Thursday, October 6, 2016
Mayor Hayward and Judge Rodgers Favorite Charity Housing Sex Offenders In Houses by School Bus Stop
Long read...but WOW! Stay tuned. I will be digging in to look at this.
Hon. M. Casey Rodgers
Chief Judge US. District Judge
Northern District of Florida
Arnow Federal Building
100 North Palafox St.
Pensacola, Fl 32502 October 4, 2016
RE: Illegal Activity at REAP
Dear Judge Rodgers,
Even though you don’t serve on its board, as the founder, promoter, endorser, and lobbyist for REAP, I know you will find the following information disturbing.
On July 28, 2016 I read an article in the Pensacola News Journal in which Re-Entry Alliance of Pensacola (REAP) Executive Director, Rick Dye, was asking owners of substandard and condemned houses in Escambia County to rent said houses to REAP. For several months I've been hearing complaints from the mothers of schoolchildren that there were several houses in Brownsville housing sex offenders and predators. These particular houses, side-by-side, house six sex offenders each, with an additional half-dozen in tents in the backyards. It's my understanding that these mothers had a school bus stop relocated from in front of the offending houses. I called the number provided in the PNJ article and reached Rick Dye. I asked Mr. Dye if he had sex offenders in REAP houses located on Lynch St. in Brownsville. When he answered in the affirmative, I told him that these houses were zoned for single-family housing. Mr. Dye told me to sue him in court. As children you and I have heard the expression “ sue me” many times by both children and adults - it's an American expression. But I have never heard anyone say sue me in court. His hubris statement was an attempt to use your position on the federal bench to silence me -I hope you find that as troubling as I do.
On August 5, I requested in writing the 1023 or 1024 and the 990 forms from the president of REAP, a 501 (c) 3. Both the President and the Executive Director refused to comply with my request for public financial documents. Instead I was set upon by the organization's “Operations Manager” in a telephone call at 3:48 CST on August 10, 2016. The call originated from 850-324-6667, REAP’s office. In that conversation a Mr. Vince Whibbs asked me why I wanted the documents; then proceeded to tell me why I was not going to get them. Mr. Whibbs seemed to have considerable knowledge of the law; when I asked him if he was an attorney, he hung up. Being relatively new to Pensacola I was not familiar with his name. As it turns out he is better known as “Vinnie Whibbs”, and yes he is an attorney - a disbarred attorney. The Florida Supreme Court disbarred Mr. Whibbs for embezzling $680,000 from client escrow accounts, and a jury convicted Whibbs of three felony counts of embezzlement – he was sentenced to four years in prison. Mr. Whibbs does not get a third bite from the judicial apple. As an attorney, disbarred or not, he has degreed knowledge that he lied to the public to protect his client-employer, and he did it from REAP’s office. I believe a jury would agree that he was practicing law without a license.
As you well know, REAP is a state and federally chartered 501(c) 3 with a mission to transition criminals from jail and prison into productive citizens in of Florida, a noble ambition that has gone terribly wrong. Mr. Dye, in his initial pitch to the people of Pensacola in 2014 explained that REAP was only going to assist individuals with minor offenses (like shoplifting) to re-enter the workforce. You can actually hear Mr. Dye explain to Rick Outzen (Inweekly Newspaper) on Outzen’s WCOA radio show that REAP will not be housing any violent criminals. Listen here -- http://ricksblog.biz/ps-podcast-rick-dye-on-reentry-alliance-of-pensacola/ In the last two minutes of the broadcast you can hear in Mr. Dye's own voice that only young men and women with minor offenses will be housed in REAP housing. No part of that statement is true. I can find no young men or ANY women housed in REAP houses. I could only find hard-core middle-aged convicted multiple sex offenders housed at Florida taxpayer’s expense in Brownsville. These are not twenty-something men who fell in love with high school girls. The men housed in some of REAP housing are some of Florida's worst sex offenders. They are sex offenders, child molesters, and men who cross state lines to have sex with minors. You'll find these individuals in houses under the control of REAP in Escambia County, and within the city limits of Pensacola. Here is a link to just two REAP houses. On the address line type in – 909 or 911 Lynch St, click on the zip code button and type in 32505. http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/searchNeighborhood.do?actionPerformed=neighborhoodSearchMain You can click on the flyer for each man for their criminal record; I couldn't find any shoplifters. But I did find five-time offenders, and offenders from as far away as Cook County Illinois.
At first blush this may appear to be a “ Not in my backyard issue”, quite the opposite. Mr. Dye, along with REAP's board, and you represented the organization as an asset to Pensacola. Mr. Dye introduced himself as a retired banker who moved from Panama City to help the troubled youth of Pensacola. He went into great detail on how he was going to prevent young offenders from returning to jail. He was going to keep unemployed young women from returning to prostitution in order to feed their drug habit. It was a very good pitch. The organization received land for a community garden, fund-raisers, and a $106,000 grant from Impact 100. Everyone bought into the program including the Florida State Legislature with a check for $200,000.
Here is what we actually got. It turns out that Mr. Dye was Region Bank’s local president in Panama City. After Region received one of the largest TARP bailouts -$3.5 Billion, Mr. Dye took a bail out for himself. Using the legislature, the judicial system, and a politician turned banker, REAP began to systematically lease, rent, or borrow single-family homes that failed to meet minimal housing standards. He then started placing released convicted sex offenders, and sexual predators in the houses. He charges them $100 a week. That's $400 a month for one room (2 men per room). With six men per house that would generate $2400 in rent per month per house, or $28,800 per year. That's a lot of money for houses that appraise for $16,000, and could easily be purchased for $8,000. But there's more, according to Mr. Dye in addition to paying rent the boarders rehab the houses. So in addition to receiving rent on a house that normally could not be rented, the homeowner is getting his house rehabbed. Who is going to say no to that offer, certainly not the homeowner, or the felons – it beats prison. It's unclear what REAP charges the original owner for its ex-convict labor. It's also unclear whether REAP is paying its clients for their labor. Six of the seven REAP board member are lawyers, one specializes in sex crimes, child abuse, and child pornography. How many of his clients live in REAP houses and is that a conflict? As you now know only the board has the right to know.
Simply put, the people of Pensacola are victims of bait and switch. In an attempt to receive additional grant funding it’s necessary for the boys at REAP to keep their numbers up. Smalltime offenders go home to their families when released, but no one wants a sex offender around their children, even if he is a relative. The simple solution is to include sex offenders in the REAP program in an attempt to keep their client numbers high enough to justify additional grant money. There's nothing really unique here. You pick “ Mr. Clean” who has no experience with ex-cons, to be president of the board. When he is asked to fulfill a legal requirement of financial disclosure, he passes that responsibility to an incompetent former bank president, who in turn releases his bulldog disbarred lawyer to intimidate the public that has legitimate questions about the organization. I do have to give them kudos for the disbarred attorney; that I've never seen before.
It also unclear whether the $200,000 Florida State grant is being used to rehab privately owned houses. If indeed that is the case, who gets to pick the homeowners who benefit from that program? Where are the houses, and how much money is being spent? It's embarrassing for me to be unable to give you more details, but unfortunately I have been denied access to public financial documents by a convicted embezzler. It would be very easy to extrapolate the total revenue generated by this questionable business model, but I don't know the total number of houses or their locations, and neither do you. The location of the houses cannot be traced because they are still in the original owner's name, they could be next door to anyone, but I doubt if they are next door to you. With the help of county officials we were able to locate the owner of the Lynch Street houses. The owner is Gulf Coast Community Bank. It appears that Mr. Dye used his banking connections to make the bank an offer they couldn't refuse. REAP gets the use of the foreclosed houses that don't meet code, and the bank can now satisfy the regulators who are complaining about non-performing bank assets. If REAP’s sex offenders are rehabbing the bank owned houses with taxpayer money, and the bank then sells them - who gets the money? I would like to give you more details concerning that operation, but as you now know the public has been told by a convicted felon that we have no right to see the financial records of the not-for-profit organization that you helped create. I will not be accepting any financials from REAP; at this point they would have no credibility. However, we do know that in past audits the FDIC found $6 million in insider loans at the bank, and the bank lost $500,000 in 2015. They also found that there were several non - performing assets owned by the bank; that would be the foreclosed houses -now called REAPER houses by the neighborhood children. After several complaints to both Zoning and Code Enforcement, on March 7, 2016 a VP at the bank emailed Rick Dye to say, “ Maybe this isn't a good idea going forward”. However, the houses are still there, they are still owned by the bank, and they still house 13 sex offenders and predators in violation of Escambia County zoning laws.
Judge Rogers, does the above scenario meet your threshold for RICO?
You may assess this letter to be a personal attack on you; I assure you it's not. When my sons throw a baseball through a neighbor's window - I get the phone call. When you, using your position as a federal court judge, create an organization that places women and children in harm's way - you get the letter. If and when the citizens of Escambia County decided to relax zoning regulations it will be done by the county commissioners, not from the bench of a sitting federal judge. And it will not be for the benefit of child molesters.
These offenders will not only create another victim, but also another offender. That is a documented scientific fact. Should you want to challenge that science, I invite you to explore the archives at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. Or you can call Sheriff David Morgan, and have him explain to you why the doctor in Perdido Key convicted of child molesting and released on probation, will strike again. Sheriff Morgan doesn't need the results of social experiments; he has years in the trenches
The people of Brownsville are ill equipped to defend themselves from this program funded by their own tax dollars, and endorsed by a federal judge. That is why REAP is in Brownsville. The well-heeled and legally represented residents of Pensacola refused to even allow a simple probation office in their neighborhood. I'm certainly not going to allow this organization to move sex offenders into mine. From the time of slavery through the world wars the downtrodden people of Brownsville have finally emerged from their despair. Many years ago Mr. May told his children “You can't save the world if you can't save your neighborhood”. One of his sons now represents Brownsville on the Board of Commissioners. Last week Mr. Underhill, the other Brownsville Commissioner, said “ Each time with one of these organizations, when you start rolling back the layers of obfuscation you find that you don't have what you really thought you had”.
Brownsville is now recognized by Florida as a CRA geographic - demographic entity, with a neighborhood board that will soon be recognized by the federal and state governments as a 501(c) 3. I contend that REAP is discriminating against a class of people numbering 34,000, and is violating my civil rights. That is a class that civil rights lawyers dream about. In your efforts to create a program that would receive national recognition, and thus boost your personnel status among the judicial elite, you have totally disregarded the civil rights of the people you have sworn to serve in Florida's Northern District.
REAP was created without any supervision, and is now a ticking time bomb in Pensacola. The sex offenders in REAP houses will offend again. Several are repeat offenders with up to five convictions already! When REAP’s “clients” strike again it will take less than a New York minute for the Cable News Networks, and activists, to Google pedophile-Pensacola, and up pops the story of the United States Attorney from Pensacola who traveled to Detroit to have sex with a five-year-old girl. Those news videos are still running on the Internet in which he is quoted as saying he has done it before-“plenty of times”. This time the headlines would read “Pensacola -US Attorney pedophile –REAP- program by federal judge”. Only those that listened closely, and read deeper would know that it was just a bad coincidence.
Sandra Day O'Connor said from the bench “ Appearances are reality”
The realities are that REAP:
Violated IRS statutes by denying the public access to 501(c) 3 financial documents
Violated IRS statutes by denying the public access to its 501(c) 3 application
Violated IRS statutes against lobbying – at several levels.
Violated Escambia County Florida Zoning Regulations
Violated Escambia County Code Enforcement Statutes
Discriminated against a designated class of individuals in violation of four US statutes
Conspired to violate the civil rights of a US citizen – me!
Elected officials should be most concerned about the incredible career ending tragedy of yet another sexual assault by a REAP client on their watch. In Purdue University's political science 101 it’s referred to as the Willie Horton affect. Mr. Dye is very aware of the Escambia County zoning laws; he has already been thrown out of a motel in Pensacola. So now with the help of his banking cohorts he is operating in Brownsville, where he thinks no one will notice or care. All sex offenders must register so we know their location, but REAP feels we have no right to know where the REAP houses are. In that way the public will never know if newly arrested sex offenders were living in REAP houses at taxpayer expense – like the 26 that were just arrested. Rick Dye will be pitching REAP to neighborhood groups this week, that concerns me. He is risking the reputation and goodwill of a lot of good people, including you, with his runaway agenda.
Judge Rogers, I am formally requesting that prior to Halloween, you use your influence with REAP to move the REAPER houses out of Brownsville.
Fredric G. Levin
Escambia Board of Commissioners
Pensacola City Council