Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? Part 3

A few months ago, I wrote 7 reasons to vote David Morgan out of office:

#1 Conspiracy to cover up human trafficking

#2- Sheriff David Morgan is a FRAUD!

#3 Morgan has made Escambia County & Pensacola Look Like Reality TV

#4: Allows Deputies to be Thugs

 #5-Sheriff Morgan’s Money Handling Skills Need Attention

 #6-Sheriff Morgan is All About Double-Talk

#7 Morgan Lives in a Glass House

And the last few days, I have added to the list.

Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? PART 1

Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? Part 2

Today I want to look at this current administration in a different way. This post is inspired by the Parable of Tares from the book of Matthew.

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

I am not going to get into a sermon, but tare has been planted with wheat in Escambia County. It has grown to fruition and now it’s time to harvest. The tare has been pretending to be wheat. It’s an impostor, but he who has eyes to see, can see the difference.  There are good officers among the tare. Escambia County grows good seed. The integrity of the seed is not in question. Morgan would have you believe otherwise. He is trying to make you think tare is wheat and wheat is tare.

Judge those by the fruit they produce, not by their words. High crime, high attrition, & money mismanagement are the fruits of this administration.parable-of-the-tares

That is the legacy Morgan has today. You must judge…..wheat or tare?

Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? Part 2

In case there are any questions about the performance of Ye Olde Sheriff, please consider this: the LET investigation of money mishandling is simply another red flag.

For those who may not know, the failure to disclose his military record is because Morgan made a deal with the Air Force. They were investigating him for misappropriation of funds (government credit card). This is the story that has come out of close friends that would be “in the know”, but Morgan eventually screwed them over. That is also how Morgan met Susan. She was with OSI and investigated him. The Air Force allowed him to retire quietly but he had to go. No criminal charges if he chose to do so. This story comes from multiple directions but it is the same account. However, the documentation is not there for the general public.

But I’ll play the devil’s advocate for a moment. If this doesn’t problematic for you as something that is not tangible enough, there are other incidents that show a predilection or pattern of behavior.

LETTER-TO-SHERIFF panhandle politico

Recently a letter came out in PanhandlePolitico.com that was correspondence from an internal employee displaying the in-fighting that goes on with this administration, but the most fascinating thing in that letter is worth noting. It confirms what I have always suspected. The writer talks about flagrant disregard for checks and balances within the accounting department, especially as it pertains to seized assets. Henrique Dias, the CFO at the ECSO, seems to be less concerned about properly handling money than he is about employee retribution. We are not talking about children. We are talking about custodians of your money.

Henrique Dias is a character. He was arrested for soliciting a prostitute years prior to his employment. It was ultimately not prosecuted but after I shared this, last year, with many others via the Escambia Clerk’s site, it disappeared. Expunged most likely, but that doesn’t mean it did not happen. It is not just me but employees describe Dias as sketchy and over the last few years, he has ingratiated himself to Morgan–so much so, that Morgan put him in charge of his campaign money.

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This seems counterintuitive. A supervisor, who has one employee found to be stealing over $1 million but has no clue until she retires, seems like a poor manager. Then, to see that same CFO show reckless disregard in the previous correspondence mentioned, certainly doesn’t reassure a rational person that he is competent to handle more responsibility.

In a private sector job, Dias would be held responsible for the money that walked out the door under his nose–at some level, to some degree. Then when he failed to comply with checks and balances put into place to prevent such an occurrence again, his boss should be questioning his ability to handle the burden of the county’s money. But instead of that, Morgan lets him handle his personal campaign money too.  Things that make you go hhmmm…

Now getting back to Morgan’s money skill. While he was not charged criminally, a source close to the governor claims that the infractions brought to light in Escambia County with the mis-spending of the LET fund were a state-wide plague.  There are 64 counties in Florida and David Morgan’s perversion of this liberty is a symptom of a bigger issue that cannot be handled by arrest and prosecution. The governor opted to change the legislation to address the problem but there for a few days, before this was decided to be the method to which the governor would handle this mis-spending, Morgan got quiet.  He sought counsel with a private attorney.  Why?  There was a moment in time that he was not sure he was going to jail over this action. If his intentions were as pure as he claims, would this have been the case?

Here’s the point here. whether any of the military accusations are true or the LET fund spending was “uncriminal” may be up for debate. However, the fact that Cathy Lister stole $1 million of the county’s money, there is a problem.Read her story.

Then going back to the letter above. It took almost 3 years for a system to be implemented after that to prevent future theft. That is unacceptable. To add insult to injury for the CFO to be resistant to these changes which are beneficial to the community indicates he should not have a job, yet he is given Morgan’s money to “handle” for his campaign.  Why? There is more than a sliver of question as to the integrity of this administration’s money handling.

Where does the buck stop in this administration?

I have not even mentioned the jail. The money grab from the BOCC that turned into them taking away of the jail. Again why?  It was money. Morgan had no interest in the jail or the conservation of that responsibility. He wanted more money to play with and when he was questioned by Gene Valentino, he started a political feud with him and turned over the jail. Why?

If you have any question about the management or mismanagement of county funds, you must consider changing the tide and voting Morgan out. He is the common denominator of all the issues.

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow  

 

 

Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? PART 1

I wanted to make one last request for the citizens of Escambia County as to the decision to re-elect Sheriff David Morgan for a third term. I have many issues I am going to present over the next few days. I hope you bear with me in the explanation and totality of ALL the issues I put forth. Even if you disagree with any one of the points, please consider them all in consideration as to the job duties and responsibilities that come with being the head law enforcement officer in Escambia County.

  1. In Florida, the duties of Sheriff, as defined by the Florida Statutes are this:

The duties, as enumerated in Chapter 30 of the Florida Statutes, include:.

  • Being conservator of the peace in its county.
  • Suppressing tumults, riots, and unlawful assemblies in its county with force and strong hand when necessary.
  • Apprehending, without warrant, any person disturbing the peace, and carrying that person before the proper judicial officer, that further proceedings may be had against him or her according to law.

Conserving the peace of the county is the primarily deficient role Morgan does not meet. Preserving the peace is, in essence, keeping–CONSERVING–the peace, safety and stability of the county. That means he is responsible for the overall safety of the county. He summarily denies this is his job duty. He claims if people raise their kids right, then the community would be safer. That is a cop out. He is the conservator of the county, as it may be and evolve. That means it is his job to preserve your safety and he is currently not fulfilling that duty and telling the community he will not be responsible for the actions within the community. His contention is that you, the citizens, have that responsibility. HE IS WRONG.

By his own declaration, he will not address the problems of crime.

Be pragmatic; if someone who worked for you failed to fulfill the duties as specified by their job, and who clearly and contemptuously tried to re-write their job description, would you keep them on?

Additionally, he has more legally sound complaints for civil rights violations, particularly from his deputies and administration.  At least a dozen of these lawsuits cite, hostile work environment, sexual & gender discrimination, retaliation against the Sheriff and his close underlings. These deputies are being run off because they are on the wrong side of Morgan. Of the deputies who are suing, the majority are women.

Even if you dismiss the “sour grapes” argument for the employees suing the Sheriff, remember  there are 116 lawsuits that have been filed against this Sheriff. 116 people with attorneys, roughly 200 members of your community who found sufficient evidence to bring court actions against  your Sheriff. An example of what ALL the suits have in common is civil rights violations like this:

  • Defendant, Sheriff Morgan, had in place, a policy, statements, regulation, decision, custom or usage of relying on its deputies completing Statements of Probable Cause without verifying the identity of the accused, either by actual witness identification, or use of either an actual lineup or a photographic lineup.
  • Defendant, Sheriff Morgan, had no policy, statements, regulation, decision, custom or usage in place for verifying the name, social security number, drivers license number, address, phone number, age, date of birth or photograph of a suspect prior to including this infonnation in a probable cause statement or warrant request, or if such policies, statements, regulation, decision, custom or usage were in place, Sheriff Morgan failed to insure that such policies, statements, regulation, decision, custom or usage was being followed.
  •  Defendant, Sheriff Morgan, had prior notice that his deputies were submitting erroneous probable cause statements and failed to take appropriate actions to correct these acts.
  • Defendant, Sheriff Morgan, in failing to adopt and implement appropriate police procedures acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff, Hallam’s, Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure as guaranteed by the 4 and 14th Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America.

 

You may think the Sheriff is good guy and says all the right things, but that isn’t what his job is about. You can be a good guy but a bad leader. Yes, Morgan is charismatic, but he is problematic as a law enforcement officer. Maybe politics outside law enforcement is his calling because let’s look at his record and performance over the last 8 years:

  1. He fails to sufficiently keep the peace and safety of the community.
  2. He has lost more employees than any other Sheriff and he is being sued for mistreatment and civil rights violations from others ie he is a horrible boss.

IF SOMEONE FAILS TO DO THEIR JOB, THEY ARE A LIABILITY. SHERIFF MORGAN IS UNABLE TO FULFILL THE JOB HE IS ELECTED FOR BASED ON HIS RECORD AS SHERIFF.

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MORGAN IS A POLITICIAN—NOT A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.

 REMEMBER THE DISTINCTION.

 

 

 

How Morgan & the PNJ Will Be Downfall of the Billings Convictions

Criminal Justice expert Dr. Edward J. Bronson recently analyzed the pre-trial publicity in the Billings Murder case. It was a fascinating look at just the local newspaper coverage. The reason he was called to look at this has to do with the fact that it has become an inarguable fact that press coverage prior to trial impacts jury verdicts. There have been 44 empirical studies with 5500+ people by dozens of social scientists over the last three decades.

The biggest shocker of Dr. Bronson’s analysis was that the Billings Murder case–overall–is the 27th highest publicized case EVER. This case rivals OJ, the Lindbergh baby, Bundy, Zodiac, Son of Sam and Jon Benet Ramsey just for starters. The average high publicity case has around 100 articles written about the case, pretrial. The PNJ & InWeekly did 250 articles on this case. Each of these articles were biased against the defendants, particularly Pat Gonzalez Jr. Not one of these articles were by anyone close to Gonzalez Jr or who advocated his character in any way, despite his contributions to the community, although the Sertoma club “Man of the Year” award was mentioned in passing as was high martial arts career. Not one of these articles offers any other theory of the crime or any leads outside the narrative the Sheriff concocted.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled to delay a trial by 9 mos because of 1 news comment by an attorney on a Sunday morning at 6 AM. The judge determined the attorney had the potential to have tainted the jury pool with this one appearance. In comparison, Sheriff Morgan held press conferences up to twice a day locally; he spoke on Dateline NBC, Nancy Grace, Oprah Winfrey and Larry King to name a few. He said things like, “extremely gruesome scene”, “hateful, senseless crime” “bad seed” (speaking of Gonzalez Jr.), “stupid thugs” and referred to the Billings as “very good Christian people”.  Adding on to the fact, Morgan greeted the Grand Jury panelists prior to the indictments of Gonzalez Sr and Jr. He shook each person’s hand and said things like, “I’ve done my job; now it’s time for you to do yours”. This seems like a directive from the highest law enforcement officer in the community.

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The PNJ articles were extremely damaging as they are the only point of printed news in the area. 174 times the death penalty was mentioned in relation to this crime—prior to any trial commencing.  This is extremely damning because the implication is that these people deserve death, before the facts of the case or the defenses were laid out.

Dr. Bronson noted that he had never seen more inflammatory comments within the PNJ by the reporters and in letters to the editor prior to trial. There was no possible way a reasonable person could consider that an unbiased jury could be had in this community. Judge Geeker doesn’t think this is an issue but ultimately this will go to the US Supreme Court, who has no ties to Escambia County corruption.

As for the media circus that propelled Morgan’s career and ultimately kept him in office, here’s the take away: David Morgan whored himself out to every news outlet possible. He was the source of most people’s knowledge of this case. As the community and world has seen with every instance in Morgan’s tenure where he smiles pretty for the camera, he seldom is the most accurate point of information. He stretches the truth and even lies to make himself seem important. Why would it be any different with this case? Good news for all the defendants, because if Pat Gonzalez gets a new trial, the flood gates of motions and lawsuits will dominate what was the old news of this case….with Morgan as the punchline.

not a sheriff

Dr. Edward Bronson Expert Testimony exhibit2-expert test.

Just Saying….

So after Mike Thomas was convicted of being a sex offender, the 4 or the 5 deputies that testified as to Thomas’s character overall prior this incident have now become the subject of Internal Affairs investigations for different, very random things since their testimony.

The targeted 4 deputies, according to sources, testified that Thomas was a good cop to their knowledge prior to these charges. The 5th deputy was less definitive about any attributes in Thomas’s past. Apparently, his indifference or lack of positive character testimony neither helped nor hurt the case and left him himself free from retaliation by the vindictive ECSO.

Now this could be coincidental but why hold off 4 simultaneous investigations until the couple of days after the case was over? Surely, if there were questions as to these peoples’ character it might be relevant to their testimony or could these 4 people with 4 different situations become suddenly culpable of these 4 acts within one week’s time? The odds must be astronomical.

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On the same note, a  2 key character witnesses in the most high profile case in Pensacola history got just as lucky. Lonnie Douglas Smith & Tony Eisa testified in Gonzalez Jr’s trial the last week of October, 2010 that Gonzalez Jr. approached them about participating in the robbery. They testified that Gonzalez Jr. was shady and a liar. His character was, in their testimony, that of a person capable of this crime—without a doubt.

Bill Eddins allowed these two men to testify in the trial that took place beginning on 10/25/2010.  Strangely enough, Tony Eisa plead guilty to filing a false police report on 10/12/2010 in Santa Rosa County. SANTAROSA CLERK.clipular

ADJUDICATED GUILTY OF FALSE REPORT TO LAW AUTHORITY 10/12/2010

Damn good character witness.

Lonnie Smith is even better story. After being arrested 2/24/2010, Smith was arrested for heroin trafficking, oxy possession, crack and cocaine possession.

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Now despite the fact there was significant diversity in drugs and the weight of the heroin, after almost 8 months, Eddins decided not to prosecute the upstanding Smith, just in time for him to testify against Gonzalez Jr. Funny, how that works…

Escambia Clerk of the Circuit Court.clipular (27)

Sheriff Morgan’s Dirty Little Secret?

A colleague of mine brought a case to my attention because it touched them so much. In December 2015, the obituary below came out in the PNJ. It is a solemn obituary that garnered national attention. It is for a forgotten man with an unremarkable life, who was virtually ignored wholly by society.

Darrell Evans

darrell evans
1956 – 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery

Darrell Evans

Darrell was born on November 13, 1956 and sometime in November 2015 he drew his last breath. It might even have been on his birthday, but probably not considering the level of decomposition when his body was found. Darrell died alone in the small house he was fortunate enough to afford to rent with his disability check. At least he wasn’t homeless. But he was impoverished. I represented him on a legal matter. Who I am is not important. Darrell had family, but no one claimed his body. I hope the failure to claim his body had more to do with financial concerns then the absence of affection. Darrell grew up poor and was poor all his life. I learned of Darrell’s death when I went to his house after he had not responded to my communications in several weeks. Perhaps I should have gone sooner, but there had been other times during our relationship that he was out of pocket for extended periods of time. When I arrived at his house there was a young man in a hazmat suit removing everything from the home. He had on a breathing apparatus, I did not. The stench told me everything. Darrell was not a well man, so his death was not overly surprising. However, I know he didn’t want to die and I know all he wanted from the lawsuit was to get enough money to perhaps buy the tiny house he died in. I can’t tell you a lot about Darrell. During my representation we got cross ways every now and then because of our mutual stubbornness. He was a smart man, but with little formal education. Based upon my beliefs I know he had a soul. I hope his soul is somewhere content. I wrote this because I just did not feel that the way he died, which was so ignominious, should be the last word. It’s a for whom the bell tolls kind of thing. Rest in peace Darrell.

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pensacolanewsjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=176761603#sthash.w7nIWAKi.dpuf

One of the reasons this was such a sympathetic case is because the man who wrote the obituary was seemingly the only friend he had in this world—his attorney. In digging into the lawsuit that this attorney was referring to help Mr. Evans not die penniless, was a lawsuit against Sheriff David Morgan “in his official capacity”, for auto negligence. Naturally this got my attention.

As I researched, I found in the guestbook of his obituary the reference to Mr. Evans, the following comment:

December 9, 2015

Rest in paradise, Darrell. He was a very caring guy. He would call my mom’s house or drop bye. We never really knew his name we always just the man in the yellow house or Jacksonville. I would pick up items for him. He loved sandwiches from the Yellow store. He loved seafood especially shrimp, crabs, & oysters. He was a great conversationalist. My grandson would call him Moses on the bike, because he rode a bike and carried a big stick. Rest in Paradise

Lou Adams, FL

He rode a bike and this is an auto negligence case.  I recalled the article about Morgan hitting a bicyclist last year. Was this the guy?

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/traffic/2015/07/24/sheriff-morgan-traffic-accident/30637799/

But in looking at the lawsuit, it was filed prior to July 24th; it was filed on April 5, 2015. So this is a different bicyclist. I did my due diligence because there are times when Morgan is sued for activities of the deputies. He is the ultimate the person legally responsible for them. However, no other names appear on the complaint. Also the attorney on the case is not a county attorney. It is not Gerald Champagne or Debra Little, the attorneys who typically handle “official capacity” cases. Also it appears Morgan was avoiding service to be deposed, much like he did in the Daniel Levitan case.

The implications here are clear. David Morgan hit cyclist Evans in his county cruiser, but not while “officially” on duty. My next question is, did Evans death in any way result from the accident? It is unknown because of the way he died. He died in a way that is very reminiscent of another black man who held the fate of elected county officials in his hands, Willie Junior. Could this be as nefarious? Is it possible that Morgan’s future political aspiration was complicated by this lawsuit?

Regardless of any of that, the fact that this man died the way he did is shameful. Alone, penniless and unclaimed. Could a settlement with Morgan have prevented his death? But what would the repercussions have been if that happened?  One thing is clear; Morgan got off easy because of this man’s death and in the manner of his death.  Is there any coincidence in this?

Morgan Running Scared-Rightly So

So yesterday afternoon a press release came out from State Attorney’s office that Chief Deputy Haines violating election laws.

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The kicker of this is that they admit that this small infraction that it is worthy of the Elections Committee but does not rise to any criminal level.  However, think back to Greg Fink last year.

Gregory Fink Mugshot - 05-12-15 Florida Arrest.clipular

This same infraction was pursued to its fullest–to a jury trial for a misdemeanor.

Thankfully a judge with common sense withheld adjudication in this matter after a jury found Fink guilty. Here is an article from PanhandlePolitico.com from June 22, 2016

Adjudication withheld for Panhandle Politico publisher on omitting political flyer disclaimer

The judge declined to convict Panhandle Politico publisher Greg Fink despite the six member jury’s guilty recommendation, at a June 17 trial, of failing to include an electioneering disclaimer on political material mailed during the 2014 primary election.

The disclaimer is required to detail who approved and paid for the message.

Electioneering communications are defined as material that may not necessarily directly ask voters to select a particular candidate, but have been mailed close to an election.  In this case, the applicable timeframe was within 30 days of the primary election.

First Circuit Court Judge Joyce Williams sentenced Fink to $500, with adjudication withheld.

 

 

The double standard press release came on precipice of Rally 2016 on WSRE–the Sheriff’s closed debate.  I have not seen the debate yet but I am told Morgan did not fare well. There were sources that claim after the debate ended Morgan took his microphone off abruptly, threw it down and left in haste.

To support this, just a few minutes ago, the last debate before the election scheduled for next week, was cancelled.  The official reason was that there was not enough interest. However, the timing of the cancellation, the lack of coverage on Morgan’s Facebook and lack of coverage by any news outlet under Morgan’s “influence”, an educated person might speculate that Sir David put the kabbash on the last debate.

The multiple State Attorney investigations into wrong-doing on Sheriff Morgan’s behalf has been bad press–albeit not in the mainstream press. There is a great deal of chatter on social media that seems to indicate the Morgan re-election is not going well. This latest series of events appear to be pushing Sheriff Morgan over the edge.  He has trouble with composure when he gets angry and of course, anything that threatens his public persona makes him angry.  That seems to be a better explanation for the cancellation of this final debate.

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Food for Thought: LET Seizures

Sheriff Morgan spends his LET money so freely, but considering the amount he is spending, one might question how many drug busts and seizures the agency is doing.  He has spent over $1million. Is there really that many seizures and drug busts, with crime statistics being what they are?  Talking to Amy Lovoy, Director of Budgets for the county, she said no other money goes into that fund. It is strictly drug and seizure proceeds.

High ranking officers who have been with the agency for years do not find the seizures and drug proceeds as being that lucrative. Consider that for any seizure, a case has to be filed with the court that is around $100. Counsel has to draft documents for the court. That cost is taxpayer money in salary. There can be complications with the seizure and the court costs and attorney fees rack up to get the proceeds of whatever was seized. Fiscally speaking, there seems to be a high cost to attaining seizure and their proceeds that come out of a different budget that is not going against the possibly undervalued property, which goes into Morgan’s “charity/campaign” fund.

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We have all seen the recent drug busts and the proceeds of those busts, which have yet to be seen, but at this moment the LET Fund is dry. What does that mean to Morgan?  He needs to push for another rush of money.  His need to buy his votes may be influencing the crimes that deputies focus on. Targeting high money drug dealers for the proceeds of the money could be an incentive here.

Just food for thought.