Friday, July 31, 2015


Update:  State's Attorney JEFFREY LEE ASHTON's office wrote and explained, " the O’Connell investigation did not have its own budget and, therefore, there are no budget documents specific to this investigation.  This fulfills your request as to #5."

#4        There are no specific travel authorizations, investigator and attorney time records and expense reports related to the O’Connell investigation. "

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has quoted his father, who said, "Show me your budget, and I'll show you where your priorities are."   

No  budget, no time records, no travel records.  No meeting with the family.  No meeting with experts.   Leads that were not followed.  This is Flori-DUH corruption at its worst -- the third inept clueless State's Attorney investigation.

The painfully mismanaged JEFFREY LEE ASHTON report deserves FBI and Florida Bar investigation.  It reeks as badly as the "investigation" by the North Carolina District Attorney disbarred as a result of his false allegations of rape against Duke University lacrosse team players. 

The family lawyer for Michelle O'Connell's family, Benjamin Crump, has arranged for an independent autopsy.
Good news -- no longer will justice be delayed or denied by junk science.
No longer will the case be stymied by obstructionism by our $225,000/year Medical Examiner, PREDRAG BULIC. 
Michelle O'Connell was shot to death with Deputy JEREMY BANKS' service pistol in BANKS' residence, on September 2, 2010. 
The St. Augustine Record, our local newspaper, and our local law enforcement failed to perform their "watchdog" functions.
The case was never taken to a Grand Jury.
Evidence was not preserved and destroyed -- spoliation.
The O'Connell case was badly botched by inept incurious investigations by St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA, Assistant ROBERT KEITH MATHIS and another State's Attorney BRADLEY KING, and another State's Attorney, JEFFREY LEE ASHTON, with enough defects to make this an international scandal.
But thanks to the FBI Corruption Task Force, the persistence of the O'Connell family, the majesty of the First Amendment -- and the will and skill of editor Anne Schindler, Folio Weekly, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times, investigative producer Glenn Silber, PBS FrontlineDateline NBC, First Coast NewsDr. Phil, investigator Clu Wright, reporter Susan Cooper Eastman and O'Connell family attorney Ben Crump, the case remains alive.
Florida Governor Richard Lynn Scott responded to some 180,000 petitions last October by appointing Special Prosecutor JEFFREY LEE ASHTON, the Orlando State's Attorney.  
Our Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating.
Commencing September 4, 2015,  St. Augustine will commemorate our Nation's Oldest European-founded City's 450th anniversary of founding by Pedro Menendez de Aviles on September 8, 1565.Let justice be done though the heavens fall. (Fiat justitia ruat caelum.)  
Expect pickets.
Let justice flow like a mighty river, in the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting the prophet Amos.
Keep asking questions. 
Demand answers. 
Become involved. 
It's our town and our time and we're defeating corruption.
No more coverups.
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085

The New York Times, "Two Gunshots on a Summer Night" by Walt Bogdanich & Glenn Silber (November 24, 2013):, "A Death in St. Augustine (November 26, 2013): NBC News Dateline, "Two Shots Fired" (April 18, 2014):
Folio Weekly: Jeff Billman, "Somebody's lying -- An activist accuses the St. Augustine Record of bowing 
to pressure from Jeremy Banks' attorney. The paper accuses her of spreading misinformation" (September 17, 2014),,10912
Dr. Phil, "The Mystery of Michelle O'Connell" (November 3, 2014):
Folio Weekly, "Murder, He Wrote," by Susan Cooper Eastman (November 19, 2014),
Folio Weekly, "The Proxy War," by Derek Kinner (March 4, 2015):

Photo credit: The New York Times


Unsafe demolition of Carpenter's House, April 20-21, 2015: Note man inside building at right
 143, 145, and 149 Cordova Street; 42 and 46 Bridge Street; and 244, 246, and 250 St. George Street 
Michael A. Conroy, Florida State Contractors License #1516474 
5119 NW 50TH LANE, Gainesville, Florida 32653
 (352) 336-7852. Fax (352)335-5035 Cell Phone (352)219-7503. 
Office:408 W.University Ave., Suite 408, Gainesville,FL 32601 Phone (888)388-1133 or (352)271-1133 Fax (352) 271-1159 


Old Business, Item 5: "Consideration of Renewal of lease with St. Augustine Beach Civic Association of former police garage."  Mayor Andrea Samuels and Commissioner and former Vice Mayor Sherman Gary Snodgrass both put it on the agenda, even though a six month extension of the current lease was voted in June; Mayor Samuels has recused herself as an active SABCA co-founder and participant and her husband is the current SABCA Vice President.  SABCA controversies include no rent, electricity or other charges, secrecy, self-dealing, conflict-of-interest, lack of transparency, discrimination in membership and wasting money hiring a lawyer to send a threatening letter to citizen William Rosenstock on First Amendment protected activity at beach concerts and farmers' markets.


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Ex-Vice Mayor DONALD A. CRICHLOW (R-Proctorville) strongly opposed a Bed and Breakfast with five (5) rooms located in Old City South HP-1, saying it would create a dangerous precedent. PZB minutes for December 7, 2010 state that under oath as a hearing witness: "Don Crichlow said the board would set a precedence (sic) by approving the item. He said the City had been consistent with denying this type of application in the HP-1 district. He strongly recommended that the board deny this type of use within the HP-1."  

Efforts to reach Mr. CRICHLOW for comment are ongoing: he is at the Boca Raton Resort & Club this weekend for the Florida American Institute of Architects convention.

PZB, on motion of Deltra Long, seconded by JOHN VALDES, voted unanimously 6-0 against the project: VALDES said purchasers of historic properties should feel "somewhat protected" by existing law. Ironically, JOHN VALDES is one of the other vocal supporters in CORNEAL's support of the DOW PUD.  The minutes reflect that VALDES said, "when a person purchased a piece of property within a particular zoning category that they should feel somewhat protected.  Voting in the unanimous majority were then and current PZB members, Messrs. CARL BLOW and JERRY DIXON, both of whom voted for CORNEAL's project on May 5, 2015, even though it would have six (6) times as many hotel rooms.  DIXON was mean to the DOW opponents, saying they could not rely on zoning; he also testified illegally about his prior efforts to bring the Casa Monica Hotel project about, repeating the errors found by Judge Traynor in 2005, with City board members habitually testifying before themselves, a reflexive bit of due process violation prohibited by administrative law precedents (in that case, HARB members testified before themselves about the historical appearance of a window in a HARB hearing about a business on Marine Street, then proposed to be a sandwich shop).
Also supporting preservation of HP-1 under oath at the December 7, 2010 PZB hearing was none other than MARLENE CORDERO PIRIZ, now one of CORNEAL's most ardent supporters in support of the DOW PUD. Ms. PIRIZ, the minutes say, "explained that noise factors, social events, lighting, traffic, and deliveries were all concerns. She said she was not in favor of the application."  Again, that was opposing a five-room B&B.

Most eloquently, the December 7, 2010 PZB minutes reflect, HP-1 leader Ms. Hildegarde Pacetti spoke against the application, and "said she had provided a two page letter, which was in accordance with the property owners in HP-1. She requested that houses, apartments, and garage apartments must be rented for a minimum of 30 days, which had been approved by the Commission. She concluded that she was opposed of the application and explained that the approval would be a betrayal to the 100 homeowners."  Ms. Pacetti died a few months ago, but her spirit guides us. 

I have requested audio and video tapes and the entire file on the 268 St. George Street PUD denial.

Can't wait to see legendary local environmental and land use planning attorney Jane West cross-examine CRICHLOW, VALDES, PIRIZ et al. about their prior inconsistent statements and impeach their credibility at the August 24, 2015 quasi-judicial hearing on the DOW PUD.

While CORNEAL-coddling VALDES was a PZB member, and CORNEAL-supporting Messrs. DIXON and BLOW were and are PZB board members, both CRICHLOW and PIRIZ were public hearing witnesses, under oath.  CRICHLOW was then Commissioner and had served as Vice Mayor, testifying before a subordinate City Board.

CRICHLOW's and PIRIZ's DOW PUD testimony is impeached by their wildly inconsistent prior statements against the 268 St. George Street PUD, involving only five nightly rentals, or 1/6 as many nightly rental units as the proposed 30-room DOW PUD.  Is their change in position colored by money?

Florida Statute F.S. 90.614 states:

90.614 Prior statements of witnesses.
(1) When a witness is examined concerning the witness’s prior written statement or concerning an oral statement that has been reduced to writing, the court, on motion of the adverse party, shall order the statement to be shown to the witness or its contents disclosed to him or her.
(2) Extrinsic evidence of a prior inconsistent statement by a witness is inadmissible unless the witness is first afforded an opportunity to explain or deny the prior statement and the opposing party is afforded an opportunity to interrogate the witness on it, or the interests of justice otherwise require. If a witness denies making or does not distinctly admit making the prior inconsistent statement, extrinsic evidence of such statement is admissible. This subsection is not applicable to admissions of a party-opponent as defined in s. 90.803(18).

History.s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 17, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 492, ch. 95-147.


Carpenter House, which survived 70 years with its unique lean, did not survive the 2-1 vote of the St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board -- two members recused themselves because they are consultants paid by "developer" DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, who wants to put a Planned Unit Development and hotel for the wealthy in our last remaining primarily residential historic area, HP-1.

DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, of State College, Pennsylvania, patronizes neighbors.

(Ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. was the officiant at the NEVILLES' wedding and arranged to put Ms. Neville on the Northeast Florida Transportation Planning Organization, or TPO: BOLES had secret meetings with DAVID BARTON CORNEAL for hours before the November 4, election: the deed for the DOW MUSEUM was recorded on November 5, 2015).

Commissioner TODD NEVILLE lunches weekly with DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's son, and is observed in public doing so, openly and notoriously.
TODD NEVILLE, C.P.A., (R-PROCTORVILLE) is under a legal duty to consider and vote on the DAVID BARTON CORNEAL DOW Planned Unit Development (DOW PUD) application in a quasi-judicial hearing on August 24, 2015.
Like a judge, NEVILLE must be impartial, without fear or favor: it's a quasi-judicial hearing for a reasons.
In the past, no sitting City Commissioner's spouse has lobbied for such a controversial construction project.
While spouses may have causes (like bicycling or quilting or history), they do not act as developer thralls and toadies and cat's paws and lobbyists.
Until now.
Commissioner TODD NEVILLE's wife, HEATHER NEVILLE, is carrying water for the DOW PUD and:
This stinks.

What does HEATHER NEVILLE mean by that?
How can TODD NEVILLE possible be impartial when his wife, HEATHER NEVILLE, knowingly acts as a lobbyist for the DOW MUSEUM of HISTORIC HOMES PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT, as controversial and half-haked a project ever to be foisted in St. Augustine by a dodgy developer?
TODD NEVILLE might wish to consider recusing himself as it is an appearance of impropriety for him to vote on a project on which his wife is confusing people with a Facebook campaign, using CORNEAL's false dichotomy (hotel vs. rentals), eschewing discussion of the overt and illegal acts of the DAYTONA MUSEUM OF ARTS and SCIENCES and GARY LIBBY in taking state funds ($2.1 million), taking Mr. DOW's donation, and then selling it all to a dodgy developer).
TODD NEVILLE, the "CYA CPA" who viciously and vigorously opposed 450th audits, may face state ethics charges over his wife's activities if he does not disclose his knowledge of them or recuse himself -- is she writing these sweet nothings from their home computer? Is he egging her on? Does he help her with grammar, spelling and punctuation? Is there "pillow talk" involved?
Update: HEATHER NEVILLE stated on her Facebook page that she now carries "Mace," and is angry that her Facebook comments were "revealed."
What do y'all reckon?
Here's HEATHER NEVILLE's Facebook posts from yesterday:

17 hrs ·
Heather Neville
So much discussion about vision for our community, it is sad to see so much hate (sic) and lack of vision (sic) as it pertains to the DOW. Want to talk about traffic, safety, and a nuisance to the beautiful historic residential area? Put in some rentals. How many complaints come into SAPD about B&Bs versus rentals? Lets multiply car loads by a factor of 3 per housing unit. It will destroy (sic) the roads, the coquina walls, and underground utilities exponentially (sic) if that type of car traffic starts with rentals. I dont know Mr. Corneal personally, i've heard he is quite the character, but so are most very successful (sic) individuals. The man lives about 2 blocks from this property, do you think he would do something to hurt himself? Different angle? How about if it's a B&B I will actually be able to visit it? What are we preserving all this history for exactly? And who is monitoring the standards of the homes in HP1, some of them look down right sad including a home that I looked into, it is literally melting into the ground and has a big ugly yard sign in it against this amazing project that has already, just with what renovations have been made, greatly improved the area. Please, if you can, email the commissioners, come in force on the 24th, support our commissioners who listen to all of the community and not the 15 who show up to every meeting and HATE everything. We need the commission to know we support this, we support our communities long term vision, and we support their decisions. This passed first reading thanks to 3 commissioners, let's be able to write a thank you letter to the other two because of overwhelming support! It is a good project.

Heather Neville Adam I don't disagree that downtown needs more rentals. I don't disagree that those other properties are beautiful. And I agree with having zoning. But this has been a commercial property for a long time, it has been sitting in terrible (sic) condition and outside (sic) the financial reach of anyone I know (sic) to help it. It's locked in as far as parking so it can't support parking like the other buildings and the sheer purchase price would make these extremely expensive rentals so it wouldn't help the rentals that we need just give places for expensive rents which would also bring more cars and safety issues. The property proposal has been well vetted (sic) thanks to the list of issues that were presented which is great but a huge (sic) number of rentals would be not good or safe (sic) and would damage those roads to the various properties. City average on occupancy is around 80% when doing well which leaves a much smaller foot print. You could see nearly 30 rentals between all those buildings and with potential for 90 cars I just don't see how that's a better solution for that property. I know I (sic) can't afford to fix it and keep it as a museum so there has to be some compromise.
1 · 14 hrs

Heather Neville Occupancy rate is on hotel stays not on long term rentals. The same people that are against this PUd also came out against a rental complex in Lincolnville that had parking and prices more appropriate for our market needs. And I overheard a few people discussing that "if it becomes apartments we will block that too." I don't understand this sheer hate and meanness. The people who live directly next to and across from this property are for it. The people whose family built it are for it. Thanks to the thorough review it will be a better project for all. I personally think it is a good project.
1 · 14 h