Thankfulness & Appreciation Series- Part 2

Sometimes the posts just write themselves. Thank God for that. Thank God for the Free Speech that would otherwise not be afforded to me in any other country. Free Speech Sir David doesn’t want to hear but that just delineates the need for such. If someone locally, won’t say it, I will. If not me then who? If not now, then when?

There were 2 different articles in the Mullet Wrapper this weekend that basically hit on the same points. The first is by my fave writer, Emma Kennedy, “Reopened death row, juvenile justice cases strain system” & the second, by my other fave writer at the Mullet Wrapper, Kevin Robinson, “Escambia County leads state in charging juveniles as adults”. 

To summarize the two issues, in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama, that mandatory sentences of life without parole for children under the age of 18 are unconstitutional. The weight of this decision is financially straining Bill Eddins’s office because………

First thing that comes to mind is that office has been pushing juveniles into adult sentences at a far higher rate than the rest of the state, which is pointed out in the second article, by Robinson. Scott McCoy of the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC) points out that these kids are being pushed into the adult system only to get probation. If the crimes are not severe enough to actually result in jail time, why shouldn’t they stay in the juvenile justice system which would allow them the chance to not be labeled within the adult system? This seems to be a case of not liking that option because it isn’t seen as punitive enough (in NW FL), for Mr. Eddins or at least his perception of what his constituents wants?

Over the last few weeks, I have become more acquainted with what passes for “a case” by the State Attorney’s office. Ron Clark Ball, John Powell, Pat Gonzalez, Gary Sumner were just a few who have been escorted in front of cameras and called criminals but when the evidence is laid to bear…..our court system (and by extension the judiciary that allows them to play “law”) were the through-backs on the short bus in law school.

What are you thinking, Bill Eddins, when you allow a personal vendetta of one of the legal elite firms to rope you into a RICO case, where there is perjured testimony, charges galore that end up being dropped because they are just that charges…not actual crimes committed. The bill on that case will cost the taxpayers millions. What about the letting whomever, assist the Assistant State Attorneys in the grand jury room, when Fla Statutes say they must have a J.D. after their name? Greg Marcille surely knows that. What about letting a Sheriff shake GRAND JURORS hands telling them, “I’ve done my job; now it’s time for you to do yours”? This is a directive to people personally to indict. How many people have been deprived a fair trial for that. Screwing with Grand Juries , YEAR AFTER YEAR, seems to me that will cost the taxpayers BILLIONS WITH A “B”.

This is a case where people who are in charge shouldn’t be. Their decisions result in inequities on the people they were sworn to represent and protect. I am talking about CRIMES OF MORALITY THAT LET THE REAL CRIMINALS OUT WHILE PUTTING THE INNOCENT IN JAIL.

Please, as always, don’t just take my word for this. Go to Flcourts.gov, or FDLE.gov. The statistics of what is actually going on. The problem is these men, Eddins, Morgan are stewards of the county and they don’t play fair. Consequently, in the appellate stage, other courts look at their non-sense and kicks back the badly handled cases. That is an error that is coming to fruition while these men are still in office. Typically, this sort of thing hits the following administration or comes back to haunt the subsequent terms of politicians; however, the glut for power has kept them in office long enough to see the spoils of their injustices.

It is a no-brainer that if you have to pay for a job to be done and then redone because of it was inadequate, it costs more money. Doing the job twice due to shortcuts like not having the properly composed grand jury, pushing kids into an adult system for no reason other than perceived political capital, letting other officials subject court cases to retrial for inappropriate contact, all these things COST THE TAXPAYERS MONEY & on top of it, having to doing out punitive damages for ruining people’s lives COSTS EVEN MORE.

According to the NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service),

Corruption can arise in virtually any area of local government activity, and will leave distinct traces according to the area -law enforcement, land-use regulation, purchasing, or tax assessment. It is possible to put together a diagnostic check list that will indicate possible corruption in a particular area. 

When corruption in government is suspected, there is a checklist of things people should look for. Some of those are:

  1. Have there been any cases tried in recent history of corruption? Statistically, there are going to be people involved in the moving parts of government trying to make money by cutting corners. Lack of this implies there are things not being caught which indicates incompetence or there are things overlooked indicating bigger corruption. Either way, the fact is something has to change for the county to retain its liquidity.
  2. Is there a high turnover in agency personnel? This indicates a systemic internal problem that cost taxpayers money and allows for corruption to flourish in the internal dissension.
  3. Are public positions filled when there is no need for the job, as hiring a
  4. swimming instructor for a park with no pool? This indicates the fulfilling of political favors for off the book gains ie corruption.
  5. Are those arrested for narcotics and gambling mostly street-level people
  6. rather than higher ups? This indicates incompetence in not investigating about the street-level soldiers in a more organized criminal enterprise.
  7. Is there an effective independent investigative agency to hear complaints of official misconduct? This is a check and balance approach to keep everybody honest.

The NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service) goes on to say:

“Some people who participate in corruption make no attempt to hide their activities, either believing that what they are doing is perfectly acceptable or expecting that no one will be watching. In most cases, however, participants will attempt to cover their tracks, both by making payoffs secretly and by attempting to provide a legitimate cover for their decisions. Where this is true, uncovering corruption problems can be difficult. Existing nvestigative bodies, such as the police and the prosecutors’ offices, are the obvious starting point because they can use surveillance techniques, subpoena powers, and the like, and can grant immunity to uncover evidence of specific crimes. Elected officials and agency heads who have daily contact with first-line supervisors or middle-level management are likely to have a fairly good idea of where the soft spots are, although they may be protected from below from any knowledge of specific corrupt acts or practices. Those who deal with local government from the outside – lawyers representing developers, contractors seeking building permits, salesmen seeking orders, or companies seeking contracts -will have certain knowledge of specific acts of corruption. Some will have little interest in exposing the acts that they profit from while others will be eager to see an immediate end to corruption (although they may be reluctant to aid in a suppression effort that entails personal risk). Newspaper, wire service, and television reporters may have more knowledge of corrupt acts than is revealed in their news reports, but may be reluctant to reveal it for fear of cutting themselves off from sources of other news. Outside of specifically chartered investigative bodies, the least reluctant sources of information about acts of corruption are official records.


” The desire to be respected by the public, so that being a politician or civil servant can be considered an honorable career, and election, appointment, or employment in government can be considered evidence of high personal standards of conduct. (They display:)• Recognition that corruption has a high social as well as monetary cost, and that even though the public may not seem to care in situations where corruption exists, and may continue to vote··in administrations that are either dirty or too stupid to be believed, the social cost is still being paid. When corruption and the costs of corruption finally become unacceptable, the result is likely to be personal as well as civic peril.• The awareness that there are standards of ethical conduct that can be agreed on, and principles of ethical action that can be applied, so that an employee or official can have confidence that he/she is acting ethically and need not be at the mercy of a superior’s whim or an investigative reporter’s slow news day. The most important ingredient of a (government leadership) management environment that is hostile to corruption is a strong and principled leadership. Without that, formalized guidelines for ethical behavior will be of little use. The next ingredient is credibility, which rests not only on sending clear messages that reinforce one another but also on keeping it all open and public”

Bottom line: Is this present in Escambia County? The articles in the PNJ tell the story….NO!

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Slander & Defamation from PNJ Yet Again

image.jpgIt was reported today in a big red BREAKING NEWS banner by the Pensacola News Journal “Billings Killer Mastermind Gonzalez to be re-sentenced”.  Wow…the irony just glows in this case. If the case is to be re-sentenced, a new jury would be impaneled. The jury pool is now subconsciously already being swayed with the irresponsible words that will now be forever out. “Mastermind” & “Ringleader” are 2 phrases that will easily push potential jurors to go for the more severe penalty of death.   Emma Kennedy and I had a tete-a-tete about this and Ms. Kennedy said that potential jurors have the option to not read her article using both buzzwords to describe Gonzalez. Ms. Kennedy must not know that the PNJ is the MAIN source of news for the majority of Northwest Florida. Gannett knows that. Look at their revenue in the area.

Ms. Kennedy is also ignorant to the power of the internet to keep stories alive in perpetuity.  Every story that slanders and defames Gonzalez is at the whim of any user via Goggle. You can get 250+ stories in one sitting.  Every biased comment ever slung at Gonzalez can be rounded up in a nice little bow. Not once is he ever referred to as the “alleged ringleader” or “alleged mastermind”. After all, that reference was given to him by people trying to leverage their own escape from the death penalty.

Maybe since Ms. Kennedy has been improperly trained but surely someone at the PNJ has some idea of the impact of media and the potential for denying anyone going to trial their 6th amendment right to a fair trial. They seem well versed in the 1st amendment when they feel their rights have been infringed, but forget it, if you are on the other side of the camera. The more grave the crime, the higher the stakes for the accused as well as the higher potential for confabulous stories for the “mullet wrapper”.

I wonder if I wrote 250+ posts on the incompetence of Ms. Kennedy if she may be impacted by that professionally. My blog ranks pretty well on Google. Maybe I should test that theory.

Moral of the story is that words carry power.  Not understanding the power of those words is willful ignorance for a journalist.

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?

Escambia Media Hijacked?

The story:

Sir David was at the Molino Ballpark a bit over a week ago watching his grandson play. He noticed a sign on the fence that was for electing John Johnson. It was fundraiser sign purchased in sponsorship of the field/league. Sir David and his wife not being able to control themselves asked the coach of the little league team who had no authority to remove the sign. He claimed it was illegally there. A scene was made and there was some hostility from Ye Olde Sheriff. The coach being a mere coach with no true connection to the sign or the park policies said he would deal with it after the game but he had a game to coach. During the game, it seems someone called the county or league organizers (possibly Lumon May), who said just take the sign down and they would deal with it on Monday. Come Monday morning, a County Attorney (who has not been identified) ruled that the sign was legal and to re-post it.

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Courtesy of John Johnson’s FB campaign

The scandal:

So this classic bad behavior by the David Morgan should have been covered as it has covered social media for the past week,; this defines a noteworthy event, but yet no one in the media covered it. Not WEAR; not PNJ; not North Escambia; not any radio stations…NO ONE. How is this possible?  The news was not overwhelmed with more newsworthy events that over shadowed this. Someone with a pulse at these stations of mass communication should have tried to do a story.

A source at WEAR who was close to this story claims the story had been green lighted but no one from the park or Johnson’s camp would return calls. Without cooperation, the story had no legs and it was scrapped. Now cut to Johnson’s camp; they claim that they were contacted by WEAR but they wanted to wait until the County Attorney had ruled. After that, the reporter from Channel 3 called back but had to exit the call abruptly because there was something happening in the newsroom. She finally called back to say that the story had been scrapped. Rumor mill  from inside WEAR claims that the GM of the station,  Mr. Lowe, I believe (his name isn’t easily available on the site),who has been known to buffer “anti-Morgan”pieces, pulled the story.

The freedom of the press is important to this country for the purpose of keeping the government in check by telling the stories and facts as they exist no matter if they are pro or anti-government stories. In a recent interview on  TheIntercept.com, Edward Snowden made a remark to the effect that if the press did its job and did not censor the acts of the government, it wouldn’t take people like him to leak information.He’s right. Independent researchers, bloggers and freelance journalists have a place on the web because the mainstream news will not cover these stories. I have a voice because these outlets will not hold Morgan accountable for his actions.

What else does this man have to do to demonstrate how very incompetent he is at his job?  He’s stealing from taxpayers; he lies to the public about crime and the morale of his officers, as well as his own credentials; he’s endangered kids by not properly investigating crimes.

There needs to be accountability in the press. Whatever the reasons were that this story did not get aired, the result is the PERCEPTION of government filtered journalism. The fact this story is so vibrant on Facebook a week after the fact, demonstrates the need for coverage. The lack of mention of such an event looks like political cronyism. Whether it is or is not, is moot. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, so people see it as a duck.  Public relations people know that. What has happened in Pensacola is the media has been HIJACKED! The corruption is prevalent and controls the information–at least where Morgan is concerned. Think about the recent story of ” Sheriff Endorses Mike Hill”. Why is that a story?  The simple fact that is the story the same week that the biggest story on Pensacola Facebook, the Molino Ballpark Incident, is proof enough. This reeks of sanitation of the media in the 1920’s. The plague of corruption is spreading from government entities to the local press. It is a cancer that needs to be remedied.

In the hands of the ruling elite (nomenclatura) the media were also widely used for supporting its status quo and its activities. “This encompasses winning over people to the hegemonic ideology,mobilizing them in work and politics, and convincing them that the regime has great successes in its endeavors to better the lot of its citizens” 

Practice of Soviet Censorship In the Press: The Case of Estonia by Epp Leak

Hmmmmm…doesn’t this sound familiar? Escambia Citizens Take Back Your Media!   

By flooding your local news outlets with emails and letters asking the questions of why they are not reporting the bad behavior of the Sheriff who was such a hot button topic, you will get their attention.

stalin