Saturday, February 27, 2016


In the words of the late Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia, "This wolf comes as a wolf."
Putting former St. Augustine City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN on the St. Johns Cultural Council board is not unlike putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank (or Klansman David Duke on the NAACP Board). Our City is in the midst of an epic court battle over criminalizing artistic expression in St. Augustine. BROWN must resign.

RONALD WAYNE BROWN, former St. Augustine City Attorney

-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: awitt340
Sent: Sat, Feb 27, 2016 1:44 pm
Subject: Bates v. City of St. Augustine; Former City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN's resignation from St. Johns County Cultural Council Board

Dear Andy:
1. This is an urgent First Amendment issue that won't wait. As I requested yesterday, please send the PDF of United States District Court Judge Brian J. Davis's Order Granting Preliminary Injunction to the Board. When and where is the next St. Johns County Cultural Council board meeting?
2. Will you please place Bates v. City of St. Augustine (Bates II) on the Board agenda and kindly discuss filing of an amicus curiae brief in support of the artists?.
3. A. What are your thoughts about the appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest inherent in former City of St. Augustine City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN (2006-2014) serving on the Board?
B. Controversial St. Augustine City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN is a likely federal court trial witness in Bates II, and might well be called by the artists as an adverse witness in their case-in-chief under Federal Rule of Evidence 611c (direct examination as if on cross-examination).
C. "On what theory?" as Henry Kissinger might say, is RONALD WAYNE BROWN on the Cultural Council Board? If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know that someone put him there. How and why was BROWN appointed to the Board? Who put him there? Please provide all documents and information on the etiology of this decision.
D. Does RONALD WAYNE BROWN's service on the Board neuter, nullify and negate the Board's artist advocacy, chilling robust and uninhibited discussion of BROWN's artist-oppression legislation and prosecution?
E. Neither you nor RONALD WAYNE BROWN are in any position to presume to block or delay Cultural Council support for our City's artists or to pressure plaintiff artists to dismiss their lawsuit. Please cease and desist from uninformed unctuous ukase utterances such as your February 13, 2016 e-mail:
From: Andy []
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2016 12:55 PM
To: Ron Brown
Subject: Re: Artists issues

Great thanks

What's the current court case. Plaintiff and defendant. And can I get the docs off the web.

Am thinking is the plaintiffs attorney doing it pro bono or hoping to get fees in a settlement

If we could get both parties to drop the suit maybe we could start fresh with some form of mutually agreed regulation

Keep st George street clear but allow some art on the plaza

That seems to be the sticking point from what I hear

(Emphasis added)

4. Having on our Cultural Council Board RONALD WAYNE BROWN -- one of the adversarial architects of the City's anti-artist criminal prosecutions, policies, practices and ordinances, 2006-2014 -- does not pass the "smell test" or the "laugh test." It is deeply offensive. Upon reflection is RONALD WAYNE BROWN serving on the Cultural Council Board not unlike inviting the co-author of the Nuremberg Laws to serve on the board of a Holocaust Museum? In the immortal words of Senator Dale Bumpers, "That dog won't hunt."
5. One way to cure the nasty nagging noisome RONALD WAYNE BROWN problem is BROWN's immediate resignation, which I hereby respectfully request today.
6. Otherwise, please expect to read, see and hear First Amendment protected activity until former City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN resigns.
7. Cultural Council Board members must all be advocates for artists, and not adversaries: this is the Cultural Council's purpose and function.
8. As estimable City Attorney of St. Augustine, RONALD WAYNE BROWN did not carry out City policy, he instigated it and proposed it, acting as a bully, bullet in the gun of City Manager WILLIAM BARRY HARRIS, Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. -- hick hacks who criminalized art in our City and ran artists out of our Plaza de la Constitucion and St. George Street.
9. The simple palpitating truth of the matter is that artist tormenter and prosecutor RONALD WAYNE BROWN has no credibility.
10. It is time for RONALD WAYNE BROWN to go. Please call to discuss.
Thank you for all that you do.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

-----Original Message-----
From: andy
To: easlavin
Cc: 'Barbara McNees' ; ron
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2016 5:09 pm
Subject: RE: Bates v. City of St. Augustine Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

1- Board has already been advised of the document
2- We are conducting a planning process where we are “listening” to the community on issues of interest in advancing the arts, since several artists have raised the Bates/COSA, we will include that in our findings. Next step is a survey of the community that will develop and list of community priorities. At that point, probably this summer following the tabulation of the surveys and a draft report, all the issues will be brought to the board
3- We don’t know enough yet to comment. We have in the past expressed interest in prtobidng the COSA with sample ordinances/policies from other cities
4- That’s board decision as to time
5- Not enough info (sic) to comment other than we believe in fostering an environment where artists of all disciplines can thrive.

Andrew Witt
Executive Director
St Johns Cultural Council
15 Old Mission Avenue
St Augustine, FL 32084

From: []
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2016 3:12 PM
Subject: Bates v. City of St. Augustine Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

Dear Andy:
1. Please distribute the enclosed February 24, 2016 federal court injunction to our Cultural Council Board.
2. Kindly place this issue on their next meeting agenda.
3. Please invite public comment on the legal, moral and ethical duties of our Cultural Council in the face of repeated, open, notorious and blatant violations by our City of St. Augustine of artist rights for 25 years -- criminalizing artistic expression in an arts colony.
4. I suggest that the Cultural Council file an amicus curiae brief with the United States District Court in support of the artists and provide supportive trial witnesses knowledgeable about the economic, social and cultural benefits of plein air painting.
5. Please call to discuss.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

RONALD WAYNE BROWN, former St. Augustine City Attorney


Tom Reynolds said...

Another WOW ! This POS Ron Brown came to the Beach City and praised the incompetent City Attorney Doug Burnett. Doug Burnett is a complete POS that completely screwed our City in many ways. So back to Ron Brown, I think this might also end up a criminal investigation. I do not understand why these very bad people are even on these boards. On Tuesday I am going to request that the FBI do a complete investigation of the entire County Government. Then get the State s Special Prosecutor involved. From all that is going on here, this might just end up being the corruption capitol of North Florida !

Anonymous said...

Git 'im!

Keep it up.