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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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. 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.

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 have no ties to Escambia corruption.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, I have been told by Eric Pinkard, Pat Gonzalez’s attorney, that he anticipates a re-sentencing or re-trial within the next 60 days due to the Timothy Hurst Supreme Court decision regarding the death penalty in Florida. We shall see….stay tuned

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.

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Dr. Edward Bronson Expert Testimony exhibit2-expert test.

Why Chief Deputy is Wrong About Crime Stats

Local crime rate: Is it up or down?

This article was extremely inflammatory to me. As a criminologist, it is insulting  and it is ridiculous garbage.  Mr. Robinson, do you homework please.

Chief Deputy Haines and Prof. Hough are misleading the public with the interpretation of the statistics. First, Chief Deputy Haines is trying to look at the long term statistics to say you are safer today than in past decades. The problem here is that he is off point. The focus of all this is explicitly the time Sheriff Morgan has been in office. That is the time in question. Since he was sworn in, crime has been out of step with dropping crime rates within the state and within the country overall. The percentages have been disproportionately higher consistently throughout his administration. The attrition rate (loss of deputies) is directly correlated to this rate. Less officers = more crime.

The next misleading thing Haines throws out is about total arrests. Total arrests is no indication of crime. How many arrests were thrown out, improper or even resulted in numerous crimes being committed under that 1 arrest?  He is trying to confuse you with interchanging 2 terms that are not the same.

Moving on, the following graph shows the God’s honest truth. Escambia County  (from 2009-2015) has a higher crime rate than the state average—consistently. As for Dr. Hough’s suggestion that the .1-.3 percent increase is insignificant, in real numbers, that.1-.3 percent  accounts for 200-250 more violent crimes.  That is significant in Escambia County.

Now to address Dr. Hough’s claim that 2/3 of all crimes are committed indoors.  The semantics here are ALL crime vs violent or street crime. His statement is about all crime. It is misleading  by throwing in other crimes to diminish the statistical value. To make Dr. Hough’s 2/3 statement true, you must include white collar crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and identity theft. Those are not considered “violent”or street crimes and have no place in the statistics. Removing those crimes takes the veracity out of his assertion that 2/3 of crimes (that we are talking about) are committed indoors.

Subsequently, having directed patrolling (patrolling in high crime areas routinely, maintaining a police presence) has always positively affected crime rates. People are less likely to be the victim of a crime in the areas where there is more of a threat of incarceration. This is not rocket science. This concept can be reduced to simple human interactions. When you take your eye off of a kid, will they take a cookie they know they are not supposed to have? Possibly. Will they do it while you are there? Less likely. Reducing the opportunity for crime in the areas where it is most likely to occur is the fundamental cure to high crime.

Please don’t take my word for it. In Journal of Human Sciences, Vol 3 from April 2016, Murat Ozkan discusses the conclusion to his research which boils down to exactly this point. The article is called, “A paradigm shift in policing: Crime reduction through problem oriented policing”.  The main high point of this article is that policing that focuses on people and their motivations for crime, doesn’t work; focusing on reducing the opportunity for crime to occur (ie locking doors, having police presence, proper lighting in high crime areas etc) works.  This is an old concept that is still the most valuable approach to reducing crime.

Sheriff Morgan is trying to put the responsibility of crime on society. He does this by implying citizens don’t control their kids.Then he is implementing numerous neighborhood watch programs trying to make communities the police. If that worked, he shouldn’t have a job to begin with. People with the authority to put other people in jail are more compelling than people without that power, who potentially endanger themselves to try to stop a crime in progress. That is just good sense. It is denigrating for him to say “your bad ass kids cause crime and don’t call the police, fix it yourself”.  That is the line of crap he is laying out.

Finally, Prof. Hough claiming that 2/3’s of all crime happens indoor is lumping in many other crimes than we are talking about here. Many crimes initiate out of doors. What crimes (relevant to the problem in Escambia County ) happen outdoors? Typically, prostitution, car jackings/theft, car burglaries and drug deals happen in open areas. Cervantes Street is known for a reason. Very few car burglaries, which are the big problem here, happen to cars within a parking structure or garage. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, most crimes happen to people transitioning between activities. In a car, leaving work or the mall, or even leaving home to go to work, school or what have you is where you are most likely to be victimized. That is the crime that can be reduced by police presence.

Also, be aware that according to senior deputies within the ECSO, there is a skewing of these statistics. Deputies have been told to code or report crimes with the least severe code they can. Making a burglary a petit theft for instance would keep that crime off the statistical radar. Sir David is shifty like that.

In the end, people feel the change in safety. More guns are sold; more padlocks or additional security items are flying off the shelves. This isn’t because they feel safer. Also, Eric Haines is doing the community a disservice by skirting the issues and misrepresenting the facts. He is still trying to justify his own inadequacy as Chief Deputy.

Moral of the story: Don’t let anybody try to throw statistics out to convince you one thing is true when you know it is not true. Several different organizations have labeled Escambia County more dangerous than it should be. The talking heads of the ECSO can’t explain that away. (Mostly because it reflects badly on them personally). And by the way, no billboard will make you safer either.

By the way, Mr. Robinson, you should fact-check the people you try to make look smart. You are slanting the information being delivered just as much as the Chief Deputy. You discredit yourself.

haines statistics - DocHub.clipular

 

 

 

 

Part II-An ESCO Deputy Speaks Out: We are Pissed Off!

 

It is not difficult to describe the dysfunction of the ECSO. There is more material to work with than you can imagine. As employees, we see the double standard that is in this place daily and routine for those who are at the top. The constant chatter is that the ECSO has never been run by anyone with the integrity of this administration. As observers of the inner machinations, we are disgruntled when we perceive that the administration–any administration– is incorrect or wrong about an issue. That is commonplace in every organization, but, in this administration, there is no tolerance for disagreement with those who nest in the Ivory Tower.doodle-810-ivory-tower

It is confusing how they believe they are so deserving of respect when we see the workings behind the curtain. Morgan has not made any effort to encourage the officers that work for the ECSO. He spends money on coins to give away so he can look important. If you are lucky,  you may have the chance to be given one–if you are in the right place, at the right time. He gives thousands of dollars to organizations that have little to do with improving communities, drug awareness or crime prevention. But none of those are real problems, according to Chief Haines. They easily circumvent the law due to the vague construction of the65a89-img_3335-1024x768 statute. He actually said that on a live radio show. This is an example of just how honest they are. They are so honest that they will admit on live radio they take advantage of the money from LET because the law isn’t clear.  Wow……..that is alarming by any standard.

We could look at some of the ways Morgan could have spent money from LET that would have been completely honest and would leave no room for judgement.  We can start by looking at equipment. It is not a secret that officers are seeing suspects that are armed with superior weapons than the standard issue 40 cal. handguns that are those issued for deputies. All of the officers assigned to patrol could be equipped with a weapon that would give them an equal chance of survival with an armed suspect. The cost for all officers assigned to patrol, to be issued a weapon that is adequate, is roughly 120K. That is less than the cost of the billboards that have Morgan’s picture plastered on them with the idiotic advice of locking doors. No shit, Moron. I doubt any of us who own a vehicle were confused about what that clicky thingy was on our doors! Yet, he decides to go and spend 130K on putting his picture out there on every sign he could buy. We are supposed to believe  him when he explains that it was a coincidence that it just happens to be a political season. You have got to be kidding me. If he thinks anyone with a brain, with actual activity, believes that, he is an idiot. Of course he bought the signs with the idea that he would be seen everywhere and was assured by his intellectual giant of a Chief that he could smooth it over with deputies who disagree.  The law of the land is this: “The minions will be told what they are to think and that will be that. We will fire them if they think independent thoughts without permission.” Just ask Buddy Nesmith.

There are some good causes out there that could benefit from LET money. We could start with youth sports. It is a great cause and many kids are saved by being involved in team sports. However, Lumon May is not the only one who is involved in sports. There are many deputies that take the time to coach kids in a variety of sports. Why would Morgan not let every employee know that the agency they work for will help with any sponsorship that is needed for youth activities? The majority of baseball teams are required to raise an average of $500 for a full sponsorship of a team. If you consider 25K given to Doug Underhill for the Cyberthon program, helping approximately 50 students a year ($500/per student), it starts to be concerning. That same amount of money would have sponsored 50 baseball teams. There is an average of 13 kids on a team. Morgan could have helped 650 young people (at about $39 per student) with a chance to experience the joy of being a part of a team. He could have offered a chance for 650 kids to be off the street learning about something other than drugs and crime. This is a good analogy of the community. Morgan wants to help the few–more elite– than the many whose lives could be changed by that $39. 

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March 2016

In case the point was missed, I’ll explain further. Morgan cares about pleasing a certain few that increase his positioning in life. May and Underhill to name a couple. I mentioned the name Lumon May and left out the details that even his brother is in on the gig. These two guys are in charge of raising money at ball parks and churches all over the county. The same guys that refused to obey lawful commands of a sworn police officer. These two people get the proceeds from our agency that was obtained by officers risking their life. Why? I can tell you that it is offensive but only a person that has been a cop would know how it truly feels. It is so insulting to see Morgan give money to these guys when he has seen the conduct and sense of entitlement they display when involved in a situation they don’t like. Morgan would have no idea how this feels or looks from an officer point of view because he failed to ever become a cop. He can’t rely on his staff to inform him because it has been established they are mere peons.   I guess it is a way to buy his way into the club and it has a net cost of zero to him. He didn’t risk his life obtaining the funds. Why would he care who gets the money?

In all fairness he has given to PHS girls soccer……wait I think a campaign contributor has a kid on that team. In fact, that contributor happens to be the CFO for the agency. Would there be any bets on if the name Underhill shows up? If you said yes you would be correct. It almost slipped by because the donation is in the name of the wife of Underhill. I guess they didn’t think we would put that together so fast. That is only a quick look at the contribution report. Imagine what would happen if someone actually took the time to look at each contribution and each LET expenditure. It isn’t just Morgan that is to blame. The people on that list know what is happening. Especially Underhill, a quick search of public records would show he has extensive knowledge of how to manage money or maybe mismanage would be a better description. This is the guy that Morgan considers best for the job. He has no proven record of managing even his personal affairs and is slippery at best.  

If you listen to Morgan his “blind” promotion system has been a wonderful addition to the agency. If it works so well why wouldn’t he use it for his staff? One reason could be Haines and his wife probably wouldn’t donate to him. Tharp wouldn’t donate. He would lose thousands of dollars from his staff. It is such a hypocritical message and insulting to believe Morgan thinks everyone is too stupid to see it.   

The truth is that Morgan does not care about the employees or the kids. Haines said it best “we can use the money for anything because the laws are so vague”. With that mentality why would you care about using the money for what it was intended to be used for in the community? Use the money for what best serves the needs of the administration. It is not a secret that all of the administration will be job hunting if Morgan gets beat. Where else could they go and have such a commanding presence with so little ability? thug life1

The dangerous part of all of this is that it just shows Morgan’s disregard for the safety the community. The crime stats just prove that it is harmful to all of us for this man to be in charge at the ECSO.  He gives cops all over the country a bad name. Then as if that isn’t bad enough Morgan have the audacity to claim that “his administration” possesses integrity. Simply put………………….PATHETIC!

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So in a nutshell……..we, the deputies, are not so stupid after all. We know what Morgan is doing and it makes us hate going to work. The problem is–until someone sees it– we, the deputies, are stuck. We are all caught up in Morgan’s game of expanding his influence and wealth.  We are being used and will be promptly thrown out when we serve no further purpose to that end . A man in his position that cared about employees and the community would not be so careless with the money that men and women that are truly honorable risked their life to get.