Need an Experienced Licensed and Insured Electrician? Contact Harold Sapp

Neither Joe nor I are blessed with the ability to handle electrical, carpentry and mechanical problems like many.  We can design what we need but to do the simple tasks we need someone like our friend Tom Salter (who also does a lot of work for Fat Belly’s) to come to the rescue.

But when someone needs a licensed and Insured Electrician, we have a great referral for you.  Tom Salter referred us to Harold Sapp of Ace Electric of North Florida.  Mr. Sapp found an electrical problem that stifled all of us within less than a half-hour so that everything was in perfect working order.  We are very impressed with Mr. Sapp’s work and would recommend him to anyone needing a licensed and insured electrician who does not charge an arm and a leg but who is amazingly proficient.   Although his business has a Live Oak address, he lives just outside of White Springs.

 `Ace Electric Inc. of North Florida

(Residential    Commercial    & Industrial)

Lic.#EC13006007

8955 48th Street

Live Oak, FL  32060

Mobile:  (386) 590-6567

Bus. Phone:  (386)362-4058

Tactics by the Town in the Civil Rights case

Remember the Miller letter which stated the best place for Joe and Karin Griffin was prison, even though three council members objected to it being sent there was a smoking gun e-mail which attached it.

What is interesting is that during the time Joe requested a copy of the letter which the council had in their possession, it was the discovery period for our court case.   Koberlein then decided he desired $80.00 in order to search for the letter, but did send some e-mails, and about the fourth down, Joe found the smoking gun letter which Miller and McKenzie wished sent to the ASA.  Of course we notified Koberlein that we found the letter and sent it to our attorney.  Thereafter Megan Logan who represented the town then had to send the letter to our attorney or it would have looked as though she was holding out on the material considered discovery.

What is interesting also is that Koberlein then charged the town some $115.00 for his legal services regarding the public records request, which the Town should have had in their possession to begin with. But of course they wished that letter hidden because it showed Miller’s frame of mind and by placing us both in prison for twenty-five years so she would not longer have a blog telling the citizens the truth about the town.

Everything which was stated by Shirley Heath and Pam Tomlinson from the exaggerations and multiple lies about Joe Griffin was made up.  These two women have no idea what they are talking about and considered multiple requests for items which they refused to provide harassing.  Then Miller made up her 20,000 e-mails and made an affidavit stating she “heard”.  If that isn’t hearsay evidence, I certainly do not know what is.   Somehow some attorney should have told these girls that they need proof and since the majority of what they have said have been lies, there would be no proof.

What is really said is that all the Councilpersons throughout the time Shirley Heath and Pam Tomlinson were hired believed these two women could do no wrong.  Now we finally have a professional Town Manager, not like the previous town managers (other than Lawrence) who sees what has really been done.

The Council now is also realizing what hell they are placing Ms. Tebo through while she straightens outs years of mistakes and unknown challenges due to ignorant individuals who did not have the appropriate education.

And if Miller had the education she stated she had, she would have researched this matter during her term and realized that our finances were in distress (not because the Griffins pointed it out on the blog) but that those working in the office did not have a clue of what to do, and there were no checks and balances.

Everything which has happened, including the lies, and the anger about articles on the blog, is coming up to show you we have been right all along.  They say if someone states you have a tail, you can ignore it once or twice and think someone is crazy, but if the third person tells you you have a tail, perhaps you better look and see if you have one.  Anyway, the public records requests were mainly due as information on our blog by reason that should we go to meetings when Miller was mayor, we had threats and intimidation of arrest.

It may be noted that Koberlein said he would provide the Miller e-mails through Windstream.com.  Yet although there should have been over 500, there was only some 100.  I can only guess and believe that he had to cleanse everything to protect Miller and possibly Farley due to the many things which transpired when everyone felt Joe would win the election for Town Council..

Karin for the blog

Town has better payable terms than the Citizens

Although each citizen has an interest in our Town affairs, it is interesting to see that the Town has better accounts payable terms than a citizen does with respect to the Sewer/Water utility.  Not only are the rates high but the invoices are sent to the citizens around the first of the month and required to be paid by the fifteenth of the month.  This means the citizen has fourteen or less days to budget and come up with the money.  If the money is not there, the Citizen’s water can be shut off and there is a charge of around $30-35.00 as a late charge and installation charge.

One of the Town’s payables pertains to our Attorney’s fees.  The prior firm Robinson, Kennon and Kendron P.A. (I am certain Mr. Koberlein gives the same options) stated their invoices generally are prepared and mailed during the month following the month in which services were rendered and costs were incurred…similar to your sewer/water bills.  The difference is that although the bill is due upon receipt even if there is a retainer, the Town agrees to pay the bill as soon as practicable and NO LATER THAN 30 days from the date it was mailed to the town.  Thereafter the billing shall bear interest on the unpaid balance at one and one-half percent per month.  Many cities charge an interest rate of approximately 1 ½%  on unpaid utilities but we charge the large fees in White Springs.

At one time at the bequest of Mrs. Johnson who needed more time to make billings, we suggested that even with credit cards there is a 30 day period in which to pay the billing. We asked the same for the Citizens of White Springs.  This is far better than only 14 days or less, but at the time our response came from Tom Moore who questioned what credit card gives you thirty days total.  I am not certain what cards Mr. Moore uses but all of our cards allow for thirty days with the due dates exactly the same each month, but always including a 30 day period.   I never understood why the people of White Springs have been short-changed and many times we have had some who we trust come by and borrow some money because they could not make their bill on time.   Another reason, I believe, why the citizens never matter to its elected officials..

The one thing which I noticed is that the monthly meetings when Mr. Koberlein was with Robinson, Kennon & Kendron, P.A. were charged at a flat fee of $215.00 per month.  When Attorney Koberlein left the former’s employ and began his own firm, he gave notice at a meeting and the council had to make an immediate decision, not being given any time to consider.  Now the flat charge per monthly meeting is $247.25.

And of course then you have Pam who did not like the spread sheet invoice received from Hamilton County and ignored it for a couple of years, thinking Hamilton County was going to do it for free.  To my knowledge, the County never charged interest and believe me they could, so our Town lucked out again.

 

Karin for the blog

AGO 91-38

Advisory Legal Opinion – AGO 91-38
Print Version
Number: AGO 91-38
Date: May 30, 1991
Subject: Public Records / State Attorney

The Honorable Janet Reno
State Attorney
Eleventh Judicial Circuit

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS–GOVERNMENT-IN-THE-SUNSHINE LAW–STATE ATTORNEY–state attorney may prosecute violations of Ch. 119, F.S., and s. 296.011, F.S., which are noncriminal infractions.

QUESTION:

Is a state attorney responsible for processing complaints of violations of Florida’s Public Records Law, Ch. 119, F.S., made pursuant to s. 119.10(1), F.S., making such violations a noncriminal infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars?

SUMMARY:

A state attorney may prosecute suits charging public officials with violation of Florida’s Public Records Law, pursuant to his or her statutory authority to appear on behalf of the state in all suits in which the State of Florida is a party.

Section 119.10(1), F.S., states: “Any public officer who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a non-criminal infraction, punishable by fine not exceeding $500.”[1] Analogously, s. 286.011(3)(a), F.S., provides that any public officer who violates any provision of the Government in the Sunshine Law is guilty of a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $500. Any comments regarding the prosecution of a violation of Ch. 119, F.S., therefore, would also apply to s. 286.011, F.S., violations.

It is my understanding that in the period since s. 119.10(1), F.S.,[2] was enacted, state attorneys have been bringing actions for violations of Ch. 119, F.S., Florida’s Public Records Law.[3] A review of the staff analysis and committee meetings tapes comprising the legislative history of this statute, however, provides no direction as to who was intended to be responsible for pursuing such actions when a noncriminal infraction alone is alleged.

You indicate that other “noncriminal infractions” enter the system by issuance of a citation by a law enforcement officer.[4] For prosecutions of violations of the Public Records Law, I assume that a complaint is filed with your office to initiate action. It then would be within your discretion to determine whether charges should be brought.[5] Inherent in such a decision would be whether the public official or agency “willfully and knowingly” violated the provisions of Ch. 119, F.S., which would make the violation a misdemeanor of the first degree, or whether there was a mere violation of any provision of the chapter, a noncriminal infraction, in the absence of intent.

The duties of state attorneys before the courts are stated as follows:

“The state attorney shall appear in the circuit and county courts within his judicial circuit and prosecute or defend on behalf of the state all suits, applications, or motions, civil or criminal, in which the state is a party . . . .”[6] (e.s.)

Thus, the official duties of a state attorney are not limited to the prosecution of criminal cases and could include representation of the state in a suit against a public official for violation of the Public Records Law or the Government in the Sunshine Law.[7] For instance, in State v. Chiaro,[8] the attorney for the City of Hollywood, Florida, was charged by information with violating s. 286.011, F.S., a noncriminal infraction, when she advised a group, including the attorney, the mayor, city manager, city employees and volunteers, that it was not subject to the Government in the Sunshine Law and could meet in private to discuss the purchase of property by the city. The county court found that the city attorney violated s. 286.011, F.S., and, therefore, was guilty of a noncriminal infraction.[9]

Accordingly, it appears that the state attorney may pursue actions on behalf of the state against public officials for violations of Ch. 119, F.S., the Public Records Law, and s. 286.011, F.S., the Government in the Sunshine Law, which may result in a finding of guilt for a noncriminal infraction.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Butterworth
Attorney General

RAB/tls

————————————————-

[1] Section 119.10(2), F.S., provides that any person “willfully and knowingly” violating any provision of Ch. 119, F.S., is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

[2] As amended by s. 5, Ch. 85-301, Laws of Florida, effective June 20, 1985.

[3] See The Brechner Report, Vol. 15, No. 1 (February 1991), and Vol. 14, No. 1 (February 1990).

[4] Cf. Ch. 318, F.S.

[5] See State v. Cain, 381 So.2d 1361, 1367-1368 (Fla. 1980) (discretion of a prosecutor in deciding whether and how to prosecute is absolute in the criminal justice system).

[6] Section 27.02, F.S. (1990 Supp.) See also s. 905.16, F.S., authorizing grand juries to investigate noncriminal matters, indicated as follows:

“The grand jury shall inquire into every offense triable within the county for which any person has been held to answer, if an indictment has not been found or an information or affidavit filed for the offense, and all other indictable offenses triable within the county that are presented to it by the state attorney or his designated assistant or otherwise come to its knowledge.”

[7] Cf. State, By and Through the State Attorney for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit v. General Development Corporation, 448 So.2d 1074 (2 D.C.A. Fla., 1984) (absent general law specifically conferring upon state attorney the authority to independently initiate a civil action for damages and civil penalties for alleged violations of Ch. 403, F.S., state attorney lacks standing to bring such a civil suit; Legislature clearly intended that Department of Environmental Regulation be state entity responsible for bringing civil actions under Ch. 403, F.S., while state attorney empowered to criminally prosecute Ch. 403, F.S., violations).

[8] Case No. 90-39277 TI40A (Co. Ct. Broward Co., July 18, 1990).

[9] The court stated further that the burden of proof in such an action requires only a preponderance of the evidence. This office has been advised that the Chiaro court ruled that the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure would be used for the trial, in the absence of rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida specifically for prosecutions of noncriminal infractions of the Government in the Sunshine Law.

CITIZEN COMPLAINT…

CITIZEN COMPLAINT

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Town Council is in violation of its own charter in that Section 5.01 REQUIRES that the Town Clerk b a full-time position. Pam can’t even read her own software much less be town clerk.

Joe Griffin

YOU’RE INVITED TO ATTEND…

Princesses, Goblins, Ghosts, Avengers, Witches and all other gremlins of the Night

Make the Griffin House
Your HALLOWEEN stop

Get your Halloween Treats and Sweets
at 16589 Mill Street in White Springs.
If your adult Chaperons’ are hungry too, they can feast on beef stroganoff and chicken salad sandwiches along with cookies and brownies. Or perhaps some hot apple cider, strawberry lemonade or possibly raspberry ice tea will suit everyone better.

If you wish to stay and mingle with some of your White Springs neighbors, pull up a chair and watch the trick and treaters who come by. You are welcome to be our Halloween gala guests from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Saturday October 31, 2015
Joe and Karin Griffin

 

Grim Reaper Clipart Image: Death Comes Visiting on Halloween in the Form of the Grim Reaper

Paying for public records violations

Editorial: Paying for public records violations

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150812/opinion01/150819969?template=printpicart

Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 6:01 a.m.

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gestures during a cabinet meeting in February.

Gov. Rick Scott wasn’t fighting for some high-minded ideal in a legal battle over his email records. As a settlement released last week reveals, he had simply been caught circumventing public records laws but stubbornly refused to concede defeat.

Instead, he fought the allegations in lawsuits that were finally settled last week for $700,000 in taxpayer money. That’s $700,000 that could have been saved if Scott and his staff hadn’t used private email accounts to shield their communications from public view.

As the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau reported, the settlement is the first time in state history that a sitting governor and attorney general has been successfully sued for violating Florida’s public records laws. Scott has suffered three legal defeats in recent months and twice used public money to end a lawsuit against him, the bureau reported.

In June, Scott and the Cabinet agreed to pay $55,000 in legal fees to settle a suit alleging they sidestepped the Sunshine Law in firing Gerald Bailey as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The suit had been filed by St. Petersburg lawyer Matthew Weidner, open government groups and media organizations including The Sun’s parent company.

That case cost the state more than $225,000 in legal fees — in addition to legal fees from Scott’s office that it has refused to reveal despite repeated requests, the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau reported.

“It is clear this governor has made a calculated decision that violating the constitutional rights is the cost of doing business — a cost he doesn’t have to bear,” Weidner told the bureau. “While these numbers are shocking, you can’t calculate the cost to citizens of the state for government that is operating in darkness. The real costs will be borne in years to come for a government that operates in contempt for (the) fundamental right to records.”

Scott, a former chief executive of a hospital chain, has never shown he appreciates that public service has different obligations than private business. Instead, he’s been outright disdainful of public records and open meeting laws.

Scott promised a dedication to transparency when first starting as governor, but instead created a culture of secrecy in his administration. His meetings and travel have been shielded from his official schedule, while records requests have been met with delays, excessive costs and other barriers making them harder to obtain.

The cases settled last week involve Tallahassee attorney Steven R. Andrews, who first sued the governor in 2012 over violations involving a contract for a building that houses Andrews’ firm near the governor’s mansion. In trying to obtain emails and documents for the case, Andrews found that the governor and his staff had used private email accounts to conduct public business — and then tried to hide it had done so.

The money used to settle the suits will come from four agencies — $445,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection, $120,000 from the governor’s office, $75,000 from attorney general’s office and $60,000 from the Department of State. As the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau reported, the governor’s office offered no explanation about how those payments were divided.

Scott acts like he doesn’t understand that the law requires the people’s business to be done in public. Let’s hope that his business background at least shows him that the costs of violating the law aren’t worth it.

Lawsuit argues Sunshine Law unconstitutional

Lawsuit argues Sunshine Law unconstitutional

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150806/ARTICLE/150809810?template=printpicart

 

By Elizabeth Johnson

Published: Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 1:28 p.m.

HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE

In a lawsuit, Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman’s attorneys are arguing that Florida’s Sunshine Law is unconstitutional.

As the Sunshine lawsuit against City Commissioner Susan Chapman heads to trial later this month, Chapman and her attorneys are revisiting an old argument: that the Sunshine Law is unconstitutional as applied to her case, infringing on her First Amendment rights.

Citizens for Sunshine — a nonprofit seeking compliance with the state’s open-government laws — filed the lawsuit against Chapman and Suzanne Atwell after the two commissioners attended a meeting in October 2013 with downtown merchants where issues, including homelessness, were discussed.

The lawsuit accused the commissioners of breaking open meetings laws by attending the conversation together. Chapman has argued that the meeting did not fall under the Sunshine Law, that the commissioners did not discuss anything that would come before the city commission and that the law does not apply to all meetings of which two or more board members attend.

Atwell settled for more than $17,000 in November 2013, agreeing to pay $500 to a charity and to attend a Sunshine Law training without having to admit any wrongdoing. Chapman refused a deal in April 2014 that would have required her to publicly admit that she violated the law, but would not require a monetary settlement.

As Chapman continues to fight the accusations, her attorneys fees at the end of June reached more than $202,000. When Chapman’s bills hit $88,000 last year, the city voted to stop funding her defense. That decision was reversed in January. The lawsuit — including fees related to Atwell — has cost the city more than $243,000.

Chapman declined on Thursday to comment, citing the fact that she has previously spoken on the issue.

The case will return to a judge next week, when Chapman’s attorneys will argue to amend a past defense that the Sunshine Law — as applied in this lawsuit — is being applied too broadly, violating her First Amendment rights of assembly and freedom of speech. That was first argued in April 2014, prompting a judge to ask if Chapman’s defense was imposing a “constitutional challenge” to the Sunshine Law.Chapman’s attorney, William Fuller immediately responded “no,” adding that they were challenging the interpretation of the statute.

“That is not getting into the constitutionality of the law itself,” Fuller said at the hearing, “and we’re not challenging the constitutionality.”

Circuit Judge Kimberly Bonner dismissed that claim last year.

“Now, on the eve of trial, they filed a motion to plea specifically that the Sunshine Law is unconstitutional as applied to her conduct in this case,” Michael Barfield, a paralegal working with Citizens for Sunshine, said. “We thought that ship sailed. To us it’s too late and we want this case to get over with. We think that would have the potential to delay things and accumulate more cost to taxpayers.”

Chapman’s defense will also argue to strike the transcription of that April hearing, which is included as an exhibit to a plaintiff’s motion. Citing that the hearing was not officially recorded by a court stenographer or the Digital Court Recording Office, the motion filedThursday claims that the recording is “surreptitious and unauthorized” and should not be admissible in court.

Chapman’s motions and the Citizens for Sunshine’s objection, filed by attorney Andrea Mogensen, will be heard Tuesday. The case is set to go to trial on Aug. 17.