Thursday, March 31, 2011
ATF AGENT SENTENCED FOR STEALING MONEY DURING SEARCH
Steven Campbell, age 32, a former special agent with the Cleveland Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), was sentenced today to one year and a day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release as a result of his guilty plea to converting to his own use money seized during the execution of a federal search warrant, announced United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade.
The sentencing took place before United States Magistrate Judge Gregory White in Cleveland, Ohio.
United States Attorney McQuade said, "Just as we hold public officials accountable for wrongdoing, we hold federal agents accountable as well."
Information presented to the court at the time of the plea established that on October 18, 2010, while executing a federal search warrant at a suspected drug house, Campbell stole, and concealed on his person, approximately $46,785 in cash that was recovered during the search. An affidavit previously issued explained that Campbell hid the cash in various places in his clothing, but was caught when another federal agent observed the theft in progress.
The investigation of this case has been conducted by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Affairs Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Michigan because the US Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Ohio is recused from the case.
American Bar Association Journal: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Ticketed for Four-car Automobile Collision
Justice Scalia Gets Ticketed in Four-Car Fender Bender
Scalia had a trying day yesterday.
During oral arguments on whether to allow a huge class action against Wal-Mart Stores, he complained he was getting “whipsawed” by the arguments of the lawyer for female employees. SCOTUSblog included his comment in its oral argument coverage.
His frustrations were likely greater before arriving at court. During his drive to Washington, Scalia was ticketed, allegedly for rear-ending a car and causing a chain reaction that damaged four cars, including his own, according to the Washington Post blog The Reliable Source and the Los Angeles Times. No one was injured, but Scalia’s car had to be towed, according to the blog. The fine is $90 in all: $70 for the ticket and $20 for a special assessment.
The accident occurred on the George Washington Parkway in an area known for slow rush-hour traffic. The Reliable Source spoke with former NBC reporter Brooke Salkoff, who saw the accident and reported that Scalia was driving a shiny black BMW.
Above the Law noted Scalia’s “minimum contacts.” The blog reports that Scalia has a chambers assistant who can drive him around during the day, but he drives himself to court from his home in McLean, Va.
U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division: Justice Department Opens Investigation into the Seattle Police Department
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it has opened a pattern or practice investigation into allegations of use of excessive force and discriminatory policing by members of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), pursuant to the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the anti-discrimination provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Justice Department will seek to determine whether there are systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by officers of the SPD. During the course of our investigation, the Justice Department will consider all relevant information, particularly the efforts that Seattle has undertaken to ensure compliance with federal law. The Justice Department has taken similar steps in a variety of state and local law enforcement agencies, both large and small, in jurisdictions such as New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia and California.
Today’s announcement is separate from any ongoing federal criminal investigation involving the Seattle Police Department.
This matter is being investigated jointly by attorneys from the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington. The Department welcomes any information from the community. If you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Community.email@example.com or 855-203-4479.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
From: 1000 Friends of Florida <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM
Protect Citizens' Rights!
Please Call Now to Oppose HB 7129
Your calls are needed to oppose the damaging HB 7129, which was released by the House a few days ago. This bill undermines Florida’s landmark growth management system, essentially returning this state to the “anything goes” era of the 1960s and 1970s. Among other things, this damaging legislation undercuts the rights of citizens to appeal inappropriate local government planning decisions, weakens the ability of local governments to charge developers for the costs of new roads and schools meaning that taxpayers will further subsidize new development, allows large-scale development without any certainty that conservation lands will be preserved, and seriously curtails state review of local plan amendments.
1000 Friends of Florida and the Sierra Club do not support this bill, and The Nature Conservancy has strong concerns. Please contact your Representative now! Tell him/her that growth management is essential to protect the state’s drinking water and quality of life. Ask them to stand up for Florida’s citizens and oppose HB 7129.
Find your Florida Representative. Once you’re on that page, click on the “Find your Representative” icon and enter your address.
Please also share this alert with your friends and associates. We need as many calls as possible!
Among other things, this problematic legislation:
Curtails citizen rights to participate in the local planning process--It includes a number of provisions making citizen legal challenges of inappropriate local plan amendments virtually impossible. It applies the very difficult “fairly debatable” legal test to all citizen challenges, making successful appeals unlikely. It repeals Rule 9J-5 and the associated years of legal challenges that have bolstered the rights and ability of citizens to file successful legal challenges. It prohibits DCA from intervening in any third party challenges to plan amendments, and restricts appeals of detailed special area plans (DSAPS) associated with sector plans to court challenges only. It also requires DCA to review all of its pending judicial proceedings within 60 days to justify either their continuation under the changes made in this bill or have them dismissed. Finally, it prohibits local governments from adopting any process similar to the recent Amendment 4/Hometown Democracy amendment.
Will result in citizens subsidizing new development, even that which is unneeded and financially infeasible—The proposed legislation eliminates the requirement that plans and plan amendments be “financially feasible,” and weakens the requirement that developers show the “need” for new development to justify making amendments to the local comprehensive plan. This is particularly egregious in an era when irresponsible overbuilding has had devastating results for so many Floridians. It weakens concurrency requirements that new development pay for associated roads, schools and other costs, which will result in citizens underwriting many of the costs of new development.
Undermines state review of plan amendments—Early growth management efforts in Florida failed because there was no oversight of local government planning decisions. The 1985 Growth Management Act established state review over local comprehensive plans, but this legislation undermines state review. Among other things, this legislation inserts a nearly impossible to overcome “balancing” provision that says that any plan amendment that “on balance” promotes parts of Chapter 163 and/or local comprehensive plan policies can be approved even when adverse impacts are documented to state resources. It adopts an “alternative state review” (ASR) process for all plan amendments, which means that DCA will not comment on most plan amendments, and will have only 30 days to present comments on those it chooses to review. It also limits the ability of DCA and other state agencies to comment on amendments to local comprehensive plans. DCA comments will only be required for amendments within areas of critical state concern, sector plans, new plans for newly incorporated areas, EAR based amendments, and rural land stewardship areas.
Allows large-scale development without any certainty that conservation lands will be protected -- The legislation revises large scale sector and rural land stewardship plans without any certainty as to when conservation easements will be recorded
Has devastating results for Florida -- The effect of these changes is to minimize state review and comment, emphasize and give deference to local decisions, and make it practically impossible for citizens and third parties to successfully challenge plan amendments. This is a return to the 1970s when development interests were unchecked, public resources were being exploited, and growth controls were minimal. We have seen the results of that approach, and we continue to pay for the many mistakes made with that system. 1000 Friends fears that we are about to repeat this sad part of our great state’s history.
This message was sent by 1000 Friends of Florida
Fort Monroe moves 1 step closer to becoming Virginia’s newest national park
By Associated Press, Sunday, March 27, 11:43 AM
HAMPTON, Va. — Fort Monroe is one step closer to becoming a national park.
The 11-member Fort Monroe Authority voted unanimously Thursday to seek national park status for the entire peninsula on which the historic fort stands, The Virginian-Pilot reports. But the authority would retain strict control over development at the fort.
Some sections would be off-limits for construction, and much of the open space would remain intact for public recreation.
The state is scheduled to take over the 570-acre military outpost in Hampton in September. It was slated for closure by the federal government in 2005 as part of a round of base closings intended to save money.
The base includes 170 historic buildings and the largest moated stone fort in the U.S.
It was known as “Freedom’s Fortress” during the Civil War because it was a destination for escaped slaves who flocked to Union lines.
The authority has long advocated for a national park at the fort, but until recently supported only a limited federal role.
The board endorsed including Dog Beach, an airfield and a strip of land between Bay Breeze Community Center and Barrery DeRussy, an early 20th-century coast gun battery facing the Chesapeake Bay in the property under federal control.
The authority agreed it would manage that land and use it only for tourism and hospitality purposes, not new residential or commercial developments.
The authority wants a national park that could attract history tourists already drawn to the area by Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown and others who would enjoy more than 3 miles of bayfront beaches and 200 acres of natural habitat.
Supporters hope Congress will vote this year to give the fort national park status. But they say they’ll keep an eye on developments to make sure the land is used as planned.
“We’re still going to be working to make sure whatever happens here is an asset, not a drawback,” said Mark Perreault, president of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park.
Destry Jarvis, brother of the park service director and a consultant to the National Parks Conservation Association, told the board he’s never seen such a strong candidate for a national park, with united community and political support.
“You’ve got what it takes,” Jarvis said. “This is the next great urban park in America.”
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, March 25, 2011
THE CONTROL GAME
By E I N
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT OR PUBLIC RELATIONS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Originally Published 5/94, converted to HTML 7/97.
A REFERENCE GUIDE FOR RECOGNIZING POLITICAL/SOCIAL CONTROL TACTICS BY POWER BROKERS, LARGE CORPORATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS, AND GOVERNMENT ENTITIES.
Environmental Information Network (EIN), Inc.TM
P.O. Box 280087, Lakewood, CO 80228-0087 -- email@example.com
Paula Elofson-Gardine, Executive Director/Susan Hurst, Publications Director
Tactic 1 -- Make it impossible for people to be involved: These typical control tactics set things up so that it's difficult and inconvenient for interested parties such as the affected public to participate.
- Meetings are scheduled at inappropriate locations or times; i.e., during regular working hours, highway rush hours, dinner times, or deliberately conflicting times with similar interest meetings. Strict meeting "guidelines" and use of question cards discourages real dialogue and keeps attendees under control.
- Schedule lengthy one-way presentations that will not allow give and take exchange. This precludes the public (including the press) from asking questions or clarifications.
- Conveners may insist that all questions be held until the end, by which time people are tired, the meeting area must be vacated, and the press has had to leave to meet deadlines.
- Allow the public limited time, and a limited number of questions that must pertain to their predetermined set of allowable topics; while the conveners drag out their answers, essentially filibustering away the rest of the time for the meeting -- and coincidentally time for open discussion of issues and answers that many attendees showed up for.
- Staff may be trained to be nice, while having been trained to handle the public by using subtle harassment or baiting techniques, which also discourages public involvement.
These tactics are used to fulfill requirements for public outreach in order to legitimize the process. If attendance is sparse it will be blamed on public apathy, rather than a deliberate effort to exclude public participation. Reject this pretense for public involvement. Short circuit this tactic by standing up as a group and announcing an immediate press conference that will give the press the real story from the citizens outside of the meeting room or across the street from the building, then get up and leave as a group. If this is not immediately possible, let the conveners know that your group will hold its own meeting, protest, and/or press conference the next morning and will continue to inform the media of their non-cooperation on these issues.
Tactic 2 -- Divide and Conquer: This is a well-established tactic that effectively places similar interest groups at odds against each other, when they would otherwise be a formidable force for bureaucratic responsiveness and accountability. This tactic uses existing tensions and divisions between organizations. Name this tactic as soon as you recognize it to short circuit its effectiveness. Make sure that everyone understands what interests they share in common, and why it is in their best interest to continue to work together. A few favorite tactics are described below.
- Divide a large issue into many small ones. This forces people and/or organizations to fight many small battles, dispersing their energies. Small groups working in isolation of each other may not be as effective as coordinating efforts to maximize through solid communication and networking.
- Provide enough resources to cover only part of the problem. This can include preparing only a few copies of handouts or important documents so that self-imposed constraints prevent them from being able to provide x, y, or z service -- while it is obvious that there is plenty of budgetary allowance for gratuities, amenities, or items that fulfill their bias or agenda.
- Appoint a committee using key members of the public -- including appointees with views similar to the convener, funder, or directing agency to maintain their control of the committee. Their involvement is then publicly highlighted -- whether or not they attend or participate. Their names will be used strategically (sometimes in absentia), or photos are used to imply consent, agreement, or consensus with the committee -- although they may object or disagree with the viewpoint or findings of the committee. Citizens (token) used in this manner may or may not be aware of their names or pictures being used to artificially lend credibility to the committee or findings in question. In some cases, they may be unaware that they are considered to be a member of the committee.
- Many separate tables are used in large banquet or meeting rooms to break a meeting up into small discussion groups. This effectively keeps valuable information that would otherwise be revealed in the general discussion from being heard by the larger group, which would have enhanced communal brainstorming and questioning of the process or problem at hand. These small group discussions may then be summarized and reported back to the larger group. Carefully placed shills or committee members may serve as group leaders to control group feedback. This suppresses any controversial discussions that don't fit the convener's agenda, and inhibits networking or brainstorming on the issue.
- Seating arranged in "audience fashion" delegates you to a passive role in these meetings. Short-circuit this by playing Musical Chairs. Insist that the tables and/or chairs be moved (circle or horseshoe shape) so that everyone can be an active participant with the conveners or presenters. Put yourselves at the same level and/or table with the power brokers so there is no distance to allow them to feel comfortably in control (no shield). Convert their agenda to your agenda.
- Public relations campaigns (blitzes) into the community will seek out homeowners associations, service groups, schools, and so on, to present biased, incomplete, or misleading information to sidestep opposition to mould and win over public opinion about key issues.
- Conduct private (behind closed-door or impromptu) meetings with civic groups, government, or public officials (i.e. city council, county commissioners, etc.) of similar political or philosophical leanings -- without informing citizens or organizations with opposing viewpoints of these meetings.
- Wrong information regarding time and location is provided -- too late to be corrected (The scavenger hunt). This ensures that their message will be presented without all sides of an issue being recognized or openly discussed.
The Government in the Sunshine Act legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress to discourage clandestine or private meetings of government bodies or officials for the purposes of excluding general public or interested parties.
Tactic 3 -- Pack the Meeting: The power brokers will encourage employees to attend x, y, or z meeting. They may also establish telephone trees (which we should be doing) to get employees and supporters to pack a meeting to simulate public support for their position on an issue, and to set the tone of the meeting.
- Comment or question cards are used in place of a communal microphone for participants to go to, so everyone can hear and participate in the discussion. Their supporters will stack the deck of comment cards with time wasters, and may continue filling out more cards throughout the meeting to defuse opposition discussion (see tactic 1 -- filibustering).
Short circuit this by meeting with your neighbors, colleagues, or constituents for a pre-meeting conference to discuss opposition tactics and strategy that are barriers to getting your views aired. Come up with your own list of strategy and critical points, then divide them up among yourselves. Go to the meeting prepared with fact sheets, questions, and comments that support your views. Brainstorm with your colleagues, refine the information, then pass it around the neighborhood, or the target audience for and after the meeting. Call the tactics as you see them occur in the meeting to defuse them. Insist on a fair airing of the issues, within everyone's hearing.
Tactic 4 -- Economic Blackmail: When dealing with politically heated issues, especially "company town" polluters, the first threat may be that massive layoffs will occur if they have to: change a process, stop polluting, fix safety problems, clean up contamination, and so on. This is a Red Herring scare tactic that should be immediately brought to everyone's attention.
- In 1988, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility (RFP) was faced with changes that included decommissioning, the contractor threatened massive layoffs. Economic developers and chambers of commerce predicted local devastation. To the contrary, the cleanup has been a huge economical boost for subcontractors and RFP personnel, who have nearly doubled the numbers of employees that were needed for full production and chemical recovery of plutonium pits for nuclear warheads.
- Retraining and educational programs have blossomed at local colleges. The people to watch are the Developers and Chambers, who will attempt to create new projects, while "dumbing down the workforce" by bringing in minimum wage workers for cleanup jobs, lay off union people, and funnel profits to special interest chums. Stay united, call that tactic, and make them accountable.
Tactic 5 -- Give the appearance of action without doing anything: When faced with an obvious need for change, bureaucrats may try to give the appearance of taking action without actually doing anything. These tactics may sound like this:
- "We have decided to appoint an advisory, special, sub-committee, or commission to study or handle the problem. We want (or need) members of our group to volunteer assistance because we do not have money for staff."
- "Your knowledge, input, or time is so valuable (and so on), we would like you to help us with x, y, or z to work out solutions" (but they will fail to assimilate your information, suggestions, or concerns).
- "We would like to help you by doing x, y, or z for you" -- but the reciprocal help never appears (carrot on the stick).
- "We plan to issue a policy or statement regarding that problem next week, month, year..., so that everyone will know what to do in the future..." Beware of bureaucrats stealing your uncompensated time to tie you up, keeping you out of circulation in the community. Volunteerism can be abused, becoming a time quicksand.
Don't accept inconsequential actions, excuses, and "donothingitis". Set a reasonable amount of time for genuine action, and then tell everyone that you expect action by that date. Think twice before joining "study committees or advisory groups" that are not policy-changing bodies that have no real power to do anything about the issue or problem in question, are funded and directed by your adversary, or by those that represent the other side of your issue. There may not be an accurate record of what has happened from the beginning, during, or at the end of these efforts. Refusal to allow the recording of meetings, or have an accurate paper trail to document important meetings and proceedings is a serious red flag of cover-ups and problems.
Tactic 6 -- Give them a Red Herring, or Get them to Chase the Wrong Bunny: This is an issue or information offered to belittle, patronize, or confound and derail your efforts. When a bureaucrat tries to change the subject from what you are concerned about to what they want you to focus on, they are using a "Bait and Switch" routine.
- "I don't know what you're talking about; You don't know your facts; That issue is not important; Why are you interested in that issue?; You have not done enough research; You aren't an expert; Your issue is beside the point, irrational, emotional, or not practical; Why don't you check into, or work on x, y, or z, instead?"
- Engaging attendees in detailed explanations or debates that are intended to sidetrack the issue of concern, hoping that in the heat of debate, you will: Give up, get tired, go home, and forget the key issue.
Be aware of time wasters that will eat up meeting time, and are designed to wear you down. When confronted with this tactic, don't get side tracked. You don't have to be an expert to ask questions, ask for information, or to have legitimate concerns.
Write notes throughout the meeting -- this will help keep you on track. Stick to the issues you want to discuss, while making a special note to follow up, or address the other person's issue later, if they genuinely desire to do so.
Tactic 7 -- Refuse to give out information, or make it impossible to get it: Bureaucrats plan that this tactic will discourage you, so that you will give up and go away. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) format may have to be invoked to get cooperation. You must know what information you need, what agency to request it from, and what to look for. The "Key and Lock" buzzwords and descriptions must be included, or the very information you seek may be withheld from you.
- Bureaucracies protecting damaging information may try to charge exorbitant fees for information to be searched, copied, and sent to you. Request fee waivers based upon public interest needs and public right-to-know laws.
- The requestor may be flooded with huge amounts of useless information that is out of order and out of date. This is called a data dump in legal circles. This is a common tactic used by legal rivals on cases to eat up valuable pre-trial discovery time. It takes a critical eye, speed reading, and some research or historical knowledge to be able to weed through the useless information to find what you want.
To deal with the system effectively, you need the facts. If you have the facts, the system has to deal with you more openly. Democracy depends on people having the information needed to allow meaningful input and interaction with the system. The refusal to give out information may sound like this:
- "We don't have that information; x, y, or z is not in today, and I'm not authorized to fulfill this request; We can only give out a summary (They decide what is meaningful, included, excluded, or redacted); Why do you think that's important?; Justify your interest, or legitimize your need; We don't think you need that information."
Recognize these tactical phrases meant to put you off the track of the information you need to level the playing field with your opponent, and don't accept lame excuses for non-performance or non-compliance.
- AS SOON AS A TACTIC HAS BECOME APPARENT, LABEL IT: When you name that tactic publicly, it loses its power. You can counter these tactics with a minimum of wasted effort by keeping the lines of communication open with your colleagues and other similar interest organizations.
- BE OBSERVANT OF INTERACTIONS, TACTICS, AND WHO MAY BE CALLING THE SHOTS BEHIND THE SCENES: Recognize that although individuals make up the bureaucracy, they should not be the targets of your efforts. Evaluate where strategic counter-tactics would be the most effective. Good mottoes to keep in mind. Always go to the top, and the squeaky wheel gets fixed.
- DO NOT ALLOW BUREAUCRATIC FIGUREHEADS TO LABEL YOU as a troublemaker, or as someone with emotional or personal problems (i.e.: "Psychiatrically" linked to a site or set of issues, don't have a life because you volunteer a lot of your time, are a paid staffer or knowledgeable citizen, so your opinion doesn't count, or don't have "x" number of constituents behind you.) to legitimize side stepping serious issues and/or your concerns. Be alert to the evaluative patronizing concern look. This is contrived to give the appearance of questioning your mental or emotional stability to elicit a reaction. Keep cool and don't give them the reaction they want from you. Any person might become dedicated to seeking solutions, and become angry or frustrated over the distancing treatment bureaucracies and corporations use to keep the public at arm's length over difficult issues.
- MAKE YOUR ISSUE OR ADVERSARY AN OBJECT OF INTENSE STUDY: Never stop questioning your previous conclusions about them. Get all the information you can and keep getting it. Put this information to productive and meaningful use, then network it around.
- NEVER RELAX AFTER A VICTORY, and don't underestimate the power of determination.
- RENEW YOUR OWN OUTREACH REGULARLY by having current concerns and information prepared and ready to distribute at every opportunity. Use their meetings for opportunities to pass out your own targeted information. Use several people to see that all attendees end up with copies of your information. Ask local copiers or businesses to help duplicate materials.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
"Reports based on faulty foundations of inconsistent, missing, or biased data are meaningless, misleading, and worthless. To deliberately present bad data as if it were meaningful is scientifically invalid and immoral." -- Environmental Information Network (EIN), Inc.
Paula Elofson-Gardine, Executive Director
Susan Hurst, Publications Director
PLEASE NOTE: EIN is a 501(C)(3) non-profit public education and networking organization that accepts contributions. Permission is granted for copying or transfer of this publication, so long as contact information for EIN is kept intact. The EIN logo is a unique trademark that belongs exclusively to EIN. The EIN logo may not be copied or isolated from EIN publications for use by other organizations or individuals, without specific written permission from the trademark owner, Paula Elofson-Gardine.
This page coded by the ACTION Center. Direct any web-related inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naval Postgraduate School excerpt re: History of COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES (CALEA)
unrest that America faced in the 1960s and early 1970s. Many cities experienced largescale riots with loss of life and extensive property damage while the police appeared to be ill prepared for dealing with such events. The public trust in law enforcement was strained as the public viewed the police as undertrained, unprofessional, and unwilling to earn from their past mistakes. Police policies were for the most part poorly written or sometimes nonexistent, and agency hiring practices were often discriminatory. Abuses of constitutional rights were often seen in the news, and the lack of professionalism and accountability became a topic of national discussion (CALEA, 2007, p. 1-1). In order to address these issues, DOJ provided a grant to the four leading law enforcement associations, the IACP, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
(NOBLE), the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research
Forum (PERF). It should be noted that these associations still provide significant
leadership for modern law enforcement and were involved with the crafting of the
intelligence-led policing strategy that is one of the founding principles of the current national fusion center doctrine. As a result of their efforts, it was recommended that a national standard for law enforcement was needed, as well as a methodology to provide law enforcement leadership with the means to voluntarily improve the professionalism and accountability of their agencies. In so doing, the goal was that public safety agencies would increase their ability to maintain law and order, agency effectiveness and efficiency, and cooperation with other agencies, and would provide the citizens and agency employees with confidence in the abilities, objectives, goals, and practices of the law enforcement profession (CALEA, 2007, p. 1-2).
The Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation was created as a private,
nonprofit organization in 1979 (CALEA, 2007, p. 1-2). The purpose and mission of
To improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by
maintaining a body of standards developed by public safety practitioners,
covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives, establishing
and administering an accreditation process and recognizing professional
excellence (CALEA, 2007, p. 1-2).
In order to achieve its mission, CALEA has identified the following goals
(CALEA, 2007, p. 1-2):
• Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities;
• Formalize essential management procedures;
• Establish fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices;
• Improve service delivery;
• Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination;
• Increase community and staff confidence in the agency.
CALEA is governed by a commission of 21 members; 11 members are from the
law enforcement discipline while the remaining ten come from other public sector
disciplines and the private sector. The commissioners are representative of international, national, state, and local law enforcement and public-safety agencies as well as business, academia, judicial, and state and local non–law enforcement government. The commission oversees all standing committees and the development and approval of standards and credentialing (CALEA, 2007, p. 2-1).
In order to become accredited, an agency must apply for accreditation and then
conduct a self-assessment based on the recognized CALEA standards. These standards
were developed and agreed upon by subject matter experts and the CALEA commission;
they are subject to ongoing review and revision by the Standards Review and
Interpretation Committee of CALEA. The CALEA standards are internationally
recognized as benchmarks for modern public-safety agencies (CALEA, 2007, p. 1-3).
The applicability of a standard to an agency is determined by the agency size and
function; certain core samples are designated as mandatory for compliance by all
accredited agencies. An agency has 36 months in which to complete the self-assessment
phase and schedule an on-site assessment. During the self-assessment phase, the agency must work towards complying with the applicable standards, developing proofs of compliance and preparing for the on-site assessment. A CALEA program manager is
available to assist the agency with any questions concerning applicability or definition of standards (CALEA, 2007, p. 3-2).
Once the agency has completed the self-assessment and the CALEA program
manager concurs, an on-site assessment is conducted by CALEA assessors to ensure that
the agency is in compliance with all applicable standards. Prior to arrival at the agency, the assessors review compliance files previously requested of the agency. During the onsite visit the assessors conduct a tour of the agency, perform on-site policy and compliance file reviews, interact with and interview agency personnel, seek public input and comment, and then conduct an exit interview with executive leadership (CALEA, 2007, p. 3-3). A report containing findings and recommendations is then submitted to the CALEA commission for the credentialing determination. The CALEA commission issues a determination concerning the accreditation of the agency using one of the following findings (CALEA, 2007, p. 3-4):
• Accredited—The agency is in full compliance with all applicable
mandatory standards and with the required percentage of applicable otherthan-
• Accredited with Conditions—The agency is designated as accredited but
requires that the agency take specified measures or precautions, within
specific time-limits, to cope with current or anticipated events or
conditions threatening or preventing compliance.
Once an agency receives accreditation, the credential is good for three years
before a reaccreditation application and process must occur. This process includes a selfassessment and on-site assessment, and the agency must demonstrate that it has been in compliance with the required standards for the three years it was accredited. Agencies are required to submit an annual agency accreditation report, as well as reports concerning non-compliance issues and changes in agency personnel (CALEA, 2007, p. 7-1). The CALEA commission can return the following decisions concerning reaccreditation of an agency or suspension of an agency while accreditation is current (CALEA, 2007, p. 3-4):
• Accredited—Same as previously defined.
• Accreditation suspended—Suspension is a temporary action regarding the
accreditation status of an agency until a final decision is made by the
commission. The suspension is for a specific length of time, on a case by
• Accreditation revoked—The commission designates the agency as no
• Accreditation deferred—The accreditation decision is postponed; the
agency maintains its current accreditation status pending a decision.
Through compliance with a recognized set of standards, a law enforcement
agency can improve its accountability to the public and community leadership, make
fact-based decisions regarding the needs and future direction of the agency, and limit the agency’s risk exposure.
Excerpt from: "A TRUSTED NATIONAL FUSION CENTER NETWORK: ARE BASELINE
CAPABILITIES AND ACCREDITATION NEEDED?"
R. Don Ladner, Jr.
Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
B.A., St. Leo College, 1993
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS IN SECURITY STUDIES
(HOMELAND SECURITY AND DEFENSE)
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
Author: R. Don Ladner, Jr.
Approved by: John Rollins
Harold A. Trinkunas, PhD
Chairman, Department of Homeland Security and Defense
Inside Lakeland PD: Lakeland Police Accreditation Denied by Commmission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Withdraws From CALEA Assessment
Accreditation is a self-assessment process that ensures a police agency is operating according to established professional standards. Both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) and the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) are voluntary processes. The recent decision of the CFA Commission not to grant reaccreditation was a great disappointment to the LPD, but it was also a lesson. After reviewing the standards for CALEA for the 2011 reaccreditation, it was determined it would be in the best interest of the Lakeland Police Department and the City of Lakeland to voluntarily withdraw from the CALEA assessment process.
In order to embrace the spirit of accreditation completely, and make sure all pistons are smoothly firing in our engines, we feel we need to completely assess our current practices and service so that we can deliver the best possible policing agency to the City of Lakeland, as well as the officers that work so hard in our community to make Lakeland a better place to live.
Since the beginning of LPD’s accreditation process, the standards for accreditation have evolved over time. Based on our recent review by the CFA Commission, we have decided that withdrawal from the CALEA accreditation process will provide the opportunity to assess all of our existing policies and incorporate evolving assessment standards into these policies. This will allow us the ability to realign our practices with policy and current changes. In other words, to ensure that all policies and practices are up to date. The reality is there are mutual compliance requirements in both accrediting bodies. Often when one assessment is not in compliance, the other will not be as well.
The new Chief of Police coming to the Lakeland Police Department will also benefit from the opportunity to have his/her own review and input on existing policies and will be able to make changes accordingly.
Both CALEA and CFA run on a three year cycle. In the past, these cycles were overlapping, yet many of the requirements were the same. This overlapping caused LPD to duplicate some of the evaluation processes because the same evaluations were required, but at different times due to the overlapping cycles. By withdrawing from the CALEA assessment process, LPD will be given the opportunity to align both accreditation processes (CALEA and CFA) so that they are synchronized and run on the same cycle. This realignment process will not cause any additional cost, and it will give the LPD more time to conduct a thorough, in-depth assessment.
CALEA currently has 464 standards required and CFA currently has 84. The LPD’s policies currently exceed the minimum standards required under either program. Many of these standards contain aggregated reporting periods within the requirements of different time frames, such as monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. These changes are becoming more challenging to maintain at these varying levels, and LPD will ultimately be evaluated to determine if compliance and documentation exists to show that these standards have been met.
Once the decision is made to withdraw from the CALEA reaccreditation process, a new contract will be signed by LPD to begin preparation for the next onsite inspection. This contract has a minimum two year requirement for the self-assessment process. The Lakeland Police Department will enter into contracts with CFA and CALEA at the same time. We anticipate becoming accredited with CFA and CALEA in the end of 2012 or early 2013. Since both CFA and CALEA have some mutual requirements, it became obvious that some of the same areas that were not in compliance with CFA also applied to CALEA.
A review team of cross-section department employees is working toward evaluating current practices and establishing that all policies and procedures are brought up to date. Although the contract requires a two year interim before accreditation can be obtained, the LPD has already began addressing issues and is expected to be in full compliance well before the two year period ends.
Media inquiries should be directed to Sergeant Terri Smith, 863.834.6917.
- posted by Sergeant Terri Smith
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Letter: Krauthammer is wrong about Social Security
Editor: Charles Krauthammer claims that "there is no Social Security Trust Fund," and yet, those workers who paid FICA taxes are owed this money. The fact is that Congress irresponsibly put that money into the general fund, in order to cover up their deficit spending to pay for the earmarks that they were piling on, in order to please their constituents so as to gain their votes during the next election.
It is now up to Congress to restore that money to those who paid their taxes for it -- over $2.8 trillion dollars. Instead of taking it out on the backs of those who paid into it, by denying them their rightful share, they are shamefully suggesting delaying the age when they would start to collect their Social Security check, or be eligible for Medicare (how would you feel if you were a coal miner, or factory worker, and were delayed another couple of years?). Despite the fact that your salary was less in actual dollars than in 1969, you would not be eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment, despite the fact that medical costs alone, on which most seniors are more dependent, have soared as much as 17 percent over the previous year.
Meanwhile, Congress has ensured that they themselves collect a generous COLA, by having it automatically spring into place every year.
By raising the cap that keeps a limit of $105,000 on taxable income for FICA, and by removing the tax breaks given to the ultra rich, there should be enough money to restore solvency to the Social Security Trust Fund.
Two thirds of seniors depend largely on those Social Security checks to keep them solvent.
GOP’s Transportation Tour Comes to Upstate New York Thursday
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chair John Mica will visit Rochester and Cortland on Thursday as part of the field hearings and listening sessions being held around the country by the Committee on the next federal transportation bill.
While the hearings are open to the public, testimony is via invitation only. Members of the public will be allowed to bring written testimony to share with staff at the hearing, or mail in their testimony directly to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The Rochester hearing was originally scheduled for February; local advocates held their own “transportation town hall” to get more inclusive input, and delivered it to Rep. Mica.
Rochester Field Hearing (co-hosted by Rep. Tom Reed)
Thursday, March 24, 9-11am
Rochester International Airport
Cortland Field Hearing (co-hosted by Rep. Richard Hanna)
Thursday, March 24, 3-5pm
Cortlandville Town Hall, Raymond G. Thorpe Municipal Building
3577 Terrace Road
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Guest column: First America Foundation isn't operating in the 'Sunshine'
A private foundation has taken over from the city the function of planning St. Augustine's 450th anniversary celebration, 2012-2015. The City Commission agreed and gave First America Foundation a $275,000 no-bid contract.
Our City Hall still mistrusts "we, the people."
Article I, section 24 of Florida's Constitution guarantees our right to open meetings and open records -- it was adopted in 1992 by vote of 83 percent of Florida voters (3,883,617 votes). Majority rules.
Our European forebears suffered under the yoke of secrecy and autocracy, exemplified by Cardinal Richelieu, who said, "Secrecy is the first essential in affairs of the State." In contrast, James Madison wrote that a "popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."
Florida is our nation's leader on open government laws. Florida's strong open government laws inspired then-Senator Lawton Chiles to persuade Congress to adopt the federal Government-in-the-Sunshine law.
Our Florida Constitution and laws require openness. The 450th anniversary of our Nation's Oldest City must no longer be run as a "covert operation." President Kennedy said to the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961: "The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it."
Lord Acton explained not only that "all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," but he also said that "Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity." As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "secrecy is for losers."
It is my opinion that FAF's secrecy interferes with our City's vital mission -- meaningfully celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Spanish Florida (2013), 450th anniversary of St. Augustine (2015), 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (2014) and the 200th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution (2012).
We deserve an open, accountable process with public participation. That's what we were promised before the City of St. Augustine changed its plans and created this secret corporation on a "rush" basis, as the incorporation papers filed in Tallahassee reveal. The City's strategic vision for the 450th originally called for 40 committees of local volunteers. FAF inexplicably dropped the committees and is seeking corporate "partners."
No federal agencies or self-respecting corporate donors will want to fund an inscrutable, unaccountable foundation that breaks the law. St. Augustine does not need a secretive foundation that shows contempt for the will of 3.8 million Florida voters. As Ronald Reagan spoke at the Berlin Wall: City Commissioners, "tear down this wall."
The facts are irrefragable. FAF, in my opinion, is a city agency under Sunshine and Open Records laws. Our City of St. Augustine must compel FAF to open its meetings, books and records to the public. Our City must take swift action to end FAF's secrecy and to vindicate our rights. As Justice Louis Brandeis said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."
Ed Slavin earned a B.S. in foreign service at Georgetown University and a J.D. from Memphis State University (now University of Memphis).
Meet non-diverse, board of secretive First America Foundation, Inc., started by City of St. Augustine w/ $275,000 to evade Sunshine laws
William T. Abare
In his 40th year at Flagler College and 10th year as President, Dr. Abare has previously served as the Executive Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Abare earned his B.S. from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, his master’s degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He holds membership in the Council of Independent Colleges, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Chief Executive Officer of the ThompsonBaker Agency in St. Augustine, Mr. Baker also serves as Commercial Lines Account Executive and is a partner in the agency. He is a graduate of The Citadel with a B.A. degree in English. Originally from St. Augustine, Mr. Baker is active in the community—he is a member of the St. Augustine Rotary, the St. Augustine Sister Cities Association and serves on the board of the Flagler Hospital. He is also the past chairman of the St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Board.
Colin A. Bingham
Mr. Colin Bingham is the President of several companies in Northern Florida including Econowaste, Inc., Econosweep, Inc., Bingham Redevelopment and the Community Development Coalition Corporation, a Florida not-for-profit. These companies perform demolition, hauling, environmental remediation, site and utility contracting throughout the Southeast. His wife, Shelly, is the owner of St. Augustine Paper and St. Augustine Souvenir Company. She has been a life long resident of St. Augustine.
Ms. Birchall holds many volunteer positions including the Advocacy Chairman for the St. Augustine Unit of the American Cancer Society, Co-Director for the Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership St. Johns, Committee Member of Young Life of St. Augustine, Coordinator of Young Life 2010, Reindeer Run, Chairman of the St. Augustine Colonial Dames 2010 Historical Essay Contest, Registration Chairman for the 2010 St. Augustine Amateur Golf Tournament, Disciple Bible Study Facilitator at Trinity Episcopal Parish, Chairman of Trinity Episcopal Celebrating America 2010 patriotic tribute, Member of Tobacco Free Partnership of St. Johns County and lastly, Assistant Coordinator for Junior Daughters of the King, Trinity Episcopal.
Mr. Boles attended the University of Florida where he obtained a Bachelor of Design and Advertising degree and a law degree. He was admitted to practice in 1984, and his areas of interest are elder law, asset protection, estates and trusts, business law and family law. Mr. Boles served as chairman of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board during the development of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and currently serves on the boards of the St. Johns County Council on Aging, St. Johns County Welfare Federation and the Buckingham Smith Benevolent Association. He is currently serving as Mayor for the City of St. Augustine.
Executive Director of the St. Johns County Council on Aging in St. Augustine, lead agency for elder services in a county with 23% elder population, Ms. Brown has also developed innovative and award winning programs. She operates 3 nationally accredited senior centers, 60 vehicle national award winning transit services, and directs a home health agency, adult day care agency, and commercial food service operations. Ms. Brown is very involved in the St. Augustine community with affiliations including Rotary International, United Way Board of Directors, Chairman, Interagency Council and County Planning and Zoning Agency.
Mr. Byerly has experience in a variety of business environments within the health care, general management and financial management fields. His core profession includes 30 years of experience in the Health Care Industry in executive positions and as a consultant to over 75 health care organizations including Vice President of New Era of St. Augustine, Adjunct Instructor for the Department of Business Administration at Flagler College, President of United Resource Management, and C.E.O. of the Metropolitan Hospital System in Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the President’s Council of Flagler College.
Vice-Chair Christine Chapman, graduated with her BA. degree in Special Education and received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, while working steadily at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. She has now turned to full-time community volunteerism as her most recent avenue of service. She is currently active on several civic boards to include the Children’s Museum of St. Johns; Advisory Board of Northeast Community Hospice; Board of Trustees for Flagler Hospital’s Health Care Foundation, and others. Her and her husband recently formed the All American Air Charitable Foundation to better serve our community.
Publisher of The St. Augustine Record since January 2010, Mr. Davidson was formerly Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. Prior to joining the Times-Union, he held executive management positions in marketing, research and advertising disciplines with media companies in Alabama, Kansas, Georgia and Tennessee. He was born in Kingsport, Tennessee and received a B.A. in Business and Public Administration from the University of Virginia College at Wise.
As Executive Director of the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, Mr. Goldman maintains St. Johns County’s success as a popular tourism destination. With an extensive marketing and advertising background, Goldman has served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Amelia Island Plantation and Vice President of Marketing and Research for Ryder and Schild Advertising. A past chairman of VISIT FLORIDA, Goldman still serves on its Executive and Government Relations Committees. He is also immediate vice chair of the Florida Commission on Tourism.
Leslee F. Keys
Ms. Keys is the Director of Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations for Flagler College and provides assistance to the school’s historic preservation efforts, also. She is an adjunct faculty member there in History. She also serves as Vice-President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, on the St. Johns County Economic Development Council, is the President of the Chamber’s Historic St. Augustine Area Council, and is the College’s representative to the St. Augustine Sister Cities Board. Prior to her position at Flagler, Ms. Keys served as Executive Director for the 1978 Ximenez-Fatio House Museum in St. Augustine, Historical Resources Administrator for the St. Augustine Regional Preservation Office and manager for the Division’s Historic Florida Keys Preservation Board in Key West. She has also served as adjunct faculty to Florida Community College, University of Louisville, Barry University in Miami and Flalger College. She is the author of several publications including two books on local preservation. Numerous organizations have recognized Ms. Keys’ professional efforts, including Who’s Who in American Women and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.
Mr. Lazzara is the General Manager of the Award Winning Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine. A native of Tampa, Florida, Anthony attended Troy University in Alabama where he played Football and Baseball for the Trojans and graduated with a Business Degree. He is also a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. After teaching and coaching at the high school level in the Atlanta, Georgia area for four years he then made a career change by joining the Marriott Corporation where he spent his first nine of 31 years in the Hotel and Lodging Industry. In addition to Marriott, he has served as Director of Rooms Operations at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee before joining Boykin Hospitality where he managed the Hilton and Doubletree on Melbourne Beach. In early 2007, he joined the Kessler Collection and after serving as General Manager of Beaver Creek Lodge in Colorado and the Castle Hotel in Orlando moved to St Augustine and the Casa Monica in 2008. Mr. Lazzara and his wife Dawn have been married for 22 years and their 17 year old twins, Aubrey and Anthony attend Nease High School. Mr. Lazarra loves to golf and enjoy the rich history of St. Augustine.
Ms. Mason is the President of Pamela Mason & Associates, LLC, and has more than 30 years of public relations experience. She received her B.S. in Communications from Florida State University. Ms. Mason has previously served as Director of Community and Media Relations at Sonshine Communications in Miami, Team Metro Communications Director, Office of the County Manager in Miami and Senior Representative/Community Relations, Walt Disney World Company in Lake Buena Vista. Ms. Mason was also the Assistant Director for Minority Student Affairs at FSU, Managing Editor at the Orlando Times Newspaper and a consultant for The Darden Corporation, Diversity Affairs/Corporate Relations, as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Breast Cancer Network of Strength.
As Regional Sales Manager for Universal Orlando Resort, Ms. McClintock builds revenue streams, develops brand awareness, increases revenue for youth programs in North Florida and exhibits at client vendor fairs and travel agent tradeshows. She has formerly served as Tour and Agency Sales Manager of Amelia Island Plantation, Promotion Representative of Florida Department of Commerce and Assistant Director of Tourism of the St. Johns County of Commerce. Ms. McClintock received her B.A. from Flagler College in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. She currently sits on the Flagler College Alumni Board of Directors and was recently Past President of Northeast Business Council, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Parker is the Executive Director of the St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) and adjunct professor in historic preservation at the University of Florida. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Florida State University, and master’s degree and doctorate studies in colonial history from the University of Florida, with a specialty in Spanish Florida. Dr. Parker has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Florida, University of South Florida and University of North Florida in Florida history, Spanish borderlands, U.S. survey courses and historic preservation. She is a research associate with the UF-Flagler College Historic St. Augustine Research Institute. Her work appears in several books published by University of Florida Press and historical journals.
Mr. Storey is a retired partner of Thomson Hine LLP in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his A.B. from Harvard University, J.D. from Case Western Reserve University and LHD (Honorary) from Triune University. Mr. Storey served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958-1961, where he attained rank as Captain. He is the former director of: BancOhio National Bank; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Louisville Courier Journal; May Department Stores Company; Procter & Gamble and Verizon Corportation. Mr. Storey was a former overseer at Harvard University and former trustee for: Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland State University (Chairman of the Board) Phillips Exeter Academy and Spelman College. In addition, Mr. Storey is a former trustee for the George Gund Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, and former member of the Cleveland City Planning Commission. He has been a resident of St. Augustine since 2004 and currently volunteers for the St. Augustine Historical Society Library. He is also Founding Director of the Cyprian Center for the Expressive Arts. He and his wife, Juanita, have three adult children.
Mr. Swift is currently the Senior Vice President for Member Services (Branch Services, Investment Services and the Call Center) for VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville. He has held various Executive Positions for Bank of America including Branch and Commercial Lending Vice President; Regional President for Pasco, Pinellas and Hernando Counties, Director of Marketing for Texas Bank and Senior Vice President of National Direct Sales. Mr. Swift’s past community involvement includes St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Director, St. Johns County Economic Development Council, St. Johns County Education Foundation Board and St. Patricks Episcopal Church Vestry.
Mr. Upchurch is the Assistant Professor of Law and Government; Department of Business Administration at Flagler College. He is a member of Faculty Senate and member of the Constitution and Faculty Development-Evaluation Committees. He is an “of counsel” attorney to the law firm of Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch, P.A. From 1992-1996 Mr. Upchurch was a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Other public service includes Mayor (1990-1992) and City Commissioner (1988-1992) of the City of St. Augustine. Currently, he is the Trustee and former Chairman of Flagler Healthcare Systems, Inc., Director of the St. Augustine Rotary Club, Trustee of the Lightner Museum and the St. Augustine Historical Society, Member of the Historic St. Augustine Research Institute and Honorary Co-Chairman and Capital Campaign Committee Member construction of The Bailey Center.
Mr. Vienrich is the Publisher for Eco Latino Media Group, a successful media outlet that serves as the voice for the Latino community in Northeast Florida. Arriving to the United States in 1992 from Peru, Mr. Vienrich completed his career in Visual Communications at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. His experience in the publishing business inspired him to create a bilingual magazine. Eco Latino Magazine is well known for educating, entertaining, and integrating Spanish speakers with mainstream America. It has been awarded by the Florida Society of Newspapers Editors as the number one Hispanic publication. Eco Latino Media Group is now the umbrella of Eco Latino Magazine, Eco Guia (Hispanic Directory), 90° Soccer Magazine, ABC Padres (bilingual parenting guide), and De Paseo (the first and only visitor guide in Spanish in the St. Augustine area). The media group also produced community events such as a quarterly Diversity Job Fair and a yearly Hispanic Art Walk. Mr. Vienrich is affiliated to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and has contributed in many endeavors carried out by United Way, The Red Cross, Walk America and the Children’s Home Society.
Mr. Wallis is a practicing attorney at Upchurch Bailey and Upchurch, P.A. in St. Augustine. Mr. Wallis attended Duke University (A.B.) and Duke University School of Law (J.D.). He began his legal career in 1974 as an associate with the Jacksonville law firm of Mahoney, Hadlow, Chambers & Adams, P.A. From 1978 to 1989, he was a shareholder in the Jacksonville law firm of Fisher, Tousey & Wallis, P.A. Beginning in 1989, he was a partner in Holland & Knight, LLP, and General Counsel of Holland & Knight Consulting, LLC. In 2003, Mr. Wallis joined Rogers Towers, P.A. as a shareholder in that firm’s Jacksonville office; he subsequently relocated to its St. Augustine office. Mr. Wallis is an active community member. He is currently a member of the Professional Advisory Council, Community Foundation of Jacksonville. Immediate past includes Chair, Board of Directors, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and Past Chair, Board of Directors, St. Johns Vision, Inc.
Mr. Wiles has been the President and Owner of Herbie Wiles Insurance, Inc. since 1979. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and has been a licensed Property and Casualty and Life Insurance agent since 1979. He has been chairman and a member of several insurance company advisory boards during his career. Doug has earned the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designations. In 2004, Doug completed eight years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, District 20, serving Clay, Flagler, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties. He is a retired lieutenant colonel, having served in the US Army and the Florida Army National Guard for 25 years. Doug has worked with a number of local public service organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of Historic St. Augustine, the St. Augustine-St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, the Flagler Hospital Board of Trustees, Catholic Charities and the United Way of St. Johns County. He is an Elder at Memorial Presbyterian Church.