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.