Tuesday, April 22, 2014

St. Johns County, Florida's "Confederacy of Coverup Artists" Richly Deserving of Federal Criminal Investigation

It happened in America, on Easter Sunday morning.
An audacious angry man, retired judge, ex-prosecutor, ROBERT MATHIS (see below) insults those family members and other citizens who want an independent federal investigation of te Michelle O'Connell shooting.
On Easter Sunday morning, ex-Judge MATHIS threw down the gauntlet, claiming no federal jurisdiction and no prosecution would take place.
Ex-Judge ROBERT MATHIS sounds like a sorehead. He sounds like the Kevin Spacey character on "House of Cards," when the crooked "Congressman Frank Underwood" character said, "nobody cares about you," telling the O'Connell family to give up and shut up.
Worse, he did it on Easter Sunday morning.
How gauche.
How louche.
Easter Sunday morning, when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, ex-Judge ROBERT MATHIS was sitting at his computer screen, typing hatefulness. Ex-Judge ROBERT MATHIS ululated that there would be no federal criminal inevstigation or prosecution of Michelle O'Connell, whose case MATHIS personally covered up and refused to prosecute for 7th Circuit State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA.
How resembling Pontius Pilate.
What a rebarbative reprobate.
How rude.
How arogant.
How brazen.
How hatefu.
Ex-Judge ROBERT MATHIS also insulted those who thought the Sheriff violated the Fourth Amendment, in 2009, while working for the State's Attorney.
Ex-Judge ROBERT MATHIS has an execrably bad track record of being wrong about constitutional rights.
Four (4) federal judges (three Repubican appointees and one ex-prosecutor) ruled at the tria and appellate levels that the St. Johns County Sheriff's Department violated our Fourth Amendment by illegally wiretapping attorney-client conversations. Thus, there are civil rights violations -- Ms. Mary Jane Gennussa's lawsuit was not "frivolous" -- Sheriff SHOAR's defense and appeal were "frivolous."
What public officia will speak up in favor of Michelle O'Connell's civil rights?
Where are the lawyers?
Where are the prosecutors?
Where are the FBI agents?
Criminal defense attorneys' civil rights and clients' civil rights were violated -- this is res judicata without possibility of appeal, and Judge MATHIS admits it was commonplace -- every conversation was taped, he says.
JUDGE MATHIS needs a federal grand jury subpoena.
Now.
Sheriff SHOAR needs a fderal grand jury subpoena.
Now.
On the Michelle O'Connell case and federal jurisdiction: The response of the people of the United States of America -- as expressed in comments posted on NBC Dateline, Facebook, Twitter, PBS Frontline, The New York Times and ABA Journal: this is homicide and these are constitutional rights violations.
We want them investigated.
Now.
Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, et al. need to be hailed into federal court.
Now.

Here's what former homicide prosecutor ROBERT MATHIS had to say about the possibility of federal criminal investigation of SHERIFF DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's possible civil rights violations -- throwing down the gauntlet against the O'Connell on Easter Sunday morning!

Too true, Richard
It doesn't matter what the facts and evidence may prove, people like Clara have made up their minds what happened and nothing will even change their opinion. This was a terrible tragedy for all concerned, and none of us were there and know what actually transpired.
Bob Mathis 4/19/14 8:36 AM

No federal jurisdiction
The FBI has no jurisdiction in a State homicide case unless it also involves a Federal offense such as a Civil Rights violation, so don't expect a Federal investigation. To answer your other post, I was part of the Homicide Investgation Unit that first reviewed the case, both from the Sherriff's investigation and the FDLE investigation, before we turned it over the the Fifth Circuit State Attorney for review.
Bob Mathis 4/20/14 8:35 AM

http://m.staugustine.com/node/82489/comments

Anonymice Unmasked: Here's What Homicide Prosecutor and Retired Judge Robert Mathis Wrote About the Fourth Amendment Violations of Sheriff DAVID SHOAR in 2009

Former St. Johns County Circuit Court Judge Robert Mathis resigned, later becoming the homicide prosecutor in State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA's office.
Judge Robert Mathis was deeply involved in LARIZZA's failure to prosecute anyone for the shooting of Michelle O'Connell.
At the time of Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's illegal 2009 wiretapping of attorney-client conversations, Judge Mathis posted to the St. Augustine Record website, mocking those concerned about it!
Here's what Judge Mathis wrote:

What???
Does any of the first comment have to do with this stupid case??? Any idiot knows that all conversations in an interview room are audio and video taped, and Ms. Gennusa has been representing criminal defendants long enough that she certainly knows that. This is a perfect example of why people who file frivolous lawsuits should have to pay the other side's attorney fees and costs. She should be ashamed of herself!
Bob Mathis 12/10/09 7:34 AM

Don't forget
Ms. Gennusa is married to a deputy sheriff. I can't believe she didn't know the interview rooms were wired. She just didn't think to ask to have the equitment turned off before she talked to her client and decided to take the statement back. This is much ado about nothing.
Bob Mathis 12/10/09 4:03 PM


http://m.staugustine.com/node/4718/comments

To recap:
Judge Robert Mathis called the lawsuit "frivolous."
Judge Robert Mathis said the plaintiff should be required to pay defense costs.
Judge Robert Mathis called it a "stupid case."
Judge Robert Mathis said the plaintiff "should be ashamed of herself!"
Of course, Judge Robert Mathis in 2009 wrote under an anonymous name (olddog); his name is now publicly revealed, mutatis mutandis!
I am not going to say anything about "old dogs" and learning "new tricks," but his comment reflects:
(a) bias toward the Sheriff and against Constitutional rights;
(b) a lack of self-control;
(c) a lack of judicial temperament;
(d) a lack of civility;
(e) a lack of respect for dissent;
(f) a lack of respect for our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Fourth Amendment and Founding Fathers' wisdom;
(g) a lack of respect for the stare decisis of the United States SUpreme Court.
As both a judge and a prosecutor, Judge Mathis took oaths to "support, protect and defend" our Constitution.
Were his fingers crossed?
Did he mean it when he took this oaths?
With our Constitution having putative "friends" like Judge Robert Mathis, who needs enemies (or even anenomies)?
Judge Robert Mathis' "sins have found him out."
Judge Robert Mathis should apologize.
Judge Robert Mathis is the son of the late Charles Mathis, the 42-year county judge who sentenced the St. Augustine Four to rape-prone juvenile prison for demonstrating against segregation.
Forgive Judge Charles Mathis!
Forgive Judge Robert Mathis!
As our United Nations Ambassador, Adlai Stevenson said in Dallas in 1963, "I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the redemptino of ignorance." (He had just been spat upon by a mob of rightists dingbats).
Four federal judges -- one trial and three appellate -- have found that Sheriff SHOAR violated the Fourth Amendment.
Hooray for Federal Courts!
How pitiful is our State's Attorney's office that a prosecutor posted anonymous hate speech directed against a prevailing civil rights plaintiff?
RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA and his erstwhile mentor and former employee, Judge Mathis should "be ashamed" of themselves.

In the tank with CHARLES CRIST

Ever notice how the Establishment media already act as if ex-Governor, ex-Republican, ex-independent, always-changing chameleon CHARLES CRIST is already the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against RICHARD SCOTT?
He's not.
We have a primary. It is August 26, 2014.
Nan Rich is running, and she's a Democrat. Our Establishment refuses to cover Nan Rich. They're not covering the Democratic primary.
Why?
Lousy political reporters?
Shrieking shallowness?
Good-ole-boyism?
Corporate bias?
Sexism?
Misogyny?
Incompetence?
Anti-Semitism?
Downright dupery and deference to former AKERMAN SENTERFITT partner DANIEL SAUL GELBER, who is playing sherpa to CHARLES CRIST?
CRIST was Governor and chose to run for U.S. Senate, losing twice -- once in the Republican Primary and once in the General Election as an Independent.
Now he wants his old gig back.
Sorry, CHARLIE.
As Senator Gary Warren Hart's campaign literature said in 1974, "They've had their turn. Now it's our turn." (accompanied by photo of Richard Nixon and Senator Peter Dominic, with their arms around each other).
Nan Rich would be the first woman Governor.
How cool is that?
Nan Rich would be the first Jew to be Governor.
How cool is that?
How's that for diversity?
Boring 'ole CHARLES CRIST would be more of the same, a washed-up ex-Republican, ex-Independent, aways changing chameleon who will say anything to get elected.
CRIST named KAREN STERN to the Northeast Florida Regional Planning Commission, AFTER we defeated her for re-election to St. Johns County Commission.
CHARLES CRIST is a stooge for the rich and powerful, just like Governor RICHARD SCOTT.
Color them colorless, Tweedledee and Tweedledumdum.
What do you reckon?

SBA Office of Inspector General Case No. 11534 reL SBA Loan No 678-053-5005

The Small Business Administration has opened case no 11534 re: SBA Loan No. 678-053-5005 re: ST. AUGUSTINE AQUARIUM LLC owned by SHAWN & KATHY HEISTER, premised upon a "Letter of Intent" the HEISTERS demanded. SBA attorney Linda George says it is illegal to lend money (SBA or bank) for building on former landfills, and illegal to lend SBA funds for Planned Unit Developments. The HEISTER's scheme -- since rejected by our community and our Commissioners -- would have been both a building on a former landfill and a PUD.
The HEISTERs falsely represented on the Internet that they own the land and wer "donating" it fo the profit-making AQUARIUM.
SBA OIG is investigating.
SBA staff is considering reversing the loan approval.
That's a good thing.
Make disclosures.
Demand answers.
Don't let shady "developers" damage our environment or reputation ever again.
Don't let anyone sell our public lands to developers.
As Woodie Guthrie put it best, in song, "This land is your land."

Supreme Court Decision in Affirmative Action Case -- No Surprise Here

Nearly 25 years ago, as the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) liaison member of the Council of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities (IRR), I queried visiting civil rights lawyers about their cabined definition of "affirmative action." I did so several times, during 1989-1991.
Instead of helping poor kids get into college, they were advocating divisive, racist "race-based accounting" (a term I just borrowed from the academic literature on annexations in the south and southwest).
People resent that version of "affirmative action," and they have a right to do so. These civil rights lawyers' notion of "affirmative action" policies was focused exclusively on epidermal pigmentation. "How trite,"as my mother would say,
I often said "affirmative action" needs to target survivors of poverty.
Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision shows, sadly, that I was right.
It affirms a Michigan voter initiative banning racial considerations in college admissions.
Answer this hypothetical: Assume that there are two equally qualified applicants to a college or graduate school:
1. An African-American daughter of a millionaire New York physician.
2. A low-income daughter of an out-of-work rural Appalachian coal miner.
Pick one.
Now.
Which one would promote diversity on a college campus?
Not the rich kid.
The poor kid.
The one from Appalachia.
Who speaks for her?
Who in politics or journalism ever talks about poverty in America?
No one is speaking out for the poor, with few exceptions like Representative Alan Grayson.
Senator John Edwards talked about "Two Americas."
Who else?
Thank long and hard.
Today's colleges and universities are reportedly becoming bastions of the wealthy once again.
Full of rich kids -- white collar professonals, or "symbolic analysts" as Robert Reich called them in his book, The Work of Nations, are likely to be the children and grandchildren of symbolic analysts.
"Affirmative action" does nothing to change that fact.
If civil rights advocates weren't such uptight, stiff-necked, ideologues, they would have included parental income as a factor in "affirmative action."
Then it would have been popular.
Instead, they promoted "affirmative action" as a racial entitlement, not to remedy poverty.
They were selfish.
They were self-serving.
They were wrong.
Sadly, by leaving out parental income from "affirmative action" calculus and generally focusing exclusively on race, civil rights lawyers hurt true "affirmative action." They created a wedge issue. They hurt progress.
These civil rights lawyers didn't listen to logic.
I won't call them racists.
They are good people.
But they were narrow-minded and deeply insensitive to poverty, preferring to be interest group advocates for rote racial quotas, in effect, rather than remedying true disadvantages.
Sorry to have been so right so long ago, but these well-heeled, well-dressed, well-rehearsed civil rights advocates just did not listen to reason.
They thought they knew it all.
Well, apparently not.
It appears they did not read the Supreme Court's precedents, as I did, or count to five.
"Five votes."
That's what Justice William Brennan told his law clerks was "the most important thing about constitutional law."
The vote in this case was 6-2 (Justice Kagan recused herself).
Back to the drawing board, folks -- let's draft "affirmative action" policies that allow consideration and respect for people who overcome disadvantages -- poor and working class kids.
What do you reckon?

St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore

Today marks the fifth anniversary of StAugustGreen (TM), the website celebratng the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Even St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR says it is a "no-brainer." Maureen Boles and Andrew Young love the idea. It was first proposed 75 years ago by Mayor Walter Frasier and Senator Claude Pepper.
The St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore will preserve and protect our environment and grow "green" jobs here, preserving forever inviolate our current state parks, state water management distreict lands, state forests and beaches.
The St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore will protect St. Augustine, St. Johns County and Flagler County from greedy, wetland-filling, clear-cutting "developers" whom John Muir called "Temple Destroyers."
America's National Parks are "America's Best Idea."
Yes, we can!
See www.staugustgreen.com for more information.

IN HAEC VERBA: Letter to FBI Director re: Justice for Michelle O'Connell, 1327 Days After Her September 2, 1010 Shooting Death

Dear Director Comey:
1. Please investigate the death of Ms. Michelle O'Connell and sequelae, including civil rights violations, false statements, mail fraud and wire fraud. Ms. O'Connell was shot to death on September 2, 2010 with Deputy JEREMY BANKS' semi-automatic service pistol, in Deputy BANKS' home. The facts are irrefragable. Please present this case to a federal grand jury without further delay. As Robert Kennedy said, "Justice delayed is democracy denied."
2. The entire Jacksoniville FBI office must be recused because its former SAC, JAMES CASEY, after retiring, accepted money from Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR in 2013 to write an incurious, exculpatory report on the Michelle O'Connell shooting case, which was provided to the Justice Department. http://www.sjso.org/?page_id=7109
3. Jurisdiction and venue may exist in Washington, D.C. because of a mailing to the Civil Rights Division by Sheriff SHOAR or about April 1, 2013 of a 153 page report, attacking FDLE Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers and making material false statements about ear-witnesses and other maerial misrepresentations. http://www.sjso.org/?page_id=7109
4. Please read the 14,000 word New York Times investigation and view the PBS Frontline and NBC Dateline investigations at:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-in-st-augustine/
http://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/full-episode-two-shots-fired-n84816
Thank you.
WIth kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-377-4998

c: Chief Judge Nahum Litt (Retired)
Senior Special Agent Robert E. Tyndall (Retired)
U.S. Senator William Nelson
The O'Connell Family

Need National Search for Next St. Augustine Police Chief

The daughter of the late Sheriff NEIL PERRY is MICHELLE PERRY. She is a Commander in St. Augustine Police. The St. Johns County political machine is grooming her to run for Sheriff one day.

Commanding MICHELLE PERRY spoke to the Enterprising Women's Leadership Institute (EWLI) last week at the Columbia Restaurant. Attendees were impressed with her story about entering and advancing in a sexist, male-dominated profession. Good for her for persisting.

But Commander MICHELLE PERRY "bears watchin.'" as they say in East Tennessee. Her dad was widely believed to be a big-shot crook. Her mom, SYDNEY PERRY, ran THE ISSUES GROUP, which selected developer-friendly candidates to run for St. Johns County Commission. In 2004, THE ISSUES GROUP had all five St. Johns County Commissioners in its hip pocket.

IF SAPD Police Chief Loran Lueders retires prematurely, let there be a natonal search for a new Police Chief, complying with EEO requirements. Don't just promote the next one in line, please.

Why Are These Men Smiling? Three Lawmen in the Record Today -- Are Two of Them Being Used as "Human Shields?" by Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR

Once again underestimating the intelligence of "We, the People," Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR has a "puff piece" in today's St. Augustine Record.

bylined "Sheldon Gardner," SHOAR's latest PR puffery purports to portray a "band of brothers" among local law enforcement, with a front page headline and inside photo about how he and the police chiefs of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach all began work in St. Augustine, and all work together.

There's an inside photo of Sheriff SHOAR touching Chief Robert Hardwick of St. Augustine Beach, with St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders smiling. The photo was taken on the steps of the St. Augustine Police Deparment building.

Footnote: The SAB Police building is named for and has a monument plaque inside dedicated to VIRGIL STEWART, the KKK Police Chief of St. Augustine, who accused Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964-65 of being an "outside agitator" and a Communist.

Despite the forced smiles on three police faces, the facts are these:
1. SAPD Chief Loran Lueders and SABPD Chief Hardwick both say they would hae recused themselves from investigating a possible homicide involving one of their own officers, and would have recused themselves from investigating the shooting death of one of the girlfriend of one of their own officers. So would City Manager John Patrick Regan, P.E., who by Charter is the chief law enforcement officer in St. Augustine, and hires and fires the Chief of Police, et al.
2. Viewers of NBC Dateline overwhelmingly wrote in social media that they thought that the death of Michelle O'Connell was a homicide, despite Sherff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's efforts to abuse his relationship with Dennis Murphy to "spin" his misfeasance, malfesance and nonfeasance.
3. Dateline was on Friday, today is Tuesday and there has been no reaction story in the St. Augustine Record.

So, when you see the photo this morning, laugh, slap your knee and ask, "Why are these men smiling?" No, I refuse o write any reference to "The Three Stooges." Not going to do it. Nope.

Sheriff SHOAR, it has been 1327 days since Michelle O'Connell was shot. How long do you reckon you can obstruct justice? How many careers are you willing to sacrifice? How many "friends" -- like Chief Lueders and Chief Hardwick -- are you willing to use as "human shields."

Enough. There needs to be a federal grand jury.

Three Cheers for United States Dstrict Judge , the Broward Bulldog, Miami Herald and

In 1978, Alabama Securities Commissioner Tommy Krebs told the Wall Street Journal, "I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother in the FBI."

Ineffectual managers meant that the FBI lost its chance to stop 9/11. Instead, the FBI harassed ethical agents, one of whom was co-winner in 2001 of Time's "Persons of the Year" on whistleblowers.

Now FBI's putatively "classified" documents are being read by United States District Judge William J. Zloch in Miami in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Broward Bulldog newspaper.

Judge William J. Zloch has rightly denied FBI efforts to avoid, evade and violate the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI oddly claims "national security" protects documents about a well-connected Saudi Arabian family that abruptly left its Sarasota residence for good only two weeks before 9/11 after hosting 9/11 hijackers. The FBI falsely claimed "national security" exemptions while claiming it found nothing.

Patriotism was once called the "last refuge of scoundrels." Now it is "national security," carved into Exemption 1 of the FOIA.

Former Governor and U.S. Senator Robert Graham wrote in his book, Intelligence Matters, that there were 27 pages of censored information on the Royal Kingdom of Saudu Arabia's involvement in 9/11 in the Senate 9/11 report. Read his chapter on the deleted 27 pages and you will want to know more.

Three cheers for Judge William J. Zloch, the Broward Bulldog newspaper, attorney Thomas Julin, and intervenors The Miami Herald and Sarasota Herald-Tribune and their attorneys, Carol Locicero, Rachel Fugate and Mark Caramanica. who wrote "The stakes are simply too great to accept as a matter of law the government's vague, often second hand conclusiosn as to teh adequacy of its document searches."

Monday, April 21, 2014

33 photographs in one slideshow on the St. Augustine Record website today

Impressive technology.
Good photographs
The 33 photographs are of a new restaurant, Salt Life Food Shack, opening in St. Augustine Beach today.
Now that the Record has the sliideshow technology, it can publish photographs of the forensic evidence in the Michelle O'Connell shooting, as the New York Times and PBS Frontline did last year.
It would be a true public service.
Otherwise, MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS and the St. Augustine Record are "jus' whistlin' Dixie" when it comes to journalism.
Not even close to it.

Ducking the Issues at the St. Augustine Record

Not a word from the St. Augustine Record about Friday night's NBC News Dateline story about Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and the September 2, 2010 shooting of Michelle O'Connell with Sheriff's deputy JEREMY BANKS's gun in the deputy's home as Ms. O'Connell was packing to leave BANKS for good. Why didn't the Record report the news (again)? (See below). You tell me. What do you reckon?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jed Bartlet on Our Right to Be Angry


Maureen Dowd's 2008 Sunday New York Times column, setting forth advice from the fictional character, President Jed Bartlet, on the West Wing, in consultation with Aaron Sorkin, to then-candidate Barack Obama:

And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

Easter 2014: Justice for Michelle O'Connell

Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins, celebrating Easter and the Resurrection this morning.
Jews and Christians celebrated Passover this past week, believing miracles were performed by God to free Jews from Egyptian slavery.
On the occasion of the holiest days in Christianity and Judaism, NBC News took time to air a one-hour segment (38 minutes after commercial breaks), "Two Shots Fired." See below.
We're grateful and blessed that The New York Times, PBS Frontline and now NBC News Dateline have have all reported on the shooting death of Michelle O'Connell.
Why?
It has been some 1325 days since Michelle O'Connell died on September 2, 2010.
As Robert F. Kennedy said, "Justice delayed is democracy denied," (or as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, "Justice delayed is justice denied).
Why are we so grateful to three national news organizations for covering what would ordinarily have been a local news story?
Because MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS' St. Augustine Record refused to do its job.
Because MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS' St. Augustine Record still refuses to do its job.
Because MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS' St. Augustine Record fired a reporter (Peter Guinta) for doing his job too well.
Because MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS' St. Augustine Record backs a corrupt political machine. Why? The deal is this: hick hacks have long been guilty of subsidizing a compliant, incurious "viewspaper" by pouring millions of dollars in optional ads -- not legally required -- to the St. Augustine Record since it was acquired by MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS in 1982. In exchange, the "viewspaper" does not ask tough questions. It does not attend enough meetings. It does not file Open Records and Sunshine lawsuits. It respects the hick hacks and the developers who own them. The same daily deal exists in many counties and many countries. It stinks.
Journalism suffers.
Dateline aired its story (see below) two days ago, on Friday night.
Not a peep from Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, or his supporters, or the St. Augustine Record since the NBC News Dateline story aired.
Not one word.
Not one story.
Not one comment.
Wonder why?
Are they waiting for instructions from lawyer JON KANEY?
From the DAVIS FAMILY?
From the crooked developers who own and control SHOAR?
From the corrupt Republican Governor, RICHARD SCOTT?
The simple palpitating truth of the matter is that seven year old Alexis O'Connell is spending her fourth Easter Sunday without her mother, Michelle O'Connell, and without answers from any independent law enforcement agency with integrity or courage.
Why?
Because political corruption has been allowed to fester in St. Johns County for longer than anyone can remember.
Because our Sheriff's office, State's Attorney's offices and Medical Examiner are politicized, unprofessional and appear utterly corrupt.
Because one-party rule -- first by segregationist Democrats and now by tree-killing, wetland-filling developer-directed Republicans -- has made St. Johns County a stench in the nostris of the entire Nation.
Christians ask, "What would Jesus do?" (WWJD?).
I seem to recall Jesus chasing the money-changers out of the Temple.
We must chase the Temple Destroyers (in Wallace Stegner's words about those who destroy nature and beauty).
We must chase the Temple Destroyers and win a National Park and Seashore to protect what we love about this place -- current state parks, forests, water management district lands and beaches threatened by foreign-funded "developers."
(Even Sheriff SHOAR supports the Park and Seashore and says it is a "no-brainer."
We must chase the wicked money-changers out of the Temple of Democracy, for as William Jennings Bryan said, "You shall not crucify mankind on a Cross of Gold."
The whole world is watching.
The whole world is watching the developers' henchmen, DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.
Those of us who did not speak out -- and who have not yet spoken out -- would do well to remember the immortal words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, about the Nazis: "First they came after the Jews. I was not a Jew, so I did not object. Then they came after the Catholics. I was not a Catholic, so I did not object. Then they came after the trade unionists. I was not a trade unionist, so I did not object. And then they came after me. And there was no one left to object."
Too many people of faith in St. Johns County -- including too many clergypeople --say nothing about corruption.
I reckon they think it's bad for business, bad for tithing.
For 8000 years, religious leaders have demanded 10%.
If religious leaders offend the powerful, they don't contribute money.
That is why South African clergymen re-wrote the Bible ("I am suntanned but I am comely") to appease successive Apartheid governments.
That is why antebellum Southern ministers (and even a few Catholic bishops, like one here in St. Augustine) preached that God approved of slavery.
That is why Coal Company Town ministers preached against unions.
Too many putative clergymen and clergywomen here in St. Johns County are lacking in integrity.
Too many don't support civil rights.
Too many won't speak out against injustice.
Too many endorse bigoted, right-wing candidates from pulpits.
Too many airily act as if Jesus would have voted Republican.
The theological term for that self-delusional belief is heresy, or "idolatry that practices human sacrifice," in Abraham Lincoln's words.
Too many preach anti-Gay bigotry from pulpits.
Too many clergypeople shamelessly, promiscuously participate with Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR in "The Marketplace," which actually promotes illegal violations of the First Amendment Establishment Clause -- proslytizing in government workplaces.
Thus, these clergypeople overlook Sheriff SHOAR's and his St. Johns County political machine's torts, sins and crimes against humanity, their human rights violations, their waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, their flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.
Shame on them.
Shame on us for supporting them.
Shame on all of us -- every single one of us -- who remains silent today.
When I moved here in 1999, I had no idea that St. Johns County was corrupt. I quickly learned it was crooked as a dog's hind leg.
I was wrong.
I looked deeper.
I listened to people.
I read documents.
I watched meetings on cable TV.
Finally, I went to meetings.
Upon further research and reflection, I determined that it was as crooked as a barrel full of snakes.
Political corruption is epidemic in America today.
Most of us do nothing about it.
Most of us think we can't do anything.
Most of us think we are powerless.
Therefore, we are powerless, thinking it so.
Most of us are told "You Can't Fight City Hall" as children.
Most of us believe such trashy trite tropes.
Most of us don't take time to attend government meetings, or study issues.
Most of us are disempowered, thinking if we stand up against corruption and oppression, we'll get arrested, killed, fired, evicted, declared insane, run out of town on a rail, eaten by lions (or lose friends, who are afraid of those things happening to them).
Most of us are cowardly lions, rarely using our God-given talents.
Most of us are afraid of change.
Most of us are afraid of being advocates for change.
Most of us are afraid -- very afraid -- of government, any government, particularly since 9/11.
Most of us fear disapproval of our friends, peers, coworkers and bosses.
Most of us today are fearing our shadows, doing nothing to stand up for human rights, doing nothing to speak out against great evil.
Then we die.
As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Our lives begin to end that day when we stop caring" and speaking out "about things that matter."
Senator Robert Francis Kennedy said on Affirmation Day at the University of Cape Town in South Africa on June 6, 1966, "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. .... It is from numberless diverse acts of history and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples form a current that will wipe out the mightiest walls of oppresion and resistance."
Before September 2, 2010, most, if not all of us here knew that St. Johns County was corrupt.
Until the O'Connell case, we all thought that it was "merely" financial.
No-show jobs.
No-bid contracts.
Bid-rigging.
Cronyism.
Bribery.
"Routine rottenness," as DA James Nelson Ramsey used to call it in East Tennessee.
Then Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's mishandling of Michelle O'Connell's case shows that the stakes are far bigger.
Lives are at stake.
Our lives are in danger.
There are deputies carrying guns who should be disarmed and prosecuted.
People are being killed in questionable circumstances.
Coverups are commonplace. Every single day there seems to be another one.
Our out-of-control St. Johns County Sherff's deputies kill far too many people without all of the facts being disclosed.
Our lazy lapdog State's Attorney, RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA, has incurious, inept, incompetent assistants who take Sheriff's Deputies at their word.
Lazy lapdog LARIZZA was twice elected based on support from Sheriff's and deputies, and re-elected based upon his "conviction rate."
Why should we care? Because LARIZZA keeps the conviction rate high by artificial means: he won't risk his "conviction rate" going down a point or two by bringing any case likely to have a well-funded defense attorney.
Lazy lapdog LARIZZZA refuses to prosecute government wrongdoers or white collar crimes. Color him colorless, an accomplice.
His business plan is to pick on easy cases, not bring tough ones.
He won't challenge authority.
He won't bring Sunshine and Open Records lawsuits.
He took a dive on the shooting of Michelle O'Connell.
What a lugubrious goober.
He refused to talk to The New York Times or PBS Dateline.
He has the right to remain silent, but we wish he wouldn't.
In the truest sense, because we all remained silent for so long, Michelle O'Connell died because of our sins.
Sins of omission.
Sins of commission.
Sins of "let George do it."
Sins of "I can't change anything."
Sins of "I've got to go to my kids' ballgame."
Sins of "I've got to watch TV."
Sins of "let's party, for tomorrow we die!"
Irrational fear.
Avoidance.
Avoidance of thinking.
Avoidance of learning.
Avoidance of working.
Avoidance of speaking out against injustice.
Avoidance of disapproval from one's friends, customers, clients, family or clergypeople.
Simple refusal to do our jobs as good citizens.
Failure to do what our Founding Fathers intended.
Failure to "own" our own governments, to make suggestions, to make contributions to progress, and to hold them accountable when they muck up.
Thinking of government as if it were a "they" instead of as "We, the People."
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing," and to remain silent, a quote that was attributed (by JFK before the Canadian Parliament in 1961) to Edmund Burke, the conservative English Parliamentarian of the 18th century.
Political philosopher John Stuart Mill said in 1867, "Bad people need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good people should loook on and do nothing."
It has now been some 1325 days since Michelle O'Connell was killed.
Ask questions.
Demand answers.
We want the truth!
We want sworn witnesses testifying before a federal grand jury pursuant to Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Nothing less will do.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Now.
As President Lyndon Baines Johnson told Congress after Selma: "We SHALL overcome!"
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.

Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-377-4998

NBC News Dateline: "Two Shots Fired" Aired on The Evening of Good Friday and Passover

Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR laid an egg.
It was not an Easter Egg.
Sheriff DAVID SHOAR made a colossal misjudgment.
One of historic proportions.
After refusing to face the music and answer questions for the New York Times and PBS Frontline, Sheriff DAVID SHOAR thought he'd hung the moon by following the advice of his handlers, includig JON KANEY, the erstwhile First Amendment lawyer whom SHOAR paid at least nearly $10,000 in tax money to advise him on the crisis of his own creation -- SHOAR's refusal to recuse himself from the homicide investigation of a well-connected deputy, whose girlfriend was shot with the deputy's gun in the deputy's house as she was packing up to leave him on September 2, 2010.
Sheriff SHOAR called Dennis Murphy in Delray Beach, Florida. Mr. Murphy is an on-air corespondent at NBC News Dateline, which had run two prior programs about his cases, by way of hagiography and puff pieces.
If Sheriff SHOAR thought Dateline would favor him, he was wrong.
Dead wrong.
Sheriff SHOAR's "sins have found him out."
In fact, on camera for the first time, SHERIFF SHOAR and Deputies JEREMY BANKS (and Deputy SCOTT O'CONNELL) all looked like liars, blinking excessively, showing deception. A federal grand jury will likely see the video and hear about through body language experts. They were lying. Blinking excessively.
Meanwhile, most (but not all) Facebook commenters thought it was a homicide.
However:
IF I were Tom Shales or Judith Crist and writing a review, I would pan the show.
It's not the New York Times, or even Frontline.
I would quote the Hal Holbrook character in the movie, "All The President's Men": "I hate shallowness." (The Woodward & Bernstein confidential source, known as "Deep Throat" later revealed to be FBI Associate Director Mark Felt, in the Parking Garage scene).
I would rant and rave about commercial TV, which I rarely ever watch.
I would talk about the dumbing-down of investigative reporting by TV, a mortal sin in my eyes.
I would talk about Dennis Murphy's weak, flabby and perhaps even inept questioning.
I might even say that Dennis Murphy needs spinal and testicular implants.
I would say that Dennis Murphy needs a Niemann fellowship and law school classes.
I would talk about his irrelevant and imperintent remark about "above the legal limit" when the victim was packing her belongings to leave Banks when she was shot, not driving a vehicle.
I would talk about how there was nothing about Deputy Banks being drunk, very drunk on September 2, 2014.
I would talk about the three (3) national crime scene experts who said not suicide and the two local experts who said homicide.
I would talk about NBC's seemingly deeply insensitive sexist, misogynist lack of interest in Officer=Involved Domestic Violence (OIDV) as a national crisis.
I would talk about Sheriff SHOAR's self-confessed "eleven major mistakes."
I would talk about the failure to question SHOAR about recusal.
I would talk about the failure to focus on obstruction of justice by the Sheriff, States' Attorneys offices and Medical Examiner.
I would talk about the unethical focus on juvenile court records.
I would talk about Sheriff SHOAR's unprofessional opinions and conduct.
I would impugn the methods, motives and choices of the NBC editors.
I would fondly remember NBC's Huntley and Brinkley of my youth.
I would slyly mention how NBC used a Toll Brothers sample home in Nocatee to film some of the witnesses, questioning whether Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR helped book it through his developer buddies -- Toll Brothers told me the arrangement was "unique" and would not be repeated, and would not rent the house to me.
I would wonder why none of the key forensic evidence was shown.
I would question the journalistic ethics violations and copyright infringements of NBC in not giving full credit due to The New York Times and PBS Frontline, and acting as if they found the story on their own.
But none of those points are pertinent today.
Not one.
Someone might someday wish to make them in the Columbia Journalism Review, or in a letter to NBC Standards and Practices.
Not me.
Not now.
Not today.
Why?
Despite flaws, the truth shown through.
You could not hide the light of truth under a bushel basket, let alone on commercial TV, separated by those pesky annoying loud commercials during Sweeps Month.
Some 140 Facebook commenters showed people saw the flawed report, and still reached the right conclusion -- it sure looks like homicide.
Even a Sheriff SHOAR-inspired commercial TV story allowed the truth to show.
DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, JEREMY BANKS and SCOTT O'CONNELL look shifty.
Their rapid eye-blinking before answering key questions is a "tell."
Their callousness is a stench in the nostrils of the Nation.
Sheriff SHOAR's lying insistance that he did no wrong is revealing.
Sheriff SHOAR appears to be a sociopath.
When I was sixteen years old and still in high school, my first psychology professor, in my very first college course, in basic psychology at Camden County College, in Blackwood, New Jersey warned us about sociopaths and psychopaths. He said many politicians fit the mold, and they could look you in the eye and lie without remorse. RICHARD NIXON was President, and we saw the evidence every day.
DAVID BERNARD SHOAR is yet another lying politician, in the spirit of RICHARD MILHOUS NIXON.
SHOAR is scarier than NIXON ever was. Why? SHOAR's much more likable than Nixon. SHOAR fools good people, liberals and Democrats included.
Thanks to Thew New York Times, PBS Frontline and now NBC Dateline:
We see right through you, Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.
So do the American people, as evidenced by some 140 Facebook comments.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Time for a federal grand jury.
Time for an inquest.
Time for an exhumation.
Time for a new Sheriff.
Be not afraid.
Time for our American President, Vice President, Attorney General, Senators and Congress to speak out and direct a federal grand jury be impannelled and sworn and take action against corruption in St. Johns County.
Time for good and decent people and groups in St. Johns County to speak out.
Time for our elected officials to speak out.
Time for citizens groups to speak out.
Time for a change!

Footnote: I am grateful that NBC Dateline did not make the one (1) mistake that PBS Frontline made (its title, "A Death in St. Augustine").
The O'Connell family told NBC to make sure not to confuse the issue by saying the death was in St. Augustine. We've made too much progress here in St. Augustine to allow our image to be besmirched in the global village by St. Johns County Sheriff DAViD BERNARD SHOAR.
Our St. Augustine City Manager, our St. Augustine Police Chief (and St. Augustine Beach Police Chief) would ALL have recused themselves from investigating one of their own officers.
So would the late Sheriff NEIL PERRY.
Only Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, advised by willful men like WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS, our ex-City Manager, would investigate an OIDV shooting involving one of his own officers.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sadie Carter Dies at 100

Longtime St. Augustine resident Sadie Carter died April 12 at the age of 100.
She was a native of New Yor who retired here, like so many.
An African-American who marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sadie Carter was a lifelong Democrat, whose first proud vote was for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Sadie Carter was among eighteen of us local residents represented pro bono by the law firm of HOLLAND & KNIGHT in 2010 -- together, we halted the First America Foundationand ended its Sunshine and Open Records violat9ons, and we stopped four City Commissioners' planned junket/"business trip" to Spain, another Sunshine violation averted.
We had fun doing it, too.
Last year I attended a Thansgiving luncheon with Sadie Carter at the First Coast Technical College, helping her put on her shoes and socks in her Anastasia Island home. We all enjoyed Sadie's company, her humor, her laugh and her cheerfulness.
Once upon a time, Sadie Carter adored St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, at least until she learned of his notorious coverup of the Michelle O'Connell case, reported in The New Yor
k Times.
Sadie Carter and I campaigned together for Faye Armitage, our 2008 Democratic Congressional nominee, waving signs with Faye on Primary Election Day.
Sadie Carter observantly pointed to cars approaching an intercoastal waterway bridge, repeatedly saying, "One in a car. One in a car. One in a car."
Finally, I told her she was driving me crazy, and stigmatzing the lone drivers, but we all got her point that day.
We all should get her point today.
There is too little public transportation, too little carpooling here.
In Sadie Carter's honor, we must do better, we can do better and we will do better and we will start this movement today!

Walt Bogdanich Does It Again

For a good read, check out today's New York Times.
You will be outraged.
A Florida State University football player, Heisman trophy winner JAMEIS WINSTON appears to have been allowed to escape uncharged from an alleged rape.
The Tallahassee Police Department makes St. Johns County Sheriff's Department look like Seal Team Six.
Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) told the victim to think long and hard before charging an FSU football player with rape and took no DNA from the alleged assailant.
Corrupt Tallahassee police nad prosecutors showed their sexism, misogyny, misfeasance, malfeasane and nonfeasance.
Color them crooked.
Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich wrote the article.
Mr. Bogdanich also wrote the awesome investigation of the September 2, 2010 Michelle O'Connell shooting, which exposed the misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance of St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and State's Attorneys RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA and BRADLEY KING, and Medical Examiner PREDRAG BULIC.
A young mother shot dead with a deputy's gun in rural St. Johns County.
A young woman raped in Tallahassee.
Two inept police departments.
Two violated women.
Ruined lives.
Too much sexism and too much misogyny in Florida law enforcement.
Too much incompetence.
Too much sloth.
Too much stupidity.
Too much arrogance.
Too much criminality.
It's time for a change.
We need more women police chiefs.
We need more women sheriffs.
We need two federal grand juries to investigate the St. Johns County Sheriff and States Attorney's office and the Tallahassee Police and State's Attorney.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Justice for the alleged Tallahassee rape victim.
We need more New York Times reporters "parachuting in," in peripatetic Record editor Kathy Nelson's immortal words, investigating wrongdoers when Florida's maladroit local yokel "Chain Gang Journalism" chain newspapers (like GANNETT's Tallahassee Democrat and MORRIS' St. Augustine Record) don't, won't or can't do so.
What do you reckon?

SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER DOES IT AGAIN

Two years ago, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind illegally paid lawyer SIDNEY FRANKLYN. ANSBACHER to lobby the Florida legislature for eminent domain legislation that would have destroyed St. Augustine's historic Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood neighborhoods.
We, the People, defeated SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER, handing a Pyrric victory to ANSBACHER and longtime FSDB Chairman WILLIAM L. PROCTOR, a/k/a "MASSA PROCTOR," our then-Representative and Flagler College's Chancellor. The legislature provided that no eminent domain power could ever be used against Fullerwood and Nelmar Terrace, and that no eminent domain could be used in St. Augustine for ten years. Finis.

Monday night, St. Augustine Commissioners heard for the first time that it was illegal under Florida law to build anything on top of a landfill, ending SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER's client's dream of building a Children's Museum and a profit-making acquarium at the suth end of Riberia stret, on the site of the longtime illegal dump operate by the City of St. Augustine in an African-American nighborhood.

That land must become a park.

Meanwhile, the Small Business Administration Inspector General must initiate a civil, criminal or administrative investigation of lawyer SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER's clients, who stated on the Internet that they were "donating" the land for the St. Augustine Aquarium, which they did not own and never owned. SHAWN and KATHY HIESTER own St. Augustine Aquarium LLC and Marine Consevation Partners, which had engaged a local law firm and local architect in pursuit of a project that U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) attorney Linda George told me yesterday could never be approved.
Why?
First, neither SBA nor its Certified Development Companies (CDCs) nor amy banks will ever lend money for projects on top of landfills.
Second, neither SBA nor its CDCs lend moeny for Planned Unit Developments, which the HEISTERs, the Aquarium and the Children's Museum had planned to present to the City Commission in May.
Their lawyer was SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER.
Did they almost get away with a fraud on the public and a fraud on the SBA and banks?
Credit is due to Lincolnville activists, who once again have won.

Discredit is due SHAWN HEISTER, who had no detectible experience with running aquariums, puffed his putative "partners," sought to buy city land and represented that he already owned it on the Internet, SHAWN HEISTER previously convinced the City of Pembroke Pines to outsource some 200 government jobs to his profit-making corporation, winning a no-bid contract in a secret "shade meeting," an apparent Sunshine violation because neither labor negotiations nor litigation was involved. The offices of the City of Pembroke Pines is closed on all Fridays. How odd that much-touted outsourcing of government jobs to the private sector would have such deletrious effects on service.

Discredit is due to our City Attorney, RONALD WAYNE BROWN, who once again has shown himself mediocre, at best, failing to point these things out. BROWN is the former law partner of GEOFFREY DOBSON in DOBSON & BROWN, which long represented both local governments and developers, a walking conflict of interest. Citizens defeated DOBSON & BROWN when they told our mosquito control commission that a $1.8 million no-bid helicopter purchase was "sole source." The helicopter was not "sole source," nor was it needed, and the contract was cancelled, with full refund. RONALD WAYNE BROWN did not return two telephone messages yesterday.

BROWN is a likable guy, reminiscent of Professor Harold Hill in "The Music Man." BROWN rides a motorcycle in his spare time, and he served and contributed to the St. Augstuine Beach's Charter Review Committee, which recommended a permanent 35 foot height limit on buildings. BROWN knows government law.

But color BROWN colorless, and AWOL in this case -- both BROWN and Assistant City Attorney ISABELLE LOPEZ should have uncovered the law and facts and then advised and protected the city, BEFORE a Letter of Intent was signed on his letterhead. This was truly Amateur Hour.
Next time, we expect better legal work and better vetting work!
Too often, our American governments -- including our Nation's Oldest City -- are victimized by crooks and schnooks, oligopolists, ogres, tree-killing, wetland-filling "developers," Bib Business, and avaricious vendors.
Let's get tough on Corporate Crime in the Suites, please!
From this day forward.
Now.

SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is both a corporate shark and legal scholar, with numerous publications and Bar activities. He earned an LL.M. in 1985 from the University of Arkansas, and righty brags of his extensive environmental and land use planning law experience on his Upchurch, Bailey & Upchurch website.
Having written environmental lending standards for Florida banks, SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER -- of all people -- should have known that the landfill PUD project was what Lincolnville activists called a "non-starter."
Yet SYDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER billed the HIESTERs and their investors for environmental and land use planning advice that left egg on the face of his law firm, his clients, the city of St. Augustine, two City Attorneys, two financial institutions that considered the loan -- while leaving once again the impression that local land use lawyers are crooks and that local officials are babes in the woods who need better protection against schnooks and con artists. In Florida, one does not need a license to call oneself a "developer."
Peripatetic perseverting perspiring Falstaffian lawyer SIDNEY F. ANSBACHER told Commissioners that he was once a State of Florida environmental attorney. Wearing no tie and no jacket, only an orange shirt, ANSBACHER said he once wore a white Afro and weighed 150 pounds as a government attorney (or so he told Commissioners last month), noting that he no longer has very much hair and weighs twice as much. It's all about SID, you see -- his opinions, his experience, his expertise -- we are supposed to do what he says. What a waste of a good education.

Whenever SIDNEY FRANKLYN ANSBACHER comes before a government agency from now on, the board members should consider the fact that he is a recidivist -- ANSBACHER prevaricates for a living. ANSBACHER engaged in illegal lobbying that would have destroyed two neighborhoods (Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood), and ANSBACHER engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices that might have destroyed a third (Lincolnville).

Local environmental and land use planning lawyers like SIDNEY F. ANSBACHER, JAMES GEORGE WHITEHOUSE, DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT and the late GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE are a stench in the nostrils of Our Nation's Oldest City.
They seldom appear before local boards and commissions without representing dodgy developers with greed-centered plans that are contrary to the public interest.
They misrepresent facts and law.
They talk down to our elected officials. They have contempt for democracy.
They get angry when their sins find them out.
Foiing them is fun.
"We band of brothers" and sisters here in St. Augustine have perfected the technology for foiling such flummery, dupery and nincompoopery. Our leaders listen to us.
We are not threatened by their works and pomps, their testa-lying experts, their technological turkeys or the termagants who enable them (like the histrionic SBA CDC Vice President in Jacksonville who lied to me and threatened me yesterday, claiming it was "harassment" to send her E-mails about her putative loan client's flummery). She mocked me as pathetic for asking questions about a project she heard was "dead." She threatened to report me to "the police" for harassment, e.g., First Amendment protected activity in questioning an SBA CDC. She proceeded to ask who I was, and I told her, identifying the title of this blog. She said, "That's nothin'"
Maybe so.
Her name is KRISTEN TACKETT, and she is Vice President of FLORIDA FIRST CAPITAL FINANCE CORPORATION (FFCF), an SBA CDC. SBA has her name and number, and knows of her threats and flummery.
The threats from TACKETT are bizarre.
Deja vu all over again?
Eighteen days ago, I spoke with SHAWN HEISTER, back on March 27, 2014, about his Aquarium project, after he read my FOIA request to SBA and called me out of the blue.
"Who are you?," HIESTER loudly demanded.
"Who are you?," indeed. I told him.
We talked for some 90 minutes.
HIESTER's wannabee lenders, including TACKETT, have not yet answered any questions. Did HEISTER get money from banks based on prevarications? We don't know yet. SBA is processing my FOIA requests.
Is HIESTER threatening to sue the City of St. Augustine?
We don't know yet.
HIESTER lawyer SIDNEY F. ANSBACHER has not returned a telephone message.
SHAWN HIESTER was angry Monday night.
He may be impliedly threatening a lawsuit.
If he sues, our Nation's Oldest City will countersue, and win sanctions for frivolous civil litigation.
Meanwhile, SBA OIG may investigate HIESTER's scheming. TACKETT is sure to be interviewed. So is ANSBACHER. So are other local professionals, who should have known better than to plan two buildings on top of a landfill
In response to HIESTER and TACKETT, Who are we?
We are We the People of St. Augustine.
It is our town and our time.
We are being heard and heeded.
No longer do dodgy "developers" like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, WALLACE DEVLIN or SHAWN HIESTER get their way automatically.
No longer do cackling corporate crooks get their way here.
This is the City of St. Augustine -- it is not Palatka.
Yes, "the Bohemians have won," to quote the late hick hack St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM POMAR.
Yes, our leaders listened, again.
Yes, we can.
How cool is that?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bridge of Lions Obstructionists

Mayor Joseph Boles got a snotty answer from a Coast Guard Captain to his concerns about bridge0opening. The City of St. Augustine needs o petition for a rulemaking under hte Administrative Procedure Act, asking USCG and Homeland Security to reduce the frequency of bridge openings, which is in the U.S. Code. We also need to ask FDOT to ban 18-wheelers from our Bridge of Lions.
Two petitions for rulemaking, one federal, one state.
Problem solved.
This will save fuel, carbon emissions and aggravation. Boat owners, whether commercial or pleasure, can wait.
Footnote: One CHARLES MATHIS wrote in today;s St. Augustine Record an unscientific dissenting view, wishing that the bridge were wider and blaming "merchants."
He is wrong. A wider bridge would have destroyed our town.
Thank God for the Save our Bridge group and its able leaders.

Here is Clara Waldhari's rebuttal from the Record:

Clara Waldhari 04/14/14 - 09:33 am 00Confusion still abounds
This letter writer, Charles Mathis, writes that we deserve the traffic congestion we get because the Bridge of Lion was saved from destruction.
He further pens "[e]very other city on the east coast" that faced this problem chose to replace their obsolete bridges.
THAT is The Point!
WE are NOT "every other city on the east coast." We are St. Augustine. We have heritage, we have historic structures. We are UNIQUE.
To wantonly demolish that which makes us unique is insane.
The bridge is an enormous part of our cultural landscape and our identity. To lose it would have been tragic.
There are prices to pay for living in an ancient city

Judge Mathis: in the words RFK once wrote to segregationist U.S. Senator James O. Eastland of Mississippi, "repent now, there's still time!"

Justice for Michelle O'Connell. NOW.

St. Augustine and St. Johns County are lucky to have people with integrity like the O'Connell family.
Please read Patty O'Connell's St. Augustine Record column, below.
The O'Connell family will not quit until there is justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Neither will we.
People of goodwill join with them in urging our U.S. Attorney General to commence a federal grand jury investigation.
NOW.
The O'Connells and the rest of us in Our Town are not scared of bullies.
They are standing up to elected bullies ;ike Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA, rebarbative reprobrates who are an embarassment to our community in the eyes of the entire world. Their noisome nastiness must end. NOW.
Their not-so-subtle corruption of our government is indefensible, and must be ended at once. NOW.
"Let justice be done though the heavens fall" is an ancient equitable maxim.
We will not be satisfied until "justice rolls on like a river, righteousness like a mighty stream." (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963 "I have a dream speech," quoting the prophet Amos 5:24)
Let every voice be heard in urging a federal grand jury investigation of the corruption in St. Johns County, starting with our estimable Sheriff and State's Attorney.

Sunday St. Augustine Record Column: "My daughter, Michelle, is gone: Justice for her should not die, too"

Posted: April 13, 2014 - 12:05am
By PATTY O'CONNELL
St. Augustine
My daughter, Michelle O’Connell, was found shot dead Sept. 2, 2010, in her deputy-boyfriend’s home. He told his co-workers she did this. Deputy Jeremy Banks’ co-workers failed to investigate. They only took his side. No investigation was possible for Michelle. The public needs to know that no one in the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Department or State Attorney’s Office ever asked our family what happened. Why?

No one from The St. Augustine Record has ever interviewed us, even after the New York Times and PBS/Frontline stories in November of 2013. Why?

Sheriff Shoar admitted to major mistakes, but claimed to The Record, in a story Dec. 12, 2013, that he “got it right.” How?

The sheriff investigated his deputy, a conflict of interest. “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). The FDLE should have been called immediately. Our family told the Sheriff’s Office that Michelle told us and her friends that she was a victim of domestic violence. The sheriff did not investigate. The sheriff and the prosecutors rushed to conclude (the shooting) was a suicide — without evidence. The sheriff’s national accreditation must be reviewed by the Council on Law Enforcement Accreditation this week and be suspended, revoked or placed on probation.

Jeremy Banks was allowed to read the investigation before his formal interview, and treated like a brother, not a suspect. Why? Two respected crime scene experts determined it was a homicide, and three determined it was not suicide, but no charges were filed. Why?

Deputies did not canvass the neighborhood. Why?

The cut and bruise on Michelle’s eyelid was the result of violence, yet we were told that a gun discharged forward (not backward), that Michelle used her non-dominant left hand to grasp the gun upside down, with no hand injury, and that the shell casings ejected on the wrong side — all physical impossibilities. Why?

Two witnesses heard an argument, a scream and a shot, another scream a second shot. Sheriff Shoar knowingly lied to the Justice Department about them, and the deputy claimed there were no raised voices.

One medical examiner thrice changed his mind; another barely looked at the file. Lt. Bradley callously said my Michelle busted every tooth in her head. He wouldn’t let me see any photos. I held firm; this made him angry. He showed some photos to me but not all. Why?

After claiming it was a suicide, Sheriff Shoar would not look me in the eye, and he wouldn’t look Michelle’s daughter Alexis in the eye either. Why?

Sheriff Shoar bragged about paying for Michelle’s funeral. Why?

The only person currently under investigation is FDLE Agent Rusty R. Rogers, who suspected sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Banks in Michelle’s death. Why?

Michelle asked to go to the Holocaust Museum when she was 15 years old. She asked how could people not speak out against great evil. Michelle’s long-time day-care boss had just promoted her to full time, with full benefits. Michelle also cared for Alzheimer’s patients. Michelle loved life. She loved her daughter. Everyone knows she did not commit suicide.

Michelle’s heroes were John and Robert Kennedy. RFK said, “It is not enough to allow dissent, we must demand it, for there is too much to dissent from.”

There must be an FBI and federal grand jury investigation of Michelle’s death and possible civil rights violations, cover ups, collusion and other crimes by local law enforcement. “We shall know the truth, and the truth will make ye free” (John 8:32).

I am grateful for the public support for this. CNN and NBC are also preparing stories.

Our family is thinking about a “Michelle O’Connell House,” a safe place for victims of the national epidemic of officer-involved domestic violence.

Comments (2)2848 POINTS View Profile


Clara Waldhari 04/13/14 - 09:35 am 73THANK YOU, PATTY O'CONNELL,

for coming forth to represent your daughter Michelle. I am so very sorry for her death. My prayers are with you, Alexis, and your family.

I cannot account for the obvious malfunctions of David Shoar's department nor his willingness to play such a role in this cover-up. Both enabling it and continuing it. The blue line has gone too far.

Rest assured, you have the support of many of us who believe Michelle's death was a homicide. Not a suicide.

This coming week's NBC Dateline look at Michelle's death and all that surrounded it will once again bring her case into national view, as well as the ineptitude and use of diversionary tactics by Sheriff David Shoar..

There are those of us who believe your daughter was the victim, not Jeremy Banks. We hope the truth prevails. That a federal grand jury will convene and look at ALL the evidence without the bias of local LE.

We mourn Michelle's tragic loss.

JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE O'CONNELL

[Posted at 7:38 a.m. Edited to fix typos.[


Clara Waldhari 04/13/14 - 07:15 am 63Note to Jim Sutton, Editorial Pg Editor

Dear Jim,
The column by Patty O'Connell was placed at the bottom of the op-ed page.

This particular column deserved to be placed on the ed page, directly under the political cartoon.

Robert Reich's column should have joined Kathleen Parker's on the op-ed page.

That is the very least the O'Connell family deserved. Michelle, too.

Such placement also would have made the entire ed page LOCAL.

Thank you.
Clara Waldhari

Friday, April 11, 2014

The whole world is watching St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR f/k/a "DAVID BERNARD HOAR"

The American Bar Association Journal has joined the Eleventh Circuit, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tne New York Times, PBS Frontline in exposing St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR f/k/a "DAVID BERNARD HOAR."

See below.

Soon the Cable News Network (CNN), Headline News Network (HLN) and NBC Dateline will weigh in.

The whole world is watching.

Sheriff SHOAR has brought shame on our community.

Sheriff SHOAR has violated civil and constitutional rights.

Sjeroff SHOAR has violated the reasonable expectations of privacy.

Sheriff SHOAR has violated the reasonable expectations of probity.

Sheriff SHOAR is lacking in all credibility -- a criminaloid personality, in the words of scholar Edwin Alvord Ross (1907).

Should Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR resign?

Should he be removed from office by Governor RICHARD SCOTT?

Should he be indicted by a federal grand jury?

You tell me.

What do you reckon?

American Bar Association Journal: 11th Circuit nixes immunity for sheriff’s officers who recorded attorney-client conversation

Constitutional Law
11th Circuit nixes immunity for sheriff’s officers who recorded attorney-client conversation
Posted Apr 11, 2014 5:50 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

Upholding an earlier summary judgment ruling by a trial judge, a federal appeals court has held that two Florida law enforcement officers who secretly watched and recorded an attorney-client meeting violated the Fourth Amendment and can be held liable in a federal civil rights suit.

Rejecting a qualified immunity argument, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that the St. John's County sheriff's officers can be sued personally because their conduct violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, among other constitutional prohibitions, Courthouse News reports.

The civil rights suit by attorney Anne Marie Gennusa and her then-client, Joel Studivant, also alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act.

At issue in the case is a June 2009 meeting in a room in the sheriff's office. Initially, a sheriff's detective interviewed Studivant about a possible misdemeanor violation of a domestic violence injunction. When the detective left the room, Gennusa and Studivant discussed the case, eventually agreeing that he would not complete a sworn written statement he had originally agreed to prepare.

Unbeknownst to the two, a hidden camera was recording their meeting, and sheriff's officers were monitoring it. Studivant was not under arrest, there was no search warrant, no signs warned of possible surveillance and the two had not been told their conversation could be recorded, the appeals court explains in its written opinion (PDF)

When a detective came back into the room and demanded the draft statement, the two refused to provide it. The detective then grabbed it, as instructed by a supervisor, allegedly breaking Gennusa's fingernail while doing so.

While the appeals court suggested that an exigent circumstances exception might conceivably have applied to the seizure of the draft statement under other circumstances, the sheriff's officers failed to meet their burden of proving it, the opinion states.

"The monitoring and recording of the privileged attorney-client conversations between Mr. Studivant and Ms. Gennusa, without notice and without a warrant, violated their clearly established Fourth Amendment rights," the 11th Circuit concluded. "So too, on this record, did the warrantless seizure of Mr. Studivant’s written statement from Ms. Gennusa."

Comments
3
1.
B. McLeod
Apr 11, 2014 7:12 AM CDT
Officers making spur-of-the-moment, uncounseled decisions, versus a suspect represented by counsel, making a counseled decision.
There is a lesson here.
2.
Hooraytheist
Apr 11, 2014 9:23 AM CDT
Is the lesson that unlike the other thousand times a day this exact thing happens, someone proved it this time?
3.
Walter Fricke
Apr 11, 2014 2:51 PM CDT
I’ve known some police officers who were simply brilliant. Smarter than me, anyway.
And I have known some who were dumb as posts. The good ones in this category compensated just fine. Others, whether a bit down on the IQ scale or not, did not and ended up doing things like these officers.
Without reading the opinion I am sure it is well founded, and wasn’t hard for the judges: how could any police officer not be aware of the attorney-client privilege at a minimum, and know that this kind of secret spying just wouldn’t fly. Cops don’t have to like lawyers, but they have to respect their role.
4.
Ed Slavin
Apr 11, 2014 8:38 PM CDT
This same St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department has a sordid history of lawbreaking, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance. It includes a maladroit, conflicted, incurious investigation of the September 2, 2010 death of a deputy’s girlfriend in the deputy’s house with the deputy’s gun—a case from which Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR should have recused himself ab initio. That case is well-documented by The New York Times and PBS Frontline:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-in-st-augustine/
4.
Ed Slavin
Apr 11, 2014 8:38 PM CDT
This same St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department has a sordid history of lawbreaking, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasonce. It includes a maladroit, conflicted, incurious investigation of the September 2, 2010 death of a deputy’s girlfriend in the deputy’s house with the deputy’s gun—a case from which Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR should have recused himself ab initio. That case is well-documented by The New York Times and PBS Frontline:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-in-st-augustine/
4.
Ed Slavin
Apr 11, 2014 8:38 PM CDT
This same St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department has a sordid history of lawbreaking, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance. It includes a maladroit, conflicted, incurious investigation of the September 2, 2010 death of a deputy’s girlfriend in the deputy’s house with the deputy’s gun—a case from which Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR should have recused himself ab initio. That case is well-documented by The New York Times and PBS Frontline:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-in-st-augustine/
5.
BagOverHead
Apr 11, 2014 8:41 PM CDT
This incident took place in my county, St. Johns, Florida. It is a small county with approximately 250 sworn officers. The citizens here live in fear of a Sheriff’s Department that is out of control. The symptoms of it’s sickness have been many over the past ten years, including a suspected homicide by an officer that was determined by Deputies to be a suicide (2010 query New York Times article 2014 or Frontline PBS television show 2014 under “Sheriff Shoar”), racially motivated beat-downs in the black community (the Fourth Street incident- $250,000 settlement paid by the Sheriff), allegations of obstruction of Justice by the Sheriff in U.S. v. Tom Manual (query The St. Augustine Record, “Sheriff Shoar”), and the list goes on. This latest debacle is just one more symptom of incompetent management failing to safeguare the citizens of this county. That a law enforcement agency would not only tolerate blatent constitutional abuse, but encourage it, undermines the liberty of all of us and is a stain of disgrace to the millions that have fallen in an attempt to preserve our freedoms. Today we are forced to once again hang our heads in shame in St. Johns County, recognizing that decisions such as this one condem our Sheriff’s Department, its management staff, their abusive illegal tactics and their continued efforts to control my neighbors, a cowering public at best, through illegal procedure, abuseful policy, fear, intimidation and bullying.

April 11, 2005


Nine years ago tonight, on April 11, 2005, I spoke for the very first time to the St. Augustine City Commission. I spoke three times. I pointed out an illegal annexation and a pervasive practice of violations of the Fifteenth Amendment to our United States Constitution -- diluting Afrcan-American voting strength from some 25% to 12% since 1964.
It was the first time I had ever attended a St. Augustine government meeting since moving here in 1999.
It was the first time I had attended a local government meeting anywhere in some 21 years.
(I once covered such meetings regularly, in East Tennessee, before law school.)

The “Unwelcome Wagon” was very much in evidence that night.

In fact, immediately after the meeting, St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE. HARRISS approached me, did not introduce himself, did not shake my hand, and said, “I could have you arrested for disorderly conduct!” (Ms. Sue Neely corroborated what HARRIS said; she signed an affidavit)

The words hang in my ears, nine years later: “I could have you arrested for disorderly conduct!” Now that's an icebreaker, as William F. Buckley, Jr. once said (about the first words Ayn Rand ever spoke to him).

WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS a/k/a “WILL HARASS” did not like me very much. HARRISS never did shake my hand.

HARRIS is gone now, replaced by new, enlightened management in the City (while HARRISS has been sitting since mid-2010 at the right hand of rightist Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, giving the High Sheriff of St. Johns County emetic, execrable, extralegal advice that has embarrassed our community in the eyes of the entire world). See below.

WILLIAM HARRISS a/k/a “HARASS” did not deter my protected activity. His words have inspired me, and other activists to organize. Since 2005, activists have been winning victory after victory, to paraphrase the words of the “war prayer” of General George S. Patton, Jr., “crushing the wickedness and oppression of our enemies, bringing God's justice to the world.” In the past nine years, democracy has been on the march. Citizen activists in St. Augustine have won a few victories:
1.Cleanup of city's illegal dumping of 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated solid waste in the Old City Reservoir by consent decree.
2.Cleanup of city's former contaminated landfill at the end of Riberia Street by consent decree.
3.Cleanup of city's sewage dumping in saltwater marsh at south end of Lincolnville by consent decree.
4.Proper paving of Riberia Street for the first time in St. Augustine history.
5.Shutdown and prosecution of M&M Market at 102 Bridge Street (regional crack cocaine market).
6.Protection of neighborhoods from tree-killing, wetland-destroying orgies by greedy, oleagnous, oligopolistic ogres like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD.
7.Two civil rights monuments in our Slave Market Square.
8.The city's "Journey" African-American history VIC exhibit.
9.Rainbow flags on Bridge of Lion, by federal court order, vindicating GLBT rights under the First Amendment and Equal Protection.
10.Protection of visual artists, by federal court order, vindicating First Amendment rights
11.Adding "sexual orientation" as protected class in St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach Fair Housing ordinances.
12.Employment nondiscrimination ordinance for both government and private employment in St. Augustine Beach.
13.Equal pension benefits for survivors of Gay and Lesbian St. Augustine retired employees.
14.Defeat of ugly 1930-style spec building next to St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica.
15.Protection of historic homes from FSDB eminent domain pushed by histrionic Rep. WILLIAM L. PROCTOR.
16.Rejecting 7-Eleven and twelve gasoline pumps at May and San Marco.
17.Cancellation of $1.8 million no-bid mosquito control helicopter by Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County.
18.Ending rampant Sunshine and Open Records violations by local governments.
19.Cancellation of illegal $25,000 Sunshine violating "business" trip by four Commissioners to Spain.
20.Ending illegal First America Foundation (covert operation given $275,000 of city funds to run 450th celebration), winning refund of most of money.
21.Defeating proposed County Charter (twice), that would have been almost impossible to amend, while leaving out equal rights for GLBT people, omitted an Ombuds and Inspector General, allowed takeover of local governments and would not be a charter of freedom for limited government but a ticket to permanent one-party rule.
22.Halting retaliatory efforts to fire St. Augustine Beach policemen and delegate law enforcement to Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.
23.Resolutions opposing offshore oil drilling by St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach.
24.Resolutions opposing offshore sonar exploration by St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County.
25.Exposure of Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's mendacity, malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance by New York Times and PBS Frontline.
26.Initiation of a diverse St. Augustine "visioning" committee in the Sunshine.
27.Designation of St. Augustine as a “Compassionate City,” first in Florida and twentieth in the world.
28.Encouraging diversity, equality and human rights.
29. Successful federal criminal prosecution of THOMPSON BROTHERS REALTY for hte October 10, 2001 cutting down of a bald eagle nest tree by speculator-developer PIERRE THOMPSON, grandson of the founder of the St. AUGuSTINE RECORD.
30. Encouraging governmen officials to do the right thing. Before I ever even attended my first St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting, one of the Commissioners reportedly said during a meeting, "It's a good thing Ed Slavin's not here."
We, the People, are everywhere! Empowered and powerful, our leaders are listening.
As the estimable late St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM POMAR once reportedly said, “the Bohemians have won.”

In John Winthrop's words, we are building a “shining city on a hill.”

We look forward to sharing our Nation's Oldest City with Pope Francis next year, as we show off St. Augustine's natural beauty and history to the world.

There's more to do to preserve and protect what matters – the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. See www.staugustgreen.com

Here in St. Augustine, Florida, we stand up for our rights, and we take care of our own.

Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-377-4998

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Justice for Michelle O'Connell -- NBC News Dateline Program Airs on April 18, 2014 (Passover and Good Friday evening)

God forgive Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.
Sheriff SHOAR ran as a reformer.
He looks like a crook.
Sheriff SHOAR wears religion on his sleeve, holding prayer meetings at work.
He needs to pray for forgiveness.
His crimes, torts and sins have found him out.
Today, he was just found (again) to have violated two citizens' Fourth Amendment righs, after mocking their lawsuit as "frivolous."
SHOAR's appeal was frivolous -- there was not even a damage award, and he wasted money appealing from a declaratory judgment about our Fourth Amendment and Wiretap Act rights.
SHOAR's detectives illegally taped attorney-client meetings.
The one trial and three appeals judges who found he violated civil rights include three Republican appointees (of Presidents Reagan and both Bushes).
Wiretapping attorneys and clients at SJCSO was allegedly long-term policy.
The coverup of the Michelle O'Connell case will soon be featured on two more tv networks -- CNN and NBC.
On Friday, April 18th (Good Friday and Passover), Sheriff Shoar will again be examined by investigative reporters with a gimlet eye.
He already flunked the laugh test when he refused to go on-camera for PBS/Frontline and refused to be interviewed by the New York Times.
The whole world is watching.

St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County Commissioners Oppose Sonar Oil Exploration

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners and St. Augustine Beach City Commission have both gone on record opposing dangerous sonar oil exploration, which killed 100 whales off Madagasgar last year.
Oil companies own the U.S. Department of the Interior.the technology is dangerous and should be halted.
The vote at SAB last night was unanimous, at the request of realtor Pat Hamilton, who reminded them that our tourist economy will be ruined if offshore oil drilling is allowed here, where 350 endangered North Atlantic right whales have their babies every winter (this is their winter calving grounds).
Only a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore will firmly draw a "line in the sand" against offshore oil drilling, as Environmental Impact Statements will have to say "sensitive areas -- yes -- St. Augustine Naional Historial Park and National Seashore."
www.staugustgreen.com

St, Augustine Beach Opposes Water Grab by Orlando

St. Augustine Beach Commissioners voted last night to oppose St. Johns River Water Management District Plans to allow an extravagant withdrawal of water from our river for wasteful urban water users in Orlando. Conservation will be emphasized in a letter to be sent to SJRWMD.

St. Augustine Beach Violates Purchasing Policy

St. Augustine Beach City Commissioners voted unanimously last night to violte their city purchasing policy, which requires competitive bidding. They did so at the behest of Police Chief obert Harddwick, who wants a new $125,000, five year telephone system to replace the archaic NEC system.
Ineptly, Commissioners expressed concerns about public safety.
Nothing about lawbreaking.
How quaint.
The phone system has been decrepit forever.
There was no urgency, only empty rhetoric.
No sealed competitive bids were sought.
Only "quotes."
St. Augustine Beach has no Purchasing Agent.
St. Augustine Beach has a City Manager who falls asleep in meetings.
St. Augustine Beach has a police chief who got the gig on recommendation of Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA, tortfeasors who badly botched the investigation of the shooting death of Michelle O'Connell. Chief Hardwick was the chief investigator fot the State's Attorney and was involved in the O'Connell case.
The no-bid WINDSTREAM telephone deal proposed by Chief Hardwick is illegal.
It is unseemly.
An illegal no-bid contract will be presented to Commissioners at their meeting next month.
The illegal contract may only be for three years instead of five.
That does not resolve the violation of the city purchasing policy, which requires bids on all contracts of $10,000 and above.
The illegal no-bid contract will be presented by City Attorney Douglas Nelson Burnett, son of the former Commanding General of the Florida National Guard, whose law firm (and attorney James George Whitehose) also represents a clutch of ethically-impaired developers, including one that wants to stick a 7-Eleven at the intersection of May and San Marco in our historic St. Augustine downtown.
City of St. Augustine Police Chief Hardwick, St. Augustine Beach City Manager Max Royle, St. Augustine Beach City Attorney Douglas Nelson Burnett, St. Augustine Beach Mayor Andrea Samuels, Vice Mayor Richard O'Brien, Commissioners Brud Helhoski, Undine Pawlowski and Sherman Gary Snodgrass --
you all have delusions of adequacy.
Does your conscience bother you?
Just say "no" to illegal, no-bid contracts.
No more.
Enough flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.
Enough waste, fraud and abuse.
Enough misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.
Bids means bids, not quotes.

Lifeguard Fundraiser Lacked Permits

A recent fundraiser for charity by St. Johns County lifeguards had no permits, St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick revealed last night. They had and moved bear kegs to several outdoor locations. No charges were brought, he told City of St. Augustine Beach Commissioners at their monthly meeting last night.

Sheriff's Office Loses Appeal -- Called Civil Rights Case By Attorney Gennusa "Most Frivolous" He'd Ever Seen

The St. Johns County Sheriff's office violated Fourth Amendment rights of an attorney and her client by listening in to their private conversations in an interview room and stealing a document from the attorney's hands.
So ruled the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in a decision posted earlier today.
At issue were our Federal Wiretap Act and our Fourth Amendment.
The case was brught by attorney Anne Marie Gennusa and her client, Joel Sutrdivant, who were both represented by Jacksonville attorney William Sheppard, Bruan DeMaggio, Matthew Kachergus and Elizabeth Louis White.
When an attorney and a client are speaking in an interview room and the client is not charged with the crime, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy: listening in is a violation of the Fourth Anendment, a civil rights violation. When an attorney is holding a statement and a deputy grabs it out of her hand, that's a civil rights violation, too.
So ruled United States District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan in 2012.
So ruled the United States Court of Appeals today in Atlanta.
The only surprising thing about today's ruling is that our St. Johns County Sheriff, DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and lawyers JOHN JOLLY and MATTHEW CLINE bothered to appeal on behalf of THOMAS MARMO and BRIAN CANOVA.
The trial court awarded no money damages, only injunctive relief and attorney fees.
This appeal was a waste of the public fisc.
Sheriff SHOAR is ethically impaired.
Sheriff SHOAR had termed this the "most frivolous lawsuit" he'd "ever seen."
Sheriff SHOAR had stated, "It is cases like these that cause members of the public to be very critica of the effetivness of our civil justice system in America."
No Sheriff SHOAR, it is crooked cranky Sheriffs like you.
And all your works and pomps.
And all your camp followers.
And all your scared deputies, who do evil to keep their jobs.
It is also the current and former members of your Department, who long posted hate speech on the St. Augustine Record, its Talk of the Town website, and on MICHAEL GOLD's www.plazabum.com and www.shamefulpeople.com.
What a lugubrious goober. SHOAR knows not that he knows not that he knows not, and he's been elected thrice, twice without opposition, because our somnolent, somnambulistic St. Johns County Democratic Party, not unlike our St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, is reminiscent of Jimmy Breslin's "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight."
This same Sheriff refused to recuse himself on November 2-3, 2010, when Deputy Jeremy Banks' girlfriend, Michelle O'Connell, was found shot to death with his service pistol. Supervising an investigation that was a stench in the nostrils of the Nation, Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR pronounced it a "suicide."
SHOAR is a criminal, and his credibility is in shreds.
The trial curt decision was written by U.S. Distridt Judge Timothy Corrigan, appointed by Presideent G.W. Bush in 2002.
The appeals decision was written by Senior Judge Joel F. Dubina of Alabama, who was appointed a District Judge by President Reagan and an Appeals Judge by President G.H.W.Bush.
The appeals decision was joinned in by:
Senior Judge Emmett Ripley Cox, appointed by President Reagan and is a native of Cottonwood, Alabama; and
Judge Adalberto Jordan, a former federal prosecutor, former U.S. District Judge in Miami and was appointed by President Obama in 2012; he was born in Cuba and clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
A federal grand jury needs to investigate Shoar's civil rights violations.
Now.
The whole world is watching.
CNN and NBC News Dateline are next.

Monday, April 07, 2014

IN HAEC VERBA: My April 1, 2014 E-mail letter re: Civility at St Augustine Beach City Commission meetings

No response to date -- they must all agree!


April 1, 2014
Subject: Civil procedure at City Commission meetings in St. Augustine Beach

Dear Mayor Samuels, Vice Mayor O'Brien, Commissioners Pawlowski, Snodgrass and Helhoski and Mr. Royle:
Here are ten (10) modest suggestions for improving civility at all future St. Augustine Beach City Commission meetings.
Please:
1. Answer all citizen questions, as was the practice under Mayor Snodgrass for two (2) years, through city staff, at conclusion of public comment, before any other business.
2. Never interrupt citizen speakers again.
3. Hold all your questions until a speaker is finished.
4. Respect equal rights. "Three minutes" should apply equally to all public speakers, including corporate lobbyists, corporate real estate speculators/developers, and corporate salesmen, including lobbyists and salesmen seeking illegal, no-bid sweetheart government contacts. Otherwise, kindly abolish or modify your putative "three minute" rule, which appears to have fallen into desuetude by default (e.g., ATS, Windstream and other corporate speakers).
5. Don't roll yours eyes, glare, sneer, slouch in your chair, look at the ceiling, look away, look at your PDA or otherwise show disrespect for any speaker, or for each other.
6. Don't interrupt each other, or show disrespect, or act like either public speakers or your colleagues are bothersome pests.
7. Don't add important items to the agenda after it is posted on the SAB website. Do timely share all pertinent documents with the public.
8. Don't hold or delay important matters until late in the evening.
9. Do treat all citizens and each other with dignity, respect and consideration (i.e., please don't screech at each other, and please, don't ever fall asleep again, Mr. Royle, as you have written in your monthly newspaper columns that you frequently do during City Commission meetings).
10. Do not, when citizens' three minutes expire, ever again bark "time's up!" That impolite custom, in both our county BCC and SAB meetings, makes our government leaders look small, gauche and louche. A polite, sincere and appreciative "thank you" is both desired and required.
Citizens must not be treated as "outsiders."
Do you all agree?
May we have your thoughts, please?
Please call to discuss.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998

Saturday, March 29, 2014

St. Augustine Record Letter: "'Oh thank heaven" for no 7-Eleven )March 29, 2014)

By Ed Slavin
St. Augustine

St. Augustine's history and way of life were preserved and protected Monday, March 24, when City Commissioners rejected an appeal by a dodgy developer to stick a 7-Eleven at the heavily congested May Street and San Marco Avenue intersection.

In the words of 7-Eleven's own registered trademark, “Oh thank heaven!” ® History has been preserved, as well as safety and our small town values and way of life. History has been made.

City Planning Director Mark Knight, HARB and Commission have now thrice upheld our Entry Corridor Guidelines over attacks by Wallace Devlin, whose counsel inaccurately told HARB there were “no sidewalks” in front of the property, which the speculator promised to turn into retail stores to replace those bulldozed on that promise. Devlin is the failed developer of the bankrupt Sebastian Inner Harbor Project, which still stands flat, after years of unkept, unsworn promises to build a Westin Hotel.

7-Eleven is a publicly-held, government-regulated Japanese multinational corporation. Write, call and tell the Japanese and U.S. governments to tell 7-Eleven to drop this inanity. Does Japan want its “contribution” to our 450th commemoration to be twelve gasoline pumps and destruction of our historic downtown? Please contact:

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae
Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-238-6700
202-328-2187 (fax)

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
U.S. Embassy in Japan
Unit 9800 Box 300
APO AP 96303-0300
011-81-3-3224-5000
011-81-3-3505-1862 (fax)

Shirley & Wallace Devlin, Sr.
First City Development LLC
7518 Albert Tillinghhast Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34240

James George Whitehouse
Douglas Nelson Burnett
St. Johns Law Group
509 Anastasia Blvd.
St. Augustine, Florida 32080

St. Augustine residents are united in preserving our history, nature and beauty. Environmental and historic preservation and heritage and eco-tourism are our future – not ugly buildings and sprawl. . For more, please see www.staugustgreen.com

Friday, March 28, 2014

Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., U.S.N., U.S. Senate, R.I.P.

Admiral Jeremiah Denton died today.
Admiral Jeremiah Denton was a Vietnam war hero.
After his bomber was shot down, Admiral Denton was incarcerated by North Vietnam for seven years and seven months.
He was tortured.
He was starved.
He survived.
He told the truth on national television, under the noses of his sadistic North Vietnamese torturer-captors.
On May 17, 1966, Admiral Denton used Morse Code to spell out the word "Torture" before television cameras when he was held prisoner by the North Vietnamese.
Admiral Denton devised a system of coughs, sneezes and sniffs to communicate with his fellow incarcerated Amercan Prisoners of War (POWs).
Since POWs suffered chronic illness in drafty and vermin-ridden cells, the North Vietnamese never caught on that coughs, sneezes and sniffs were their way of communicating with one another.
Admiral Denton was the most senior POW, and the first off the plane in 1973. He wrote When Hell Was in Session, later made into a TV movie starring Hal Holbrook.
Confined in cells as small as a refrigerator, Admiral Denton survived. He would have despaired had he known his incarceration would last seven years and seven months, but he said: "It was one minute at a time, one hour, one week, one year and so on. If you look at it like that, anybody can do anything."
Later, Admiral Denton was elected to the United States Senate from Alabama as a Republican, the first one elected from Alabama in 112 years.
Senator Jeremiah Denton worked to enact abstinence-education legislation, working with Senator Ted Kennedy, my first boss, intending to prevent teen pregnancies.
In December, 2005, I had the honor of interviewing the retired Admiral and former Senator Admiral Denton for Out in the City, the GLBTQ newspaper then published in Jacksonville, Florida.
What a wonderful man he was -- I was honored to interview him.
I telephoned Admiral Denton while writing an investigative cover story about bigoted anti-Gay policy that was adopted by Clay County School Board in 1992.
The article was called "Farenheit 4.51: Clay County's Culture War" (January 2006).
The offensive anti-Gay Clay COunty, Florida School Board policy stated, and still states today, in haec verba: "Any instruction on homosexuality shall occur only in conjunction with instruction on sexually transmitted diseases."
The policy is word-for-word identical to one adopted in a Washington State school board. It is similar to those adopted in other redneck and peckerwood jurisdictions where intolerance rules, and the First Amendment Establishment Clause is violated, and Article VI, cl. 3 of the U.S. Constitution is disobeyed ("no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.")
The policy, Clay County School Board Policy 4.51(C)(3)(c), would even prohibit a teacher from saying anything supportive to a Gay student contemplating suicide.
Since suicide rates among Gay and Lesbian teenagers are thrice that of heterosexual teenagers, the effect of the Clay County School Board policy is cruel, sadistic and ultimately anti-life as well as anti-Gay.
The policy was adopted at the behest of bigoted extremists in Clay County, who attempted to blame abstinence education policies for their backwoods backward Nuremberg Law.
Admiral Denton, the former U.S. Senator who sponsored abstinence education, told me that they were lying. Abstinence education was about preventing pregnancy, not about marginalizing Gays and Lesbians.
As a former Navy Admiral, former U.S. Senator and devout Roman Catholic, Jeremiah Denton was outraged. He quickly told me that Clay County School Board members were clearly lying to me.
The legislative history of the abstinence-education bill had nothing to do with homosexuality. It was about preventing teen pregnancy.
Period.
Thus, I had the story of the School Board's mendacious savagery from the abstinence-education law sponsor's own voice: Clay County School Board members were lying (just like the School Board members in Pennsylvania who adopted "Intelligent Design" based on theocracy).
There was some awkwardness on my part. I wasn't sure whether to call him "Admiral" or "Senator," or both. Jeremiah Denton quickly solved that problem.
"Just call me Jerry," Admiral/Senator Jeremiah Denton said to me after just a few minutes.
We stayed in touch, and he asked for, and I offered, a few modest suggstions on how to pass federal legislation to make it easier for shipping companies to export food aid to the hungry worldwide, giving them tax relief.
President Ronald Reagan was right -- Jeremiah Denton was "a true treasure."
Admiral Denton was a true patriot, who helped me expose the bigotry of Clay County School Board members against GLBTQ students.
He reminds me of what former St. Augustine City Commissioner William Leary said in response to the Ku Klux Klan on December 10, 2012, in adopting Fair Housing ordinance amendment banning "sexual orientation" discrimination. Commissioner Leary said, "I was elected to make secular decisions."
A deeply religious man, Admiral Denton respected separation of Church and State.
We shall miss him, and others like him who served in Congress and spoke their minds, and served in Vietnam, "when Hell was in session."