Monday, July 8, 2013

Is he serious? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric D. Stevenson <>
To: rlarkin <>
Cc: charles <>; meganprattd9 <>; sfmada <>; drpcwu <>; rotarypcwu <>; gcwingate <>; pcwu <>; smyers <>; aterhaar <>; ljohnson <>; gwingate <>; bspencer <>; jcannada-wynn <>; mpratt <>; cbare <>
Sent: Sun, Jul 7, 2013 8:08 pm
Subject: Response to Pensacola News Journal Editorial
Dear Mr. Larkin:
As previously agreed, my client, John Asmar, has been patiently waiting to hear from Mayor Hayward with the expectation that the Mayor and John would jointly and mutually respond to the latest developments within City Hall. However, in response to the PNJ's editorial and due to the Mayor's failure to publicly address the matter and issue a statement exonerating John from any alleged wrongdoing, I am compelled to write this email with copies to the Mayor and the City Council.
First, allow me to point out that John resigned from city service in good standing. He has not violated or been found to be in violation of any Florida law, City Ordinance and/or policy governing his role as Chief of Staff. That cannot be said with regard to other Mayoral staff.
Second, John regrets that this matter has blown to these proportions, but he has repeatedly asked that the Mayor deal with the unlawful actions of the Mayor's City Administrator, William "Bill" H. Reynolds (Reynolds) and the Mayor's Press Secretary, Derek Cosson (Cosson). The Mayor's lack of action has made this issue more serious than it should have been and hurt several people, including John's family.
As John has previously advised the Mayor and you, Reynolds created a fraudulent memo that falsely accused John of harassing an employee. Reynolds never told John about the memo. Reynolds did not turn it over to Human Resources to investigate, and instead conspired with Cosson to leak the fraudulent memo to the public and the media.
Despite John's numerous requests for the Mayor to investigate both the memo and Reynolds, the Mayor did nothing. When an employee provided a signed affidavit disputing the contents of the memo, the Mayor transferred her as punishment.
When Reynolds' original memo did not sufficiently hurt John, Reynolds then conspired with others to coerce an employee to file a formal complaint. Within hours, Reynolds delivered it to the Mayor's political opponent. This complaint was never investigated and later withdrawn. The Mayor and you have told John and me on different occasions that the complaint had no merit. Yet it remains on the internet.
Third, the Mayor reneged on his commitment to hire John as a consultant without a change of payment terms, the Mayor's staff withheld public records that proved John's innocence, and the Mayor and his staff interfered with John's ability to rebuild John's law practice. The Mayor and his staff harassed and defamed John despite repeatedly telling John that the Mayor knew that Reynolds' memo misrepresented the facts.
When the local media discovered that Cosson had created fake identities to attack Council members and John on various blogs, forums and websites, the Mayor allowed Reynolds, Cosson and Tamara Fountain to blame John for Cosson's actions, even though the Mayor knew that it was not true.
According to my client's contract, the City of Pensacola owes my client $10,000.00 for my client's last month of service. The Mayor has not only refused to honor my client's contract, but has repeatedly tried to use that payment as a bargaining chip to keep John from speaking out about the misdeeds at City Hall.
While John has tried to clear his name, the Mayor's City staff has destroyed public records and videos that would have helped John's cause. Documents have been altered and unlawful redactions made to others records.
Last, as the City Council and citizens learn more of the facts over the next few days and weeks, they will see that John worked hard and was successful in implementing the City's new form of government while upholding the City Charter, the City's Code of Ordinances, especially those codes governing ethics and the City's policies and procedures.
The Mayor and his staff have painted John a villain, and the Mayor and his staff repeatedly have attacked John publicly and privately. In my opinion, these actions were taken for the "protection" of the perpetrators in question, for their own personal benefit and professional status, and to disparage the characters of any in opposition including John. Their actions also damaged the characters of other innocent employees involved in this matter.
Based upon the foregoing and with the intent to clear John's name, I have recommended to John to file formal ethics complaints against Reynolds, Cosson and possibly Tamara Fountain in the coming weeks. I am also exploring other legal remedies that John may wish to pursue.
Should the City Council choose to investigate Reynolds' actions; the leaking of exempt and confidential documents; Cosson's anonymous attacks on Council members and John; and the Mayor's/City's handling and lack of response to John's requests and complaints in accordance with City policies and state laws, I have recommended to John to cooperate fully.
Rest assured, John has every intention of clearing his name. The truth will be told.
Eric D. Stevenson
Sellers, Skievaski & Stevenson, LLP
919 N. 12th Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32501
(850) 444-0000


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what is funnier, the fact that John is a saint as painted here or that the Mayor and his staff are that organized to destroy Asmar's reputation. Heck when an average smoe like me is aware of his past... fired as assistant county administrator here, in St Petersburg... this is just an extension of those failures.

I am amazed they allege also that this whole relationship and harassment is made up by Cosson and Reynolds... however, since Cosson has already lied, created face personas, etc credibility is lent to this assertion.

Truthfully, I am confused by all the innuendo, lies, deceit, ... this is like a bad episode of HBO's "The Boss".

Anonymous said...

Asmar was indeed the man behind the curtain pulling the strings on all city "business". His ability to deflect the spotlight toward Cosson and Reynolds is a testament to his political acumen which is second to none. Unfortunately his moral compass is a bit off track so this is why city hall is where it is. Cosson and Reynolds are fundamentally good people yet they lost their way inside the Alice in Wonderland culture that Asmar created on the seventh floor. just look at his track record. He was a kid in a big candy shop - a political animal turned loose with no resisting force to check his actions or challenge his decisions. He was the defacto Mayor for the term of his employment. Hayward, Reynolds, Cosson and city council were just along for the ride. You could guess this would not end well and it is now playing out. Funny how Outzen and the PNJ were completely asleep at the wheel yet Maren nailed it.

Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous and shameful exhibition of someone trying to assign blame for THEIR misdeeds. Assmar has always been the Mayor's biggest problem and the person most responsible for the Mayor's dysfunctional administration.

He had alienated most of the staff and created a atmosphere of fear and distrust within City Hall. The Mayor has been culpable in this dysfunction with his operating style of arrogance and absenteeism.

This will be a one-term Mayor and he may even be in front of a grand jury. The real shame is that the Mayor had a real opportunity to change Pensacola. However, he has always chosen style over substance and friends and social associates as advisors ... and these people have failed him in a colossal way.

Aunt Ginny will never be able to rehabilitate the pretty boy.

Anonymous said...

IF Asmar is this victim, then he has helped to create the opportunity because he lacks credibility through his other pretty skeezy appearing actions. he's made it very easy to believe the accusations. perhaps if he can clear the names of other innocents that the administration has maligned by manipulating the info flowing to the media, he can spin it into a pattern of this 'transparent' administration. might even spin himself into hero...exposing coruption of the administration for the good of our great city and rescuing other victims. it would be a neat trick if he could pull it off.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Asmar does possess the emails, video and documents he claims ... why shouldn't he, he created them?

The reality is that NOTHING ever happened on the 7th Floor without Asmar orchestrating it, from Maritime Park to directing the City Attorney to making personnel decisions.

Ask his attorney about the Maritime Park decisions and meetings he attended and his involvement with selecting Pate/Dana.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to ask his attorney.

Here is the email where Mike Broussard of Hatchmott is trying to beg off the project after Asmar directly (with witnesses) ordered him to hire friend of Mayor-Pate, EVEN THOUGH the Mayor had ZERO legal authority to pressure the CMPA contractor (Hatchmott)

From: Broussard, Michael []
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2011 8:47 AM
To: Edward Spears; Edward P. Fleming
Cc: Baxley, Charles; Steve Dana;
Subject: COR Contract Assignment
Importance: High


As you are aware, the COR has been requested by City Administration to place Jerry Pate Golf Design (JPGD) as a subconsultant on the team and to assign Steve Dana as the COR liaison/spokesperson to the CMPA and the City Administration. HMM had tentatively agreed to this with the understanding that COR services/responsibilities would remain as per our contract.

Upon CMPA execution of Change Order #8 dated 5/19/2011, the CMPA has provided that Steve Dana (JPGD) is designated as an Owner’s Designated Representative per Article A2.1.1 of the contract. While HMM has no issue whatsoever with this CMPA authorization, our in-house counsel will not allow JPGD as a subconsultant to the COR team due to the expanded responsibility per Article A2.1.1 and related concerns over liability.

As such, per Article 19 of our contract dated 8/14/2009, HMM has tentatively agreed to assign our COR contract to JPGD and JPGD has tentatively agreed to accept the assigned COR contract. Per Article 19, HMM will need prior written consent from the CMPA to complete the assignment. As part of the contract assignment, HMM has agreed to sub consult and other COR team members will need to agree to have their subconsultant agreements assigned to JPGD as well. This will retain the COR team intact and allow JPGD to serve as requested by the CMPA/City administration.

We respectfully request the CMPA to provide the necessary prior written consent for HMM to assign the COR contract to JPGD so that we may complete the process.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Charles Baxley.

Best regards,


Michael K. Broussard, P.E.

Senior Vice President

Commercial Director

5111 North 12th Avenue

Pensacola, FL 32504

T 850.484.6011

F 850.484.8199

vietnam veteran said...

sorry one put lady up to submitting harrassment one...yes i have first hand info on this matter.......the lady's claims are real, and were never withdrawn as quoted by eric and mayor..........asmar's unacceptable bad ways were widely known to all on 7th floor...from mayor to the secretaries...tolerated(and feared) by all as he actually "ran the city" while asmar was held in contempt by reynolds as he wanted to "run the city".......power hungry group..... with no mayor leadership (all style, no substance) two alpha type ex usmc officers fought for control of 7th unfortunate as both were highly capable individuals who lost their way in quest for control and power working in the leadership vacuum of 7th floor...yes, power corrupts.....