The Biggest Threat to ECSO is the Actions of Deputies/Sheriff

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Apparently, in the wake of my last few blog posts, Steve Cappas has been trying to figure out a way to sue me to get his transcript excerpts taken down. I find this so amusing because this man has committed numerous felonies against so many people, depriving them of their constitutional right to due process, and I am his concern. Cappas should be concerned about Joe Zarzaur’s next move or perhaps the real likelihood of prosecution or maybe the number of cases he has handled that may be overturned in light of his participation and questionable evidence handling.

In researching the duties Cappas should have upheld, according to FDLE, I found this (My apologies for the blurry quality. Please see the link for a clearer view):

Plainly, as simple as the rules appears to be, Cappas had difficulty following them .He stripped constitutional rights from individuals on a whim. He allowed evidence to be exposed to tampering threats and possibly lost that could be exculpatory to individuals currently incarcerated or that could have put more people who broke the law behind bars, justifiably.

In true fashion of the ECSO, there has been no response or change in policy regarding the shocking evidence handling procedures, Cappas has adopted. The agency staff members have been busy overseeing back to back investigations on one officer as well as preparing admin for the numerous jury trials against them in the near future.

One of the claims being investigated is that an officer used profanity. The recommended punishment is termination. The supporting evidence includes a statement given by Capt. Hall. She is also on leave for misconduct involving dishonesty. However, her statement getting an employee fired was taken as truthful, but she will likely suffer adverse employment action for being dishonest.

Another investigation into Facebook posts or gossip including derogatory remark about David Morgan has recently been completed. The employee suffered serious penalty as well. There was no law violation. There was no indecent behavior. Never tampered with evidence. Never destroyed evidence to avoid detection of a crime. This employee insulted David Morgan unknowingly and will suffer serious consequence.

In accordance to status quo, the idea that Cappas being untruthful would catch the attention of ECSO staff members is a fallacy. However, it seems like if officers can be terminated for using profanity when upset, there is no doubt admin would expeditiously handle the admitted criminal behavior of Cappas. But sadly, that assumption would be wrong. Cappas is a follower. He is willing to evade lawful conduct and hide behind the fact he is following orders. He should know he isn’t excused for improper behavior because his superiors don’t choose to follow law. Yet I am sure I will be the scapegoat if Cappas is, in fact, arrested for criminal activity.

Cappas should seek advice on how best to avoid that inevitable outcome because currently, he is a fall guy for improper/criminal acts in the Manning case. He may be satisfied with being sacrificed. If he is sacrificed and loses his freedom and/or job, he can at least celebrate not having to explain how one person could be so spineless and blindly follow orders that are contrary to procedure and law, affecting anyone’s freedom . His conduct should be addressed immediately by the ECSO Administration and he should be investigated while on leave just as all other employees when an investigation begins that is serious in nature like offending David Morgan. However, offending, Sir David is far more serious in the eyes of this administration than wrongfully, criminally mishandling cases. This is your Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

More Sketchy ECSO Facts

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In my last post, the procedure of how the “sensitive” or “exceptional” investigations conducted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office were handled was explained by LT. Steve Cappas. Zach Ward pointed out how a report with critical evidence that he handled was inexplicably missing from the case file while it was replaced by another report done a year later by a different person. This illustrates tampering and/or destruction of evidence. Steve Cappas tried hard to cover up and explain away inaccuracies told by Sheriff Morgan in his press conference. It was obvious that evidence that should have been handled professionally and securely, was not and many people were aware and had access to sensitive information that could be manipulated for self-preservation by many. I am not saying it WAS manipulated but just the fact that the opportunity and access facilitated the possibility of multiple hands altering evidence to preserve their livelihoods, reputations, and marriages, exists. It would just take one desperate person feeling backed into a corner, with the ability to distort the facts of the case via the digital evidence. While I am not saying it did happen for a fact, often, good people make bad decisions if the opportunity presents itself. This was a politically charged case that could have led to career ending implications, possible jail time repercussions and even personal life destruction. And the handling of evidence was so sloppy, that we cannot know for a fact it wasn’t tainted. That is the reason for police procedures is to minimize opportunities and preserve chain of custody. That did not exist in this case.  My question is how many other cases happened like that over the tenure of Sheriff Morgan?

 In trying to understand if it is possible other cases, big or small, may have been handled just as unprofessionally, we must look at the people in charge of such investigations. Today, I want to continue the discussion with a look at the most recent head of Internal Affairs investigations, Frank Forte. Under his watch, many deputies’ careers have passed through his hands.  Just to give some context and clarification, during Zarzaur’s deposition with Eric Haines, done last week, it came out there is no internal procedure or process of handling or even initiating IA investigations. IA has been used as a tool for the administration to conduct witch hunts against deputies they consider, unworthy of the badge. Any reasoning works and depending on how vehemently Eric wants people gone, it can be a nonsensical and even unlawful process. An example is Tama Barber’s writ of Mandamus, where Morgan decided there would be no compliance hearing that is available to deputies via Florida statute. Morgan doesn’t have the authority to deny that, yet he did. This is standard operating procedure.

None these mishandlings of IA investigations can go on, if a professional is at the head of this department, assuring deputies’ rights aren’t violated as well as procedure is followed to protect the ECSO from liability in wrongful termination suits. Forte being the head of this particular department, is very interesting because there is documentation showing Frank Forte perjured himself.

Because my colleague, Dr. James Scaminaci III delivers the facts as elegantly as I would be able to, I differ to his article on CJ’s Street Report from December 14, 2016:

The basic facts are these.  Sergeant Nix was working a side job in Pensacola Beach.  He gave permission to three vehicles to park in a “Loading Zone” area.  Sergeant Nix knew that there was no Florida statute prohibiting parking in such a zone (there is now).  Sergeant Nix advised Deputy Cripe that he had given the car owners permission to park there and that it was legal.  Deputy Cripe complained to Lt. Frank Forte who instructed Deputy Cripe to write the tickets.  Once Nix left his side job, Cripe wrote two tickets on Saturday and one ticket on Monday.  The three tickets involved two car owners.

Sergeant Nix was subpoenaed to appear as a defense witness, as was Deputy Cripe as a for the prosecution.  Lt. Forte attended as an observer.

After Nix’s testimony had concluded, Lt. Forte told Col Hardy that Sergeant Nix had violated ECSO guidelines in his testimony.  In the June 28, 2016, memo from Col Hardy to Chief Deputy Haines, Hardy wrote:  “Following the hearings, I was contacted by Lt. Forte and he informed me that it was his belief that the testimony given by Sgt. Nix against the Sheriff’s Office during the hearings rose to the level of Unbecoming Conduct in violation of ECSO policy.”

In the very same memo from Hardy to Haines, Col Hardy informed the Chief Deputy that he had checked to see if there were any evidence that could contradict or corroborate Lt Forte’s belief.  There was no such evidence.  Thus, the second Internal Affairs investigation began.

It is important to note that this second Internal Affairs investigation proceeded once Hardy and Haines were assured there was no evidence that could contradict Forte’s statement.  It would be an officer’s word against a sergeant’s word, backed up by a deputy, Cripe who was in the courtroom.

Unbeknownst to Haines, Hardy, Forte, and Cripe, Sergeant Nix, already in the gun sights of the ECSO due to the ongoing first Internal Affairs investigation seeking to charge him with felony grand theft, paid for a court reporter to record the proceedings of the traffic court.

Unfortunately, I do not have an electronic copy of the second Internal Affairs documentation.  However, I do have hard copy of Lt. Forte’s sworn recorded statement regarding IA # I2016-012 dated July 22, 2016.

On page 9 of his sworn to be true testimony, Lt Forte told ECSO investigators, “…and the exact words, I can’t remember but I can tell you that part of it was, I was assigned to that beach for a long time and I’m aware that deputies have a habit of writing illegal tickets there.  And I couldn’t believe that he made that statement in court.  First of all, it’s not a true statement.  But to make that statement is bad enough….Our deputies sitting there shaking their heads.  Got their heads down shaking their heads like they can’t believe those words just came out of Nix’s mouth.”

On page 10, Lt. Forte’s sworn to be true recorded testimony reads:  “POLLOCK: And is this opinion of these illegal tickets or did he just kind of make some blanket statement?  FORTE: Nix blurted the statement I gave you.  Uhm.  He was never asked, what is your opinion or anything of that nature.  I didn’t hear that.  What I heard was Philip Nix explaining how he gave them permission and then he continues on to say something to the effect of, I’m very familiar with that red curb because uh there’s been numerous deputies that have written tickets on that, uh illegal parking tickets on that red curb.  Uhm, and when he made that statement uhm I can assure you no one asked him his opinion or asked him any of that.  He, that was, that was solely on him.”

Pretty damning stuff.  Except not one word of what Lt. Forte swore to be true under oath under the penalty of perjury was true.  He lied through his teeth believing there was no way his perjured testimony could be challenged by Sergeant Nix.

According to the transcript of the traffic court hearing, here is exactly what was said in the exchange between Mr. Chris Rabby, the lawyer for the car owners, and Sergeant Nix, witness for the defense:

“Question: So the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department has been illegally ticketing people for years for parking in front of The Dock?”
“Answer [NIX]:  “I don’t–if there is no statute for it, I don’t know what they are being ticketed for.”
Mr. Rabby:  “I don’t have any further questions of this witness.”

Maybe in an alternate universe there is a Sergeant Nix transforming a question from a lawyer into his own statement, but in that traffic hearing on that day, Sergeant Nix answered in the negative.  Lt. Forte’s sworn to be true testimony is false.  He perjured himself.  Surely there is some violation of ECSO policy for bringing a false accusation against a fellow law enforcement officer, providing false testimony, and wasting the ECSO’s resources on a fake crime.

Was Lt. Forte investigated or otherwise disciplined for making a false accusation, providing false testimony, and wasting ECSO resources?  In the voice of an insurance company model, “No.”

Here, outsiders can see clearly two standards of justice.  If you are a favorite of the ruling class–Morgan and Haines and Hardy–you can lie under oath, as long as your lies are in the service of the ruling class.  In that case, you are golden.  But, if you stand up for ordinary residents being falsely accused by the ECSO of parking their cars in a prohibited loading zone, well, you better have a lawyer and a court reporter on your side.  But what is legal and what is true are of no concern to Morgan and Haines.  What counts for them is blind obedience–the law and truth be damned.

Any resident should be able to understand this case and the jeopardy that puts you in.  If Sheriff Morgan wants you to be fined and/or prosecuted, there are deputies willing to perjure themselves to keep their jobs.  And Morgan will protect them.  We know that because Sergeant Nix advised Sheriff Morgan as to the lies told and Morgan did absolutely nothing

So we have established we have a lieutenant over Special Victims or Investigations that doesn’t secure evidence, now the Lieutenant over Internal Affairs who has perjured himself and been apparently rewarded for doing so by subsequent promotion to his current position after the perjury was made clear to admin. Why should we expect any investigation to be handled correctly when we cannot expect proper handling of big cases, like the Manning sex case nor the civil case involving parking tickets illegally issued?

Anyone wanting to read the entire, lengthy statement of Frank Forte, the court transcript from the civil traffic court case or the result of the IA against Forte for perjury which exonerated him can click links above.

Where’s Gavin? A Story of Boy Lost to Deputy Protected Predators

“Where’s Gavin?”

An Interview with a Victim of the Corruption in the ECSO

Michelle & Gavin

Michelle & Gavin Clark

“My name is Michelle Clarke. I am the mother of Gavin Jake Clarke. We lived in Hammond, Louisiana. I have been stuck in a waking nightmare for the last 3 years. My son was taken by his biological father, Mike Cancienne Jr. According to Gavin’s paternal grandmother’s current husband (Not Mike Sr.), Gavin was taken by his father. Mike Jr for a trip to Florida but they never returned. This worried us all. Gavin’s grandmother had feared what Mike Sr. did to Gavin on a camping trip.

This scared me because Mike Jr. confided in me that his father had molested him as a boy. My baby communicated to his grandmother and myself that at his very young age of 5, Gavin had been molested by Mike Sr. My worst nightmare was realized. During this time my life started falling apart. It began with a car accident that killed my older daughter which almost killed me and then the subsequent death of my father in Pensacola. Mike Jr, Gavin & I moved to Pensacola to deal with my father’s passing. He had a house in Marcus Pointe. Mike and I started having problems. He began to beat me while he was on “blue ice” (different version of methamphetamine made popular in the series, “Breaking Bad”). He was making it as well. After an interwoven set of circumstances that resulted in Mike Jr. taking Gavin without having absolute custody, I found that Mike Jr. was living in Milton. At some point, they lived in a house across the lake in Marcus Pointe with a deputy Mark Smith (yes that Mark Smith). I called CrimeStoppers. Originally Deputy Walter Thomas called to follow up on my complaints of harassment of Smith and Mike Jr. I discussed the fact that my son was taken and not returned by his father Mike Jr. My complaint was ignored. No one wanted to get involved because this seemed like a non-crime that is way too common and law enforcement don’t want to get involved.

Senior Deputy Mark Smith

Senior Deputy Mark Smith

But the greater concern was that these people were pedophiles. Smith busted into my house and attempted to rape me. When I asked about my son, he said he would “take” him sexually too & just keep him. Another ECSO official, later identified based on a series of pictures I was shown, was Stephen Cappas. He initially was going to record Smith raping me. For some reason, he had a change of heart and talked Smith down off of me. When I called to report Smith again, Cappas followed up and said he would help me. However at that point I hadn’t realized the man on the phone was the man who pulled Smith off of me. A similar event happened later with Deputy Walter Thomas accompanying Smith. They were both high and got scared when they realized I knew their names.

Stephen Cappas

Stephen Cappas

Cappas strung me along for a while. He finally told me he’d investigated Gavin’s whereabouts and he was not missing. How did he know that? Did he know where my son was? He told me I was crazy and that none of my complaints were founded. Finally he stopped answering my calls. So my thought was Smith and Mike Jr. may have him. They had moved closer to the beach. I reached out to a couple of local people. I found out Gavin wasn’t in the DCF system and not in school in Escambia County. He wasn’t in Louisiana with his paternal grandmother.

I now know what a monster Mike Jr was, I immediately knew his roommate Smith must be the same. This entire time I’m trying to investigate where Gavin might be.

Could he have been in that house across the lake? If he was in Florida with his dad and his dad was across the lake from me, surely Gavin is there too. In a constant battle trying to get Smith to tell me where Gavin was, I became aware of Smith’s demons. He was on “ice” too. To give you an understanding of what happens to a person on “blue ice”, here is a description from 7-star-admiral.com as to why someone would want to use meth:

“The number one reason is sex. High levels of serotonin heighten mood and emotional responses- particularly one’s sex drive. It makes one “feel horny” with the result that their sexual inhibitions and limits are seriously curtailed. This, in combination with increased self-confidence and aggressiveness, may lead persons to engage in unprotected sex.”

Another article from Mamasite.com called “Suffer the Children”:

“But methamphetamine is unique among drug of abuse in its sexual effects. Meth causes intense sexual arousal, particularly in men. Pornography is a universal finding in a meth lab. The pre-occupation with sex is pervasive. Children in these homes are exposed to the pornography and inappropriate sexual activity of the adults with each other, but they are also exposed to direct sexual abuse, often violently so…Children of all ages are sexually abused by parents of both sexes, including rape and sodomy. Children are often prostituted to dealers and cooks as payment for meth. They are left alone with people who are likely to sexually abuse them. They are also used to produce child pornography which is a lucrative trade.”

The effects of this drug have a specific behavioral result. That was the side of Smith I saw when he tried to rape me. So without any law enforcement to be able to go to, I am coming to the people of Pensacola. Everyone knows Smith’s pedophilia and sexual misconduct. I was even told that my son was killed being forced to perform oral sex. His neck was broken; Mike Jr. took him to Louisiana and buried my baby in a backyard.  Oh MY GOD!  But the more I thought about it, the more I chose to believe this was just a way of psychologically terrorizing me and to get me to stop looking for my son.

Please if you have any information on Gavin or any way to expose this dangerous and corrupt Sheriff who seems to either not know what’s happening on his watch or he is allowing it. Please, Please stop them before they hurt more kids.

My Baby, Gavin

My Baby, Gavin