Friday, February 24, 2017

FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD VIOLATED LAW, ALLOWED TRUMP INAUGURAL AND ELECTION NIGHT PARTIES

Mark Lance National Guard Armory:
 House of unAmerican activities?

St. Johns County, Florida Republicans held their Election Night and Inaugural parties at our Mark Lance Armory on San Marco Blvd., violating federal laws prohibiting political activities in National Guard facilities. I've asked the National Guard for documents, but not one has been provided yet. Coverup?

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) planned a speaking engagement at a West Virginia National Guard Armory in February 2017, only to have it cancelled abruptly. Why?  Because it ran afoul of DoD law. Yet here in Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT's Flori-DUH, without any concerns being raised by Florida National Guard lawyers, two (2) Republican parties were held in the National Guard Armory. I requested documents and have gotten nothing.

Perhaps the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Inspector General of DoD will initiate federal criminal, civil and administrative investigations of the Florida National Guard for violation of federal laws, including the DoD law and the Hatch Act. Here's the article on the West Virginia National Guard's canceling Senator Sanders' speaking engagement in Welch, W.Va.

So let me get this straight: a respected United States Senator who formerly chaired the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who did so much for our veterans, gets publicly embarrassed by DoD and the West Virginia National Guard, banned from a National Guard Armory in McDowell County, West Virginia.

But right here in St. Augustine, where the Florida National Guard is headquartered in Our Nation's Oldest City, the Florida National Guard witnessed, permitted and facilitated two (2) Republican parties, one on November 8, 2016 (Election Night) and one on January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day). When I requested records, I was treated disdainfully, told the record keeper for the armory was out of town last week, then this week, received no further response from MAJOR TERRENCE A, GORMAN, the General Counsel of the Florida National Guard, who identifies himself as "Airborne."

Interesting.

My father enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in the 1930s; he loved riding horses.  He later served in the 82nd Airborne Divn., F Co., 505th P.I.R., with three combat jumps in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.  The South Jersey Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Divn. Assn. is named the "CPL Edward A. Slavin Chapter" for my late father, who was awarded three Bronze stars, but modestly told me when I learned of it, "they gave one to everyone who jumped."  My father taught me that if you don't stand up to people with power, they walk all over you.  My Dad was the "morale non-com" as well as a de facto union steward for his fellow paratroopers: he taught me what an Inspector General can do to protect soldiers' and other peoples' rights.  This one's for you, Dad!

Here's my complaint to the Department of Defense Inspector General:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: glenn.a.fine ; public.affairs
Cc: terrence.a.gorman.mil ; tina.m.guillotte.nfg ; retlyn ; judgelitt10
Sent: Fri, Feb 24, 2017 11:51 pm
Subject: WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE BY FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD, Mark Lance St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events

Dear Inspector General Fine:
1. Please refer this case to a DoD IG Special Agent for immediate investigation concerning possible criminal misconduct by Florida National Guard for allowing two Republican political events in the Mark Lance National Guard Armory in St. Augustine, Florida on November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017, and for violating Article I, Section 24 of our Florida Constitution and F.S. 119 by failing to provide documents in response to my February 13, 2017 request. Please see our correspondence, below.
2. I find MAJOR TERRENCE GORMAN's disrespectful failure to provide documents inculpatory. Please investigate.
3. What role did MAJOR GORMAN have in any coverup of the lawbreaking by FNG, and in FNG allowing two political events?
4. It is ironic that Senator Bernie Sanders' recent speech at the National Guard Armory in Welch, W.VA. was abruptly cancelled due to "DoD law" on political events, while two (2) such events were held in Florida, in St. Augustine, where our Florida National Guard is headquartered. http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2017/02/florida-national-guard-violated-law.html 

5. This is not the first time that I have had to report to our DoD IG irregular, illegal and unethical activities by the Florida National Guard, which were reported in our local newspaper, which ignored the legal implications of the undisputed facts and overt acts they reported.
6. When FNG Adjutant General Douglas Burnett retired in 2010, our Florida National Guard openly, notoriously and publicly announced and planned a "flyover" by two F-15s and two F-22s for his retirement party at Camp Blanding. This lawbreaking, waste, fraud and abuse that was halted after I reported it to the Honorable Gordon S. Heddell, then Department of Defense Inspector General.
http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-post_192.html http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-post_25.html http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2010/06/flyover-scandal.html http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-post_5539.html 

7. Please send your best criminal investigators to conduct a thorough investigation of the Florida National Guard for waste, fraud and abuse, including contracting procedures like the ones in quo -- apparent sweetheart contracts for unlawful political activities by the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee.

Thank you for all that you do at the DoD IG.

With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com

www.edslavin.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: easlavin ; terrence.a.gorman.mil ; tina.m.guillotte.nfg
Cc: scottopengov
Sent: Fri, Feb 24, 2017 5:40 pm
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Request No. 2017-55: St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events.
Good afternoon:
Last week, you promised the records this week.
Please explain why you broke your word to me.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
www.edslavin.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: terrence.a.gorman.mil ; tina.m.guillotte.nfg
Sent: Fri, Feb 24, 2017 12:11 pm
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Request No. 2017-55: St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events.
Good afternoon:
Please provide the records today, requested on February 13, 2017, on "the two Republican Party parties held at our St. Augustine National Guard Armory on Election Night and Inauguration Day, including the lease, contract and legal approval by the National Guard Bureau."
Please provide me with the e-mail address for the Inspector General.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
www.edslavin.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: terrence.a.gorman.mil ; tina.m.guillotte.nfg
Sent: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 6:40 pm
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Request No. 2017-55: St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events.

Dear Capt. Gorman:
Thank you -- it was the Lance Armory, and well reported.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
www.edslavin.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Gorman, Terrence A MAJ USARMY NG FLARNG (US) (US)
To: Ed Slavin ; Guillotte, Tina M NFG NG FLARNG (US) (US)
Sent: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 4:09 pm
Subject: RE: [Non-DoD Source] Request No. 2017-55: St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events.

Sir,

I have requested records from the records custodians with respect to the rentals requested. Your request referenced St. Augustine National Guard Armory. There are three National Guard facilities in St. Augustine, St. Francis Barracks (located on Marine Street). Robert F. Ensslin Armory (located on State Road 207) and Mark Lance Armory (located on San Marco Avenue). Your request was for documents relating to Election Day and Inauguration Day, 8 November 2016 and 20 January 2017.

St. Francis Barracks and Robert F. Ensslin Armory were not rented or otherwise occupied on 8 November 2016 or 20 January 2017, except for normal business activities of the Florida National Guard and the Department of Military Affairs. I did not limit the search to "Republican Party," instead the records reflect that no person or organization (other than the Florida National Guard and DMA for normal business) utilized the any building on that date. No records exist from these facilities that satisfy your request.

The records custodian for Mark Lance Armory is on leave this week and will return next week. I have a pending request for those documents. As soon as they research their files, I will advise you of any documents they find which satisfy your request.
If you think that I have missed something in my search or I failed to understand your request correctly, please advise.

V/R

Terrence Gorman
General Counsel
FL Dept. of Military Affairs
82 Marine Street
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(w)904-823-0294
(c)904-814-3534
terrence.a.gorman.mil@mail.mil
TERRENCE GORMAN
MAJ, JA
SOD-C (Airborne)
Command Judge Advocate
terrence.gorman@soccent.centcom.mil

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin [mailto:easlavin@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2017 8:05 PM
To: Guillotte, Tina M NFG NG FLARNG (US) ; Gorman, Terrence A MAJ USARMY NG FLARNG (US)
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Request No. 2017-55: St. Augustine Armory -- November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017 Republican Party events.

All active links contained in this email were disabled. Please verify the identity of the sender, and confirm the authenticity of all links contained within the message prior to copying and pasting the address to a Web browser.

Dear Ms. Guillotte and Capt. Gorman:
Please send me the records on the two Republican Party parties held at our St. Augustine National Guard Armory on Election Night and Inauguration Day, including the lease, contract and legal approval by the National Guard Bureau.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998
Caution-www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
Caution-www.edslavin.com
< Caution-http://www.edslavin.com/ >

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can not speak for any Special Counsel, but I do know that no DoD IG conducts any criminal investigations. Once an IG discovers evidence of criminal activity the investigation stops and is transferred to an appropriate criminal investigatory agency. The purpose of the IG is to conduct investigations, of almost any nature, at the behest of the commander and report his/her findings to the commander for action. An IG, at any level, is not in any chain of command and cannot compel any actions of any commander

Ed Slavin said...

I think you are possibly conflating military service IGs with IGs appointed by the President pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978. The DoD IG is independent, and was appointed by President Obama on January 4, 2017. He has authority to conduct civil, criminal and administrative investigations of wrongdoing, waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.

Ed Slavin said...

Glenn A. Fine
Acting Inspector General
On January 4, 2017, President Obama re-nominated Glenn A. Fine to serve as the Department of Defense Inspector General. He has been the Acting Inspector General since January 10, 2016.
Mr. Fine joined the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) as the Principal Deputy Inspector General on June 1, 2015. Prior to joining the DoD OIG, he was a partner at Dechert LLP in the White Collar and Securities Litigation Practice.
Mr. Fine previously served as Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2000 to 2011. He also served as Special Counsel to the DOJ Inspector General and as Director of the Special Investigations and Review Unit from 1995 to 2000.
Mr. Fine earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Harvard College and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude both times. He also earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
While at Harvard, Mr. Fine served as co-captain of the Harvard varsity basketball team and was later a 10th-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification

Anonymous said...

I suspect Mr. Fine's authorities derive from 10 USC. Armory rental and MAJ Gorman's actions, indeed his raison d'etre, fall under 32 USC. A State of Florida investigation may be better able to determine any wrong doing as the Feds will most likely lack jurisdiction, and, in my experiance, use this as an excuse to bow out of a investigation of the Guard.

Ed Slavin said...

I believe the higher authority is 5a USC, the Inspector General Act of 1978:

TITLE 5 App. > INSPECTOR
INSPECTOR GENERAL ACT OF 1978

§ 1. Short title
§ 2. Purpose and establishment of Offices of Inspector General; departments and agencies involved
§ 3. Appointment of Inspector General; supervision; removal; political activities; appointment of Assistant Inspector General for Auditing and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations
§ 4. Duties and responsibilities; report of criminal violations to Attorney General
§ 5. Semiannual reports; transmittal to Congress; availability to public; immediate report on serious or flagrant problems; disclosure of information; definitions
§ 6. Authority of Inspector General; information and assistance from Federal agencies; unreasonable refusal; office space and equipment
§ 7. Complaints by employees; disclosure of identity; reprisals
§ 8. Additional provisions with respect to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense
§ 8A. Special provisions relating to the Agency for International Development
§ 8B. Special provisions concerning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
§ 8C. Special provisions concerning the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
§ 8D. Special provisions concerning the Department of the Treasury
§ 8E. Special provisions concerning the Department of Justice
§ 8F. Special provisions concerning the Corporation for National and Community Service
§ 8G. Requirements for Federal entities and designated Federal entities
§ 8H. Additional provisions with respect to Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community
§ 8I. Special provisions concerning the Department of Homeland Security
§ 8J. Rule of construction of special provisions
[§ 8K. Repealed.]
§ 8L. Information on websites of Offices of Inspectors General
§ 9. Transfer of functions
§ 10. Omitted
§ 11. Establishment of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
§ 12. Definitions
§ 13. Effective date

mark3370 said...

I hope you're right. Practical experiance, howevere, suggests DoD will try thier best to punt this back to the state or NGB.

Ed Slavin said...

Or they could punt it to the National Guard Bureau Inspector General. In any event, I believe that whoever allowed a partisan political activity in a National Guard Armory here -- twice -- while forbidding Senator Sanders' event should not be in uniform. THIS STINKS.

In 2010, all it took was one faxed letter to the DOD IG and General Burnett's two F-15 and two F-22 flyover was cancelled. I believe it would have cost the taxpayers $50,000 for this waste, including two Stealth aircraft.

Our Florida National Guard deserves greater scrutiny. Whistleblower disclosures welcome here.

Anonymous said...

I agree that if the GOP held an event at the Guard facility it is disturbing- however, with that said lets take a deep breath and step back and calmn down.

They responded once to your records request just a mere 10 days ago...stated that the person in charge of the particular location in question was away and would be back the next week. Ok...I'm sure that person has a backlog of work that doesn't center around Ed Slavin.

Additionally, outside of invasions ..when have you ever known the military to complete a task quickly? Huh?

Now if this request goes unanswered two weeks from now..sure ..raise hell..expecting them to jump immediately? Keep your panties on and calm down Ed. The sky isn't always falling ya know.

Keep up the great work...not insulting you

Ed Slavin said...

Thank you.

Gorman's initial longwinded answer said the keeper of the records for the Mark Lance Armory was on leave and would be back the following week.

In my experience, when I ask for a contact I get it the same day or week.

The delay and failure to acknowledge his broken promise is freighted with the inference that this lawyer is in over his head and is stalling for time. You can imagine these FNG officers in their fancy command center room with all the video equipment deciding how to deal with the "threat" of public inquiries about their possible violations of the Hatch Act and DoD laws forbidding political activities.

Given the history of the FNG, the delays are understandable.

Democracy dies in the dark.

Perhaps pickets with Russian flags should stand in front of the St. Francis Barracks and ask to speak with the Adjutant General.

FNG requires -- and the people deserve -- more accountability.

My request was filed and processed under Florida's Open Records law, which unlike FOIA requires prompt responses.

The delays are inculpatory -- it would have taken five minutes to local the documents and send them by PDF in an e-mail. That's what other state and local agencies do. It's the standard of care.

What do you reckon?

Anonymous said...

I know, without a doubt, that the DoD IG had zero input in the decision to cancell the flyover. I also kniw that cancelling the flyover actually tripled, at least, the cost of flying the Raptors. You're intentions were certianly noble, but the unintended consequences fell far short of the mark.

Ed Slavin said...

Please explain. 904-377-4998

Warren Celli said...

"Mr. Fine earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Harvard College and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude both times. He also earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
While at Harvard, Mr. Fine served as co-captain of the Harvard varsity basketball team and was later a 10th-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs."

Harvard and Oxford, the fountain of blowhards.

One man's accreditation is another man's frustration...

http://www.boxthefox.com/articles/inbredculteration1.html

Laughed my ass off at this...

"You can imagine these FNG officers in their fancy command center room with all the video equipment deciding how to deal with the "threat" of public inquiries about their possible violations of the Hatch Act and DoD laws forbidding political activities."

Yes, keep up the GREAT and PROLIFIC work Ed!

Ed Slavin said...

Thank you, Warren! Your federal court victory has inspired generations.