Thursday, June 29, 2017

Peeling Back the "Independent" Fire Investigation

Remember the Fire Chief investigation?

Well often times as the smoke settles, what really happened becomes clearer to all.

Remember how Beggs & Lane was an "independent firm"?
How Russell Van Sickle was "independent" in his work?

Well lets peel back the onion on the independence of the investigation.

I have already shown that billing records indicate that Russell Van Sickle worked on other maters for the City, including:

  • Reviewing Eric Olson's employment agreement
  • Reviewing Tamara Fountain's employment issues

But billing records also indicate another attorney worked on the fire investigation:


Who is TLD?  A very nice lady named Terrie L. Didier.

Billing records indicate that Ms. Didier worked at least 4.8 hours on the fire chief investigation:

  • Review and make suggestions regarding investigative report.  

1st District Court of Appeals records reflect the following cases where she has directly represented the City of Pensacola:

16-412109/14/2016Merrill Land, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company, v. The City of Pensacola, a Florida Municipal Corporation, and

16-248105/31/2016The City of Pensacola v. Seville Harbour, Inc.,

13-67102/12/2013Stephen Rhodes v. City of Pensacola and

11-669712/15/2011City of Pensacola Fire v. Christopher Eadler

She may be nice, but she is NOT INDEPENDENT.  She is the City's attorney.  In fact two of the above cases, she represented the City AGAINST FIREMEN.

Finally, in the Beggs & Lane contract with the City she is directly listed as an attorney for the City.

See page 3

Potential Deposition questions for TLD and RFV:
  • What changes did she "recommend"?
  • Who asked her to get involved?
  • Does she consider herself independent from the City? In fact?  In appearance?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I Bet United (City Customer) Will Think This is Funny...What Do You Think?

Email from Amy Miller to Airport Director and Assistant Airport Director. I'll let you know United's official response regarding the City of Pensacola's Airport Director and Port Director's humor when I receive it.

From: Amy Miller 
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:51 PM
To: Dan Flynn
Cc: Danita Andrews ; Andrea Kvech ; Clark Merritt
Subject: RE: New Southwest Airlines Slogan

Hey Dan – I somehow neglected to include you in the original transmission. Sometimes my fingers work faster than my brain. Anywho…

From: Amy Miller
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:48 PM
To: Danita Andrews ; Andrea Kvech ; Clark Merritt
Subject: New Southwest Airlines Slogan


Monday, June 26, 2017

Clark Merritt Spam Folder Contents

April 9 - 23 Spam

  • 16 for ED medication
  • 5 for depression medication
  • 1 for retirement tips
  • 1 for personal appearance

April 10 - 28 Spam

  • 14 for ED medication
  • 1 for marijuana zoning and land use
  • 1 for finding local milfs
  • 1 for local savings
  • 1 on Palm Sunday Massacres
  • 1 for Certified Port Executives
  • 1 from the career bookstore
  • 1 from paypal..His account will be closed soon
  • 1 for Soft Skill solutions for the workplace
  • 1 for Effective communication for Government employees
  • 1 for living safely
  • 1 for Current issues in Public Dog Park Development
  • 1 One for Wood arts and crafts
  • 1 One for Lorman Government training
  • 1 for depression medication
April 11 - 24 Spam
  • 4 for ED medication
  • 1 from NAIOP
  • 1 on drafting a green ordinance
  • 4 for depression medication
  • 4 for biotech stocks
  • 2 for infections
  • 1 for a port study
  • 2 about a career kit
  • 1 about Drones
  • 1 about easily finding a girlfriend for sex
  • 2 about effective government communications
  • 1 about form based zoning
April 12 - 28 spam
  • 4 for ED medication
  • 6 phishing
  • 1 from the game bricklayer
  • 3 about depression medication
  • 5 about tech stock investing
  • 1 about government email...public or private record?
  • 1 about HUD housing
  • 1 about industrial marine terminals
  • 1 about identity technology
  • 1 about social media mistakes
  • 4 about career building
April 13 - 28 spam
  • 6 for ED medication
  • 4 about tech stock investing
  • 1 about drafting effective easements
  • 1 about Electronic billboards
  • 1 about lasix
  • 3 about infections
  • 1 about fighting ISIS
  • 1 about government email
  • 1 about dry dock training conference
  • 1 about Portcon 2017
  • 1 about Marijuana zoning
  • 1 from sustainable Florida
  • 3 phishing
  • 3 about career development
April 14 - 32 spam
  • 7 about ED medication
  • 1 about finding local milfs
  • 1 about depression medication
  • 1 about Infections
  • 13 phishing
  • 1 about fulfillment centers
  • 1 about easement valuation
  • 1 April edition of American Security Today
  • 3 career oriented
  • 1 from Forbes
  • 1 from HLPFI
  • 1 about fighting ISIS

Thursday, June 22, 2017

City Can't Find Bidders...So Screw Bellingham that Stepped Up by Extending the Deadline


From: Clark Merritt
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2017 2:15 PM
To: 'Castells, Dustin (' ; 'Johns, Casey'
Subject: FW: Bid information: Bid No. 17-020, Port of Pensacola Ferry Landing Waterside Features - ADDENDUM ONE

Dustin – Casey

We had to release an addendum to answer questions. Also, due to the minimal response we have extended the bid due date from 21 April to 9 May. It is projected that this will gain us at least two additional bidders (thought we only were going to have one bidder again!!).

Thanks – have a great Easter



From: Clark Merritt
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:12 AM
To: George Maiberger ; Rebecca Donahue
Cc: JR McGuire ; Keith Wilkins
Subject: Ferry Bid - 2 week extension


In the best interest of the project and competitive bids, please issue an addendum to extended the ferry waterside bid due date to 5 May (2 weeks).


M. Clark Merritt
Business Development
Port Pensacola | an enterprise of the City of Pensacola
PO Box 889 Pensacola, FL 32591
850-436-5074 (office) | 850-619-6299 (cell) |

Florida has a very broad public records law. As a result, any written communication created or received by City of Pensacola officials and employees will be made available to the public and media, upon request, unless otherwise exempt. Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this office. Instead, contact our office by phone or in writing.

From: Clark Merritt
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 10:25 AM
To: JR McGuire ; 'Pophal, Steven E'
Subject: RE: Pensacola Ferry Questions

I am too … who can we call to maybe bid this? If we only get one bid, FDOT is first going to ask us to extend the bid period for two weeks and that we have reached out to vendors.

I need to warn George that this might happen.

From: JR McGuire
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 8:44 AM
To: 'Pophal, Steven E' ; Clark Merritt
Subject: RE: Pensacola Ferry Questions

Thanks, I’m afraid they are going to be our only bidder again.

J Robert (Robbie) McGuire
Construction and Facilities Manager
City of Pensacola
Public Works & Facilities Department
2757 N. Palafox St
Pensacola FL 32501
850-436-5509 Office
982-9681 Cell
850-595-1012 Fax

From: Pophal, Steven E []
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 8:42 AM
To: JR McGuire <>; Clark Merritt <>
Subject: RE: Pensacola Ferry Questions

Yes, all question responses will be provided as addendum so that all prospective bidders get the same information. To date, I have no other bidder’s questions besides Bellingham’s.

I am trying to set up a call with Bellingham to go over their question concerning pile design criteria for Tuesday morning. Afterwards, I can draft Addendum #1 and send to you all.

Steven E. Pophal
Senior Project Manager, Intermodal Ports


From: JR McGuire []
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 7:46 AM
To: Pophal, Steven E <>; Clark Merritt <>
Subject: Fwd: Pensacola Ferry Questions

Steve, I'm sure you are aware that you need to send the answers to these questions to us not directly to the bidder. An official addendum will have to be sent out. Thanks

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:
From: Bryce Fisher <>
Date: April 10, 2017 at 6:41:04 AM CDT
To: "Pophal, Steven E" <>
Cc: "" <>, "" <>
Subject: Pensacola Ferry Questions

Here is a list of questions for the ferry project. I understand we will be discussing Item number 1 sometime today. I am traveling, but could make either time between flights. Can we look at tomorrow for a call?

1.       Will you accept our structural engineers piling design, or will the engineer of record stamp and seal the project as specified?
2.       Will the fender pile alternative with HDPE Pipe Sleeve be accepted in lieu of the D Fendering specified for the concrete pile?
3.       Are the restrictions still in place on vibratory hammer for pile driving? If so will they be lifted?
4.       The Cleat pictures in the specifications is an 18” SS Cleat boat cleat. Will you accept an 18” Galvanized Thru Bolted Mooring Cleat?
5.       Clarify. The gangway will connect directly to the existing seawall cap. The detail drawings in the specifications still show a transition platform?

Bryce Fisher | Manager of Project Development
C: (409)935-3499 / E:

Home Office
307 Westerly Drive
Tiki Island, TX 77554

Bellingham Marine – Main Office
1813 Dennis Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Public Records Reveal

I have received my public records requests regarding the port collusion between the Port Director and her subordinate involving the termination of a long term employee:

Some interesting items I will share over the next week.

  • It appears the latest port RFP for someone to operate the soon-to-fail ferry system was held up past the RFP deadline to allow others to propose.
  • Amy Miller directly implicates both Olson and Hayward in the termination of the employee
  • Olson appears to sign off on the termination on April 28, over a month before the termination
  • Port and Airport management used their city email accounts to send inappropriate emails that some of their airline customers may not find humorous
  • The spam folders of both Miller and Merritt have many "interesting" items
  • Both Miller and Merritt use their City accounts to receive numerous personal emails
  • Miller and Merritt appear to spend more time being tour guides than port management
  • Merritt gets immediate emails with anything put up on THE PULSE.
  • City Staff (over 6 people) are spending huge amounts of time on the soon-to-fail ferry
  • Instead of running a Port that is failing, Amy Miller is spending her time trying to bring "tiny houses" to Pensacola's public land
  • The Molly Ringwald's played Seville Quarter on April 14
  • Seville Quarter had champagne and oysters on April 13
  • All directors get the Mayor's AM 1620 podcast emailed to them by Vernon Stewart

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Public Record: The Collusion Goes Forward

After the email back and forth between Port Director Amy Miller and subordinate Clark Merritt over false promotions to funnel more money to Merritt and Shep Coggin, in-law to a 7th floor insider, by firing a long term City employee, the following memo was sent by Miller to Eric Olson regarding the proposed changes.

Miller Memo to Olson

Recall, this is two months before the action occurred.

Is this legal?  HR folks and attorneys please weigh in

So now Eric Olson should expect to be deposed about inconsistent treatment once he was aware of this collusion.

Why no admin leave for Miller and Merritt?  Because Admin leave is just for EEOC complaints?

Why no "independent investigation"?

In for a penny, in for a pound...Mr. Olson, !

Monday, June 12, 2017

Port Collusion: Undeniable Proof

Below is one of the documents that I have regarding the collusion between Port Director Amy Miller and her direct report Clark Merritt regarding terminating a long time City employee for Merritt's personal gain.

Nothing about this "plan" saves the taxpayers $1.

At the time of this email, the employee was out on personal leave.

On April 11, 2017, the unqualified Merritt who had absolutely ZERO port experience when he was reassigned from City Hall to the port, is forwarded an email from the Port Director sharing that the Port employee will be out one more week on personal leave.

Question 1:  Is it proper HR procedure for a Department head to forward a direct reports email concerning PTO to another subordinate?

The two subordinates merely work in the same office.  Neither has cross job responsibilities.  The Port employee informs every person she liaises with of her absence.

Question 2:  Obviously from the response Miller gets from Merritt, the two have discussed the collusive plan previously.  How long has the Port employee been subjected to this HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT with her boss and another peer plotting her demise?

Also on April 11, 2017, Merritt responds to Miller begging for a promotion to Assistant or Deputy Port Director, a job he is totally unqualified for and does not exist in the City's job classification system.

Question 3:  Is it proper HR procedure for direct reports to lobby their supervisor to terminate another employee not in their chain of command in order to promote them?

Question 4:  Who is managing the Port anyway?  Merritt or Miller?  Are the inmates running the asylum?

Question 5:  How does running a Navy department repairing aircraft (actually run by Chiefs) qualify this yip yo to be Assistant Port Director?

Question 6:  Has Merritt ever brought $1 of revenue to the Port in his marketing position?

Finally, Miller responds she is already working on the job changes to eliminate the long term City employee and who she is going to reassign the work to and give raises to.

Question 7:  Is it proper HR procedure for a Department head to discuss the termination of another employee to that employee's peer?

Question 8:  Was HR ever informed of this plot?

Question 9:  Did Miller tell HR or Olson she was conspiring with Merritt to effect this change?

Remember this is April!!  Merritt knows two months ago that Miller is trying to FIRE his peer and the proposed plot!!

Ed Sisson, you can either take action on Miller and Merritt or:

  • expect to see these documents again when you are deposed.
  • be able to explain how this collusion between a Department head and her subordinate to fire another City employee for the professional and financial gain of one of her peers is acceptable.
  • be able to explain how this plot that has been in the works for over two months DID NOT CREATE A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT for the employee.
Chiefs take note.  For the Port employee, time to get Counsel.

More docs are on the way!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Late Breaking

The Port restructuring has occurred exactly as described recently in my blog.

The collusion between Amy Miller and Clark Merritt has occurred as depicted.

Heartbroken for another Hayward victim.

Friday Funny: From the City Archives

I was reviewing port studies in the City archives when I came across this jewel.

Wonder if Grandpa Ashton Hayward ever imagined it would be his grandson and namesake that would finally ruin the Port of Pensacola and turn it into farmers markets, marine research, condos and service jobs.

Hayward was recently in the paper admitting he has failed to make the Port successful as a Port and is now looking at gimmicks.

"...he said that because the port is only about 50 acres and also competes with other ports in Mobile, Alabama, and Panama City, officials must consider new uses for the site."

Grandpa must be so proud!  His namesake ended up being the Mayor whose failure ended the 458 years of Port operations in Pensacola.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A History of Port Studies

I reviewed the City files for all Port studies paid for and put on record in the City Archives.Below is a summary:

June 1, 1962  - City of Pensacola Waterfront Study Report and Recommendations

June 1, 1972 - Shoreline Management Plan for the Escambia Santa Rosa Region

August 9, 1973 - Proposal to move the entire current port to the current site of the Maritime Park and Bruce Beach....with a lot of fill in of current Pensacola Bay

November 10, 1988 - Port Advisory Board Report

January 26, 1989 - Port Advisory Committee Recommendation

August 6, 1993 - Evaluation of Privatization of Port of Pensacola

Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce Port Task Force  1993-1994 - The Executive Committee of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce resolved that in order to optimize the potential of the Port, it supports the creation of a Regional Port Authority.

February 11, 1994 - Pensacolasizing Port Review

April 4, 1994 - Appointments - Citizens Committee for the Study of a Regional Port Authority

June 9, 1994 - Port of Pensacola General Cargo Market Demand Analysis and Capital Infrastructure Requirements Study

August 22, 1996 - Acceptance of and Concurrence with the Report of the City Manager's Port Advisory Committee

January 2, 1997 - Proposed Interlocal Agreement and Special Legislative Act Regarding the Formation of a Regional Port Authority.

February 11,1997 - Port Aviation and Related Facilities Element Evaluation and Appraisal

October 14, 1999 - Urban Design Associates - Waterfront Development Plan

November 18, 1999 - "A group of private sector developers represented by Mr. Brian Spencer has advised the City Manager of their intent and interest to conduct a privately funded study on alternative uses for the Port of Pensacola."

February 28, 2000 - Analysis of the Economic and Fiscal Impact of Florida Seaports

July 22, 2004 - Main Street and Port Access Study Final Report

December 6, 2004 - Port of Pensacola Business Strategic Analysis Final Report to Pensacola City Council Volumes 1 and 2

August 25, 2008 - TPO Inland Port Intermodal Terminal Feasibility Study

January 5, 2012 - Mayor Haywards Port Advisory Committee recommends Offshore Industry

September 27, 2013 - CBRE Real Property Market Analysis & Recommendations for Port

November 14, 2016 - Discussion of the Port Economic Feasibility Study Committee

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Beginning of the End of 458 Years of The Port of Pensacola

City Council Agenda for this Week


That City Council accept and approve the following names of four (4) individuals for service on this Committee and add an additional member at a later date and that an initial meeting date be established for this committee to meet.

  • John Myslak 
  • Bill Greenhut 
  • Donnie McMahon 
  • Joe Meeks 
"Currently Occupied By" is code for "Not Futurely Occupied By"

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Port Collusion: The public records request

This is the public records request I made of the City a week ago.

  • All City emails to and from Amy Miller from April 10 to April 15, 2017
  • All City emails to and from Clark Merritt from April 10 to April 15, 2017
  • All memos or emails to or from Eric Olson or Edward Sisson regarding, port staffing, Glenda White, Port restructuring, Clark Merritt or any port HR matters January 2017 to May 31, 2017
Now we wait.  Tick Tick Tick.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Accreditation Stickers are coming off the Police Cars

As first noted on this blog, the City's Police Department lost its state accreditation in March.

As more has come out, it really came down to the examiners treatment by a few PPD officers and the then Chiefs lack of engagement in the process.

Despite hoping to be able to correct the debacle, PPD has begun removing the Accreditation shields from their vehicles.

Then Assistant Chief Lyter stated they hoped to have accreditation back by summer.  My sources tell me its two years before the accreditation can be restored.

Its OK PPD, you have our accreditation!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Collusion At The Port: Next Steps

I know that by now you have figured out that I have documentation already concerning the "alleged" collusion at the Port between Amy Miller and Clark Merritt to deprive Glenda White, a long term employee, of her job in order to funnel an additional $10,000 each to 2 employees, Merritt and another employee, Shep Coggin.

My sources tell me the second employee planned to be given a $10,000 share of Glenda White's salary upon her release, Shep Coggin, is a relative of the City Attorney's Assistant Janet Matteson.
This is unconfirmed.

Yesterday I made a public records request that, if fulfilled, would capture all the documents I have in my possession already and others I know about.  I can't disclose the documents I already have officially until the records request is complied with.  That way the City has to provide all documents or gets to explain to the State Attorney why I have documents that the City didn't turn over as part of my request.

Other items of note:

  • As of today, there is no job classification for Assistant Port Director
  • Amy Miller has failed to perform her job as detailed in the job classification for Port Director. Her job classification states: 
    • Selects personnel for the department, participates in the training and development of personnel, and responsible for various personnel matters (i.e., disciplinary action, etc.) in cooperation with Human Resources.
  • Amy Miller circumvented HR in the case of Glenda White by allegedly conspiring with a direct report to terminate her for the direct reports financial gain outside the knowledge of HR.
  • The City Employee Manual states: Discrimination against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention, discipline or any other aspect of personnel administration or non‐merit factors because of political or religious opinions or affiliations, or because of race, age, sex, disability, national origin, marital status, or any other legally protected status is prohibited.  
  • The HR Manual also states: Performance evaluations should be conducted annually, on the anniversary of entry into the classification.  However, new employees should be introduced to the rating criteria within the first two weeks of employment.  Supervisors should use this time to explain specific responsibilities and expectations so there are no surprises when the first evaluation occurs.    If an employee is experiencing performance issues during the year, supervisors should meet to discuss performance issues and expectations in an effort to correct the problems and answer questions the employee may have.    These sessions should be documented. Supervisors are encouraged to document performance on a continual basis.  Make daily or weekly notes about positive and negative performance, since the annual evaluation should represent performance for the entire year.  Documentation should be behavior‐ based.  For example, documenting what the employee said or what the employee did— these objective notes will be beneficial during the rating process.
  • The Manual continues: When the employee’s anniversary date approaches and it’s time to conduct the evaluation, the supervisor is responsible for reviewing and rating the employee on the approved form.  The supervisor should meet privately with the employee to discuss both positive and negative behavior during the rating period.    The form contains a section for employees to submit a written response to any performance evaluation.   Written responses must be free of profane, discriminatory, abusive, or inflammatory language. After the supervisor meets with the employee and the employee has an opportunity to comment, the rating supervisor’s supervisor is asked to review and sign the evaluation form.
A INWeekly investigation revealed that Glenda White's last employee evaluation was done in 2008.