Corruption isn’t always a criminal act, most is simply immoral and ethically wrong. Here in Hardee County corruption is nothing new, it’s been around for a long time. Back in the Day an old timer stated “We are a state within a state, we make our own rules and we are covered all the way to the Governors office”. The question is, Is that true?
Most of you have read the information I have posted here on my site. Today, I want to go back through these issues and highlight the problems. Hopefully, you will see the flow and who all is involved. These issues have been sent to multiple people withing Local, State and even the Federal Gov.
This issue has multiple things wrong. As you read the information in the link above you can see for yourself that the City Charter states he must live in the Corporate City Limits. What is a City Charter you ask? A City Charter is the framework for a local government much like the Constitution forms the basis of State and Federal Gov. Some say this issue is “Petty” in nature. Those that believe that, ask yourself one question. Is it OK that the leaders of our Community are violating the code that makes up our local gov? If you the Citizen violate a City Code, do they “Let you slide?”. Seriously think about it. The very same people that make Citizens abide by laws, codes, etc are violating them. Is that OK?
Now, it’s not just the fact that he’s violating the Charter. He’s also, committing Homestead Exemption Fraud. Claiming homestead on a home you do not reside in is fraud. I submitted a request to the Property Appraiser’s office to investigate, that was months ago and have heard nothing since.
Who knows about this and does nothing? I’ve emailed City Commission multiple times and never get a response. Beverly Cone with the State Attorney’s office states it’s a local issue and must be taken up with Local Commission. Rachel Cook with Pam Bondi’s office also stated it’s a Local Issue and must be taken up with Local Officials. Two Florida Senators responded that I should take it up with our Senator, Denise Grimsley, which I did and she banned me from commenting on her Official Facebook page and Blocked me on Twitter, which is basically suppressing the public and violating our first amendment rights…
So the question remains, who can hold Local Officials accountable for their lack of actions? I reached out to an attorney on this issue, he stated “To compel the City Commission to act would probably involve a resident of Wauchula filing an injunction requiring them to take action or maybe filing a writ of mandamus which is a procedure in which a court compels a government official to carry out a ministerial function”. So essentially, a citizen would have to hire an attorney and pay out of pocket to make out Local Government abide by the Charter that is suppose to be the guidelines of how the City operates? Really? If you, the Citizens of Hardee County violate code, laws etc, do YOU get away with it? Just think, our Leaders are. To answer the question in the first sentence of this paragraph, it seems the Citizens are the only ones that can “try” and hold our officials accountable
This issue isn’t something new, it’s been brought up many times before but still as of today, nothing has been done.
As you read in the link above, you can see there are a few issues. One, County Officials did not go through the Clerk of Courts when handing out Millions of dollars. Law states all County funds MUST go through the Clerk of Courts. The other issue is the money that was spent. For instance, drying the Civic Center, invoices show the County paid out over 500k to dry a terrazzo floor? Then there was the repairs at Rest Haven. Watch the video below.
Again, Who knows about these issues and refuses to do anything? Emails have been sent to all Florida Senators, Pam Bondi and of course Rick Scott. Rachel at Pam Bondi’s office states we should go through the State Attorney’s office…Sad, but that’s already been done. The SA basically sat on this case until the statute of limitations expired, or so I have been told. Going through the State Attorney’s office is a joke in itself. See #3.
I’m not going into detail as you can read for yourself. But I will talk about the main issues.
- Jury Selection – The State Attorney did not select jurors from the 3 county circuit. all jurors were from Hardee County.
- Jury Selection – State Attorney and Judge Marcus Ezelle selected people that had Direct Conflicts, such as Juror Autumn Blum. This juror was at the time receiving funds from the same entity that was being Investigated. This juror also shared office space INSIDE the LifeSync building (Lease Agreement) at the time of the Investigation.
- Jury Deliberation – The jurors in the case did NOT have say so in the presentment. The State Attorney hand picked 3 jurors and the jury formen, Cogburn and went into a private room. The State Attorney created the presentment. All other jurors were asked to wait outside and sign. What’s the problem here?
- So at this point, Can the State Attorney’s office be Trusted? Did they break the LAW? This issue along with the others have also been sent to all Florida Senators, A few State Attorney’s in Florida and Rick Scott’s office. I can say I have sent hundreds of emails to Scott, with NO response. In the recent reply from Pam Bondi’s office, they for some odd reason, did not comment on this issue…
So, the quote by an old timer that I stated in the beginning is very much true “We are a state within a state, we make our own rules and we are covered all the way to the Governors office”. Local City and County officials are protected by the State Attorney, Senators Grimsley and Albritton and finally Governor Rick Scott.
This week, I’ll be sending emails to state officials in other states, just to bring more attention to these issues. Any and all Citizens are welcome to do the same. Here are all Local and State contacts.
Rick and Pam, now would be a good time to take action. Remember, This isn’t going away and it’s not the first time you had to intervene.