Friday, March 10, 2023

Disgraced ex-Sheriff DAVID SHOAR f/k/a "HOAR" Hired as WOOLSEY MARCOM Law Firm Investigator (Ponte Vedra Recorder)

Who knew that The Man Who:

o covered up the brutal September 2, 2010 homicide of Ms. Michelle O'Connell in the home of Deputy JEREMY BANKS, and 

o employed as his trusted right hand, Sheriff's CFO RAYE BRUTNELL, who embezzled more than $700,000 (now serving a seven year sentence in state prison) 

has been hired by a law firm as "Director of Investigations?

Why do the wicked prosper?

Character counts.

From Ponte Vedra Recorder: 

Woolsey Morcom hires former Sheriff David Shoar as Director of Investigations


Full-service law firm Woolsey Morcom has announced that former St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar has joined the firm as the director of investigations. Shoar brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team and will play a key role in helping the firm provide top-quality legal services to its clients.

Shoar served as sheriff of St. Johns County for 16 years, and he was known for his dedication to public service and his commitment to justice. He has a successful track record of investigating and solving complex cases and has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in law enforcement.

“We are thrilled to have David join our team,” said Firm Partner Josh Woolsey. “His knowledge and experience in law enforcement will be invaluable as we work to provide the best possible legal representation to our clients.”

In addition to his work as an investigator, Shoar is active in the local community. He is a member of several professional organizations and is a frequent speaker at law enforcement conferences and seminars.

“I am excited to be joining Woolsey Morcom and to be working with such a talented team of lawyers,” Shoar said. “I look forward to using my experience and skills to help the firm achieve the best possible outcome for their clients.”

Woolsey Morcom is a full-service law firm with offices throughout Florida and San Antonio, Texas. The firm provides a wide range of legal services to individuals and businesses, including car accidents, personal injury, family law, commercial litigation, first-party property, and criminal defense.

To learn more about Woolsey Morcom, visit the firm’s website;

From this blog:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's birth name was "HOAR." Mr. HOAR legally changed his name from "HOAR" in 1994, by Court order, changing it to the more beachy and mellifluous "SHOAR."

SHOAR's announcement comes in the wake of corruption reports, complaints and investigations, including the New York Times, PBS Frontline FBI, U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General, Government Accountability Office, Florida Auditor General, etc.

Like a hog caught under a gate: Early retirement for a 57-year old lawman who served twice as Florida Sheriff's Association President, whose website lauded racist Sheriff Lawrence O. Davis, who served from 1949-1971, falsely claiming he was "exonerated" by the Florida State Senate that removed him by 44-2 vote in 1971.

Once regarded as "Sheriff for Life," controversial corrupt St. Johns County political boss DAVID SHOAR announced his retirement today.

Borrowing a line from every white collar criminal ever to leave public office, SHOAR said he looks forward to spending more time with his family. That dawg won't hunt. He's fleeing in disgrace.

Borrowing a line from the cartoon character of Snagglepuss, voiced by Daws Butler, Sheriff SHOAR said, "Exit, stage left." In the cartoon, Snagglepuss was running away in fear whenever he said, "Exit, stage left."

Does Sheriff DAVID HOAR fear:

  • the judgment of the voters?
  • the judgment of state and federal juries in civil and criminal cases?
  • the judgment of his maker?

You tell me.

Without any evidence, SHOAR told WJCT he has "saved lives."

In the reality-based community, we know that he has ruined lives and covered up homicides.

It is my considered opinion that SHOAR deserves arrest and conviction for possible federal and state crimes:
1. Obstruction of justice.
2. Making false statements to federal law enforcement.
3. Conspiracy and misprision of felonies.
4. Official misconduct, destroying and concealing government records.
5. Civil rights violations.
6. Covering up Michelle O'Connell homicide in home of Deputy Jeremy Banks.
7. Conspiring for years in efforts to get heroic FDLE Special Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers fired/prosecuted for investigating Michelle's murder.
8. Hiring O'Connell case special prosecutor Bradley King's son as a deputy at age 19.
9. Keeping Jeremy Banks and ten other alleged wife beaters on the payroll.
10. Using government funds to write, print and distribute 153 page report containing false statements about the Michelle O'Connell case for the purpose of covering up her homicide.
11. Attacking Michelle's grieving family and accusing them of "molesting" Michelle O'Connell's body by arranging for an exhumation and aujtopsy that determined her jaw was broken.
10. Racist coverup of Ford Street incident in West Augustine, settled secretly for $275,000.
11. Hand-picking Sheriff and prosecutor to investigate January 31, 2019 Eli/Ellie Washtock homicide, apparent retaliation for investigation of Michelle O'Connell's homicide.
12. Fomenting Jeremy Banks' SLAPP lawsuit against Special Agent Rodgers.
13. Directing bagmen to drop money bomb on Mayor Nancy Shaver in retaliation for her speaking out on. Michelle O'Connell case. 
14. Hiring/promoting embezzler RAYE BRUTNELL, who allegedly stole $702,733 from 2011-2018.
15. Hand-picking Sheriff and prosecutor to investigate RAYE BRUTNELL embezzlement.
16. Refusing to request government forensic audit of embezzlement, hiring his own auditor.
17. Retaliation against deputies for reporting crimes and sexual harassment, subject of pending litigation.
18. Refusing to adopt police body cameras.  (Wonder why?)
19. Acting as co-conspirator of campaign-funding developers destroying our wetlands and forests.
(Shoar says developers are "good people.")
20. Threatening and retaliating against County Commissioners questioning his budget and spending or voting against his campaign contributors' destructive development projects.
21. Possibly concealing Allied Veterans $300 million fraud scandal, headquartered here,
22. Possibly concealing Lydia Cladek, Inc. $100 million fraud scandal, headquartered here.
23. Misuse of St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Four Star Association, Inc. non-profit funds.
24. Retaliatory denial of press credentials to Michael Gold in retaliation for First Amendment protected activity.
25. Conspiring with the late GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE to prosecute Thomas G. Manuel.
26. Violating employee rights to protected activity to join union and report sexual harassment.
27. Violating attorney's Fourth Amendment rights with illegal surveillance.
28. Falsifying his resume, omitting service at Palatka Police Department. Was he fired?
29. Falsifying his resignation from Palatka P.D., claiming it was to take a job with St. Augustine Police Department, to which he did not apply until weeks later.
30. Covering up his 2005 DUI wreck, in which he broke his leg in nine places, not wearing a seatbelt.  This is apparently what led to SHOAR's alleged addiction to opioid pain pills.
We, the People have triumphed. We won another victory today,

I would not wish the soon-to-be ex-Sheriff, energumen DAVID SHOAR any bad luck. It's karma.

May Sheriff SHOAR soon go to federal prison, like Anderson County, Tennessee Sheriff Dennis O. Trotter, who once told me, "You're the most dangerous reporter I met in my entire life."

St. Johns County sheriff won't seek fifth term

David Shoar is in 15th year as county's top law enforcement officer

By Brittany Muller - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor


Sheriff Shoar faces media amidst financial scandal
The day after his finance director was arrested amid allegations that she embezzled more t… See More


From Woolsey Marcom law firm website, with SHOAR's bio last:

Because experience really matters here. And we have more than half a century of it.

When your future is on the line, you want our team on your side. Our attorneys have proven results and the knowledge to build the toughest case on your behalf.



  • Wrongful Death

  • Personal Injury

  • Litigation

  • Probate Litigation

  • Civil Trial

  • Real Estate Litigation

Joshua A. Woolsey

Josh Woolsey was the former top Florida Prosecutor who has worked for Florida’s Governor in Tallahassee and the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. Josh has successfully handled thousands of criminal and civil matters, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars for his clients. He has successfully tried over 100 civil and criminal trials, with a success rate of over 95%, including trial success in a $20 million dollar wrongful death claim.

Over the last few years alone, Josh has received in excess of $25 million in verdicts and judgments. He has obtained multiple million-dollar trial verdicts, as well as multiple million-dollar settlements for his clients. He has successfully litigated several high-profile cases and has represented celebrities, professional athletes, and large business executives. He prefers to represent hard-working individuals in need of aggressive legal representation.

Josh was named to the Business Journal’s top 40 under 40, Super Lawyers Magazine’s top lawyers and Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite. He is chairman of the Board of Communities in Schools, serves on the board of his local Rotary Club, served on the Board of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Juvenile Justice Coalition and was a long time big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Josh has four sons with his wife Casey and they live in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

“Josh was compassionate and was always willing to listen. He cared about me and my future and fought for justice.”



  • Commercial Litigation

  • Family Law

  • Wrongful Death

  • Personal Injury

  • Probate Litigation

Nicholas W. Morcom

Nick Morcom is an experienced jury trial lawyer.

Nick grew up in Jacksonville.  After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Nick worked for a prominent criminal defense attorney in Texas for two years.  During that time, Nick learned the importance of working the angles of disputes and litigating high stakes matters.  As a young attorney, Nick defended several high profile defendants, including obtaining a not guilty verdict in a homicide trial.

Nick then worked for three years at the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.  Nick was awarded the Outstanding New Prosecutor Award in 2007, supervised county court and served on the Gun Homicide Unit exclusively prosecuting homicides and other serious violent crimes.

Nick practiced as a shareholder in a prestigious Jacksonville law firm in the area of complex commercial litigation. His experience includes litigation of disputes involving contracts, banking, real property, retail petroleum sales, construction, and fiduciary relationships.

Nick joined Woolsey Morcom in 2017 to lead the firm’s burgeoning Family Law practice. Nick is currently a member of The Florida Family Law Inn of Court at the Barrister level.

Nick has been repeatedly named to Super Lawyers Magazine's Rising Stars and named to Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite. He is the former Chairman of  the Leadership Team for Longleaf  Church and actively promotes community involvement on the County Road 210 area.



  • Civil Litigation

  • Real Estate Litigation

  • Criminal Defense

  • Personal Injury

John Rockwell

John Rockwell is an experienced jury trial lawyer who brings over 15 years of experience in a variety of practice areas as a Florida attorney to Woolsey Morcom and leads the firm’s established criminal defense practice.  John focuses almost exclusively on successfully defending individuals accused of committing crimes in both state and federal court ranging from misdemeanors such as DUIs and drug charges, to serious felonies including firearm and drug offenses, murder/death penalty, RICO, white collar crimes and fraud, as well as injunction/restraining order prosecution and defense, post-conviction claims, and expungements and record sealing.  

As a former prosecutor with the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for almost five years, John successfully tried to verdict over 50 criminal jury trials in Duval, Nassau and Clay County.  He was ultimately promoted to the Major Crimes division where he handled homicides, shootings, and other violent criminal offenses from initial crime scene response to jury trial including first degree murder cases where the State of Florida sought and obtained the death penalty.   

After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law with cum laude honors in 2004, John practiced at several law firms throughout Florida, including a large national law firm in downtown Jacksonville where he handled criminal defense matters as well as construction defect, foreclosure, real estate, and nursing home matters in both state and federal court.

John also has over six years in the insurance coverage/claims industry as a corporate attorney where he adjusted multi-million dollar complex construction defect and commercial general liability insurance coverage matters around the country for one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, as well as real estate title insurance claims for a national title insurance underwriter.  In this role, John learned how insurance companies think and evaluate claims, and, most importantly, what Plaintiff’s lawyers can do to trigger significant settlements.

John also practices in the areas of personal injury, real estate/foreclosure prosecution and defense, civil litigation and family law.

“I can’t thank John and his team enough for what they did for my family...John truly made me feel like family, protected and understood. He has gone above and beyond for us, and I can not recommend him higher.”


  • Personal Injury

  • Wrongful Death

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Labor and Employment Law

  • Family Law

Phillip M. Vogelsang

Phillip M. Vogelsang has been a practicing attorney since 2007.  Out of law school, Phil worked aggressively as a prosecutor at the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for 3 years, gaining significant litigation experience and handling over 35 jury trials.  With a trial success rate of over 90% as a prosecutor, Phil was actively recruited into private practice by numerous law firms. 

In private practice, Phil has successfully handled thousands of civil, employment, family and criminal matters resulting in positive results for his clients.  He has had over 100 trials as an attorney and has never lost a criminal defense, personal injury or wrongful death case.  Phil has been General Counsel for the Fraternal Order of Police since 2010.  In that role he represents over 2400 police officers in employment, personal injury, criminal and family law matters.  As a personal injury attorney Phil has been able to obtain millions of dollars for his clients based on his vast litigation experience and tireless work ethic.

Phil is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and has lived in Jacksonville since coming to Florida for law school in 2003. He went to the University of the Cumberlands for undergraduate school, where he played golf and was a member of their national debate team.  Phil was elected to the Jacksonville Beach City Council in 2012 and subsequently reelected in 2016 where he served until he was term limited in 2020.  Phil has received the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the Jacksonville Jaycees and currently serves as a mentor with Take Stock in Children.

Phil has two beautiful daughters with his wife Rebecca and they live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.


  • Civil Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Real Estate Litigation

  • Trust and Estate Litigation

  • Family Law

Elizabeth R. Panduro

Elizabeth is licensed in both Florida and Kentucky and focuses on civil and commercial litigation. She is dedicated to helping each client by combining incomparable client service with high caliber legal solutions. Her guiding principle is to ensure that each client is well cared for by an attorney truly interested in his or her wellbeing.

Elizabeth has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and has been published numerous times. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, and her B.A., cum laude from University of Kentucky.

Prior to joining Woolsey Morcom, she worked at a large, reputable firm in Louisville Kentucky, providing legal services to high-net-worth clients and institutions.

Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband and son. She is an avid runner, pizza enthusiast, and enjoys going to the beach.


  • Civil Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Property Damage

  • Personal Injury

  • Bad Faith Insurance

  • Construction Defect Claims

Robert E. Jameson

Robert Jameson joined Woolsey Morcom in 2021 where he focuses his practice on civil and commercial litigation and first-party property disputes.

Prior to joining Woolsey Morcom, Robert practiced in the Jacksonville office of a well-known, national civil litigation firm. He successfully represented Fortune 500 companies, insurance providers, and large Florida-based corporations in state and federal court.

Robert began his legal career with the United States Navy where he was commissioned as a Judge Advocate General. As a Navy prosecutor, he tried a broad range of criminal cases and obtained convictions in several felony jury trials. He was eventually promoted to General Counsel for Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida and was the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commanding Officer.

Prior to attending law school, Robert was appointed by President George W. Bush as a Special Assistant at the Department of Homeland Security. After leaving the Bush Administration, he spent six years working at the United States House of Representatives on government oversight and investigations. He was part of several high-profile congressional investigations including the attack on the United States Embassy in Benghazi. His private sector experience includes working as a Senior Associate at FTI Consulting, one of the largest financial consulting firms in the world, providing public affairs and government relations support.

Robert attended American University Washington College of Law and was a Note and Comment Editor on the Journal of Gender Social Policy and the Law

He enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and dog Macallan. His hobbies include surfing, playing golf, and fishing. Robert continues to serve as a Lieutenant in the Navy Reserve.


  • Intellectual Property

  • Civil Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Property Damage

  • Construction Defect Claims

John M. Bustamante

Over the past 18 years, John M. Bustamante has focused on complex civil litigation throughout the country.

A fifth-generation Texan, John grew up in San Antonio. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, John went to work for one of the largest firms in the world and then later, a large intellectual property law firm in Austin. During his time at these firms, John worked on cases and trials where hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake.

Over the past decade, John has worked for intellectual property boutique firms in Austin while growing his law practice and family in San Antonio. John focused on the details of complex litigation at every stage of litigation to effectively fight for his clients.

John serves as Chair of the Zoning Commission of the City of San Antonio, a member of the Planning Commission for the City of San Antonio, and as Treasurer of the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.

More about John’s Intellectual Property Practice


  • Personal Injury

  • Civil Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

Jack Moran

Jack Moran is a former state prosecutor and insurance defense attorney, with extensive courtroom and trial experience, who has worked for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Just prior to joining Woolsey Morcom, Jack worked at a large well-respected civil litigation defense firm where he successfully represented national auto insurance companies and large corporations in high value lawsuits.  Prior to that he served as a state prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, where he was selected to prosecute serious felonies punishable by life in prison.

Jack brings this experience to Woolsey Morcom, where his practice focuses on representing people and businesses who have been injured by other parties.  His civil and commercial litigation practice includes the handling of car and trucking accidents, claims against insurance carriers, injury claims, and numerous other areas of civil and commercial litigation. 

Jack has successfully tried several cases in his career and is one of the few lawyers who was able to successfully bring a case to trial during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During law school, Jack was a law clerk for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the State Attorney’s Office in Florida. He received the “Book Award” in Trial Practice and Advanced Trial Practice and a certificate in trial skills from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Prior to law school, Jack was the district representative and legislative correspondent for Congressman Ander Crenshaw in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to that, he was the education director for the Eastside Police Athletic League After School Program.

Throughout his career, Jack has focused on always putting people and community first.

Jack enjoys spending time with his wife, Loren, and son, Clark, by exploring nature and always looking for the next adventure.


  • First-Party Property

  • Commercial Litigation

Jake Piasecki

Jake Piasecki is a licensed attorney in both California and Florida.  He joined Woolsey Morcom in 2022 where he focuses his practice on helping clients with property insurance disputes and business litigation matters.  Prior to joining Woolsey Morcom, Jake worked for prominent insurance defense firms in Florida and recognized boutique law firms in Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

Jake comes to Woolsey Morcom with extensive experience in information security and financial services, having held senior roles with Fortune 500 companies in the fintech and financial services industries.

Jake graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law with honors and has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Florida.

In his spare time, he enjoys long distance running, surfing, and spending time with his wife Mel and his daughter Vitoria.


  • Personal Injury

  • First-Party Property

Neil Gornto

Neil Gornto is a 5th generation North Floridian and has resided here for over 40 years.  He received his Bachelor Degree in Criminology from Florida State University and his Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law.  Mr. Gornto has been practicing law for over 17 years and began his legal career with the Office of the Public Defender, where he managed a caseload of over one-hundred cases and spent most of his time in the courtroom.

He left the Office of the Public Defender to go work in the private sector for over a decade in the area of criminal defense and civil litigation.  Mr. Gornto represented clients with crimes ranging from life felonies to misdemeanors.  He also practiced appellate law in the First District Court of Appeals and Fifth District Court of Appeals and is licensed to practice in the Federal Court for the United States Middle District of Florida.

For almost 3 years Mr. Gornto was an in-house counsel with a large insurance company, representing insureds ranging from automobile accidents, slip and falls, negligent security, and trucking accidents.   Neil also worked at a large national law firm with offices throughout the country where he practiced civil litigation with a focus in premises liability.

Neil has been happily married for over 18 years and has 3 sons.  When he is not in the courtroom he enjoys coaching and attending the various travel sports all 3 of his sons play.     


David B. Shoar

Before joining Woolsey Morcom in 2023 as its Director of Investigations, Sheriff Shoar began his law enforcement career as a police officer with the St. Augustine Police Department in 1981. He served as a uniformed patrol officer for ten years until his promotion to Sergeant in 1991. Sheriff Shoar served as a uniformed Patrol Sergeant through 1997. In 1997, he was promoted to Operations Commander overseeing the Patrol and Detective Divisions. In 1999, he was assigned as the Administrative Services Commander. He served in that capacity until May of 2000, when City Manager Bill Harriss appointed him Chief of Police.

Sheriff Shoar is a 1987 Honors graduate from St. Johns River Community College. He graduated with highest honors in 1996 from the University of North Florida, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In 2001, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with highest honors from the University of North Florida.

Sheriff Shoar is a member of several academic honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key National Honor Society. He has served as an adjunct professor at St. Johns River Community College and Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

In 2005, Sheriff Shoar was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Flagler College. Also in 2005, Flagler College created the David B. Shoar Award for Academic Achievement to recognize the graduate of the Public Administration Baccalaureate Degree program who maintains the highest grade point average. Sheriff Shoar worked with Flagler College to create the Public Administration baccalaureate degree program for working professionals in 2003.

Sheriff Shoar retired from the St. Augustine Police Department in 2004 after being elected to serve as Sheriff of St. Johns County. After re-election in 2008 and 2012, Sheriff Shoar was elected to his fourth and final term as Sheriff in 2016. 

In 2014, Shoar was elected by his fellow Sheriffs to serve as President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. He has served on a variety of advisory boards including the University of North Florida’s Institute of Government and the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the Board of Directors of EPIC Behavioral Healthcare in St. Johns County.

Sheriff Shoar was appointed by three successive Florida Governors (Crist, Scott, and DeSantis) to serve as one of nineteen commissioners on The Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (2010-2020).

Sheriff Shoar is married to the former Laura Giannotta. They are the parents of two children, Emily and Matthew. They live in the Crescent Beach area and belong to St. Anastasia Catholic Church in St. Augustine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brutnell was good. You gotta get anything from these crackers any way you can.. because otherwise they just take from you and don't pay you shit. That and these crackers don't wanna pay no taxes. Long live Shoar and Brutnell. No hard feelings.