Friday, September 23, 2016

SAO on Settlement "Insufficient Evidence"

The SAO stated there was "insufficient evidence" that a crime occurred regarding the Mayor's action to settle the Bill Reynolds case for $95,000.

Let's play out a hypothetical and see what it looks like.

  • Reynolds slides me an envelope about the Chief of Staff at World of Beer as he and another staffer plot to remove their nemesis with the harassment claim documents. The other staffer releases the same documents to a Citizen that same night using a fake email of something like "Truth at City Hall"
  • I post the claim. 
  • The Chief of Staff and the alleged victim object.  
  • The Mayor promises an investigation to appease the press.
  • During the discussion, Reynolds tells Hayward that he gave me the documents. Maybe he also tells Hayward that another staffer did the same thing to a Citizen.
  • The documents have made the Chief of Staff's return impossible.
  • If Hayward fires Reynolds and the other staffer for the action, he has no one to run the City or give him words to say.
  • Hayward knows the investigation will not uncover anything as he knows Reynolds leaked the documents and Reynolds is doing the investigation.
  • Outzen is POed and doesn't let it go.  After a time he goes to the SAO to investigate the leak along with a sunshine violation.  
  • The SAO asks the City for any information.  The City provides nothing concrete or that identifies the leak.
  • The SAO contacts me to come in to a meeting, a meeting I assume is regarding a complaint for public records requests that the City has not been providing regarding emails. 
  • When I get to the SAO office, the SAO starts asking me who my source was for the harassment leak.  I don't tell him.  He continues to pressure me.  Finally, I tell him the whole incident at World of Beer with Reynolds.
  • The SAO tells Outzen of Reynold's actions.
  • Outzen writes a story.
  • The SAO must confirm the details one last time before Outzen goes to print so the SAO sends State Investigators to my home in order to confirm details so what the SAO told to Outzen is accurate.
  • The SAO tells Hayward about Reynolds and the WOB incident and tells him that he will note the incident in a report to be made public about another Reynolds incident.
  • The Mayor is in a pickle as he has no choice but to let Reynolds go.
  • The SAO never looks into that CJ Lewis was leaked the exact same data on the exact same night so the other staffer's actions aren't known and he doesn't have to be fired.
  • Reynold's knows Hayward must act when the info comes out about the leak.
  • Reynold's is fired assuming he will get the severance package he was promised in his contract.
  • Hayward renegs on the severance package and Reynold's is POed.
  • Reynold's files suit against Hayward (ie "The City")
  • Hayward moves on with life.
  • Reynold's attorney gets the Tamara Fountain information so the slam dunk looks a bit shakey.
  • Reynold's attorney schedules the Mayor's deposition.
  • Larkin delays with excuses.
  • Finally, the deposition is set.  The Mayor must swear under oath.
  • Hayward knows that it will come out that Reynolds told him immediately that he had leaked the information to me and that Hayward did nothing about it.  This would not be good based on the Mayor's previous statements and stance and his statement's when Reynold's was fired.
  • Larkin tells the Mayor that he will recommend as his lawyer who always gets the Mayor out of Charter breaches to quietly settle the case but don't tell anybody.
  • The Mayor agrees this is a good plan and tells Barker to slide it into the salaries line item for the Mayor's office and not to mention it in REQUIRED reports to Council.
  • Barker does exactly what he is told.
  • Larkin tells Bobblehead that he recommends the settlement and that he (Larkin) sees no issues under the Charter.  Bobblehead bobbles.
  • The checks are cut.
  • The budgets are fudged.
  • No one mentions it to Council or the Citizens.
  • Until Outzen gets the file.
"Insufficient Evidence?"  
  • How many interviews did the SAO conduct?
  • How many sworn statements were taken?
  • Could the above have happened?
  • If Hayward used City money to settle the above hypothetical situation, you have a crime.
Special Snowflakes!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Airport Ads from His Attorneys

I was going through the airport the other day and noted that the primary ads visible to departing passengers are for Levin Papantonio near TSA and Beggs & Lane after TSA.

I laughed out loud.

I guess people choose a corporate lawyer after just being frisked by TSA.

And most people standing in line for TSA are contemplating who to use if they have an automobile accident.

Maybe occasionally someone has received terrible news about a loved one and is rushing out to help them or comfort the grieving, will look up and see Fred Levin and say "Fred can help me here!"

I would love to have seen the sales pitch Emagination Unlimited and the Potted Plant put on these two firms.

Was it something like these statements?

"You got over $900,000 from the City's BP claim. Ashton said buy an ad for the Airport."

"You have made over $1,000,000 from the City since Ashton has been Mayor.  Ashton said buy an ad for the Airport."


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Kerrigan = Teapot...Amen Bob Amen!

In another swipe at Quint Studer, Bob Kerrigan writes:

"Mr. Studer says we need to get passed this (negativity) in our community. We will when high profile people conduct themselves honorably. Till then pointing out dishonorable conduct or politically rigged deals really needs to continue."

Yes Bob.  I will.  And the number one culprit of dishonorable conduct and politically rigged deals is your Boy Wonder, Bob.  And how much have you participated in it all?

Depositions are on the way Mr. K!

https://maritimepark.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/mr-negative/

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Traveling Wu

Where does Councilman PC Wu enjoy traveling to on our dime?  Only the best resorts for Wu will do.  As he travels to various Florida League of Cities events, here are the locations in the last few years he has stayed on us.

What did he EVER bring back that has made ANY difference in Pensacola?  Nothing!  Just selfies with his League buddies!

If anyone can name ONE thing WU has brought back to make Pensacola better, let me know and I will post it!

Are you and your family Livin' the Wu Life?

Hyatt Regency Orlando















Orlando World Center















The Diplomat Resort













Sandestin Beach Resort















Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista





Friday, September 16, 2016

Precedent for Malfeasance by Elected Officials In Escambia County

In 1995, an Escambia County Grand Jury indicted Joe A. Flowers for malfeasance in office for:

"willfully and unlawfully performing his duties" by purchasing securities" which he was not authorized by law to purchase"

Additionally, the Grand jury indicted Flowers for:

"willfully and unlawfully performing his duties" by purchasing securities "which he was not authorized by law to agree to do"

Indictment

These indictments were made under common law as defined in 775.01 Florida Statutes.

They are misdemeanors.

Have Hayward, Barker and Bowling all potentially committed malfeasance under the law?

We should see what the SAO thinks.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

After My Email to Reynolds Attorney...Allen Norton and Blue Denies and Starts the Threats

Yesterday, I shared an email I sent to Bill Reynolds attorney pointing out how Tamara Fountain did exactly what Bill Reynolds did but was not terminated.  I even supported it with the evidence.

Rob Larkin, the Mayor's hatchet man at Allen Norton and Blue sent me the letter below.  In it he tries to state how the Fountain action sharing her threats and accusations against Airport Director Dan Flynn with a non-City employee contractor is sooooo different from Reynold's sharing employee complaints with me.

By addressing me directly and my facts, it shows that the punch landed. Otherwise why not just blow me off.  Larkin may have thought the "slam dunk" could go off the rim in court.

MDeWeese-Letter

Well, once I received the Larkin threat,  I, of course, backed down and went and cowered in the corner.

Ahhh No!

I responded as follows:

Mr. Larkin,

Thank you for your letter.  I would like to provide you with additional information regarding your letter that you may not have been aware.
  1. The FY 2015 Budget includes the City of Pensacola Functional Organizational Chart which very clearly reflects that the Pensacola International Airport reports directly to the City Administrator (not the Chief Operations Officer).
  2. Ms. Fountain's own profile on the City of Pensacola website, which by the way is under her control, states she is an "advisor" to the Mayor and key management staff.  It also states she has responsibility for the City's Human Resources and Technology Resources, which again is not what was submitted to Council with the 2015 Budget which states these functions report directly to the City Administrator.
  3. The Airport website, which you state Ms. Fountain is responsible for and has direct supervision of, states specifically that the Airport Director reports to the City Administrator.  
I'm sure you can now appreciate that based on the documents noted above and attached, the publicly available information of this "transparent" administration indicates that, in fact, you may be mistaken. 

If there have been documented changes to the reporting structure of the Departments of the City, please let me know so that I can be accurate.

Thank you for clarifying that the documents I received were public documents.  I was of the same belief. 

As to the last issue, please recall that the State Attorney ruled that while the document Mr. Reynolds provided me, unsolicited, was in fact exempt it was not confidential.  He deemed it "inappropriate".  See attached.

So that I have my facts clear and accurate in describing Ms. Fountain's actions, was her transmittal of the threat of termination sent to Mr. Flynn and two minutes later forwarded to Mr. Henderson appropriate to be disseminated, acceptable behavior under the City's Human Resource policies and in accordance with the City's Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct which states:


No City employee shall make disclosure or use of information not available to the public for any employee’s personal gain or benefit or for a private purpose or for the gain or benefit of any other person or business entity, nor shall any employee disclose any confidential information gained by reason of his or her official position with the City.


I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Maren DeWeese


Once Larkin found himself in a hole, he quit digging unlike the Mayor.

He responded.

Ms. DeWeese,

I am in receipt of your response to my letter dated April 24, 2015.  Please be advised that based upon the information you provided, the City’s position concerning your misplaced allegations against Ms. Fountain remains unchanged.

Sincerely,
Robert Larkin

Robert E. Larkin, III
Board Certified Labor & Employment Law
Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A.,
Shareholder
906 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
0ffice: 850-561-3503



Then the City Airport site was changed and the org chart changed to note what Larkin had claimed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

From Slam Dunk to Settlement...What Happened?

When Bill Reynolds shared the complaint by a staffer with me at WOB (unsolicited), Hayward terminated him saying:

“Last week, I received the disappointing news from the State Attorney’s Office that Bill Reynolds chose to leak a confidential employee complaint. The wellbeing of the City’s hardworking employees is one of my top priorities. Mr. Reynolds’s actions violated this sacred responsibility. This is unacceptable to me."

Reynolds sued saying he was owed his severance and PTO.  The case against Reynolds was called a "slam dunk".  No way he could win.

Then why did Hayward move to settle a "slam dunk" case.

Weeeeeellllll, in April 2015, I sent the following email to Reynold's lawyer and others:


From: Maren DeWeese <jklmn246@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Reynolds v. City of Pensacola
To: email@odombarlow.com, rlarkin@anblaw.com, ahayward@ci.pensacola.fl.us, ESisson@cityofpensacola.com, Ashton Hayward <mayorhayward@cityofpensacola.com>, phillip Hoffman <president@iafflocal707.org>, fop071@gmail.com, jwynn@afscmefl.com

Mr. Odom,

I noted that you presently represent Bill Reynolds in his case against the City of Pensacola.

Mr. Reynolds was allegedly terminated from the employment of the City of Pensacola for "leaking" confidential human resource related documents outside the City of Pensacola's internal processes. 

In announcing Reynolds termination, Mayor Hayward stated in his press release:

“Last week, I received the disappointing news from the State Attorney’s Office that Bill Reynolds chose to leak a confidential employee complaint. The wellbeing of the City’s hardworking employees is one of my top priorities. Mr. Reynolds’s actions violated this sacred responsibility. This is unacceptable to me."

The Mayor stated that Mr. Reynolds actions "violated this sacred responsibility" to the City employees.

I would like to detail a remarkably similar situation of which I am aware that could have a direct bearing on Mr. Reynolds case. 

I recently made a public records request of emails of Tamara Fountain, the Mayor's current Chief Operating Officer.  Under the City's current organization structure, all department heads report to the Chief Administrative Officer.  At the time of my request that was Dick Barker.  I noted an email whereby Interim Airport Director Dan Flynn, a City employee, emailed his superior, Mr. Barker, wanting to discuss pressure he was receiving from a marketing contractor, Chip Henderson of Emagination Unlimited.  Mr. Barker took no action that I noted but to forward the email to COO Fountain.  At 6:44pm on a Friday evening, Ms. Fountain, in her capacity as COO, sent an email to Director Flynn threatening his employment and accusing him of insubordination.

At 6:46pm that same evening after threatening the employment of a City employee who does not directly report to her, COO Fountain then forwarded the termination threat to airport marketing contractor Chip Henderson at his business email address, chip@getemagination.com.

This email to Henderson disclosed to Henderson outside of the City's internal HR processes the alleged insubordination of Flynn, the threat against his gainful employment with the City and potentially deprived Mr. Flynn of his rights as an employee to confidentiality regarding his employment matters.

The circumstances surrounding a leak of confidential HR related information between Mr. Reynolds case and Ms. Fountains actions appear similar in that they both shared City internal HR related information outside of City established processes and procedures.  The difference is that Mr. Reynolds intentions were to apparently uncover an alleged unacceptable treatment of a City employee by a senior Hayward staff member while Fountains apparent intent was to embarrass and demean Flynn's authority over a contractor working under his authority as Airport Director.

The City of Pensacola Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct state:

No City employee shall make disclosure or use of information not available to the public for any employee’s personal gain or benefit or for a private purpose or for the gain or benefit of any other person or business entity, nor shall any employee disclose any confidential information gained by reason of his or her official position with the City.
  • Fountain made the disclosure
  • Her threat was information not available to the public which she used
  • Did it benefit Emagination Unlimited in it's dealing with the Airport staff?
  • Did Fountain disclose confidential information gained by reason of her official position with the City? 
  • Is the release of HR data outside the City allowed?
The Mayor's office has been aware of Ms. Fountains actions for over a week and has not and probably will not take any action against her in this matter.
Apparently, in the Mayors opinion, the "sacred responsibility" to employees is not so sacred.

I hope this information is useful to your case. 

I have also copied the City's three employee unions so that they can see the application of the Mayor's "sacred responsibility" to the City's employees and his consistency in application of those standards.

Attached are copies of both emails from Ms. Fountain.

Warmest regards,

Maren DeWeese

_____________

As the City file for the case comes out, you will see this email to the parties is referenced several times in the discovery.

Did I help block the Mayor's Slam Dunk when I pointed out Fountain got no repercussions for doing the same thing Reynold's did?

Hmmmm.

More on this tomorrow!