Business as Usual: How Routine Public Corruption Affects People Like You Chapter One
The 1st part of the 1st Chapter of Stories About Regular People, Just Like You, Who are Victimized by Corruption
Now, I am proud to present the writing of a guest who has taken up the mantle with me as a fellow gladiator for justice. It’s important to hear this person’s voice and passion about the injustice happening in Pensacola. I could not have explained this situation any better. Due to certain retaliation concerns, this writer remains anonymous. But I have vetted the story and can attest to the veracity of every word.
General Summary……This is a story of a witch hunt. Heather DeLorme got wrongfully incarcerated for being on the wrong side of some powerful people. To gain a clear understanding of the events that led to the current incarceration of Heather DeLorme, we must look back to the year 2015…
The Background….From September 2008 through February 2015, Heather was an employee of Robert and Tanya Underwood at Emerald Coast Granite and Tile located at 3700 North Palafox. In the years that Heather was employed, she wore many hats for the Underwood’s and was a close friend of Tanya. Some of Heather’s duties included payroll, granite sales, invoicing customers, vendor relationships, accountant relationships, managing disgruntled employees, notarizing documents, personal shopping for Tanya, shuffling money between accounts to disguise Tanya’s compulsive shopping/shoplifting, house sitting, dog sitting, party planning, and bookkeeping for Robert Underwood’s multiple and ever changing LLC’s . So, it is suffice to say that Heather DeLorme was intimately familiar with how the Underwoods ran their multiple businesses as well as their personal lives.
Heather was terminated by Tanya in mid February of 2015 after taking a few days off to attend a family funeral out of town and returned to find that she no longer had a job or a friend. The reason for her dismissal was for “talking behind Tanya’s back with Debbie Outzen Matthews.” Heather was devastated and in disbelief that she was shut out of her friend, Tanya’s life without any confrontation or explanation.
On March 24, 2015, Heather began a new job at Duggins Supply, and was forthcoming with Tim and Jessolyn Duggins that Tanya Underwood had just filed a report with the Escambia County Sheriff’s office on March 18, 2015 accusing Heather of stealing from the business. Officers Brissett and Harry Kilpatrick opened an investigation on March 31, 2015. Heather readily provided Officer Kilpartick with her bank statements and there appeared to be no evidence that any theft occurred least of all by Heather and she was never contacted again for any further questioning. The matter seemed to have been dropped.
The 2015 Arrest………On June 19, 2015, Heather DeLorme was arrested for theft at Emerald Coast Granite and Tile while she was at work at Duggins on W Street.
In June 2017, Heather DeLorme is ACQUITTED by a trial jury.In June 2015, Tanya Underwood filed a civil lawsuit against Heather DeLorme for civil theft amounting to $54,750 plus treble damages.
In June 2018, the case was dismissed for Lack of Prosecution.
During the years 2015 to 2017, Heather was put through a criminal investigation as well as a civil lawsuit launched by the Underwoods spearheaded by SAO, John Dubose with Judge Dannheiser presiding. The civil suit was forged by the Liberis Law firm. On May 3, 2017 Heather was defended by private attorney, Michael J Griffith,and was found NOT GUILTY by a trial jury and the civil case is eventually dropped in 2018 for a lack of prosecution because there was no evidence found in the criminal trial that would provide for any type of judgement in civil court. This should be the end of the story, but it isn’t.
The circumstances surrounding Heather’s arrest raise many questions as to the validity of the claims made by the Underwoods. As five or six ECSO vehicles pulled up to Duggin’s Supply at the corner of Fairfield and W Street, Tanya Underwood, Debbie Outzen Matthews, were inside the Exxon gas station adjacent to the Duggin’s parking lot video taping Heather being taken into custody.
- How did Tanya know that Heather was scheduled to be arrested on that exact date and time?
- Is it a coincidence that one of the ECSO officers that were questioning other employees about Heather was John Holcomb, a high school friend of Robert Underwood?
To be continued……