Why Chip Simmons’s Fall from Grace Will Keep Him Out of Public Office

As it has been predicted, the prophesy that Chief Deputy Simmons (aka Chipper) would be more of the same if elected to the office of Sheriff, has come to fruition. Several months ago, an employee outed an affair Chipper was involved in. She was disciplined for having an extramarital affair. Naturally, wanting the policies and rules to be evenly upheld, the employee believed it was wrong that she would be disciplined for an affair and Chief Simmons would not suffer any discipline for having an extramarital affair himself. There were ample details given to investigate this Chipper’s affair via a complaint made to the ECSO. This entire situation should have been investigated, especially since one of the possible victims of the extramarital affair is an employee at the ECSO and Chief Simmons is his boss.

Ultimately, two employees lost their jobs for having an affair. Neither employee was a part of the reported Chipper’s affair. The affair he had (or is having) was never investigated. The rules apparently don’t apply to Pensacola’s fair-haired boy. While the public once saw him as their favored and “honest” political personality, and he played the part by acting like such, he can no longer deny he is just as corrupt and as much of a hypocrite as Morgan or Haines.

The sad part is his conscience isn’t impeding his race for the top. Just imagine, knowing two employees were terminated, effectively ending their careers, for having an affair and you are doing the same thing without fall-out, should weigh heavy if you have any moral compass at all. Yet, with Chipper, not so much. He smiles and shakes hands with campaign donors while the people under him see him as minion of Morgan. As long as he abandons those he is supposed to lead (as he did when Haines held well earned raises over their heads) and stands by watching careers go down the drain for things he is guilty of while he basks in the sunlight, he doesn’t deserve the public trust just like the current administration doesn’t deserve the public respect and trust that was placed in them.

Let’s not forget there is a husband who calls Chipper his boss. This man must smile and grin, knowing that his boss is sleeping with his wife. That is twisted. That within itself is just not the stuff true leaders are made of.  Playing Devil’s advocate, if this is purely rumor wouldn’t any competent leader want to get to the truth in this matter?  However, it seems like, if an investigation were started, it would be documented that Chipper is an adulterer and has abused his power over the husband of his mistress and that is no good for political campaign.

Chipper wants to be the top law enforcement officer in our county. The citizens have the right to know if he is the person, he claims he is. He has worked diligently in his career to build a reputation in the public eye. Yet in almost 4 short years since he was hired, he has become as vile as the man that hired him. I, personally, would like to see some questions answered. I, personally, would like to see an appropriate investigation into this matter. I’d like to see him explain why an extramarital affair makes him worthy of being a Sheriff.

A true investigation would find Chipper involved in an extramarital affair and then there would be questions. He would have to answer why he watched two employees lose their careers because of something he was also doing without consequence. He would need to explain what makes him believe he should be Sheriff after lying about having an affair. I would want to know if he ever feels guilty for allowing himself to avoid responsibility for an act that cost others their career. Two people he knew well and worked with daily. People that he knew was aware of his inappropriate relationship if determined to be true.

One other question of great interest to the ECSO deputies is why he was exploiting his brother’s nepotism. Ken Simmons, Chipper’s brother, was promoted to a Captains position. There is not a career path for becoming a Captain. Historically it has been a political appointment. Morgan promoted Chipper’s brother when the statute is clearly being violated. None of the leadership at the ECSO stepped in and voiced concern for blatant law violations. (FSS 112. 3135) It would be difficult to argue Chipper had no input in the matter or for that matter, that it appears that Morgan was doing him a favor by promoting his brother over more competent candidates.

Neither issue is as concerning to the public as the deafening silence by Chipper, while he is able to make changes. If he is not actually allowed to rule against Haines, then he must be courageous enough to step away and fight to be elected. Taking a path of going along to get along is discouraging. That isn’t a new idea at the ECSO. That is an example of what is not needed. There have been several attempts to reach out to Simmons and beg for his leadership. He has ignored all the calls from employees to help the ECSO survive the failure of leadership. Tell me again why this is the person for the job of Sheriff?

Thoughts on the Recent Promotions from Inside the ECSO

Recently promotions were made at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Congratulations to one that deserved the promotion. Sgt. Tom Kelly was promoted and now Is Lt. Kelly. This IS an actual promotion that should have happen and Lt. Kelly can perform at a level expected by the officers under his command. He will be an example of leadership and professionalism. Many officers will have a chance to observe real supervision, that has become folk lore at the ECSO, for the first time in their career.                    ‘

Now, let’s talk about another– Lt. Frank Forte was promoted to 1st Lt Forte. While Frank will brag as if he had the winning numbers to the Mega PowerBall about this promotion but it is truly lackluster when compared to the other promotions. In fact, anybody should be insulted if they are compared to Forte. He has performed every cut throat task with diligence second to none, except maybe Morgan.  He was passed over for promotion when those promoted had half the years of experience as he does and they were promoted to much higher positions. Because Frank lacks morals and integrity, he was promoted to a position that will allow him to be used. He will carry water for Haines and allow plausible deniability when Haines deploys one of his search and destroy missions. Add the fact that Frank is a documented liar and Haines has the perfect minion for his devious duty assignments. Frank is incompetent, dishonest, and vindictive. All the boxes are checked for what Haines expects from a person running Internal Affairs Investigations.

It could be also that Frank needed to be removed from any position that allowed further destruction of an already weak morale level of current employees. Frank has also been called out for offering rewards for law enforcement activity when assigned to a shift. His failed leadership style reduced him to paying, presumably from his own pocket, and what officers are already hired to do. A law enforcement leader should know that is improper and that process should alert those with decision making authority to look for a problem. A  quick glance would reveal Frank had to bribe officers with gifts to request an assignment to his command and he paid officers extra to simply do their job. This conduct does not have any characteristic of what one would consider a valuable leadership tool.

Now, to another individual that was promoted—Lt. Ken Simmons. He was elevated to the rank of captain. It appears he has begun to reap the rewards of a relative (Chip Simmons -Sheriff candidate and current Chief Deputy) being in high places. His career has been less than notable to this point. He has few qualities that separate him from the pack and a reputation that is less than honorable. No special training, education or accomplishment that would qualify him for advancement ahead of others except for having a brother as Chief Deputy. The obvious question would be if this is a nepotism violation. I believe the law concerning nepotism is clear and this will be a promotion that is reversed in time. Haines would know this but agreed to not fight it so he could avoid being blamed at a future time.

Moving along there are 3 sergeant position that were elevated to captain or above and a  deputy position elevated to captain. One would pause to wonder how you promote sergeants all of whom were inadequate for a lieutenant’s position to a staff position. That is a kick to the teeth of the good officers that earned their position on the list for lieutenants. I assume the message to the ones that took the time to study for a test and dedicate the time to do well is, don’t waste your time and become a member of staff. Apparently, staff is seeking known failures and skipping the process to discover the individuals promoted are failures. This idea of leadership is the reason the ECSO has evolved into an agency that is ineffective and embarrassing to the citizens it serves.

There will be more to report soon. The monster that is known as David Morgan will continue to allow the destruction of the ECSO by the hands of Haines. He will continue to claim victory when placing last and fail to build leaders tasked with protecting our county. If Chip continues to ignore these failures and associate himself with this failed administration, as he has consistently done since taking his oath, he will prove he is not the person we should support for our next law enforcement leader. Some may even believe he is just a continuation of Morgan. The rumors of infidelity could be true and Haines has the relevant information to control Chip. There are few facts to support Chip being worthy of election at this point. There are many facts to cause one to believe he is only an extension of the failed Morgan administration. A brother is promoted, failed first line supervisors brought into the administration, failure to be a leader when deputies’ rightful raises were being extorted, rumors of infidelity being leveraged against Chip, and Chip is silent all the way through it all. That adds up to incompetence or corruption. Chip should either speak up or step away from Morgan. Staying the course he is on, only indicates he is the wrong person for the job.