Conjuring Justice

Proof that One Person Can Make a Difference

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.

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5 thoughts on “Bureaucratic Insanity

  1. Melissa Pino says:

    Jimmie, I and others that I have been working with on transparency issues in this area have experienced this circular kiss-off from any state or federal agency that could weigh in. Countless times. We have begged for recourse from every single agency that could step in on the obvious illegalities happening.

    There is no justice here. None. If there were, Morgan, Haines, and Underhill would all be behind bars by now.

    And the tragedy of this is that everybody knows it. All the local leaders. The greater part of the citizenry. State agencies. Federal agencies.

    And yet these criminals are allowed to run on and on. I called a local leader today to let him know about the judge’s ruling on the destroyed evidence, which is the WORST bullshit we have seen yet in all of this.

    Where do I start on that? I love, in particular, that her office missed that filing by, what, two weeks beyond the set date? And then issues a strong warning to the parties that the discovery date is coming up.

    This happens in broad daylight. This happens with the SAO, the US Attorney, FDLE, PBA, FBI, Ethics Commission, AG’s office, and the Inspector General well aware this is happening.

    All of those agencies are complicit, if there are not investigations that end up with the appropriate people behind bars.

    And yet, the citizens stand in threatened fear. Personally speaking, I’ve had my house under surveillance at night, late night ECSO visits outside my house with no PIP claiming call ins of a woman being drowned, trees cut down, constant buzzes by my house, documented unmarkeds outside my house, been tagged from time to time–as have many others–and I can’t even drive at night or go anywhere without a second because this town is absolutely lawless.

    What’s even worse: we have federal law enforcement in our family. Their advice: don’t expect anybody gives a shit about Escambia County. You’re living in Chinatown. Best advice: move.

    Nope. I won’t move, and I won’t quit. Because there are a lot of really good people in this town, and this place could be an absolutely wonderful community if it weren’t in the vise grip of these bad actors.

    Hopefully these agencies are watching your blog, and if so I want to send them a message. While most people may be scared to post here, the MAJORITY of our community knows exactly what is going on, and see the bullshit backroom deals that are being made. No wonder the judge took so long over the due date to come up with that; it takes some serious time and thought to thread a needle that hard. She needs to know that people see it. Yeah, maybe it will never matter. Maybe we’re all just banging our head against a wall.

    But bottom line, there is a huge part of our citizenry that are smart, informed, on to the BS, and brave enough to keep going. We’ve been at it for a year and a half now (unlike you, Jimmie, who had been going it alone for many, many years). It’s like people just keep expecting we’re going to get tired, or bored, or scared.

    Nope. I am with a handful of citizen advocates who will NEVER give up. What are they gonna do, find ways to silence 50 people? Well, I suppose they could try, and maybe I will be right at the top of that list.

    It’s not a happy place to be. But for God’s sake, If not me, Who? So many powerful men and women who have absolutely abnegated their responsbility. So many powerful men and women who have enriched themselves with corruption. So many powerful men and women with blood on their hands.

    No. I will not sit by while this happens. WE CHOSE PENSACOLA OUT OF EVERYWHERE ON EARTH BECAUSE WE WANTED TO LIVE HERE. Yeah, okay, so we didn’t get how corrupt the place was.

    But that’s neither here nor there. We invested everything we had in making this our forever place. And I may be fighting a losing battle of never-ending and historical corruption here, but I do believe that this current juncture is far worse than anything I’ve heard tell since the Collard Pot.

    This cannot stand. And the powers that be need to know that there may be only a handful of us who are willing to fight it, but willing, and unafraid, we are. If we haven’t given up after a year and a half of banging our heads against a wall, and all the threats and intimidation that have gone on behind the scene, I can’t imagine why they would think we will give up now.

    We had dreams coming here. Dreams we aren’t ready to give rid of.

    Molen labe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. song boat says:

      Society does not care until it happens to someone they love, then they are ready to fight for their life. The keyword is “their” when it should be “our”.People really need to read the Constitution. The citizens duty is to unite as one. In any violation of any citizens rights.

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  2. Mel, you are 100% correct. This is the biggest racketeering case I have ever seen. It is bigger than anything from the most corrupt eras of American history. It is conspiracy from the second ANY agency becomes aware and does nothing. That just tells me there are enough political favors to go around. Integrity is a rare thing in America and in the Panhandle, it is nearly extinct.

    Next time anyone sees a politician, law enforcement official, or US/state hired attorney on TV or in person, I hope you take the time to—right then—to tell them that they are employees of the people and should be out on their ass for the piss poor job they are doing to protect, serve, and carry out their duties.

    They have created an “us vs them” atmosphere and “they” have to go because “we” are not. ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO AID AND DO THE RIGHT THING BUT HAVEN’T, MY WORDS TO THEM ARE—YOUR TIME IS UP!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. song boat says:

    I can produce a bundle of the exact same form letters. LOL what a joke they have played on all who have never suffered abuse from the hands of our government officials. I cannot imagine looking at myself in the mirror if I were such a bottom dweller to actually accept employment under the guise of serving the public. Makes me want to puke.

    Like

  4. song boat says:

    I officially recognize everyone of them by saluting with my middle finger, yeah, I will lower myself to that level. I promised myself if I ever see any of my attackers in public I will swing on anyone of them. I will pay an assault charge to assault those who assaulted me. I haven’t been face to face with any of them, but I have had the opportunity to flip two of them off. Just to let them know I have not forgotten.

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