Corruption in a small town is a little different that larger communities. For instance, Wauchula is out in the middle of nowhere. Local news outlets either “Don’t cover the area” or “Are to busy with more important things”. This is one reason corruption continues. If there is no exposure, it just keeps going.
Two issues were brought to the attention of the State Attorney, Brain Haas.
Take a minute and read both pages. First off, when I reported the City Manager issue, the Chief Investigator at the State Attorney’s office stated, “It’s a local issues that you need to take up with City Commission”. So needless to say they refused to Investigate. So, then I reported a Commissioner for doing the same thing. Beverly Cone (Chief Investigator) actually started an investigation on this issue. We spoke a few times and when I asked what the outcome will be, she stated, “You reported it, you should know”. I actually laughed because I know how this shit works but I went along. I told her “I heard you were quit the bulldog, but the problem with bulldogs is, they have an owner”. In this case, Brain Haas is the owner. Beverly laughed and in a way, agreed. It’s like I told her, “it doesn’t matter what you find, Brian ultimately has the last word, so if Smith is guilty and you know it and have all the proof, Brain can still let him off”. When I told Beverly I could have more people contact her to confirm Commissioner Smith doesn’t live in his District, she stated “No, it’s ok, I have everything I need. He can do this the easy way or the hard way”.
So months go by and one day I get an email from Beverly Cone…
“I wanted to update you on the status of Commissioner Smith’s investigation regarding living within the city limits of Wauchula. Mr. Smith is currently residing within the city limits and as long as he continues to do so our office will not take any action against him. The case will remain in pending status until the end of his term or until a new violation occurs. We will not be investigating the City Manager’s residency as you have requested. That is an issue for the Wauchula City Commission to consider.”
And BAM, The bulldogs owner has spoken. So this Commissioner hasn’t lived in his District for years, gets reported and Brain Haas caves in. All of a sudden the Commissioner moves back in his District? And it’s OK? So essentially it’s like a Bank Robber getting arrested then saying, “I won’t do it again”, then gets released…Hell no, that shit doesn’t happen, Bank robber goes to jail…
I wanted a copy of their findings and all documentation but, because they are keeping the case “pending” till the end of his term, all information is exempt from public records requests. Here is the letter they sent me -> State Attorney’s response to public record request.
Now at this point they KNOW the Commissioner was wrong and well, guilty. They are also aware of the City manager that’s doing the same thing, but still tell us we have to take it up with Commission….Wait, the Same Commission that was just Investigated for the SAME thing? The same Commissioner that was arrested for Domestic battery? City Commission does nothing, why? lol, THEY ARE GUILTY TOO….Sorry, I can’t help but laugh at how high the Corruption goes and the fact that no one here will touch it, Including the State Attorney Brian Hass. I actually spoke to a few of his colleague’s off the record. They stated that Brain was a pretty fair guy but in the end, it’s all Political and if it’s a government official, he has to look at the political fallout. So basically Government officials are protected. Unless they are exposed publicly, which is another problem in Wauchula as stated in the beginning, No news outlets will cover this area. With no exposure, nothing happens. Sad but true.
So in the end, a Commissioner was violating the Charter. Haas let him off by letting him move back in his district. At the same time, the City Manager is still violating the charter and Haas refuses to look into it, even tho a Commissioner was guilty of the same thing. Haas says the City Manager issue is a local issues and we must talk to Commission. Make sense? So we all know the Commission will do nothing about the City Manager. Haas knows the Commission won’t to anything. So, WHO holds our Commission accountable?