Posted October 29, 2016 12:02 am
By SHELDON GARDNER firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Augustine Beach vice mayor says commissioner’s husband jabbed her with finger
St. Augustine Beach Vice Mayor Undine George says a fellow commissioner’s husband yelled at her and “stabbed” her with his finger at a recent social event.
But Robert Samuels, husband of beach Commissioner Andrea Samuels, says George’s account isn’t true. The case has been closed by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office in lieu of evidence to support a battery charge.
The setting was an evening Florida League of Cities dinner hosted by the city of St. Augustine Beach at the Marsh Creek Country Club earlier this month, according to the affidavit. Both George and the Samuels attended.
George wrote in the signed affidavit that she approached a server and began speaking with someone in line.
Then, she wrote, “Robert Samuels forcefully stabbed my right shoulder with his finger and started screaming at me about a conversation he had with Maggie Kostka (who is a candidate running in the same election as his wife, Mrs. Samuels),” according to her affidavit.
Robert Samuels seemed “possibly intoxicated” and “very upset” and threw his arms out and in the air, she wrote.
“I have been attacked by Bob Samuels and his wife in the past and they have both attempted to intimidate me during election seasons and it is inappropriate behavior,” George wrote. “Furthermore, it hurt when he stabbed at me and continued to hurt for a minute or two afterwards.”
“During the rest of the evening both of them glared at me each time I walked past their table,” according to George’s affidavit. “This hostility should not continue and I felt that I have no choice but to begin to report it especially since he has now elevated his hostility toward me with unwelcomed physical contact and intentionally interrupted the conversation I was having.”
George also wrote that Robert Samuels “essentially” told her she is “responsible for Ms. Kostka because” of a contribution she made to Kostka’s campaign, which was $250.
Kostka’s opponent, Andrea Samuels, has received $500 from beach Commissioner Gary Snodgrass and $250 from Sheriff David Shoar, among other contributions for her reelection campaign. Shoar also wrote a letter of recommendation for Andrea Samuels that is dated June 23, 2016.
Robert Samuels said he and George saw each other at the event, but he said the incident described by George never happened and he didn’t touch her.
As for George’s statement that he and his wife have attacked her in the past, he called it “another one of her many false allegations.”
“If anything, when she says that we have been attacking her for many years, the exact opposite is the truth,” he said.
He said he believes the affidavit is politically motivated, and there were no witnesses who could substantiate what she said, “because it never happened.”
George said it’s not political, and she’s had the opportunity to publicize negative information about the Samuels in the past but chose not to.
“I’m not one trying to promote press on anything I’m involved in,” George said.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office took on the case after a report was initaillly filed with a St. Augustine Beach Police Department officer. The sheriff’s office found that, “After reviewing the report, statements, and the fact that no witness observed physical contact between R. Samuels and U. George, [it was] determined at the present time probable cause did not exist for the case to move forward,” according to the sheriff’s office report.
The report added that, “The case will be closed [l]eads exhausted until such time any future evidence, witnesses, or probable cause is established that a crime was committed.”
When asked why the sheriff’s office didn’t hand the investigation over to an outside agency, in light of the sheriff’s contribution to Andrea Samuels’ campaign and the letter of support, sheriff’s office spokesman Kevin Kelshaw said, “Our investigators wouldn’t have any ideas of any political connnotations to this. What our investigators would do is look at the evidence and investigate the entire case. They would determine whether charges were signed or not, then the case goes to the state attorney’s office for prosecution. That’s an unbiased (sic) third party that would also look at it.”
Kelshaw added that if the state attorney’s office felt it wasn’t propertly investigated, they have investigators who would look into it and bring a charge if necessary.
“So there is an outside agency that looks at these,” he said.
According to the report, a sheriff’s office investigator interviewed Robert Samuels over the telephone.
During that conversation, Robert Samuels said he had a brief conversation with George, which he said focused on George and her family’s donations to Kostka’s campaign, according to the report.
“[Robert] Samuels reconfirmed that he and Undine had a conversation … [but he said] no physical contact occurred,” according to the report.
Witnesses listed in the report shared different accounts of what happened.
A man who George said she was speaking to while waiting in line said he didn’t notice “a verbal conflict” between her and Robert Samuels and didn’t see a battery. A country club employee said the same thing, that he didn’t notice an argument or see a battery.
One man said he “did not see the man poke the woman” but “he did hear the man yelling at the woman something about his wife and an election,” according to the report. The man said he couldn’t understand what was being said and didn’t remember what was said.
He also said the “man was clearly the aggressor but he eventually walked away,” according to the report.
Another man said he didn’t see a battery or an argument happen, according to the report.
George says that she was “very embarrassed” by the incident, and she decided to report the issue because “he very forcefully and aggressively touched me. That’s a red flag to me.”
Robert Samuels said no altercation happened.
“I will take the advice of my attorney as she continues with the case,” he said. “Because there was no such event.”
The foregoing Record article confirms what this blog reported earlier on October 28, 2016:
On October 21, 2016, St. Augustine Beach Vice Mayor, Commissioner Undine Pawlowski George, filed an affidavit with St. Augustine Beach Police Commander James Parker, concerning assault and battery by ROBERT SAMUELS, hostile husband of Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS, at Marsh Creek Country Club, during a Florida League of Cities soiree on October 20, 2016.
St. Augustine Beach Police referred the affidavit to St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR f/k/a HOAR.
SHOAR/HOAR contributed $500 to Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS campaign.
SHOAR/HOAR has endorsed Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS' election, on letterhead, subject of a Hatch Act complaint by government watchdog Thomas F. Reynolds, Jr. to the United States Office of Special Counsel.
Sheriff SHOAR/HOAR must recuse himself -- the case must be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
As it says in Matthew, quoted in United States v. Mississippi Valley Genearating Company, "a man cannot serve two masters." SHOAR cannot investigate the ROBERT SAMUELS case.
Sheriff SHOAR has a history of ethical lapses and blurred ethical lines, most notoriously in the case of the September 2, 2010 shooting of Michelle O'Connell in the home of Sheriff's Deputy JEREMY BANKS, covered by The New York Times and PBS Frontline. Both St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick and St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders told me in 2013 that they would have recused themselves if one of their own officers' homes were the scene of a fatal shooting.
As reported on this blog on October 21:
On the evening of October 20, 2016, St. Augustine Beach Civic Association Vice President ROBERT SAMUELS, spouse of St. Augustine Beach Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS, allegedly assaulted and assailed St. Augustine Beach Vice Mayor Undine Pawlowski George.
As documented in an undisputed sworn affidavit by St. Augustine Beach Vice Mayor George given to Commander James Parker, SABPD on October 21, 2016:
On October 20, 2016, I arrived at the Marsh Creek Country Club at approximately 6:50 PM to attend the dinner of the Florida League of Cities hosted by the City of St. Augustine Beach. Happy hour had begun for this event at 6:00 pm and the dinner began at 7:00 pm. After greeting Chief Hardwick and [Commander] Parker and Commissioner Samuels, I went into the room where they were serving drinks to get a beverage to take to the dinner table. When I stepped up to the server, and while I was engaged in conversation with another dinner attendant, Mr. Robert Samuels forcefully stabbed my right shoulder with his finger and started screaming at me about a conversation he had with Maggie Kostka (who is a candidate running in the same election as his wife, Mrs. Samuels). He appeared to be possibly intoxicated and very upset. He jostled his drink and forgot to pay for his drink. As he shouted at me he was loud and throwing his arms out at the sides and upwards in the air. I was embarrassed and confused about why he was yelling at me. I maintained my calm and attempted to ease the situation. I also told him I have nothing to do with it. He shouted louder and then shouted "oh really!" and then essentially told me that I was responsible for Ms. Kostka because I contributed to her campaign. This makes no sense. I did make a contribution to her campaign because she is rational, is civil to all citizens regardless of whether they agree with her on every issue, and she has a strong business background. It is my constitutional right to support any candidate I choose at any given period of time. I have been attacked by Bob Samuels and his wife in the past and they have both attempted to intimidate me in the past during election seasons and it is cry inappropriate behavior. Furthermore, it hurt when he stabbed at me and it continued to hurt for a minute or two afterwards. During the rest of the evening both of them glared at me each time I walked past their table. This hostility should not continue and I felt that I have no choice but to begin to report it especially since he has now elevated his hostility toward me with unwelcome physical contact and intentionally interrupted the conversation I was having.
s/ Undine George
ROBERT SAMUELS yelling and gesturing at me during June 30, 2016 joint meeting on Land Development Regulations. After citizens (other than the SAMUELS' architect friend) were forced by Mayor RICHARD O'BRIEN (fourteen year incumbent Commissioner) to wait 200 minutes for public comment, and after I expressed support for the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore to members of the St. Augustine Beach City Commission, Planning and Zoning Board and Tree and Beautification Board, BOB SAMUELS yelled and gesticulated at me, his back to Board members, saying there would "never" be a St. Augustine National Park and Seashore and that "we don't need a civil rights museum" at the pier honoring the 1964 civil rights wade-ins.
HECKLER ROBERT SAMUELS, et ux, Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS
Left to right: SABCA President WILLIAM JONES, Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS, et ux, SABCA VP ROBERT SAMUELS, tedious tendentious serial First Amendment violators.