In an interview with WEAR, Sheriff Morgan was interviewed about how the recent increase in crime & the perception of Pensacola, or rather the marketability of Pensacola would be affected. Before I get to his statements, I would like to offer an answer to those questions.
The increasing crime rate in Escambia County seems to directly correlate with the lapse of morality within the leadership of the community, particularly Sheriff Morgan. This statement may raise a great deal of controversy, but there is a practical and philosophical basis.
Martin Luther King said: The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy.
On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
Practically speaking, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, both wrote of leadership instruction centuries ago and are both regarded as principal references still used by leadership and military professionals today. On a practical side, both define a leader as being a person whose foundation is built upon consistency. They emphasize that to be the cornerstone of all leadership skill. Setting the rules and abiding by them to the letter is the primary foundation for establishing an effective, time-tested leadership. When employees realize that even the leader is subject to the rules, then they will fall in line.
By downplaying transgressions, a poor leader compromises all management decisions subsequent to those compromises. This has been demonstrated within the Manning sex case. Morgan squelched the investigation. This would be an opportunity to make an example out of sexual offenders of all kinds. Politically, this would have been a sign of strength and zero tolerance of such behavior by Escambia County Deputies. This decisive event could have been a formal way to separate ECSO from criminal activity. Did that happen? No. The investigation was rolled into a rug and buried. Why? What possible reason would there be to not hang these most egregious abusers of power out to dry? According to Machiavelli, “the first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” In this single move, publicly Morgan reduced himself to the level of the people he led who turned out to be criminals. The opportunity to rise above the situation and take command of the perception of the public was available for him to take it or leave it. He left it. If this is what is condoned within the walls of the ECSO, it logically follows that the community cannot be held to any higher standard. That is reflective in the crime rate and the mishandling of cases in an effort to cover an inability to lead.
Philosophically speaking, inept leadership invites corruption. In a research study, “The dynamics of effective corrupt leadership: Lessons from Rafik Hariri’s political career in Lebanon” by Mark Neal & Richard Tansey, which was published in The Leadership Quarterly 21 (1) 33-49, they observed “corrupt political leaders are usually ineffective…self-interested”. Their observations saw these qualities led to overcompensation of bolstering of power. However, this power is a false flag because the consequences it yields are undisciplined, inconsistent and evades responsibility. The errors or ills are always outward making the leader the willful victim of his own incompetence. This is how corruption seeps in. The psychological need to fulfill a role that cannot be filed leads to work-arounds and shortcuts. Justice is lost in ineptness.
They also point out that the flaw in how corruption is dealt with outwardly. Corruption is investigated as a systematic failure. This is a problem in two important ways. First, this approach does not comprehend or deal with the psychological/sociological forces operating when corrupt relationships occur.
“Specifically, power in organizations and power relationships between individuals have serious implications for the way corruption functions. Understanding corruption this way allows us to focus on the role of influence and networks of influence in corrupt relationships. Secondly, the systemic approach completely ignores the role of an individual’s free will in corrupt transactions. The systemic approach is only designed to fix “the system” of the public sector agency that has been the victim of corruption. This preoccupation with the system does not allow sufficient attention to be paid to the motivations and goal orientation of private actors. Corrupt transactions occur between individual human beings as the result of specific human interactions. For corrupt transactions to occur there must be communication between two or more individuals. They don’t happen by osmosis (and they don’t happen) by accident
Individuals intend to participate in corrupt transactions. They may not call them corrupt or they may have some rationalization to justify their behavior, but they intend for their transaction to have consequences which they desire. In this sense, corrupt transactions are social interactions between individuals and have to be viewed in terms of the intentions of the individuals. The intentions of both parties when participating in a corrupt transaction are to promote their interests. This may be an obvious point but it is nonetheless important. Promoting your own interest is essentially identifying and realizing personal goals. In order to achieve one’s goals one must have “power.” It is my contention that both parties to corrupt transactions are power-holders and power-seekers. They may possess differing amounts of power, but more importantly, they each possess resources of power that cannot easily be converted to promote their own interests. The purpose of corrupt transactions is to conduct a power swap which converts resources of power into actual usable power. The participants in the transaction can then use the power they have obtained as part of the transaction to promote their own interest.”
Corruption must be recognized as an act of individuals who manipulate the system in some way to their advantage. Fraud is brother of corruption. Sheriff Morgan fraudulently said he was “knight”, while that point is insignificant, the underlying fact that he would make that statement speaks to his view of responsibility, morality and respect he has to the people he is elected to serve. This is demeaning to the community because they are misinformed and mislead. In every research endeavor, one must consider the source, yet when the source seems like person we can relate to, who is in a position of command, such as Morgan, this leads people to fall prey to his attempts to take advantage of his power to “tell a tale” rather than relaying facts.
When Sheriff Morgan says something like he said to jurors in the Patrick Gonzalez Capital Murder case and many, many other court case such as, “I’ve done my part and now it’s time to do yours” while grasping the jurors’ hands to shake them in an act of agreement. This is a sanctifying step results in the responsibility of the citizens to do as they are told. For the average person, the weight of imprisoning the killers is, now, on them. It is no longer a question of innocence. Morgan has placed an onus on the shoulders of the citizens to do their part ie…convict. He is interjecting his morality and his opinions into an equation which proves only to prejudice citizens. Hitler used such methods to incite Germans to go after Jews. Remember this statement: Moral corruption incorporates a range of acts that place self-interest, rather than the interest of the community/group, as its ultimate goal.
Sheriff Morgan has power invested in his words by the people of Escambia County because of his elected position. In this role, when he asserts things, people take it for truth. The dilemma develops when he asserts non-factual or misleading ideas and personal agendas that are being taken take as fact. As a politician and human, when he speaks his morality must be scrutinized. He is obliged by oath, to be impartial, but this is rarely the case. His personal agendas, perceptions and value system are what is often propagated. There are many examples that provide proof of this pattern of behavior. The following is an analysis and deconstructing of some statements Sheriff Morgan has made in the last few days.
Statement #1: Regarding the Smith triple homicide:
“Well….the time of the blue moon every three years, the method of the murders and also our person of interest is known to practice this. It’s witchcraft. I’ll say that right now”
This is not a statement of fact but it is being portrayed as such. This is misinforming the public of the circumstances of this brutal crime. It is a red herring. That was good publicity talk for media. Sensationalism is a tool of the media but Sheriff Morgan uses it as a tool of reference. Doing so is obtuse and the only reason to use that as a tool of reference is he does not know how to use the facts and responsibility he has to convey an unbiased account to not skew the public or potentially the jury pool.
As a matter of fact, this lead did not “pan” out. Now this Wiccan is not a “suspect” so what happens to this ritualistic murder and witchcraft? It disappears. Morgan’s credibility in saying “It’s witchcraft. I’ll say that right now” that is NEGLIGENCE. If a doctor told someone, “This is cancer. I’ll say that right now”, then it wasn’t, what would be thought of the doctor? He is arrogant and incompetent. That is problem with Sheriff Morgan being a “media whore” (my name for him informally), he is there to promote himself not the facts or to inform the public.
Statement #2: “What I find sad about the last homicide was the fact that we have lost 3 of our citizens. That has been lost in the noise. Nobody is talking about the 3 innocent people who have lost their lives which is the horrific part”
This statement is the blowback of Sheriff Morgan’s narcissistic comments which were self-serving and not information. In legalese, this is considered “misinformation”. The misrepresentation of facts or accounts; to give false pretense. His press conference was supposed to be a bringing forth of the facts and investigation thus far in this brutal murder. Instead Sheriff Morgan made his statements the center of the press conference and is now condemning the very people who he led down that road by his “witchcraft” assertion. A responsible speaker knows that there are words that inflame. Anything racial or religious are understood to be inflammatory. Another is wording that is divisive by nature. If the statement categorically generalizes and isolates any one set of people, the fuse of public outrage is lit.
Sheriff Morgan is presumably a man who has read sensationalized news reports and has criticized such things. However, he perpetrates the same sensationalism in lieu of facts. Why? One could argue that the Escambia County election season has started and any publicity is good publicity. One thing that cannot be argued with any factual basis is that there was an intent to educate the public unbiasedly of the facts surrounding the triple murder. That was not his intent, yet it was his duty. In this capacity, his message is morally corrupt by definition.
Impact of these murders on the marketability of the Pensacola community:
“The community needs to understand unless you’re engaged in high risk behavior, the probability of you being a victim of a violent crime is very low. It’s very very small “What would affect marketability (of Pensacola) would be if we weren’t telling the truth. That’s why when cases and investigations allow, we try and be as transparent as possible.”
Now this comment is a simple reverting back to the exploitation of the position of power given to him by the community. He’s asserting his personal bias that effectively led to no conclusion in truth. This is calculated measure to emphasize his “truthiness”. However, there is no truth to the statements and as such, the murders are lost in the semantics Sheriff Morgan calculatedly used to get good “face-time”. This is a betrayal of his oath of office, his responsibility to the citizens and community. It is a morally, public office corruption.
How this affects the statistics on crime is simple. Government and law enforcement have a duty to put criminals in jail. What are criminals? This is where the law gets grey. Authority figures with no morality may wield this magic wand as rod of punishment to political enemies and also a tool to absolve others of criminal legality. That is why it is imperative to scrutinize the practices and moral ideology on a daily basis of any person put into such a power position. Sheriff Morgan, as a matter of routine, misleads and manipulates the public. Is it a stretch to think that those watching him start to back slide into same moral sinkhole? If the authority figure who is looked to as the instrument of justice is not manning his post as he should, what happens? People around him are not held to the same standard and they loosen their gird on their behaviors. This is how the deputies become corrupted by a poor leader. This all is conducive to making crime rates go up. Thus you have Escambia County today. The citizens of Escambia County, Southerners, are seen as an ever-increasingly criminal, uneducated lot based on the only national recognition that we have. Sheriff Morgan.
To end on a note of wisdom, many historic leaders have spoken on corruption because it is a timeless vice that is as old as the human race itself. Here are just a couple of statements regarding corruption that seem to best portray the fatal flaw of this kind of behavior by a public official.
Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ―Ronald Reagan
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. ―Thomas Jefferson
Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.
― Ayn Rand,
Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.
― Edmund Burke
Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.
― Aristophanes, Plutus