SRSO Scandal: Part 1-The Narrative of the Grift UPDATED

**To correct a couple of points:

1, Scott Haines was never named trustee. Ms. Dot was and still is the trustee based on her deposition and her attorney Brian Hoffman’s court filings.

2. Ms. Dot grossed almost 2 million dollars in rental proceeds in 2005, when she was healthy. The rental proceeds continually diminished as her health declined, but there is still a large amount of rental income and potential to make over 2 million in gross rental proceeds if the business was back to running like it did when DR was healthy, BUT rents have all gone up and it’s easily possible to make 3 million.

To add clarification and context:

1. Scott Haines met Ms. Dot in 2012, when he was working off duty for her, through the SRSO. Groelinger was with Ms. Dot when she first met Haines in 2012; it was around Groelinger’s birthday. At this time, Haines said he was getting out of law enforcement due to being caught in the middle of “porn gate”. It’s worth mentioning that Groelinger witnessed the first conversation between Haines and his grandma, Ms. Dot. Haines told Ms. Dot that he wanted to learn the rental business, and she agreed to teach Haines. This is how Haines learned the income and assets of the elderly widow had. This knowledge was not even known to her family, outside of Groelinger. Haines worked a total of 6 times as an off duty SRSO from 2012-2015, and in that time he was able to become extremely close to Ms. Dot, because he was learning her business, as well asthe family dynamics.

2. When Groelinger reported Haines to the SRSO- Bob Johnson oversaw the “unfounded complaint” that should have shown Haines was targeting Groelinger. The FBI is who reported that Groelinger’s 2015 citizens complaint was valid- and Sheriff Johnson did not correct the situation by readdressing Groelinger’s 2015 citizens complaint and taking corrective action because they should have investigated the citizens complaint. A valid investigation would have found that Haines had committed crimes that he was finally charged for in 2022, specifically, abuse of official equipment.

3. Kilburn and Watson as deputies and Bob Johnson is Sheriff Bob Johnson. More details to come.

4. Groelinger reported Haines to the FDLE, but according to sources, the special agent in charge, Chris Williams, would not open a case. When Groelinger reported Haines to FDLE repeatedly in 2015/2016/2017,which saw Williams do nothing to investigate what would have lead to the arrest of Haines. As well validating the wrongs done to Groelinger is what ultimately let to Haines arrest for his actions against Groelinger in 2021. This is something that Williams could have stopped way earlier, but Williams comradery with Haines & Kilburn through his time at the SRSO, with whom Williams is still friends on FB with Kilburn, to this date, seems to have influenced his ability to perform his job.

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The shitshow that is the SRSO is very complex; therefore, I will attempt to present the situation and the actors involved. You can’t keep up if you don’t know how interactions between people is affecting the case. You have to know who is who, or why the relationship, or actions, may be improper.

First, let’s recap the narrative. Scott Haines manipulated his way into a family business, Skirpan Properties. The main asset of the company is the Eastgate Mobile Home Ranch. It brings in roughly $1 million in revenue, per year, from trailer rentals. The property is also an asset because it is located at the back gate of Whiting Field. In fact, many offers have been made over the years by federal and county representatives who wanted to purchase the parcels that make up the trailer park, which includes some vacant parcels that are behind the trailer park.

Scott moved into the trailer park during his divorce. He befriended the owner, Dorothy Rogers, aka Ms. Dot. She appreciated having a deputy living there because the knowledge of a law enforcement officer living there would deter crime and provide security to the residents & Ms. Dot, as well. At this point, there is a mutually reciprocating relationship. Ms. Dot feels safe; Scott gets to act like the protector. But that doesn’t last long. Scott doesn’t know how dysfunctional Ms. Dot’s family was. Being the matriarch of the family and a widow, Ms. Dot realized prior to this that she didn’t want to be vulnerable to people trying to swindle her, nor was she did she want in-fighting or mishandling of the entire family’s legacy, so she met with an attorney and created an irrevocable trust, to preserve the assets in her possession.

As I said, the family was dysfunctional, there was bad blood with Ms. Dot & her kids for various reasons. That is why she made her grandson, Matthew Groelinger the trustee. A trustee has the fiduciary duty and legal responsibility to manage the assets of the trusts, ie the trailer park. Ms. Dot is the trustor and Matt was the trustee. The trustor and the trustee work hand-in-hand to manage the trust. In many cases, the trustor and the trustee are the same person. Unless otherwise defined, they have symbiotic responsibilities to manage the trust’s assets.

Scott watched as the family dynamics of mistrust & miscommunication created a rift in the family, even more so than before. He also endeared himself to Ms. Dot. Surely, he heard all the family drama. One situation that he heard was that Matt was “into” drugs. Matt was young. His life was changing due to this particular family responsibility. It must be said that mishandling a trust is a crime. Matt had his head on straight, worrying he could go to jail if he screwed this up. At the same time, Ms. Dot’s health was in noticeable decline. She was in a wheelchair and her hygiene was slipping resulting in urinary issues. She had marked cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. Matt was the favored one to Ms. Dot. Scott saw that. He took over Matt’s spot in Ms. Dot’s life. Even when APS investigated, they believed Scott was Ms. Dot’s grandson. Many people still believe that. She has pictures in her home of her at Haines family events and according to one source in a deposition, Ms. Dot “was very generous to the whole family”. She paid for cruises and much more–not limited to just Scott.

To get into the trust, Scott had to get an irrevocable trust, revocable. The process he used was filing a complaint (via Ms. Dot) that her grandson was stealing from her and guilty of exploiting her. This makes him unfit to be the trustee. So as soon as Matt was arrested, Scott, again on behalf of Ms. Dot (he wrote what she told him to, according to him), filed a civil suit and the criminal suit within minutes of the first attempt to arrest after hours (17:39pm). The civil case was filed at 17:39 pm (or 5:39 on 12/7/2015). The civil case was specifically to remove Matt from the trust. Matt via his attorney at the time Michael Grifith, turned himself in to the ECSO the next day.

Ultimately the charges against Matt are dropped in September 2016. However, Scott was made Power of Attorney and Trustee of Ms. Dot’s trust in the days after Matt’s arrest. Oct 28, 2015 this was filed:

So Scott, effectively, stole Matt’s life. He was Ms. Dot’s ‘grandson”. He was introduced as such to renters who Scott took rent payments from every month. He put people up in trailers, allegedly, prostitutes and people he picked up on Craigslist. Renters assert that they paid Scott, in cash and money orders, which never made it to Ms. Dot. This resulted in evictions without basis. It has also been confirmed that Scott had cameras throughout Ms. Dot’s residence, monitoring her communications with family. In the FBI, search warrant, several hard drives were taken and what was on them is pure speculation, but sources have reported his home looked like an IT department with multiple monitors.

In 2018, 2 parcels were sold to Scott for $10 each. These parcels are on the back side of the trailer park. They are the optimum parcels that feds want for expansion of Whiting Field, and Santa Rosa County officials for the new industrial park.

In November 2021, Ms. Dot sold the trailer park, even though, there is litigation regarding who has the right to sell it. She sold the entire complex for $700 K. She made $1 million in rents in the last several years. Not to mention there is a high premium on the value of the property. On top of the rents taken in., this is a gross undervaluation of the property and its assets. The company who bought it is Palantine LLC, which is a shell LLC, that is owned by other LLC’s in various states. Ultimately, in Googling the address listed on the deed and the signer on said deed, I was able to track the property to Smooth Property , owned by Prashant Patel of AJ Hospitality. According to Corporationwiki.com, here are all the corporations attached to Patel:

Beaufort Management is one of the shell companies that own Palantine LLC.

The shell companies are located all across the country, including Palatine, which is said to be running out of Utah, Beaufort has an Alaska address but it ultimately connects to Smooth Property and the Patels.

The questions just roll out. Why did Bob Johnson, who knowingly covered up for Scott would do so? Why did Watson & Kilburn also back him up? Is there a financial incentive to this? Who brought Palantine into the picture?

Coming soon: Part 2- Who are the characters in this grift?

What Was Sheriff Bob Johnson Thinking?

I have been blogging about the organized fleecing of Dorothy Rogers for years. Scott Haines is at the helm but others allowed him to stay employed–namely Sheriff Bob Johnson. To say that Haines is anything less than a sexually deviant cancer within the SRSO, would understate the situation. I recently requested all the IA’s for Haines. I was provided 3. In further prodding, it has come to light that there are 10 Supervisory Inquiries (SI’s), which is a way to sidestep official investigations.

Supervisory inquiries, according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s General Order J-003 Disciplinary Guidelines and Standards, are done when a complaint on an officer comes in and a supervisor does a mini-investigation to determine the validity of the complaint. I am told by other officers, that it also can be used to dispense discipline in the case of a minor infraction, like in the case of a written coaching or written warning. The offense and the discipline tend to be lesser and does not rise to the level to open an Internal Affairs case. If the complaint alleges criminal activity, an IA must be opened, but not in Santa Rosa.

Now at least 2 of these SI’s are serious allegations that should have triggered IA’s but Sheriffs Hall & Johnson decided to basically dismiss the complaints without real investigations, despite the severity of the claims. The first of the ones I knew about, was in 2012. William Sumner, a former cop, submitted a complaint, commonly referred to as “repo nights”. Sumner claimed Haines used NCIC/FCIC to repossess cars and used the SRSO impound lot to store cars. He would cannibalize cars held there to put on other vehicles. Sumner claimed Haines used other officers log in info to avoid detection. The complaint was dropped and found to be “unfounded” after Sumner avoided speaking to those investigating his complaint. It is my understanding he was aware of or participated in other illegal activities that an interview would uncover. That is the speculative understanding of his reluctance to talk to colleagues of Haines.

This is a typical deflection used to bypass investigating crimes reported. For instance, let’s go back to Naomi Jones’s mother going to ECSO to report her daughter missing and being arrested for a warrant for welfare fraud without the ECSO immediately looking into the missing child. I would have been suspicious of this myself, had I been Sumner. When these agencies, specifically ECSO & SRSO, do not want to give credence to a report given to them, they turn on the messenger who comes to them in good faith. It is common practice. People wonder why there is no relationship between law enforcement and many communities in the Panhandle.

The second SI complaint was filed in 2015 regarding the exploitation of Dorothy Rogers. Matt Groelinger submitted the complaint to Chris Watson regarding the pilfering by Haines of the irrevocable trust, Haines convinced Rogers to revoke in order to make him executer.

An investigator working for Marie Mattox, the attorney representing Groelinger, documented the following:

“It should be noted that Watson made no documented effort to interview any other family members or independent witnesses.

Watson ignored Groelingers request to have Haines cease any business relationship
with Eastgate Mobile Home Park even though Groelinger provided documents proving
his authority in Skirpan Properties LLC…..Watson documents his recommendation as, This case is to be closed and classified as UNFOUNDED.
There is no credible evidence or information of any kind proving that any unethical or
illegal acts or policy violations have been committed by Lt. Haines.

Again this isn’t surprising. If you don’t do an investigation or talk to people, then you reserve plausible deniability. It is better to be seen as incompetent than to open Pandora’s box.

Here is a list of the SI’s provided:

I have requested the documents associated with these SI’s. But doesn’t that look like a lot of issues? 9 since 2012 & 2 formal IA’s (2011 & 2019). Why was this cop kept around? I am reminded of an article in the Santa Rosa Gazette on 2018. The following quote by Bob Johnson was made, in reference to Rich Aloy’s assertion that “There is nothing more damaging than a bad cop”:

So if somebody wants to complain on an officer and I’m out of town, the chief deputy, the major over law enforcement, the captain over law enforcement, can take that complaint,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to give your name but we do need enough information so we can contact you back and let you know the status of your complaint against the officer.….Whatever punishment is due we deal it out all the way up to termination,” Johnson said. “We take it seriously, and if they’re not performing their job as they’re supposed to, that’s a bad reflection on law enforcement (and) the sheriff’s office in general, and we’re not going to tolerate that.”

Santa rosa gazette, Feb. 2018

Everything having to do with Scott Haines is completely contrary to this statement. I would have to say, besides a bad cop, the more damaging thing is to have admin cover up for that bad cop. Those are the people who should know better and bear the burden on insuring the safety of the public. Since this cover-up is not a duty of any officer or elected official, those actions occur outside their official roles, thereby taking on professional liability and personal liability. This is the one exception to the immunity provided to protect such officials in the course of their duties within their positioning. Once they step outside the scope of that duty and act upon that, the immunity is waived.

It seems Bob has joined the ranks of some of his Escambia County counterparts. What a shame! He was thought to be a more honest Sheriff. It appears those do not exist after all.