from sexual issues at the workplace because it is not conducive to any professional environment.  Leaders should be the gatekeepers of their employees’ overall well-being while they are at work.  Included in that is the ability to perform the work requirements effectively without undue restrictions or complications.  The responsibility to act appropriately at work falls on the workplace leaders, as well.

The leadership of the Escambia County Sheriffs Office has been questioned many times concerning leadership abilities. Names, such as Chief Deputy Eric Haines, are a frequently associated with criticism of failed leadership. The obvious question then, is why David Morgan as Sheriff does not stop Haines’s tactics are that clearly dismantling the agency? If not Morgan, couldn’t Chip Simmons, the man directly under the Sheriff do something? In fact, recently, a cry for help for went out to Simmons, when Haines held $9million + of deputies’ money and extorted the PBA into giving up rights to receive a reasonable wage. Could it be Simmons is not able to challenge Haines?  Could Simmons be in a situation that Haines controls him? The question would be then, what Haines could have to hold over a law enforcement professional and leader like Simmons? We know it isn’t knowledge, ability, respect, or experience. Haines has not even a small fraction of law enforcement ability that is displayed by Simmons. Simmons was a law enforcement officer for a living long before reaching a leadership position. Haines performed very little law enforcement duties in a brief period before rocketing into a leadership post. With all these things going for Simmons, with deputy support, why not throttle Haines?

Simmons has a reputation for being less than faithful to his marriage. I am not passing judgement but stating what the “shop talk” has always been. Its possible Haines could have information on Simmons that could cause embarrassment or sacrifice a bid for the top office.  It fits the scenario. Haines can be left to destroy lives and Simmons is in debt to him because of the information Haines has in his pocket. Simmons can enjoy the top spot and Haines has the continued joy of playing God judging subordinates and hailing down wrath on the future of others including Simmons. Simmons never answered the cry for help from the employees when their money was made a game for Haines to play with to achieve what he wanted, which was a loss of deputies’ rights in their contract. By not supporting the deputies, Simmons protected himself as well as Haines.

Maybe an investigation should be conducted by an outside agency to determine if this is true. If Haines has information that is being held, it is a violation of law. By federal law, sexual Harassment must be reported if Haines knows about it.  FYI sexual harassment can occur even if the person involved in sexual acts isn’t the victim. If such a thing occurred and two willing parties were sexually active and married, the spouses could have a case to be reported as a victim. Especially if one of the victims was working for one of the offenders in a leadership position and fearful of losing his job if it was reported his wife was involved in an affair with a person that could terminate his employment.

I think this is a subject we will soon be hearing more about. Haines should look deep and decide if he truly feels he has responded with the information he may possess as a true Christian would respond. Should he possess information that tears a family apart for his personal gain or should he do what the law says. I challenge Haines to do the right thing and finally be honest and be satisfied with the turmoil he has created thus far.

 

Patrick Gonzalez Jr.’s latest appeal was denied, but it was expected by his attorney, Eric Pinkard. I, personally, was taken aback. During oral arguments, it seemed as if at least a couple of justices “got it”, but I suppose, they did not. The fight is not over; next is the re-sentencing that the PNJ is ensuring will end in the same result (death penalty) with their assertion of Patrick being, “the Mastermind” and writing articles stating he is a murderer as a fact, rather than saying he was convicted of murder. The two are vastly different, but why would portray the case objectively now? They spew the nonsense the public regurgitates and that is just one way a person gets wrongly convicted.

But to get more FACTS out about the case, I put together 10 major errors by the ECSO. These 10 are not the absolute ONLY errors (by any stretch) but they are ones that may have changed the outcome.

6586137783828480

I’m not a rocket scientist nor am I a legal scholar, but I am educated; I can read plain English and comprehend the meaning of texts, with a good grasp on the concepts of law due to my own self education via legal professionals and criminologists. It does not take a person with a law degree to recognize the inequities of justice in a corrupt system.
Basic comparison of situations that are essentially the same and the extremely contradictory outcomes depending on status of the person affected within the community.

For almost 2 years, the politics at a national level have escalated (or sank, may be more apt) to a level never seen before. At the core of the issues is the FBI. The FBI is an agency that has been historically touted as the most elite law enforcement agency in the world. The work that agency has done is impressive and professional at times. The FBI set the standards for law enforcement agencies, as well as improving how law enforcement functions should be best achieved. Recently, that image was tarnished. A few bad apples spoiled the bunch.

The law enforcement failures (FBI) seen at the federal level should cause all of us to take pause. FBI, among other federal entities has oversight from Congress, the media and others, with a voice that resonates in the public–not just nationally, but globally. Still, the system failed, and bad people were able to do unprecedentedly bad things that the public has never been able to see before. Individuals that swore an oath to avoid personal bias while applying the law to and for the citizens who placed trust in their morality, and overall stewardship of the greater good and who are trusted to make decisions beyond the scope of their duty. These trusted, elite few made a personal choice on what was best for everyone and who should answer for law violations. These trusted, elite few are responsible for enforcing the law, based on an obligation to the public to decide on what they perceived should occur in the best interest of everyone.

This agency, the FBI, is not representative of law enforcement at all anymore. They take advantage of the access they have to the “big stick”, being abuse of their trusted power to ruin people by bearing false witness, misrepresentation of the facts and obfuscating the facts. No one would ever want to be on the wrong side of such a corrupt organization, nor would we wish it on our worst enemy.  It is unfair and impossible to combat unless there is unlimited flow of cash or political power to fight to fight such a thing. This is precisely what is taking place in Escambia County right now!

There have been stories/reports about Sir David and his misuse of money that was not his to spend, that only benefited him personally and politically. Sir David, knowing he is above the reach of Bill Eddins, ignored state laws and spent what he wanted. Sir David acted with reckless brazen thumbing his defiance because of his elected position or maybe because he was an employee for Eddins before their elevation to elected office. Regardless, he clearly acted as if he had no reason to worry about violating the law. His administration routinely conducts investigations that are questionable that target citizens and ECSO employees. Many situations should petrify people who could be in the crosshairs of political vendetta to wonder why Sir David is allowed be a criminal. He is aware that to be held accountable someone in the States Attorney’s Office would have be willing to be accountable AND willing to hold him accountable.

Time and again, Eddins has not even pretended he would fight any sort of political corruption. He routinely takes the side of an official, often without looking at evidence against such an official or having facts to support his position. It is impossible to trust Eddins when his conduct has been so questionable. Individuals have suffered long arduous trials that take thousands of dollars to present and even more to defend. An average citizen could never keep up with what can be spent by Eddins. Yet, this is where a citizen in this county is expected to turn when reporting an issue with an official. It could be argued that the message is, “as long as you don’t rock the boat, we won’t destroy you.”

State Attorney:Judge throws out case against Wild Greg’s owner

by Ly’Nita Carter

Aug, 16, 2018

The owner of Wild Greg’s Saloon in downtown Pensacola is acquitted Thursday, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

Greg Urban was arrested and charged in May with resisting an officer without violence, a report states.

The charges stem from an incident in February. Pensacola Police were conducting an investigation at the saloon.

According to a report, authorities claimed Urban resisted arrest or interfered with an officer performing his course of duties.

On Thursday, an Escambia County Judge ruled there was not enough evidence to move forward.

A recent case involving a local business owner is probably one of the best examples of what is being described. Greg Urban was arrested for resisting arrest without violence. The officer testifying stated that Urban had lied during an investigation that did not involve Urban as a suspect. The officer espoused the quote he claimed Urban said that prompted the arrest. Since there was a video of the dialogue, it was presented a video to the judge in court following the officer’s account account under oath. The video revealed Urban did not make the quote as stated by the officer. The defense attorney pointed this out and the officer continued to misquote what Urban had stated. Fortunately, the judge was paying attention and the case ended with a Judge Ordered Acquittal. This should be a gross embarrassment to the States Attorney Office and the Pensacola Police Department. They conspired to take a case to a jury trial that they should have known had no basis for even probable cause. Yet there will never be in public acknowledgement of such a gross mistake. These folks forced Urban to court and forced him to spend money for counsel and lose wages during the process. See the “big stick” mentality at work?

Citizens must force change for this behavior to end. Get these stories out into the public and support those already courageous enough to have their story out. This kind of irresponsible, corrupted behavior can only be stopped through exposing the corruption and put this improper behavior in the spotlight. No one can take these officials at their word. Question the issues that seem wrong. Make the officials in the office paid for by taxpayers be held accountable. Do not allow them to treat anyone as if they are irrelevant. Turning a blind eye to even one person being treated like Urban increases the odds that anyone could be the next target.

Don’t forget, taxpayers are the reason they have a job!

    

This post has been difficult to write because I’ve found that so many illegal, improper things keep happening that it is difficult to focus on just one. So this is going to be an overview of where everything stands today.

  1. Doug Underhill vs Alan McMillan

This political race is virtually over.  God seems to have cast His grace on District 2. Polls show McMillan has a strong lead. This particular poll has been historically accurate. Bless God!! Barring any election dabbling, this should be a done deal. The citizens have a chance in this district again. Doug Underhill is a lame duck who will be without his entourage, trolls and bulldog.  No commission seat = no use to your friends.

2.  Eric Haines vs ECSO Deputies

Haines has said in negotiations with PBA that he holds $9 Million and thus he gets anything he wants from deputies. To date, no raises have been given except for the trainees who have a higher rate of pay than the deputies who are compressed.  The compressed deputies is really who the  wanted to help when they gave the first installment of $9 million to the ECSO. But as those of us who recognize the historical significance of the misappropriation of $1.1 million from the LET Fund by Sheriff Morgan, this money was never meant to go to the deputies. As with all the other money effectively stolen by Morgan, this money is going to be used to bolster the few over the help of the many.  Very few of us had anticipated such a move, but leopards do not change their spots and Morgan cannot resist screwing with county money; misappropriation that pays for political capital & favors = embezzlement

Technically, Haines is the one using the money against the deputies. He uses the raises as leverage, eventually, forcing the deputies to relinquish due process rights in their contract with the ECSO. Wow! Causing hardship and only offering relief of that hardship if you sign your life away, sounds fair to me…yeah right!!  Deputies vote this week

3. Chip Simmons vs. ECSO Deputies

Chip, well what can I say? Expectations of you being a Morgan Koolaid Drinker is echoing through the halls of ECSO, in the form of the deafening silence. einstein

Chip, when you took the job you have now, anything good I ever heard about you was confirmed to be BS. No person with any integrity would have nothing to do with the shit show that is the ECSO.  Deputies have told me on numerous occasions that the damage the Morgan/Haines administration has done to the community will take YEARS to repair.  They have eliminated multiple generations of good cops, leaving behind the ones who turn a blind eye to what is happening internally, but not having the balls to speak out because they need a job.  Really?  Is a job worth your soul?  I digress. The ones left are not trying to strengthen bond with citizens, or even with other deputies. Dividing the allegiances of the employees is the way to keep the crew from rising up or together.

Point of this post….Morgan conned the BOCC and embezzled/misappropriated $9 million, just because the deputies choose to keep their rights…amazing.

Chip, the Savior, is doing nothing. Hey Chip, one of the options that has been bantered is how about you boycotting that shit show as way of showing support for the deputies….just don’t come in until the issue of raises is properly handled. Or how about this, you could quit because by staying you ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. You have 1 or 2 retirements to fall back on….But hey, there’s  ABSOLUTELY nothing you can do, right??

 

 

 

Chief Simmons,

This letter was written by many anonymous hands because of the climate of retaliation that I am sure you can appreciate. We understand that you are in the middle of working toward becoming Sheriff. You have been reaching out to the shifts and you have asked for support of the employees. Many of us have talked about what the office would look like with you as Sheriff. Honestly, some say it would be better and others believe that it would be more of the same. Time will tell which of us is right

Chief, you have an opportunity at your doorstep that most do not. You have the ability to show us how you will handle issues as the Sheriff before you are in the “hot seat”.  Some of us have had discussion about the obvious fact you have not had any opinion on the situation happening with pay raises and manipulations of those pay raises by Chief Haines. You are aware of the bitter feelings most have toward Chief Haines. He has caused many issues to be life altering for good people that did not deserve the treatment he made sure they received. He is not a respected person and is the cause of many problems our office is facing today. He treats people so poorly that he produces only negative results with any issue he is a part of at the office.

If you want to be Sheriff, you have to speak out now. Give us a reason to hold on that  will allow us to feel confident you are not more of the same ole’ same ole’. You can be positive force for our future. We need to know that you don’t agree with the raise we have worked so hard toward, being stolen from us. If you want to be Sheriff, we deserve to see your response to what Chief Haines is doing right now. All eyes are on you, Chief.  We deserve to get the chance to see you handle an issue that is difficult to find a solution.

This is not a situation that you can ride the fence on. You either know what needs to be done or not. This is an US vs THEM situation.  We know you understand the resentment and anger we feel being short changed this way. You have said your hands were tied, but we are here to tell you, you hold all the power. Can you handle it, Chief? We need a leader who doesn’t want to screw us. Yes, this is a tough situation you are in, but you get chose to be right where you are.  Asking for your input is a cry for help honestly. We have nobody to turn to in the administration because all of them are so scared of the reaction if they make someone mad. You are the only person in a position to take a stand. Sheriff Morgan has already named you as the person that should take the job. He can’t back away now. You have support of the public but if you can’t manage to MAN UP, the loyalty of your deputies will not be with you. We have been led by a cut-throat, non-LEO who has broken so many people. We will have your back, will you have ours?

It’s your time to shine or fade into Morgan/Haines. What’s it going to be, Chief?

what now

The prediction made concerning the bully behavior and tactics by Haines has now been confirmed. Many of you read the post a couple of days ago about this issue. The path that Haines would follow was clearly explained. He exploited the weak leadership of PBA. He didn’t accomplish what he wanted so in the typical Haines/Morgan fashion throws a baby fit and takes his ball and goes home. This is not the behavior of professionals nor is this behavior what the ECSO employees deserve from the leaders of the agency.

Appearance:

On its face, as Haines’s email is written, it appears that he is attempting to be completely transparent and attempting to keep the employees informed. His email creates the illusion that he has been open and honest with the entire process. In fact, he even feigns some sort of personal hurt by not being able to facilitate a solution to this terrible problem that has harmed the beloved employees of the ECSO. By God, he is still dedicated enough to his mission that he has extended another opportunity for PBA to do the right thing. He even puts a deadline that would cause happiness for his troubled heart to achieve a solution to this issue adversely impacting the employees he serves.

True Meaning:

For those of us who can decipher BS, I would like to translate what his email actually says. Working for this man for the number of years that I have and knowing him personally, I am in the position to expose his maniacal intentions with this email. As to the $2200 raise to all deputies including trainees, this is laughable. Haines has argued in the past that veteran deputies are not entitled to raises during a probationary period after a promotion. Now he believes $2200 across the board is the best plan for even those not even trained to be deputies. This statement just divided any officer under the rank of sergeant from those who are aware of the importance to standing strong for a contract providing job security. Haines has separated those that will get a raise and fight for his cause and those that know what Haines is capable of as it relates to job security. The ones slated for a raise will argue that the contract should be agreed on immediately. This is playing both groups of deputies, veterans and new recruits/trainees against each other. As it stands, it would be more beneficial financially for the veteran deputy to quit and reapply, giving up his seniority for the all mighty dollar. The veteran deputies just became more compressed, and that was what Haines argued so vehemently against to the BOCC.

Also, he just gave himself $2200 to spend at his discretion in lapse salaries. There are hundreds of thousands of salary dollars that have been wasted because of vacant positions. Every vacant position just gave an irresponsible administration another $2200 to waste at their discretion. When it is explained, it is clear Haines actually gave himself free money to use at his discretion and didn’t have the deputies best interest in mind. He increased the amount of money that is available for useless spending which they have proven is so dear to their hearts. He made himself the “good guy” with the sub-set of deputies, created by his rhetoric, he says will get them a raise no matter what! However, he is the one obstacle in veteran deputies getting raises.

As the email continues, Haines specifically explains all his issues with the contract. One of the changes he wants is with the discipline matrix. He tries to convince the deputies that he wants the change made so that certain violations that are level E could be reduced as to not be automatic termination. Then Haines continues that there were others either up or down. That statement sounds relatively benign and any reasonable person would think it is harmless. However, this is another example of where Haines spins the subject to brush over the issues creating the problem. Why didn’t he specifically discuss “several other violations that we also requested for the range to go up or down”? The answer is because in that brief seemingly innocent statement were issues that weaken the contract and strip employees of security in the job. He took the time to mention the one benefit to Morgan but not the one that causes the real problem. It is worth noting that Morgan (Haines) often ignore the discipline matrix if the employee has been determined unworthy of being treated in a manner that is fair. Employees have been terminated when the matrix and the DRB (Disciplinary Review Board) suggested termination was not appropriate. Again, Haines appears the “good guy” and others are interfering with his distribution of unicorns and rainbows.

Continuing through the lies in this email, a scenario of patience and understanding is described. Time and again, Haines worked through with PBA causing delays such as illness and other reasons that were understood by Haines. His fluttering angel wings and shiny halo in place, Haines is always at the ready to discuss issues that have been known for years and needed to be finalized. The troublesome “loopholes”, that were being exploited by those cast off for failure to honor the privilege of a law enforcement career under the Honorable Thelbert Morgan, had to be closed. The “loopholes” he speaks of are rights protected by state and federal law.  A contract, even one negotiated by Haines, can’t deny an employee the rights provided by law. I will admit there are many issues that would benefit Haines/Morgan when the torturous acts they embrace of preparing employees for termination begins. The problem is the PBA contract can’t give them permission to violate law. Maybe Haines should put in a bid for a lawmaker’s seat. He is trying to trick deputies into signing a contract that makes the likelihood of being fired for arbitrary violations of loyalty more likely and making job security non-existent, all for a raise.  A better idea would be to avoid the innate desire to harm good people because of his demented philosophy of how to be an effective leader. Machiavellian is the only word to describe this attempt to roll a raise into a contract that negates job security. He fails to realize that the contract exists to protect employees from people like him. Haines maliciously is trying to buy deputies’ right to work with the $9 million dollars given to the ECSO for deputies.

To the leadership of the PBA:  it is time to step up and do the right thing. This position isn’t easy and it is not for the weak. If you are scared right now and wishing you were not a leader in PBA, it is not likely you are the man for the job. There is no shame in honesty. Step down and walk away. Allow a true leader to move into your spot and save the rights you have left. It isn’t about you and has everything to do with the future of so many honorable people.  You are dealing with peoples’ lives and more importantly the ripple effect of causing deputies to flee the drama and trauma of this administration. Less deputies perpetuates crime but I guess that is the goal of the criminals running the show.

 

I got this at 11:15 am.

Members of the ECSO:

For those who want the short version:

Negotiations with the PBA have no end in sight so the Sheriff is distributing the first $1 Million Dollars under the current contract rules and is not waiting for a new contract which would be required for the new pay plan. We will be using the entire $1 Million dollars to adjust the annual salaries for our deputies below the rank of Sergeant (recruits and trainees included) by $2200 which is where we have the most attrition, retention, and recruiting issues. This will be retroactive to 5/1/2018, which is when the Sheriff received the money. It is most desirable to have a comprehensive and predictable pay plan and it is the Sheriff’s hope that the NWFPBA sits down in good faith to negotiate a contract before the next distribution of raises in October.

For those who want the long version:

As you are all aware, after a long and hard fight by Sheriff Morgan with the County Commissioners a settlement was entered into that will add a projected $9 Million Dollars over the next three years to the ECSO personnel budget. It was our hope that this money could not only ensure our 3% raises for the next 3 years but that it could also create competitive pay scales, fix compression, and address other issues in our current pay plan. The BOCC had paid for a salary study that was mostly complete but would require modifications and significant contract changes to implement. Promotional amounts, back pay, annual raise amounts, elimination of the previous copyrighted DBM system, classifications, guaranteed amounts, contingencies, etc. all needed to be changed in HR Rules and the contract. The pay plan will take three years to implement and as such, a three year, whole contract will need to be signed. Being that the contract was going to be open, there were other issues that needed to be addressed as well.

Last August, the Sheriff requested negotiations and sat down with NWFPBA to make modifications to the Discipline Matrix which the NWFPBA had always told him was “a work in progress”. He specifically requested the negotiations to reduce some mandatory Level “E” violations that were automatic terminations. There were several other violations that we also requested for the range to go up or down. The implementation of the discipline matrix was never bargained for. It was requested by the PBA and simply signed as an MOU between contracts. It was not incorporated into the last contract and as such it needs to be incorporated the next time the contract is opened. The negotiations over the matrix last year were never followed up on as we knew eventually we would be sitting down for a pay plan negotiation and they would be decided on then.

A second issue that needed to be addressed while the contract was open was due to issues in arbitration and discipline that needed to be clarified. This was not a surprise to the NWFPBA leadership as we had told them over the past year that some of the PBA contracted attorneys and non PBA attorneys have been trying to find loopholes in our contract that were never intended to exist. In fact, almost every change we were requesting have been the past practice or the intent of the current contract as admitted to by the past and present PBA presidents. For example, we currently have an arbitration of a terminated employee that has been filed for over a year. Their attorney hasn’t even picked a date for it as there are no deadlines in our current contract. In another instance an employee decided to file an EEOC complaint while concurrently proceeding with the arbitration process. This has never been allowed as employees have been required to pick one forum or the other. One of the big issues is the level of proof needed in the arbitration–whether it should be preponderance of evidence vs clear and convincing evidence. In each of these three instances, the ECSO took the exact language DIRECTLY from the contracts that the State PBA negotiated with the FHP, the State Agents, and the State Law Enforcement Officers in December of 2017 that would solve the ECSO’s concerns. Apparently, for some reason that the local NWFPBA President admits he cannot explain to me, that language is now not acceptable to the PBA.

We have tried to negotiate in good faith with NWFPBA. In the first three sessions we met with their executive leadership they chose not to have their attorneys present. They just requested for our attorneys to send our proposed language for discipline and arbitration to their attorneys. To be kind, we got a minimal response at best and didn’t hear anything until the day before the next negotiation. For the third session, their lead attorney fell ill but their back up attorney who was supposed to advise them during the negotiation break was unable to assist them. Even giving them an additional two business days to work through their issues they now say they want to set up negotiations two more weeks out.

At this point there isn’t much to negotiate. NWFPBA knows what the pros and cons are with what we are proposing. It is our opinion that only the negative is leaking out of negotiations. Very few people are even aware of how much of a raise they would have received (averaging all employees together it is a 23% increase. The PBA has your individual amounts.). When the Sheriff fought a politically bloody fight and the PBA sat and watched from the sidelines he ended up negotiating with the BOCC for the largest raises the ECSO has ever seen. There are some things in the final negotiation he didn’t necessarily like, but the whole package was worth it.

NWFPBA will have to consider this for the second distribution of raises that will occur in October as the Sheriff is no longer waiting to distribute this first $1 Million Dollars that he received from the BOCC in his Personnel budget. The money will go in its entirety to where the most vacancies and attrition is occurring which is deputies. Starting pay for all deputy and trainee positions below the rank of Sgt. will be receiving a salary adjustment of $2200 to their annual salary. It is also our intention to make it effective retroactively to when the Sheriff received the money which would be 5/1/2018.

We will no longer be negotiating with the NWFPBA without their attorneys present as it appears it was a wasted effort. We have asked them to provide dates so we can begin another attempt to negotiate a contract before the October raises.

For the Sheriff,

Chief Deputy Eric Haines

I am saddened to say that my prediction regarding Morgan misusing money given to him for deputy raises, has actually proven true. Yesterday, my phone LIT up with ECSO people calling me to let me know they have gotten word they are effectively NOT getting the raises.

Here are a couple of communications I received yesterday:

The administration has not provided any information, to the employees, to help us understand NOT getting the raises we were promised.  The raises have been funded but have not been given to the employees.  Morgan has proven that he and his administration are “in it to win it” for their own selfish reasons.  

We were supposed to get a payout in July, that was pushed til October. The Sheriff is trying to say we will get 3% and then he will decide how to distribute the rest that is best for the deputies… but he will have control over that.

The public has been coming up to the deputies saying they are happy they got their raise, they deserve it. They don’t know the deputies haven’t received it. That’s a good one to get out there now!

To better explain the dynamics a deputy explained the politics going on behind this:

Let me explain the real reason there isn’t a raise being given as promised. Just as always, Eric Haines has got involved in an otherwise simple process. What does that mean for those unfortunate enough to be exposed to poor leadership routinely displayed by Haines? It means that to simply pass on the money given for the employees raise will not happen easily. Haines will use the money waiting to be passed on to employees as a bargaining chip. Haines has decided to use the money to strong arm the union to opening contract negotiations and made the raises a part of the contract negotiation process. This is a clear example of how devious Haines has been through his reign of terror under the Morgan administration. Haines routinely misleads, misguides, misinforms or misdirects what information he distributes. He creates the appearance that he is always the “good guy” and everyone else in any process is causing problems beyond his control. In this case the PBA will be blamed as the “bad guy” by Haines. Haines will hide behind the PBA not being willing to negotiate a contract that would have given a raise to deserving employees.

Truthfully, the PBA should have never entered into any type of contract negotiation relating to pay increase for employees. The pay raises that were negotiated with the BOCC were never contingent upon agreement of PBA agreement. Also, consider how foolish it sounds to even suggest there would be a chance the PBA would argue against all employees receiving a raise. I would never be part of a labor union that would fight against me getting a pay increase. It is laughable that Haines could even suggest that this is a possibility with a straight face.  The truth is Haines took advantage of an opportunity. He exploited the weak leadership of PBA. He convinced Lee Tyree, the PBA president, that it would be “stronger” and have “teeth” if it were in the contract. Fact is the compensation topic is in the contract currently and in the Human Resource Rules as well. The contract says that deputies will receive a 3% pay increase every year. The contract states that a 3% increase for salaries will be requested each year when presenting the ECSO budget to the BOCC. Employees went years without getting 3% in pay increases. The contract didn’t have teeth on that issue, so it would be ludicrous to believe it would have teeth now. Haines realizes that Tyree is weak and exploited his spineless leadership. He forced Tyree to place himself in a position to be blamed for employees not getting a raise. Haines can spin the situation that he tried to do the right thing, but PBA caused employees to not get a raise.  Haines gets a lump of cash to blow in anyway he sees fit and employees are screwed again without blaming Haines.

One may ask why it is important to Haines to hold hostage the pay raises given by the BOCC and force contract negotiations to be opened. It is easily explained. Having weak PBA leadership was a step in the right direction. This opened the door for Haines to ignore employee rights given by contract and violate laws relating to employee rights. Tyree, being weak and ineffective as a leader, allowed this conduct to blossom without opposition as PBA leader. Partly for self-serving reasons and partly because he lacked experience or the desire to protect wronged employees, Tyree created the almost perfect storm for Haines. The one fact that was in the way of Haines having full control to ruin employees he deems as less than worthy or in his way was the PBA contract. Employees that separated from the ECSO who were willing to call foul on the abusive and often illegal behavior of Morgan and his incompetent administration did have parts of the PBA contract to use as defense in cases being litigated currently. Haines seen the pay raises as an opportunity to finally use Tyree and his incompetent leadership of PBA to his advantage one more time. All the contract details Haines believes interferes with his ability to ruin employees at will could be easily carved out by attaching his wish list to the raises. Employees couldn’t say no to a pay raise and therefore the parts of the contract protecting employees from the sadistic behavior of Haines gone with an affirmative vote of a new and improved contract created by Haines himself. Haines is not hindered if employees try to use the contract for job protection when targeted by him because any of the contract that had teeth was voted out by the employees needing protection. Haines can again claim “not me” I am only following the rules. Meanwhile, Tyree is being paid by membership dues for a job well done for the Morgan administration. Seems a bit unfair if I am being honest.

The real story is Haines is aware of what he is doing, and Tyree is responsible for allowing himself to be placed in a position that only harms the employees. If Haines had any shred of decency in his being, he doesn’t and never has, he would have not taken advantage of a situation and place employees in a situation to choose earning a living wage or stand strong for job protection. Haines should have simply passed the money given for employees pay to the employees for pay increases. This is blatant proof of the dishonorable and pathetic behavior so many have complained about when describing Morgan and his band of maggots. This behavior displays just how devious Haines is when working toward total control and no accountability for corrupt actions. This dedication is what Morgan seeks from those around him and what he has obtained from those still in the cartel he calls staff.

The employees should demand from PBA that the leadership be replaced. Tyree should attempt to achieve some dignity and resign his position in PBA. He should apologize for failing the employees in his miserable attempt to lead PBA and never take another penny for the job of being president of this union. His incompetence has allowed so many honorable employees to suffer and now they stand to be penalized further by not receiving a pay increase they deserve. It is awful to imagine that Tyree is the only paid PBA member and he is the exact reason for this tragic turn of events that will cause only harm to all ECSO employees many of whom pay membership dues to compensate his failed attempt to lead the union tasked with the responsibility to represent them. I could never imagine giving another payment for membership to a union that allows this type of leadership to be compensated with my hard-earned money.

This is the what is happening, in real time. My argument all along during the BOCC budget negotiations was that if Morgan misappropriated money in LET Fund, why on Earth give him more money over and above for ANYTHING? There is no check and balance to make sure he is using the money appropriately.

This seems to have resonated to some commissioners as the Shade Meeting of 2/15/18 pg 38-39 has the following comment referencing this very issue:

COMMISSIONER MAY: Because I want to understand, Mr. Chairman. If we have given them a 3 percent raise since I know that I have been in office and Steve has been in office, why does it go down? I understand he says the cost — I mean, I don’t understand that. I mean, the salaries should have gone up; correct?

COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR BROWN: All we can do is look at what they are budgeting, the amount of  money that we gave them and what they are reporting to the FDLE.

COMMISSIONER MAY: So the money is going somewhere else…….. Here’s my point, Grover, to what you just said. If we have given raises — every year we have given 3 percent — there is a technical, internal fight that we are having with the Sheriff that we are going to get resolved one way or another through mediation.
There is another whole public fight that is happening that we’re losing, and we have been losing for 24 months, in which the public perceives we are not doing exactly what we should be doing for law enforcement.

So to those of us who see Morgan for what he is and his disregard for his duty to his community and now his deputies, let’s look at his emissary who is touting his connection to PBA (who is a corruptable organization, by letting Haines use them as the sword to cut rights and possibly pay to the deputies it is supposed to protect from such fleecing) and his support of giving Morgan WHATEVER he wanted in the budget talks.

So to recap:

  1. Deputies have NOT received the raises they were supposed to get in the protracted budget “negotiations” that Doug Underhill, Commissioner, seeking re-election, supported FULLY. He also is supported in his candidacy by the supporting the agency (PBA) that is being used to deny those raises unless deputies agree to decreased rights to get said raises.

  2. BOCC gave Morgan millions over the current budget for the purposes of giving his deputies a living wage to make sure they and their families were made whole.

  3. Morgan held raises under the guise of some sort of vote. Still not seeing the problem with that, deputies went along with the promise of the raises coming and reassurances of them being backdated.

  4. Haines convinced PBA president, Lee Tyree, who endorsed Underhill for District 2, (probably in exchange for Underhill supporting the Sheriff’s histrionic bullying for raises he never gave) to open up the entire PBA contract to reduce language which will essentially make it easier for him to bypass the rights of his deputies and rolling it into a omnibus vote.  Deputies must accept limited rights in order to get raises. If they choose not to do so, the raises will be fully discretionary by the Sheriff or not given at all.

    I would say “I told you so” but I don’t take any pleasure in seeing this come to pass. As I have contended all along, this is the time Chip needs to stand for his deputies or time for him withdraw his filing. Deputies will not allow him to get very far if he tows the Morgan/Haines line in taking advantage of them.

    This should show everyone the nefarious alliance with Morgan by anyone (Underhill or Simmons) is a cancer to the community. It is also time for the citizens to force Pam Bondi and Governor Scott to remove this leach from the county without haste. Indictments for misappropriation are easy to prove right now.

    *****If you are PRO-LEO, you have to insist Morgan and Haines be held to the same standard any other person who steals $2.1 million (Morgan-LET) and those who lie to the BOCC for the purposes of misleading the county without any intention of providing using the money given for raises to said deputies (Haines) ******

This is the time to let your voice be heard.  There is a conspiracy here that has been in place since day one and you the people of the county were the ones, scammed. Are you better off with these jokers making policy????

I have been a keen observer of Pensacola politics for 6 years.  Before that, I spent 25 years as a passive, generalist of political news. I knew the headlines and heard the talk but I couldn’t tell you specifics most of the time. During that time (the past 31 years), I have seen some of the most extraordinary stories like the dead baby taken to the Brownsville Revival, Fred Levin claiming he found dead canaries, Jake Horton’s plane crashing into a subdivision, the King brothers, Tim McVeigh’s connection to Pensacola via his sister, the collard green scandal between WD Childers and Willie Junior.

I thought I had seen blatant corruption before but looking at Chip Simmons’s campaign donations is one for the books.  Chip has been long favored by law enforcement and public alike for his charm, charisma and/or looks.  He is the epitome of the Hometown Guy everybody roots for, but I see something different. I see a persona, known and well liked publicly, who was drawn in by a true criminal, Morgan by some sort of back room promise of support, I’m sure. Then I see, this pro-LEO down-home guy, beloved by all, standing silent while the inmates run and rundown the asylum. As Haines’s propaganda and vendettas against his employees runs rampant, Morgan shows his inner child by throwing tantrums about the BOCC and deputy pay (which still has not been given to deputies yet, despite the fact the ECSO has had the money on the books for weeks). So where was the good guy while all this was going on? Where is the advocate for the deputies while they are dealing with Haines and hearing the public lies about the budget from Sir David?  I see an ineffectual cog in the wheel, too scared or too compromised to lead the agency out of the current wasteland state.  But I digress.

The problem with the contributions to Chip is in the numbers he’s banked in just 3 short months. With 2+ years until election day, and being currently UNOPPOSED, Chip has raised $88K.  That number alone isn’t problematic; it is more who contributed.chip_Page_01chip_Page_02chip_Page_03chip_Page_04chip_Page_05chip_Page_06chip_Page_07chip_Page_08chip_Page_09chip_Page_10chip_Page_11chip_Page_12chip_Page_13

**Please note also the most common work-around in the political contributions area. $1000 cap is set for all persons and businesses. So people have every employee, household member, and then, their corporate donations on the books. Essentially, one entity can give numerous thousands by using this simple work-around.

So here’s the concern: the number of “money people” and “important people” who have backed him.  He’s unopposed and still has 2+ years left….why amass this much so early?  One theory was that, this “war chest” will prevent competition.  Well, that is certainly true because there are not enough of the money people left to catch up to Chip.

Another theory was that he needs this kind of money to prepare for the advertising in a Presidential Election year.  While that may be legitimate, the fact he is unopposed seems to negate that.

What I see, however, is that Chip has favors he will owe each donor. That money is paying for someone’s kids’s DUI, another guy’s domestic violence 9-1-1 call, and yet another’s need to get out a drug charge.  Chip’s integrity is chipped away in every donation. That has always been the way it is and Chip is savvy enough to know that.

Corruption is alive and well in Escambia County. Remember, also, these same money people backed Sir David. We’ve seen that no criminal, unethical or immoral act he has committed has been punished because of his political backing exclusively. While Chip, presumably, has functional moral compass, at least according to reputation, he’s giving away his soul with every donation. We are seeing how corruption swallows the souls of presumably good men.  This is going to be a good before-and-after story.

CHIP DEVIL

Over the last few days, I have been contacted about the dissolving relationship with Underhill and Sir David Morgan. Now, I had to question this because history tells me that they are thick as thieves (ironic because they are thieves).  I had to acknowledge no pro-Underhill support publicly lately and after being contacted numerous times with the same information, I have to concede that it is plausible.  As have been told, repetitively, Morgan approached a political opponent of Underhill’s to give him a private pat on the back and let the opponent know he was distancing himself from Dougie. The Sheriff was heard saying something to the effect of Doug being too politically toxic and Morgan could not let Doug drag his name down.

That sounds like something that a malignant narcissist like Morgan would say. Morgan is so Machiavellian with people he doesn’t want to be associated with like Arety, Doug should watch for he dagger in his back. But ultimately, this bodes well for the community that these too cancerous forces should diverge.  So whether it’s just speculation, innuendo or just a rumor, people are talking about it.  Perception is all that matters blacklisted doug

Recently, there has been article after article about the corruption of the law enforcement agencies in the area. The attention was, at first, on the employees that were wronged, which is reasonable because those individuals are the most obvious victims of the corruption. When an employee is wrongly terminated, the process demands the employee to, ultimately, seek a court action to remedy the wrong. A court action is all that most people ever see.  The events that happen up until the filing of a suit, all the behind the scenes, or “the real cause”, is seldom known.  The public has not seen the battles or the battle scars, that nexus of the issue, or what lead to the “law enforcement gods” to eviscerate the rights of, in this case, their employees.

In each one of these cases, that are known, information provided by public records is the only understanding available to the general public.  If all the stars and planets are aligned, articles are written, using those documents, can explain the meaning of the records exposed. These articles and documents typically support the idea of poor leadership existing in the law enforcement community in Escambia County.

It is a common theme to see Sir David and his loyal followers act more as tyrannical dictators than public servants. The layperson would observe that free speech, employment rights, and laws, in general, are only rights reserved for the favored ones outside of the agency. Sir David wouldn’t consider applying those laws to his or his cronies’ actions.  His leadership proves that it is best to do what he says and ignore the rules. Rules do not concern him and are used to attack him improperly because after all he is David Morgan.

In Escambia County, Sir David has been seen allowing two favored employees to violate state law as the staff attempts to ignore it. Colleen Burt and Jessica Hackathorn, both committed law violations and their incidents were compared to past incidents showing that unfavored ECSO employees were punished for the same type of acts. Fortunately, they have been exposed and now, everyone is waiting for the reports of what action will be taken, if any.  Based on the patterns of behavior demonstrated over and over, the ECSO staff will drag out a simple investigation, hoping for the everyone who is watching to become distracted and not notice when that overt action is taken to put the “fix” in, to resolve the matter most favorable to the agency—not the law or the community but the agency.  It would be prudent for the ones guilty of overriding policies, laws and ethical codes to remember that because of the past issues handled inappropriately, attention to them will increase as they have been identified as corrupt.  This is something most people subverting the law might be cognizant of, however, arrogance is the biggest enemy to any criminal. And these criminals think they are ABOVE the law.

Still, even with those cases (or best described as crimes), many of the other incidents involved normal everyday citizens that are not aware of how to expose law enforcement corruption. Some may even be intimidated by the perception of power those such as Sir David possess. The citizens forget, just as Sir David did, that they are source of elected power and it is with them the actual power exists. Sure, it is a tough battle but what has worth, that isn’t worth a fight? It is not difficult for Morgan to destroy individuals in a battle. With cowards, such as Haines, paying his debt to Morgan, for boosting him well beyond his actual capability of a law enforcement officer nothing is off the table. Morgan easily motivates those lacking integrity to do the dirty work. Even if the staff doesn’t participate directly, they have no issue with watching the henchmen destroy, or attempt to destroy good people. This may even be worse than participating. At least, Haines knows he must jump when Morgan says to jump. This forces him to put in some effort and could even cause him to perceive he is doing his job in some insane thought process. Those, who watch, are not willing to act but see no problem in ignoring anything that doesn’t affect them directly. Would it be regarded as acceptable for a cop to watch a person get robbed by a suspect but not get involved because of fear of being harmed? Of course not, but that is exactly what ECSO staff does.

Another issue has been exposed recently. The Brady List. This is a list that has clear guidelines concerning the conduct that would cause an officer to be placed on the list. By reading the list, with information provided by ECSO, there is no indication of what criteria these officers have met to be on the list, nor to determine what that process is. The only real common denominator is that all on the list are disliked by Morgan and/or Haines. After reading the case law concerning Brady several times, it is worth mentioning that there is not one mention of anything that allows Morgan or Haines the sole discretion to place whoever they wanted on the list.

ECSO can’t say that all people who commit a policy violation of any kind should be on the list. Many have committed violations that were not indicative of their trustworthiness as an officer of the law.  It would be impossible to say all employees that are terminated are on the list. There was an occasion that a colonel was terminated and not listed. Maybe because Haines was fearful of the repercussion because of a lawsuit pending. However, if it is legal to put others on the list, why would he be scared to put that employee on there too?

A recent demotion occurred to an employee–a lieutenant, was busted to deputy. Two full ranks in the chain of command. Why does Haines think that wasn’t reasonable for that person to be on the list? Remember Burt? She was found to have lied on her timesheet and received discipline for lying.  This employee is exactly an employee that qualifies for the list. She could testify in a criminal proceeding about evidence and has proven to have questionable credibility by lying on a timesheet. If she would lie about work hours, it would be reasonable to be concerned she might lie about important issues that could have adverse effect on someone’s future in court. Now Hackathorn also has an issue too. She could be called to give testimony concerning officers committing insurance fraud or in at least, in one case, complain about it. She, then, is given a free pass when she commits fraud with a clear intent of a planned theft of services from the insurance company.

The truth is Morgan and Haines should be on the list. They routinely act in a manner that causes their character to be questioned. They act as if ruining the careers of others is a hobby. No hesitation to ruin lives when it betters the position for them. David Morgan was given proof of Lt. Forte committing perjury and ignored the complaint. The fact an official complaint of perjury was filed should have landed Forte on the list. This is a typical example of Morgan and Haines playing favorites. With a certified court transcript in hand, to compare to a statement under oath to internal affairs by Forte clearly lying, he is found not to have committed any policy violation even. It is often said that anyone can have their own opinion but not their own facts. It is clear the Brady List provided by the ECSO has undermined a check and balance process to help make certain law enforcement officers can be held to a standard that cultivates trust. Morgan and Haines made the choice to use it as a tool to punish those identified as enemies, further pushing public trust away from the good cops in our community.

Takeaway from this article:

Wrong is always wrong; right is always right. If one person is persecuted by  someone using a law or policy as a weapon, any person may be persecuted the same way. Corruption is equal opportunity with no one being safe.

banksy

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