Wednesday, July 25, 2018

JOHN OTHA VALDES: Unauthorized, for-profit, commercial use of City seal on construction company website -- possibly a crime

I wrote the City of St. Augustine today about building construction contractor JOHN VALDES' unauthorized, for-profit, commercial use of City seal on construction company website.

VALDES is a 23-year veteran member of the St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Board, Historic Architectural Preservation Board and Code Enforcement Board who formerly owned a construction company in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he sold his interest to his British and Saudi partners.

Building contractor JOHN VALDES is seeking City Commissioner "ODD TODD" NEVILLE's seat (which NEVILLE decided to vacate after Jill Pacetti filed to run against him).

NEVILLE defeated VALDES in 2014.

JOHN OTHA VALDES' misuse of the City's seal to make money in his construction business may result in a civil, criminal or administrative investigation by local, state and federal officials.

It typifies the genre of unethical behavior by City elected and appointed officials, where conflict of interest is routine and tolerated.

Here's my July 25, 2018 7:11 PM e-mail to the City of St. Augustine about JOHN OTHA VALDES:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
Sent: Wed, Jul 25, 2018 7:11 pm
Subject: Request No. 2018-252: JOHN VALDES Unauthorized, for-profit, commercial use of City seal on construction company website

Dear Chief Fox, Ms. Galambos, Ms. Lopez and Mr. Regan:

1. Please send me the investigative file on JOHN OTHA VALDES' apparent illegal, for-profit, commercial misuse of the City seal on his construction company website.  See attached download, containing the following photo:

2. If no documents exist yet, please commence a civil, criminal and administrative investigation pursuant to City Code and F.S. 165.043.  

3. The City website states:

Use of the City Crest
In December, 1991, the City Commission adopted the new Coat of Arms as the official city seal and, made it unlawful for "any person to utilize any image or impression of the city seal without the consent, in writing, of the city commission." Additionally, Florida State Statute 165.043 Official county or municipal seal states that it is unlawful,  without the express approval of the governing body, to use the official seal, and punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

4. Please send JOHN OTHA VALDES a cease and desist letter instanter. 

5. Kindly advise the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation of his actions in misusing the City's seal.

6. Please send me copies of all documents generated pursuant to this request.

Thank you.

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

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