Over the past 6 to 8 months I have been looking into some local government issues in my home town. We aren’t very big, population in the city is only about 5k. Corruption comes in many shapes and forms. It can be as simple as the City Manager giving away free meals at his restaurant to employee’s that do as he says or jobs given to close friends and even family members.
Cities and Counties like any other form of Government, create Policies and procedures for internal purposes and ordinances and codes for the community. Let’s say an employee of the City is violating a policy written by the City. The employee is reprimanded or at times even terminated. But what if the person violating these Policies and Procedures is one of the ones that actually writes them? Who is responsible for taking action and holding that person accountable? Normally that could be the City or County Commission. But what if they ignore the public and allow certain City employee’s to continue violating policy, procedures and contracts?
This is the point I have made it too. So I contacted the State Attorney Brian Haas in Bartow. We exchanged a few emails and at one point he had his Chief Investigator contact me. Only to be told that my “Issues” were local issues and that I would have to talk to the local commission (to me it’s like being told, We are aware there is a drug problem, but you have to take it up with the dealer). So I did. On June 19th 2017 I sent an email to City officials and all City Commission members and asked for a response, I also included the State Attorney’s response in the email. Beverly Cone the Chief Investigator for the State Attorney’s office advised that I need to confront the City on these issues.
About 6 days later I still have had NO response at all from the City or any of the Commissioners. So, I sent another email and gave them till the following Monday to respond.
The next day I received a response, but not what I expected. Seems they took my last email as a threat. Seriously? But anyway, I replied that same day.
Today is Aug 4th 2017 and I have still had NO response from the City regarding the issues I asked them to address and respond to. So I thought I would let the State Attorney know that I took their advice and made contact with the City but the City wouldn’t respond. She responded with an invitation to meet so that we can discuss this further. At this point I thought maybe she was sincere and maybe they would investigate further, but at the same time there was this little feeling in the back of my head telling me……Trust No One.
So after a few emails back and forth I got the feeling that the ONLY point of this meeting was for them to confirm the identity of the Ghost Seems my feeling were right. I had asked if I didn’t meet them in person, would they still investigate my concerns. A few BS emails later, It was confirmed. They had NO intention of looking in my concerns, it was simply to confirm my actual identity. (Always go with your gut feeling, it’s usually right, plus, Gov’s lie) Below are the emails.
So yes, I’m very disappointed but not surprised. Sometimes we do have to take the Legal road and at least try and get things done the right way. However, what do you do when no one will do anything? Who is responsible for holding Cities and Counties accountable for their actions. Well, It’s the Councils and Commissions, but if they are just as corrupt as the officials that are violating Policies, Procedures and Contracts, nothing ever gets done. So I’ve learned that the State wont get involved because it’s a local issue. Feds wont touch this issue because it’s well, not federal. So where do we go next? I hate to say it but this is when Sites get taken down servers are melted and a lot of other bad things happen, and why? Because the System is Broke. Yet when that happens we are the ones that are arrested and jailed…Well, not me, yet. 🙂
The Issue that I was trying to get looked at is simple. The City Manager is violating his employment contract and the City Charter. This is the guy that writes Policies and Procedures for the City. City Employees are required to sign a form stating they received the Policy Manual. If they violate anything in said manual, they are either disciplined or terminated. So, What about the City Manager? More info here:
Original Blog here:
I even went so far as to contact local media outlets including our local paper. Which I am very disappointed in them as well. Someone contacted me about this issues, a citizen, he stated he contacted the paper too and asked them to investigate. Yet he said they never responded. Here is his email.
After receiving the above email, I thought I too would contact the Herald Advocate to see if they were looking into it.
So far, they never replied to Jack or myself. Herald Advocate, Prove me wrong about you. Email me. I even sent to other local outlets only to get told that they don’t cover this area. Yes, I live in the Bermuda triangle of Florida.
So back to the title of this blog, Why Corruption exists in small towns and why it will continue. Why? Because there is no one to hold them accountable.
Of the citizens here, part of them are friends of the guilty and the rest are afraid to stand up in fear of losing their jobs. Many have come forward telling me they wish they could help but they need their jobs. I completely understand, that’s why I am here. That’s why I will continue to push corruption issues in small towns. Seriously, what can they do to me? They already took everything. I have nothing to lose.
Mr Scott, This is a serious problem not only here in Hardee County, but in other Cities and Counties throughout Florida, my question to you is, What are you going to do about it? In the meantime, I’m asking all Florida residents and especially citizens of Hardee County to contact not only Rick Scott, but all Florida Senators. Forward them this blog and push them to start looking into Local Corruption.
Gov Rick Scott: email@example.com
State Attorney Brian Haas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Senators Emails: Click Here
Have a Great Night & Sail Safe,
PS: For those afraid to speak up. You can do it anonymously, Email me and I’ll walk you through it. 😉