Sunday, September 20, 2015
Record Blasts Libel Threat: ODD TODD DAVID NEVILLE SLAM DUNKED!
BENITO MUSSOLINI Suppressed Opposing Views
ODD TODD DAVID NEVILLE Demands City File Libel Lawsuit Against Historic City News and Michael Gold
Read today's excellent St. Augustine Record editorial, slamming ODD TODD NEVILLE, City Commissioner (R-Proctorville), for misusing City Commissiona and staff time to pursue libel threat vendetta against Historic City News.
ODD TODD NEVILLE must reimburse the City for the cost of his persecution.
It is not the business of the City of St. Augustine to violate First Amendment rights or file libel lawsuits.
In 625 well chosen words, the St. Augustine Record blasts a candidate it endorsed last year -- TODD DAVID NEVILLE (R-Proctorville) for his notoriously disgraceful behavior this month wasting City Attorney and staff time on threatening a libel lawsuit against Michael Gold's Historic City News and asking City Commissioners to authorize its filing.
What a lugubrious goober!
NEVILLE led his colleagues down the primrose path in relying upon a mysterious, biased, unsound University of Florida "Opinion Paper" (procured by sell-out NANCY SIKES KLINE), with no proper sponsoring witness. They relied on this comical "Opinion Paper" in rubber-stamping his friend DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's plans to turn the Dow Museum of Historic Homes into a fancy-bears $500/night hotel in Old City South HP-neighborhood, surrounded by regularly flooded streets with frequent sewage spills due to crumbling infrastructure.
Michael Gold exercised his God-given First Amendment right to criticize NEVILLE.
So does nearly everyone else in our town. So will you seek to sue us all, errant NEVILLE?
TODD DAVID NEVILLE responds like a screaming banshee, inanely threatening litigation instanter. (Just like CORNEAL's kid, SETH CORNEAL did, on May 7, 2014 when I questioned DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's threatening not to close on 102 Bridge Street and obtaining City Commission waiver of the $14,000 archaeological excavation fee under false pretenses, threatening "libel." (CORNEAL said on-camera at a special City meeting that he did not know of the fee: I have the receipt for the fee paid for his million dollar mansion). Attorney SETH CORNEAL is also ODD TODD NEVILLE's lawyer, knows little of libel and apparently "knows not that he knows not that he knows not."
Mendacious, misguided, muddled, mean, misanthropic, mouthy, miscreant ODD TODD NEVILLE (call him "M7/OTN", or just plain 'ole "MOTN" for short) is in the words of A.A. Milne, "A bear of little brain."
ODD TODD NEVILLE, a/k/a "MOTN" badly needs to find another hobby or another hobbyhorse -- clearly this business of impersonating an elected official and missing elected office to reward friends and punish enemies is not working out.
It will not end well for him. (Just as it did not end well for his political mentor and wedding officiant, JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. a/k/a "JOE BOLES," our disgraced ex-Mayor, with whom he hung out in the 450th "VIP Tent."
MOTN resembles a honky tonk medley of RICHARD MILHOUS NIXON, KING LOUIS XVI, BENITO MUSSOLINI and "Ichabod Crane," the fictional character.
Like the corrupt Republican President NIXON, scary MOTN knows no ethical bounds: he terrorizes City staff to break the law.
Like the deposed French King LOUIS IV and the deposed Italian fascist brown shirted dictator Benito Mussolini, MOTN thinks "L'etat c'est moi." ("I am the government.")
MOTN's explained several of his odd man out votes (e.g., against demolition regulation) as "ideological." Like a vapid vampire venture capitalist, NEVILE supports unfettered capitalism -- ugly, stark and raw, like DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's unethical destruction of Carpenter's House by his buddy DAVID BARTON CORNEAL (whose DOW PUD victory party he and City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. both attended together).
ODD TODD NEVILLE a/k/a MOTN, resembles the gawky fictional "Ichabod Crane" (who encounters the "headless horseman" in Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,": it appears that MOTN just had his proverbial "head handed to him," by Flagler College graduate and veteran Florida newspaper editor James Sutton, whose excellent editorial this morning is a shining example of what a newspaper editorial is supposed to do: educate and motivate, exposing the truth in the situation (what Gandhi called "satyagraha"). There was no ambiguity: this editorial will never be mistaken for one of the late Oak Ridger Editor's "not withouts" (namby-pamby time-wasters).
MOTN, the ungracious, self-absorbed, selfish, thoughtless, narcissistic "CYA CPA," rudely and crudely attempted to block 450th audits: he was nasty and brutish (and often interrupts women mid-thought).
MOTN sent me a threatening letter September 3rd for critiquing "his attorney," actually OUR attorney, City Attorney ISABELLE CHRISTINE LOPEZ; when I challenged his First Amendment violations and challenged him to a debate, he backed off and picked a softer target, HCN.
What's next: TODD DAVID NEVILLE will likely face ethics charges or reimburse the City for the cost of staff time spent on a frolic of his own -- threatening a libel action against a newspaper and threatening to use government resources to pursue it. (While City Attorney ISABELLE CHRISTINE LOPEZ blocks Open Records requests for citizens and blocks consideration of antitrust litigation against city vendors, she serves as the willing accomplice of First Amendment violating MOTN: how gauche and louche.).
ODD TODD NEVILLE a/k/a MOTN abuses his "friend" and running dog, City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., first to run interference for no-bid contracts and now to punish criticism of his family "friends" the CORNEALS, whose bizarre CORDOVA INN/DOW PUD project he moved to adopt without maturely or truthfully answering neighbors' recusal motions.
Now, MOTN stands naked in front of the entire world, exposing himself as a carping harpy willing to misuse government attorney staff time to chill,coerce and intimidate First Amendment protected activity.
And MOTN's only been in office for 294 days.
This morning's editorial is the second excellent Record editorial this week: it appears in today's print editions.
Keep up the good work, Jim Sutton! Three cheers for Jim Sutton! Here is Opinion Editor Jim Sutton's St. Augustine Record editorial:
Editorial: Defamation suit profits St. Augustine how?
Posted: September 19, 2015 - 7:09pm
Wading into finer points of law is a slippery slope. So we say upfront that our comments here are not aimed at the legality of this subject, but the sense of it.
Monday night, City Commissioner Todd Neville brought up a situation with the online publication, Historic City News. Neville took exception to comments made by its publisher Michael Gold.
Gold wrote the piece following the city’s 4-1 vote to rezone the former Dow Museum Property in order to allow the Cordova Inn PUD to move forward. He said that the project’s developer, David Corneal, had been a contributor to Neville’s campaign. He wrote of impropriety and hinted at illegality.
City attorney Isabelle Lopez outlined the scenario to the Florida Commission on Ethics, which saw no impropriety in the matter. She asked that Gold publish a retraction. He refused, though he did move the story from the government section of the website to the opinion section: As if fact is discounted there.
Neville told commissioners Monday that, although the story targeted him, it painted city government with a broad and black brush. He asked that commissioners file a defamation lawsuit against Gold and the publication. His colleagues, correctly, balked at that immediate action, instead instructing Lopez to look into the legalities and possible costs of that action.
Again, we’re not attorneys. But we have a few thoughts. First, Gold is predictably doing what he does: Baiting controversy with those not on his political guest list.
Second, while Neville (Disclaimer: The Record endorsed his candidacy) had no legal obligation to do so, on an issue as high-profile as the Cordova Inn, he might have been both cautious and clever to have made the declaration that Corneal donated to his campaign — and that would have been that. Elected officials routinely report ex parte conversations or relationships with principles involved in a prospective vote.
Gold’s headline read “Should elected official vote in city business with their donors?” Practically speaking, and if you look at the hundreds of relatively small political contributions for the five sitting commissioners, it would be difficult to imagine conducting city business if commissioners had to recuse themselves from every vote in which interested parties had made contributions.
For instance, some 35 neighbors spoke at that meeting against the Corneal PUD. How many of those may have contributed to the campaign of Mayor Nancy Shaver — who voted against the project? How many — on either side — contributed to Roxanne Horvath, Nancy Sikes-Kline, or Leanna Freeman? It’s a small city. A few hundred campaign contributions could be tied in some way to just about every business or issue in town.
Suing a news organization (Disclaimer: We are one) is an uphill legal battle. And, once Neville became an elected official, the bar of libel was raised sky-high. It’s a double-edged sword that rarely cuts for the plaintiff.
More concerning though, is why we’d spend public money chasing closure to a dead issue. It’s not uncommon for cities to spend public dollars to defend elected officials from lawsuits, but going on the offensive and bringing a lawsuit on the city’s tab is pretty much unheard of.
Neville’s new to politics and needs to grow thicker skin. Taking the reins of a city inevitably means taking some heat from “press.” And, the way we hear it, we’re rarely “fair” or “unbiased.”
Our best advice on this one is to consider the source, and move on.
Simply put, it’s a waste of time, resources and money: Especially when all the city might hope to get out of the process — is even. Our commissioners need to be bigger than that, and we believe they are.
Pick your battles. This one’s shooting blanks. Even if you win, as a city, do we?
JoeJoe 09/20/15 - 10:21 am 00Mr. Neville definitely needs to man up
if he is going to be an effective elected official. If he intends to go after everyone with a platform to share their opinions that don't agree with his, he is going to be too busy to conduct the business he was elected to oversee. Who knows, the Record may be next.