The First Domino Falls

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To my great shock, the BOCC denied the increased millage which Sir David tried to shove down their throats. The most amazing thing is how verbally they expressed their contempt for the Sheriff’s tactics. Each of them, except for Underling, spoke to the press push that Morgan tried to use to get his way.  Underhill was the lone dissident vote, not surprisingly.

The issue here is not the raises for deputies; the issue is why Morgan hasn’t made it a priority. In April alone, Morgan gave away $35K to Underhill’s pet projects.  Assuming the starting salary of $35K, Morgan could have used the money he gave away to fund the Sheriff’s portion of 2 SRO’s–not to mention $5K to Pensacola Opera, $20K to PACE Center for Girls, $20K for Panhandle Charitable Open. That’s another $45K that could go to 2 1/2 more SRO’s salaries. While no one is saying these charities aren’t worthy (the opera is questionable), Morgan is spending money on all these things INSTEAD OF SRO’S.

The most ironic part is the article I found that Sir David wrote:

The pre-elected Morgan seems much more honorable and reasonable than the drastic contrast of the 3 term sheriff. It is funny when I was talking to people about what was going on in the county, I used the word “corruption” and I was told, “No, I wouldn’t say corruption; it is just the ‘good ole boy system'”.  By not using the word, it was like it was somewhat better than what it is. It is power that corrupts and we see this demonstrated in front of us with this article from several years ago and the issues of today. The budget has always been a point of contention for the Sheriff’s office and BOCC. But the tactics of this Sheriff are sophomoric and not in good faith. Good faith isn’t a concept 3-term Morgan knows at all.

 

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Cognitive Dissonance & Fiscal Illiteracy

I know, I know—Big Words.  Cognitive dissonance is confusion resulting from dichotomous & opposing views about one principle.  Sir David is the personification of cognitive dissonance.  His latest publicly embarrassing rant is about deputy pay raises. Morgan fumes to WEAR:

“It’s nonnegotiable,” Sheriff Morgan exclaimed. “We’ll settle this in front of Governor Scott. We’re not going to negotiate this. This is nonsense, I’m done. I have a board of county commissioners unfortunately that appears to believe that they’re smarter than we are…..It’s OK for an officer to catch a bullet from a thug, but county commission won’t give them a pay raise.”

While these statements have a great deal of truth to them, the BOCC is smarter than any and all the admin at the ECSO & the officers that retired in 2009 had more longevity with greater performance based success that reflect in the crime numbers.  They also had higher standards to pass on a day to day basis. According to sources at the academy, as many as 65% don’t pass the full curriculum.  Of that remaining 35%, a high percentage  (what is estimated to be half) of them find their first couple of months in FTO, proves to them  that a place in this agency is not for them. Now that could be because the people being recruited come from PCC (sounds like a punchline but it is, unfortunately, true) or because the standards have been so low to populate approximately 2.5 times the number of classes churning through the academy than any other point in the last 15 years.

To get back to the cognitive dissonance of Morgan’s latest tantrum on the news lies in the fact that while he accuses the BOCC of letting his deputies “take a bullet for a thug” rather than get a raise, he fails to disclose the increase in the budget at the beginning of this year that he BLEW on hiring an “UnderSheriff” to soak up funds to populate 1 job position for 2 of his followers, Chip Simmons & Eric Haines. Two salaries for 1 job that has been parceled out to 2 people. A colossal waste of funds.  Not to mention the money, he gave Andy Hobbs, David Ingram and Amber Southard that makes every raise in the ECSO look like chump change; his fiscal illiteracy provides the cognitive dissonance we see today.  Yet his strategy is to bitch about and shame the BOCC members when he, not them, wasted approximately $200K in these horrible decisions to stack the top of his agency rather than put the money towards the rebuilding of the agency he single-handedly dismantled by forcing out 62 deputies last year.

Now let’s talk about that number, 62. Of those 62 who left the agency last year, at least a third have entered into civil suits for discrimination, civil rights violations and sexual harassment against Morgan personally and professionally. That is a skyrocketing number of suits against any ONE Sheriff. Another meritorious distinction this non LEO sheriff claims.

To simplify this for some of the current admin at the ECSO and the Honorable Sheriff, you can’t bitch about how the BOCC regards your deputies’ pocket book when you already stole from them too. That is cognitive dissonance–berating someone for something they shouldn’t do when you did it as well but don’t think you should be berated or judged. Hypocritical is another term in this case that would apply.  The money in the budget he gave to Chip Simmons, Amber Southard, David Ingram & Andy Hobbs. They got the money that deputies deserved. Morgan mismanaged that money by rewarding his favorites in a grandiose fashion, leaving the rest in the cold.

That brings us to the fiscal illiteracy. The fiscal illiteracy refers to his failing to manage the agency in the way it should be, despite the fact the Honorable Sheriff claims he can. I don’t know, maybe Webster University’s graduate level business classes,  37+ years ago, didn’t prepare Morgan to actually use numbers as high as the Honorable Sheriff has to work with today. Maybe there are too many big numbers for him to understand in one budget. I don’t know.

Let’s look at the over all money issues historically Morgan has had:

*in the military, he allegedly was skimming government money via credit cards, resulting in his early retirement

*the mishandling of the budget regarding the jail that resulted in him losing the oversight of that jail

*the employee that embezzled $150K from the LET fund for years without anyone knowing and his CFO keeping his job even though he facilitated larceny

*the citizens’ complaints on how LET money is spent resulting in an investigation by the State Attorney.

There is a pattern of misappropriation.  It seems very clear to those of us who pay attention.

The conclusion, based on the past history of this Honorable Sheriff leads to the reasonable assessment that, either he is criminally responsible for misappropriation of taxpayer funds as well as mismanaging criminal justice principles and personnel necessary for a LEO agency in the 21st century,

OR

He has been given too much responsibility for his capability.  He cannot seem to handle doing the duties of his post, which is to maintain law and order while sustaining the county’s fiscal well being and safety.

You decide.

I almost forgot to give a shout out to Gerry Champagne for trolling and liking my FB page for Florida Open Gov. Initiative.

CORRECTION:

I mistakenly said that 65% failed the academy. That is incorrect. The cadets go through the academy fine; it is 65% failing out of FTO or discovering this job is not for them.  My Bad.

Commentary on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Forum May 23, 2016

I don’t know what to say. Should I start with the biased reporting of Kevin Robinson by claiming John Johnson “attacked” Sir David? Mr. Robinson does not understand the meaning of the word “attack” if he thinks that is what Johnson did.  Johnson merely unveiled the current conditions to the people. Morgan likes to whitewash the community erosion by saying it does not exist.  Escambia County isn’t Never Never Land. It evokes the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes.  Sir David would have the citizens believe his rhetoric over the statistics, experiences of people around him. Let’s not forget the community vulnerability that cannot be explained away. Citizens are targets in their own sanctuary of Escambia County.  Where there is smoke, someone should be looking for fire.

Finally, to end this rant of bias by PNJ, Mr. Robinson, being a journalist, you should have a better grasp of vocabulary. Could you have used more legitimate wording?  Certainly! Challenged, confronted, impeached are all better descriptions of the dynamics of the forum. Unless Robinson’s vitriol was part of the propaganda machine of Team Morgan, there is no reasonable explanation of Robinson’s choice of words.  Ignorance or Venom—you decide.

P.S.

Mr. Robinson, do you or the PNJ get LET money to provide endorsements of political candidates?

Issues in the Forum

One of the most conspicuous things I noticed was roughly 19 minutes into the video. The moderator noted the long-standing corruption problem and asked what the candidates would do to increase public trust in the ethical (snicker) behavior of public officials. Sir David either misunderstood the question or he chose not to address “ethical behavior”. Funny how there is no reference to the “Good Ole Boy crew” he claims to have removed with McNesby. He’s put that song and dance to bed. Apparently, his hypocrisy has some limitations.

But He does jump into the fact he doesn’t have a “hate-filled Facebook page”.  What does that have to do with corruption or even unethical behavior? It is social media and campaign ads are simply not unethical.  What is unethical is putting a senior officer on admin leave for something that is purely a civil action between his mother and another officer. What is unethical is the targeting of personnel that do not agree with you and forcing another senior officer into early retirement for liking a anti-Morgan Facebook post. How about targeting women and minorities to make their employment environment a living hell of discrimination and condescension? These are unethical.

Perhaps Mr. Robinson and Sir David should take the same vocabulary lessons.

I could continue with the 10+ blatant prevarications & misdirections throughout the forum but I want to discuss something more offensive.  Sir David repeatedly started bombastic, defensive proclamations with “If Escambia County is so bad”.  This is a tragic effort to validate his re-election campaign by trying to bring the virtues of the county to light. He tried to take credit for everything Escambia County great.

So why do I care? There seems to be a perception that I am an outside agitator. That is far from the truth.  I spent the majority of my life in Escambia County.  I came to live with my Dad in 1986. He was a fisherman and a supervisor for BE&K (worked at International Paper).

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His name was Jim Barnett (that’s why I’m Jimmie). My Dad was an exceptional man in a very un-exceptional world. He was a straight-shooter that people tended to love. His friends will attest to that, I was the pride and joy of his life. As his only child, he spoiled me rotten but in that, he did teach me the difference in right & wrong.

He passed away May 23, 1997. He was a veteran and was buried in Barrancas. There will always be a part of me in Pensacola.

I told that story to talk about the greatness of Escambia County, despite Sir David’s damage. Escambia County is not “so bad” as he would make it sound but he has been detrimental to entire county. He had no hand in making Escambia great, therefore he doesn’t have the power to take away that greatness.

The things that make Escambia great are the people, the values and the ability to live in a community for decades and NOT HAVE TO LOCK THE DOORS. By systematically fleecing the taxpayers, disrespecting the deputies and insulting the citizens, Sir David attempts to blame the community, but I submit to you that he cannot take away anything the constituency doesn’t allow him to take.

As for the disease of corruption, Sir David is patient zero. He is currently the biggest albatross Escambia County has. It is not the Sheriff Dept—it is him. He is either psychopathically delusional or sociopathically indifferent to the crime problem in the county. Sir David is the nexus of racism and discrimination in ECSO as well.  A double digit number of employees have filed lawsuits for discrimination, civil rights violations and hostile work environment.  DOUBLE DIGIT.  This is the largest number in recent history. Ronnie Mc did not have this sort of litigiousness.  When there are this many people seeking judicial relief because of animus at work, maybe it is time to consider the Sheriff is the problem.

In any other job, if you fail so completely by maliciously endangering the community, you get fired or arrested. If you misappropriate money, you go to jail. Why is Sir David allowed to sit in his office? Only the people of Escambia County can unseat this albatross.

Make Pensacola great again, VOTE MORGAN OUT-2016.

 

 

Good Ole Boy System is Alive & Well

Gerald Champagne, Attorney for Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

Hired in 2010 at a rate of $35 per hour.

Then in 2012, Mr. Champagne’s Salary jumped more than the 3% merit raise he received every year.
His prior employment contract was replaced by this.
Since then he’s jumped even more to this.
As of last year, his pay is now: $170,498 per year which based on his contract is roughly $80 per hours at 40 hours a week for 52 weeks.  What was even more telling was the number of people who make over $100K a year at the Sheriff’s office.
Florida OpenGov -- County Payrolls.clipular
Source: FloridaOpenGov.org

The Angry Man@the GOP Sheriff Forum

Wow! That is the only thing I can say.

I read about John Johnson’s speech. It didn’t go as planned. He tried to make a point by asking if women and children felt safe going to Walmart after 9pm. The woman he asked didn’t play along. She said she did…OOPS!

Next I watched Doug Baldwin’s speech.

I was very impressed with Baldwin’s articulation, coolness and value based approach. While I don’t necessarily agree with his politics, he was very persuasive. Hell, one of Ronnie Mac’s biggest supporters told me he was there and he would have voted for Baldwin had the election been held that night. He was that swayed by Baldwin’s speech.

Then I watched this:

This is just an attack on the people of the county. Sir David has lost his shit!  He’s an angry man. He has NOTHING positive to say and basically says “Don’t judge me; I didn’t want this job to begin with”.

To that I say, I agree…you should just move along, because you have just pillaged the people of Escambia County. His reluctance to be a politician was so overtly a lie. He’s always wanted to be the center of attention. His $30,000 smile is proof of that. Plus if he was so reluctant, why is he running for a third term since he clearly feels under-appreciated?  No one buys that BS.

Yeah, you used county money to feed into religious organizations that, in turn, contributed to you. Should we look at each agency you donated to, compare the staff of said organization with donations within proximate timing of their campaign contributions to you and see how that shakes out?

Again he went on about “parsed words”.

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Needless to say, my feelings in regards to his speech, was a bit angry at how he blamed everyone and said crime statistics don’t show Escambia County is a more dangerous place. Numbers don’t lie. This is just January – June 2015 compared to the entire year of 2014. Already there is a big disparity that is absolutely unexcuseable.

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Mr. Morgan, coming from I’m sure what you’d call, “a coward behind a keyboard”, as a sheriff, you are a liar and a FAILURE. Your job is to make Escambia County safe…no, ifs ands, or buts. The buck stops with you. Can’t take the heat? Get out of the fire or the reluctantly held seat that you didn’t want to start with?

Honor for Sale

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In researching the Billings’ murder case—one of the biggest and highest profile cases in Pensacola—it became apparent to me that corruption in the government, the “Good Ole Boy” (GOB) system of governmental cronyism is not reserved for just the politicians. One of the most audacious aspects of this case is the lack of journalistic integrity and “stick-to-tiveness” that is exhibited by the media. One particular, Mr. Outzen, also known for his title as “repeater” rather than “reporter”.  Mr. Outzen calls himself a man of integrity in a high profile interview with a high profile publication in reference to this case. He has also shared with me his thoughts, ideas, and knowledge from that time. It seems Mr. Outzen believes very much as I do. He confirmed the role of Hugh Wiggins as a gunrunner. He confirms that Ashley Billings Markham was screaming at the top of her lungs at the crime scene, “He did this. He killed my parents,” pointing to Justin Billings the night of the murders.

This passionate accusation turns out to be a valid theory. Mr. Billings had GSR on his hands that night, a very weak alibi and first & foremost, the absence of any emotion that was so glaring to investigators, he was initially the best subject. That is until the intervention of Mr. Craig’s narrative released to the press which deviates from all evidence but is pushed and released as fact to the press. Mr. Outzen confirms the “high probability” of that being the case scenario to me in a private conversation, in January of this year. Outzen acknowledged my theories as fair, accurate, and as likely as any theory provided by the state in this murder. This really got my attention since Mr. Outzen was on the inside track of this case and had access to the crime scene the night of the brutal murders.

But when I asked this “seasoned” journalist who waves the banner of his family’s roots in the civil rights pursuit, why he never broke this story that was so jaw-dropping and could have made his career, I received a bunch of nothing answers, ultimately culminating on him threatening to sue me for quoting him in a book I published on the Billings Murder. Why such overkill? Turns out I was not privy to the fact, Mr. Outzen had a love of the Honorable Sir David. When I asked about this relationship tinting his duty as a journalist as well as the dirt Sir David has on Mr. Outzen, he became very defensive. He then proceeded to tell me he’d sue me for quoting him in my book.

Six to eight weeks later, I got a letter in the mail from Mr. Outzen’s attorney- a CEASE & DESIST letter stating I was to pull my book from sale and pay him $25,000 for my “infringement” of his copyright material. I was to sign a statement to never to it again. To which I penned this letter:

April 9, 2015

Mr. Stevenson,

In response to your letter dated April 2, 2015 regarding copyright infringement that I allegedly inflicted upon Rick Outzen in my book Conjuring Justice: Proof One Person Can Make a Difference, this is my official answer to such allegations:

The portion of Mr. Outzen’s article posted on Rick’s Blog & Independent Weekly was shown in my book as the only publicized description of a crime scene and the 9-1-1 call. These statements are factual events Mr. Outzen was the sole beneficiary of as specific description of the actual events were squashed by the Billings’ family. Mr. Outzen’s description of the crime scene was of little to no artistic license and more recollection of facts not released to the public. My quoting of his details was for the benefit of reporting or describing the scene of a crime that many people were not fortunate enough to have been privy.

My use of Mr. Outzen’s work did not affect the financial gain of Mr. Outzen’s article as it is posted in various publications free in the public domain. My financial gain was minimal on this book with his description being merely an insignificant portion of book. His description merely adds 3% of the totality of the book in which its own means to identify a factual event in a factual case.

Pursuant to Maxtone-Graham v. Burtchaell, 803 F.2d 1253 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1059 (1987) & according to Columbia Law School teaching, the following criteria is met in my use of Mr. Outzen’s description of the Billings’ crime scene:

  • “Purpose: Although defendant’s book was published by a commercial press with the possibility of monetary success, the main purpose of the book was to educate the public (about Billings’ Murders & the author’s views). Though errors in the copying of the original work could weigh against fair use, pursuant to case law, the court found the errors to be of little significance. Overall, this factor weighed in favor of fair use.
  • Nature: Though the plaintiff’s book contained “elements of creative journalistic effort,” it was said to be largely factual, weighing in favor of fair use.
  • Amount: In precedent, the court resolved that quoting 4.3 percent of the plaintiff’s work was not excessive.  The verbatim passages were also not necessarily central to the plaintiff’s book.”
  • I used 1714 words out of 48,547 entire words within my book, which accounts for less than 3% of the entirety of the book. While this amount is a great percentage of the article in question–2506 of the article composition–of that 2506 words, 1128 words are transcribed, 9-1-1 records which although copyright protected within the article, are not private property and do not rise to the level of infringement. The remaining 586 words are again reporting of things notated in a report of factual recollections of Wayne Wright, crime scene investigator & Deputy Walter Johnson. These accounts are not artistic expression; they are findings of professionals on the scene which does not fall under copyright infringement.
  • The reporting of the conditions of the crime scene and the bodies is presented in my book, to provide a scene that is important but not foundationally substantive. It is also only one privy to, Rick Outzen. Mr. Outzen gained this privilege through political favors with Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan who holds a monopoly on all crime scenes within his jurisdiction. No accurate portrayal of the facts was ever presented to the public for understanding of the crime scene. This also makes constitutes the journalistic value of the information used to be free of artistic expression and copyright infringement.
  • “Effect: The court found no significant threat to the plaintiff’s market. Indeed, the court noted that the plaintiff’s work….was not likely to appeal to the same readers.

**Conclusion: This case sets precedent which affirms that quotations in a subsequent work may be within fair use, even when they are lengthy”

 Copyright Advisory Office Case Summaries. Columbia Law School, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <(http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/fair-use/case-summaries/#summaries4&gt;.)

A direct quote of Mr. Outzen was, “I can’t stand to think someone could order a killing and get away with it.”  This statement alone demonstrates shared interest in the facts of this case. In numerous communications prior to this melee, Mr. Outzen also reinforced his commonality of theory and like-mindedness with the basis of my book. We had the same purpose. In light of the legal maxim, Nemo potest mutare consilium suum in alterius injuriam, (No one can change his purpose to the injury of another) the standard for copyright infringement, in this instance, would be changing of the purpose of the initial article from being factual reporting of an actual murder with journalistic integrity to a work of artistic prose with creative measure not intended to be seen as journalistic in nature.

Please take notice that the implicit understanding throughout this strong-arm attempt by Mr. Outzen was the unwillingness to permit questioning of his integrity in this case as well as possible exposure of personal favors received by Mr. Outzen’s mistress, Sena Maddison in the form of an unearned position within the ECSO. Thus violation of fair use within my book became the only effective means for Mr. Outzen to meaningfully monopolize information given to him in a case where protecting his political alliances became paramount to journalistic integrity. My exposure of this lack of integrity is the fuel that is the fire in this cease and desist action. I will not sign any agreement or pay fees used to extort me for my silence about his extramarital affair.

Any other correspondence on this matter is to be sent to Attorney Marie Mattox and will be deemed harassment for whistleblowing retaliation in the investigation of the Escambia County Sheriff’s office. Mr. Outzen is an agent of Mr. Morgan. Any further action on Mr. Outzen’s part in reference to this matter will be deemed as such.

Truly,

Jimmie Staley