Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Federal Trade Commission Investigation re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website, (My request, IN HAEC VERBA)

SABCA has a misleading website. Today I requested a Federal Trade Commission investigation pursuant to Section 5 of the FTC Act of 1914. Let justice be done. Now.

March 9, 2018 Update:  Read the angry furious fatwa from SABCA President WILLIAM JONES (below FTC letter), in response to DMCA takedown letter request to St. Johns County.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: mohlhausen ; tmcsweeny ; pkapan ; tlipsky ; tpahl ; dkaufman ; jdolan
Sent: Wed, Mar 7, 2018 1:12 pm
Subject: Federal Trade Commission Investigation re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,
Dear Chair Ohlhausen, et al.
1. I am writing to request that the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate possible unfair and deceptive trade practices by the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. (SABCA).
2. SABCA maintains a website,
3. The name of the website conceals its true ownership and its true purpose. SABCA's website contains advertising and sells sponsorships.
4. SABCA is a 501c4, a de facto political action committee, which conceals its finances and obtains both government funds and private donations.
5. The "St. Augustine Beach Pier" is actually owned by St. Johns County, Florida government. It was paid for by a one-year increase in ad valorem property taxes approved by St. Johns County voters in a 1982 referendum. It is officially known as the "St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier." (Pier Park)
6. SABCA blurs the lines between itself, the City of St. Augustine Beach and the St. Johns County, Florida Board of County Commissioners: SABCA bullies public officials for its own political agenda.
7. SABCA has purported to banish, punish or prosecute First Amendment protected activity at the Pier Park, including shooing away an African-American County Commissioner handing out campaign literature. Due to its long train of abuses, St. Johns County County Commission unanimously ended the SABCA-procured "First Amendment Zone" at Pier Park on August 3, 2015. 8. SABCA claims not to support candidates or causes, but in reality its officers vet, recruit and campaign for St. Augustine Beach City Commission candidates favorable to its agenda.
9. SABCA financially supported, with a $500 contribution, a controversial 2015 St. Johns County Special Election referendum on an 8.66% sales tax increase for school construction, which spared wealthy corporate developers from paying $150,000,000 in impact fees and taxes over ten years -- an ROI of 33,200% on developers' and allies' investment of some $187,000 in campaign contributions.
10. SABCA refuses and denies SABCA memberships to persons who ask questions of it, including current SAB Mayor Undine Celeste Pawloskwi George and her husband, former SAB Mayor Edward George.
11. SABCA has a history of making annual contributions of money and other things of value to the City of St. Augustine Beach.
12. SABCA was until 2017 allowed to hold its meetings in the St. Augustine Beach Commission chamber, where alcohol and food were served, and wine was given to St. Augustine Beach City Manager BRUCE MAX ROYLE.
13. For some eighteen (18) years, SABCA had a no-bid contract with St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners for a lucrative Wednesday Farmer's Market at the Pier Park.
14. For eighteen (18) years, SABCA allegedly discouraged food vendors from accepting SNAP/EBT payment cards, violating the rights of low-income people, including persons with disabilities and senior citizens, discouraging them from attending the Pier Park Farmer's Market.
15. On February 20, 2018, St. Johns County Commissioners decided to issue an RFP for a Farmer's Market. Yet privileged SABCA President William Jones, an employee with the St. Johns County Sheriff, demanded a de facto source procurement instead of competitive RFP.
16. SABCA obtained a no-bid $1/year lease from the City of St. Augustine Beach for a garage, abusing pressure tactics to disrupt City Commission meetings until it got its way.
17. SABCA did not pay for electric power or garbage collection for some ten (10) years for its Farmer's Market at Pier Park, and now only pays some 41 cents per week for collection of trash from dozens of vendors.
19. SABCA has blocked disabled parking spaces at the Pier.
20. SABCA has allegedly retaliated against and sought to prosecute persons raising concerns about disabled parking.
21. SABCA may have undisclosed agreements, understandings and relationships with real estate developers.
22. SABCA has encouraged the City of St. Augustine Beach to seek the transfer or lease of the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier parking lot and inland facilities, amounting to some six acres, for purpose of leasing it and running it.
22. Miami-baesd Diego Ardid and his family own or control Key International, Inc., which owns or controls the new St. Augustine Beach Embassy Suites Hotel, a massive, gargantuan, structure, which compliant St. Augustine Beach officials allowed to be built in violation of the City's height limit, under pressure from Akerman lawyers. The Embassy Suites Hotel adjoins our six acre St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier property,
23. Several government officials in St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County have admittedly had secret meetings with the Ardids and Key International concerning Pier Park, with no documents produced in response to Open Records requests filed pursuant to F.S. 119.
24. St. Johns County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK, St. Augustine Beach Commissioner and ex-Mayor RICHARD BURTT O'BRIEN, ex-Mayor and ex-Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS, and City Manager BRUCE MAX ROYLE claim there are "no documents," and have not answered news media questions candidly about their discussions, agreements and relationships concerning Pier Park.
25. Please investigate SABCA's website pursuant to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 for unfair and deceptive trade practices: SABCA does not own or control our St. Augustine Beach Pier.
27. Please obtain SABCA's financial records and investigate its sources and uses of funds, including any unfair or deceptive trade practices, conflicts of interest, double-billing, self-dealing or peculation, including use of funds from its website and St. Johns County bed tax funds.
28. Please investigate SABCA's relationship(a) with the Ardids, Key International and the Embassy Suites Hotel.
29. Please send FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Competition investigators to St. Augustine Beach.
30 Please interview witnesses, obtain documents, and determine whether any violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act, Section 5, or other federal law violations, have occurred here.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: crichardson
Cc: george.gabel ; sabcivic ; thomasfreynolds ; pmccormack ; mwanchick ; rross ; wsmith ; info ; wjones ; secretary ; dclark ; opa ; pkaplan ; jhenderson2 ; elordan ; fdorman ; mkatz ; mohlhausen ; tmcsweeny ; pkapan ; tlipsky ; tpahl ; dkaufman ; jdolan ; Matthew_Dews ; Michelle_Barth ; bcc5hdean ; bcc1jjohns ; bcc2jsmith ; bcc3pwaldron ; bccd4 ; wsmith ; comugeorge ; commengland ; commkostka ; comdsamora ; comrobrien ; niesen.kasdin ; Steve ; sheldon.gardner ; jake.martin ; craig.richardson ; tony.bernados ; mroyle ; braddatz ; jpwilson ; cindy.laquidara ; hlaquidara ; kristin.campbell ; judgelitt10 ; jack ; tomcushman ; megan.wall ; sheplaw ; flournoy ; hamann ; ankersen ; little ; mills ; rosenbury ; angelo ; ihdean47 ; voakes ; wfusco ; dshoar ; mcline ; larizzar ; aronberg ; david.brown ; waltbog
Sent: Thu, Mar 8, 2018 10:55 pm
Subject: Re: DMCA takedown notice re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,

Dear Craig:

I received  controversial St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. President William Jones' angry March 8, 2018 e-mail (below)

Mr. Jones seems angry at my showing him the courtesy of sharing with him government correspondence about his controversial 501c4 corporation.  

Mr. Jones' affectation of martyrdom is misplaced.  

In response:
  1. Mr. Jones admits knowing about the ;website (founded 2011).  It promotes St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. (SABCA), links to SABCA's website, and promotes its events, advertisers and sponsors.
  2. Mr. Jones admits that SABCA is "grateful" for this website's publicity for his corporation, which for eighteen (18) years was the beneficiary of lucrative no-bid county government contracts.  
  3. The ;site is SABCA's alter ego.    
  4. Some 32 prior versions of the ;website may be viewed at*/ 
  5. All key facts and overt acts about SABCA in the March 7, 2018 FTC complaint are admitted by Mr. Jones' inculpatory silence.  
  6. SABCA routinely retaliates against scrutiny or criticism of itself or its allies, and has reached out to crush people who ask questions about its no-bid contracts.    
  7. SABCA and Mr. Jones frequently emit pejoratives, exaggerations and prevarications at government and SABCA meetings.  
  8. Please watch the videos of the angry public performances of Mr. Jones and his SABCA entourage.    
  9. Watch them perseverating and ululating, in high dudgeon, as at St. Augustine Beach City Commission on Monday, March 5, 2018 and at St. Johns County Commission on Tuesday February  20, 2018.  
  10. Under color of law of Mr. Jones' employment by the St. Johns County Sheriff and Andrea Samuels' former employment as St. Augustine Beach Mayor, do SABCA leaders violate civil and constitutional rights?
  11. Do they violate the reasonable expectations of probity of a government contractor?
  12. Do they assail and insult people who ask pertinent questions, whether citizens or elected officials?
  13. Is their corporate secrecy based on need, or greed?
  14. Has Mr. Jones abused his status with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office?  How many times?
  15. Are Mr. Jones, SABCA EVP Robert Samuels and longtime SABCA leader Andrea Samuels behaving like bullies?
  16. Have they often sought to chill, coerce, intimidate and retaliate against First Amendment protected activity, e.g., questions and criticisms about SABCA?
  17. Are SABCA's no-bid contracts contrary to public policy and deserving of more government investigations, and of renewed investigative reporting?
  18. At the February 20, 2018 St. Johns County Commission meeting, Mr. Jones angrily said that County Commissioners "should not reward bad behavior."
  19. I agree.  So do all five County Commissioners -- twice in three years. 
  20. SABCA's "bad behavior" is rightly subject of scrutiny by our elected officials.
  21. SABCA's "bad behavior" has resulted in two (2) unanimous St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners votes, on February 20, 2018 and August 3, 2015.
  22. On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners denied -- unanimously -- SABCA's' demand to continue its 18-year no-bid sweetheart contract for the St. Augustine Beach Wednesday Market, voting to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP).  Please watch video. 
  23. On Tuesday, August 3, 2015, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners voted -- unanimously --  to end SABCA's abusive efforts to ban First Amendment protected activity at the St. Augustine Beach Pier. Please watch video.
  24. SABCA long functioned as a de facto Political Action Committee, a political club, somewhat akin to Tammany Hall.
  25. We Americans have a fundamental constitutional right to ask questions and to demand answers.  We expect democracy.  
  26. As to SABCA and its angry leaders, in the immortal words of J. Danforth Quayle, "I wear their scorn as a badge of honor!"  
  27. Will you please request copies of St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs investigation files on Mr. Jones?   
  28. Will the Record please interview St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar about his rogue employee, SABCA President William Jones?
  29. Will you please request that SABCA provide the St. Augustine Record with ALL of its financial records?
  30. May I suggest that you and I jointly do a videotaped, webcast interview of SABCA President Jones, SABCA EVP Robert Samuels, et ux, Andrea Samuels, et al. next week? 
I look forward to the Record's and GateHouse's thorough investigative reporting on SABCA and its sweetheart contracts and overt acts, without fear or favor.

Thank you.

With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

-----Original Message-----
From: William Jones <>
To: Craig Richardson <>; Ed Slavin <>
Sent: Thu, Mar 8, 2018 6:34 pm
Subject: Fw: DMCA takedown notice re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,

First to those who do not want to hear these people, asking to be removed will not work.  We have asked via email and even attempted a cease and desist letter and we still get 1 to 3 of these a day.  The only way not to hear from them is to block their emails.  I apologize that you have been added to the string and urge you to ignore and or block them.   Somewhere they conjured up the idea that the more people they copied, the more important their rants were.

I normally do not respond to these laughable attempts by Slavin, Reynolds and Roland to disparage and discredit our organization and Board Members.  But I had about 5 extra minutes this evening prior to our meeting.  It took me less than 3 minutes to do the research on ownership of this website.  Please see the attached info obtained via WhoIs and Sunbiz.   Clearly we have no ownership interest nor do we receive any monies from the owner of this site.   We are grateful for the inclusion of our events on the site.
Apparently when one is disbarred they lose the ability to do minimal research to insure the accuracy of their work. Or perhaps that has been the problem for Mr. Slavin all along?  In the spirit of love and hope for a better future I'd like to close with a couple of pertinent quotes.   First quoting John, Chapter 8, verse 32 "and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free".  And quoting the Supreme Court of Tennessee...  a bar card  and law degree are terrible things to waste.   Back to do the good work in our community....
Bill JonesPresident 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Max Royle <>
To: William Jones <
Sent: Thursday, March 8, 2018 1:16 PM
Subject: FW: DMCA takedown notice re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,

From: Ed Slavin [
Sent: Thursday, March 8, 2018 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: DMCA takedown notice re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,
Good afternoon:
1. Thanks, Tom.
2. Thank you in advance, Patrick & Regina.
3. Sorry, y'all, I erred: it's DMCA, not DCMA.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Reynolds <>
To: Ed Slavin <>; pmccormack <>; mwanchick <>; rross <>; wsmith <>
Sent: Thu, Mar 8, 2018 12:58 pm
Subject: Re: DCMA takedown notice re: St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. and Website,
Hi Patrick, hope all is well today and every day for you. I would really apreciate if you could include me in on the answer right away please. 
I kinda of thinking about if SABCA CAN, well I might become like St Johns County Parking or St Johns County Beach or St Johns County Administration 
Ya so let me know if Bill Jones is LEGAL DOING THAT SO I CAN. 
Thank you,
Tom Reynolds
On Thursday, March 8, 2018 11:16 AM, Ed Slavin <> wrote:
Dear Ms. Ross & Messrs. McCormack,Smith and Wanchick:
1. Will the St. Johns County Attorney kindly file a DCMA takedown notice on the misleading website,, ;which gives the false impression that St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc. owns or controls our St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier Park (Pier Park)?
2. No person (natural or jural) should ever be permitted to operate a materially false and misleading website, falsely personifying itself as "staugustinebeachpier," or as any other St. Johns County Park.
3. This www.staugustinebeachpier website is a synecdoche for the not-so-subtle corruption of our local governments by SABCA; it is indefensible, and must be ended at once.
4. SABCA's counsel is Steve Alexander, formerly the Seventh Circuit State's Attorney; Steve's e-mail address is,
5. I would hope that Steve Alexander and members of his law firm will kindly explain to SABCA its potential legal liability, and advise SABCA to shut down its false flag website instanter, and transfer the domain name to the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners without ay dilatory delay or attempt to extract any fee. or payment.
6. Failing that, will you please file a DCMA takedown notice by close of business tomorrow, Friday, March 9, 2018?
7. Please see my March 7, 2018 report to FTC, below, requesting, inter alia, that FTC investigate an investigation pursuant to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 re: unfair and deceptive practices by SABCA concerning
8. I am sure that you will agree with me that St. Johns County must protect the public from scammers and false flag websites.
9. Please call me to discuss.
10. Will you kindly send me a copy of any DCMA takedown notice or demand letter that you might send to SABCA and its counsel, or any other communications to or from SABCA or its agents, directors or counsel (or anyone else), on this subject?
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

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