HELEN’S LAWSUIT

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA

CASE NO. OiV/F!(A000{) 5

HELEN MILLER,

 

Petitioner, vs.

TOWN OF WHITE SPRINGS, a municiRal corporation created under the laws of the State of Flor a,

 

 

 

 

 

PETITJ.ON FOR WRIT O    CER’f. ORA   I

Pursuant to Rule 9.100 c), Flo ida Rules of Appellate Procedure, Helen Miller (“Miller”), petitions this Court for a writ of ce11iorari to review the order of the Town of White Springs concluding that Miller had forfeited her office as a member of the Town Council because she “willfully violated an express provision of the Town Charter” or that she committed acts constituting “malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance in office.”

  1. Basis for Invoking Jurisdiction

 

Article V, Section 5(b) of the Florida Constitution provides that the circuit courts have jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari.   See also Rules 9.030(3) and

 

9.100, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. The order to be reviewed in this case was rendered November 20, 2017. A copy of that order is attached. Appx. Tab 42.

II.    Nature of Relief Sought

The nature of the relief sought by this petition is a writ of certiorari quashing the decision of the Town Council of White Springs that Miller forfeited her office by willfully violating express prohibitions of the Town Charter. In quashing the decision of the Town Council, Miller seeks to be restored to the office to which she was elected.

III.   Standard of Review

 

This Court’s certiorari review of a local government’s quasi-judicial decision is limited to a review of the record tQ determine whether procedural due process was accorded, whether the essential requirements of law were observed, and whether the findings and the judgment are supported by competent substantial evidence. Haines City Community Development v. Heggs, 658 So. 2d 523, 530 (Fla. 1995).

A ruling constitutes a departure from “the essential requirements of law” when it amounts to “a violation of a clearly established principle of law resulting in a miscarriage of justice.” Clay County v. Kendale Land Development, Inc., 969 So. 2d 1177, 1180 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007) (citing Combs v. State, 436 So. 2d 93, 96 (Fla. 1983). As explained by the Court in Heggs:

 

[I]n determining whether there was a “departure from the essential requirements of law” reviewing courts have inquired: (1) whether the lower court proceeded “according to justice” or deprived the petitioner of fundamental rights, resulting in serious and material injury or gross injustice; (2) whether the judgment is authorized by law or is invalid, illegal, essentially irregular, or prejudicial; (3) whether the court rendering judgment lacked jurisdiction; (4) whether the circuit court’s appellate judgment violates established principles of law; (5) whether the judgment results in a substantial injury to the legal rights of the petitioner; (6) whether the judgment constitutes a palpable miscarriage of justice; or (7) whether the lower court applied the wrong rule of law to the evidence.  5 Fla.Jur.  e erti01:ari §§ 25, 30, 31

(1955).

658 So. 2d at 527, note 7. Clearly esta lished law derives from a variety of legal sources, including the interpre ation of statutes. All5tate Ins. v. Kaklamanos, 843 So. 2d 885, 890 (Fla. 2003).

“Competent, substantial evidence” has been defined by the Florida Supreme Court as such evidence as is “sufficiently relevant and  material  that  a reasonable mind would accept it as adequate to support the conclusions reached.” DeGroot v. Sheffield, 95  So. 2cl 912, 916 (Fla. 1957).

IV.     Statement of the Facts

 

At its meeting on May 9. 2017, the Town Manager made a report to the Town Council in which she alleged that Miller had violated several provisions of the Town Charter. Appx. Tab 27. At the conclusion of her remarks, a motion was

 

made and adopted to take no action on the allegations against Miller until the next meeting of the Town Council. Appx. Tab 26, p. 1.

At its next meeting on June 13, 2017, the Town Council voted to initiate proceedings to declare Miller’s seat on the Town Council forfeited pursuant to Section 2.03(a) of the Town Charter. Appx. Tab 28, p. 2. On June 14, 2017, the Town Manager forwarded a letter to Miller of the action taken by the Town Council and of her right to request a hearing “fot the purpose of providing evidence in opposition to the Council’s inte ded action.” A’ppx. Tab 36.

Miller received a copy of the Town Council’s notiee on June 26, 2017 and requested a hearing on Ju e 29, 2017. Appx. Tab 37. The hearing before the Council for the purpose of providing evidence 1t1 opposition to the Council’s intended actio was scheduled for October 25, 2017.

Despite voting on June 13, 2017 to initiate  proceedings  to declare  Miller’s seat on the Town CounG-il fbrfeited based on the allegations presented by the Town Manger on May 9, 2017, it was not until October 18, 2017, a week  before  the hearing, that Miller received a statement of charges listing specific  acts by which Miller is alleged to have violated Sections 2.03(a)2. &  6.  of  the  Town  Charter. Appx.  Tab 38.

 

Section 2.03(a)l-6 of the Town Charter provides that a member of the Town Council shall forfeit his or her office in specific circumstances. In pertinent part, it provides as follows:

Section 2.03 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office; Filling of Vacancies and  Extraordinary Vacancies

 

  • A Town Council member shall forfeit his office if he:

 

  1. Intentionally misrepresented facts which were sed to determine his eligibility for election to

 

2.    Willfully violates  any express of this Charter.

 

  1. Is convicted of a cnme involving felony or moral turpitude.

 

  1. Fails fo attend three (3) Consecutive regular meetings of the council without th   Couneil’s

 

  1. Moves his residence from the Town of White

 

6.    For malfeasance, misfeasance or non-feasance in office.

(Emphasis added.) Appx. Tab 1, p.5.

 

The specific allegations set forth in the statement of charges provided: I

On or about June 1, 2016, Council Member Miller entered into an agreement which purportedly obligated the Town of White Springs to pay certain sums of money to   one   Temolynn   W.   Wintons.   According   to the

 

agreement, the first payment was due on July 1, 2016. On or about July 1, 2016, Council Member Miller directly instructed the Town Clerk to make payments to Ms. Wintons and others in accordance with the aforesaid agreement. The Town Clerk did not honor this request and referred Council Member Miller to the Town Manager. On July 1, 2016, Council Member Miller then asked the Town Manager to make the same payments. As of July 1, 2016, the town did not then have funds either budgeted or in its possession with which to make these payments. The Town Manager did not make the payments as requested at that time.

 

The act of entering into the agreement cmnstitutes violations of Sections 6.09(b)1 & 2 of the Oharter.

 

The act of requesting the Town Clerk and Town Manager to make payments in furtherance of  the  aforesaid agreement constitutes a violation of Section 3.02(1) of the Charter.

II

On er about August 24, JO16, Council Member Miller met wit lie Police Chief of the Town of White Springs  to discuss what programs and activities the  Town’s Police Department could engage in relative to a Department of Juvenile Justice grant program. Council Me ber Miller requested the Police Chief at that time to write down a list of what the Police Department could do in furtherance of the aforesaid grant program. Thereafter, on or about August 26, 2016, Council Member Miller requested the Police Chief to attend a meeting at the Hamilton County School Board regarding the grant program. In addition, on August 22, 2016, Council Member Miller, by way of a message to an  administrative assistant, requested the Town Manager to attend a meeting concerning this same grant.

 

The act of meeting with the Police Chief  directly about  the grant program, requesting the Police Chief to provide information for the grant program, and of requesting the Police Chief and Town Manager to attend meetings regarding the grant program, constitute violations  of Section 3.02(1) of the Charter.

 

III

 

On or about October 3, 2016, Council Member Miller instructed the Town Clerk to have the Town Manager move tables and chairs from the community cen er t0 the tourism center because Council Member Miller ad agreed on behalf of the Town to host the Suwa nee River League of Cities dinner.

 

The act of requesting the Town Manager to arrange for hosting the aforesaid dinner constitutes a violation of Section 3.02(1) of the Charter.

IV

0   or about  June   0, 2016, Council Member  Miller ins cted the Town Manager to make payment in accordance with a Purchase Order Request Form that Courn,il Member Miller had prepared, and in which Council Member Miller had listed herself as the Town’s staff representative.

 

The act of requesting the Town Manager to pay for the expenses in this Purchase Order Request Form which Council Member Miller had prepared constitutes a violation of Section 3.02(1) of the Charter.

 

V

 

On or about September 15, 2017, Council Member Miller contacted the Town Clerk and instructed her to have the Town Manager come to Council  Member  Miller’s  home in order to take photographs  of trees, which  had  allegedly

 

fallen from the Town’s right-of-way and damaged Council Member Miller’s fence.

 

The act of requesting the Town Manager to take photographs of Council  Member  Miller’s  property damage constitutes a violation of Section 3.02(1) of the Charter.

 

Documents to be used by the Town in connection with the Statement of Charges were not provided to Miller until the following day, October 19, 2017. Appx. Tab 29.

In response to the late notice of the specific charges a d receipt of the documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing, Miller  requested  a  continuance of the hearing in order to respond to  the  specific  charges  and  to identify witnesses  and any documents  he may wis_h to introduce  at the  hearing.  She also requeste the opportunity to take sworn statements from the  Town’s  witnesses in the nature of a deposition  in advance  of the hearing.   Appx.  Tab 29.

Counsel for the T.own rejected Miller’s  requests  and  indicated  that,  unless the Town Counc-il otherwise decided,  the hearing  would  go forward  as scheduled on October  25, 2017, noting that “the Town  could have chosen to provide none of  the information which I provided  to you this week.” Appx.  Tab  39. At its meeting  on October 25. 2017, the Town  Council  considered  and denied Miller’s request  for  a continuance.  Appx.  Tab 41, pp. 3-23.

 

Allegation I related to Miller’s request that payments be made to Temolynn

 

  1. Wintons (“Wintons”) which were alleged to violate Sections 6.09(b)l. and 2. of the Town Charter. Appendix Tab 38, p.1. Those provisions provide as follows:

Section 6.09 Administration of the Budget

 

  • Payments and obligations

 

1.   Sufficiency of Funds. No payments shall be made or obligations incurred unless sufficient funds are or will be available to cover the obligations whea it becomes due.

 

  1. Authorization of payment or incurring of an obligation in violation of this subsection, or any payment so made, is illegal. Such acti ns shall be good cause for removal of any official who knowingly authorized or made payment or incurretl such an obligation, and that officia shall be personally liable to the Town for any amount so paid.

 

(Emphasis added.) Appx. Tab 1, p. 23.

 

Allegation I as well as Allegations II through V alleged that Miller violated Section 3.02(1) of th   Town Charter.   That provision  provides  as follows

Section 3.02  Powers and Duties  of the Town Manager

 

Make such recommendations to the Council as the Manager deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the Town relating to the adoption of ordinances and resolutions. Provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town Council in the exercise of its legislative functions and powers from calling into consultation the boards or departments and other officers and employees of the Town wherever, in the judgment of the Council, it may be necessary. Neither the Council nor any Council

 

Member shall interfere with the conduct of any department head, officer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties

 

(Emphasis added.) Appx. Tab 1, pp. 13-14.

 

At the October 25th hearing, Miller again requested a continuance. The Town Council voted to deny that request. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 3-22. At its meeting on October 25, 2017, the Town Council dropped Allegation V, because it was not presented to the Town Council at its meeting on May 0, 2019 as part of the Town Manager’s report. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 24-25.

At the conclusion of the Oc ober 25, 201″,Z hearin , the Town Council voted to forfeit Miller’s  seat on the Town  Council.   Appx.  Tab 41, pp.128-139.

V.  Evidence Adduced at Hearing

 

  1. 2016 HOPE Program

 

Among the matters · t issue in this case is the administration of the 2016 HOPE program. e Town of White Springs, over a period of three years, entered into interlocal agreements with the Hamilton County School District for use of facilities at South Hamilton Elementary School to assist the Town “in providing and coordinating a summer enrichment program (the “HOPE” program), with academic tutoring, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities, family literacy, and other learning activities.” Appx. Tabs 2-4. Miller was instrumental in establishing the HOPE program and in securing funding from

 

the H.B. Calder Foundation for the program during that period of time. Appx. Tab

 

  1. In 2014 and 2015, funding for the program was provided directly to the Town of White Springs; in 2016, the Hamilton County School District received the funding for the program. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 37-39.

Between 2010 and 2015, the H.B. Calder Foundation contributed $134,500 directly to the Town of White Springs; in 2016 the Foundation contributed an additional $15,000 to the Hamilton County  School  District  for  the  exclusive  benefit of the Town’s 2016 Project HOPE Program. Appx.  Tab  30.  Miller  was  aware that in 2016, the Hamilton County School District ouH:l rece·ve the funding from the H.B. Calder Foundation for the 2016 Pr@ject HOPE Program. No one anticipated the lit hes that  would  arise  in  transferring  the  funds  from  the Hamilton County School District to die Town. Appx.  Tab 41, p. 42; Appx.  Tab 41, pp. 67-70.

The 2016 H_OPE Interlocal Agreement was approved by the Town Council at its meeting of May 10, 2016. Appx. Tab 33. The 2016 Interlocal Agreement between the Town and the Hamilton County School District called for the Town to designate a HOPE Program Administrator. Appx. Tab 4, p. 12. Miller was designated by the Town Manager as the HOPE Program Administrator. Appx. Tab 34.

 

The 2016 Interlocal Agreement between the Town and the Hamilton County School District required all persons involved in the HOPE Program to be employed by the Town under a written employment agreement. (“TOWS agrees that all persons TOWS has involved in HOPE will be employed by TOWS under a written employment agreement.”) Appx. Tab 4, p. 5; Appx. Tab 41, pp. 62-63. The 2016 Interlocal Agreement called for the Town to designate a “staff manager(s) to manage the summer program.” Appx. Tab 4, p. 12. In her capacity as the 2016 HOPE Program Administrator, Miller executed a memorandum with Wintons to serve as the “Director of the HOP& Summer Enrichment Progra for 2016. Appx. Tab 36; Appx. Tab 41, pp. 39-40.

On July  1, 2{)16, Miller  requested  that  the  ‘E wn Clerk /  Finance Director

 

pay Wintons pursuant to the agreement employing Wintons as the Director of the 2016 HOPE Summer Enrichment Program.  Appx.  Tab 41, pp. 42-46;  Appx.  Tab 41, pp. 57. At the time, Miller made the request for payment, the  2016  HOPE Program funds hacl not been received by the Town. Appx. Tab 41, pp.  45-46. Because the 2016 HOPE  Program  funds had not been received  by the Town from  the School District, the Town Clerk / Finance Director did  not  honor  Miller’s  request to pay Wintons at that time. Appx. Tab 41, p. 45; Appx. Tab 41, pp. 58.  It  was undisputed that the Town Clerk/ Finance Director was responsible for paying Town  employees.  Appx.  Tab 41, p. 55, p. 64. Other  than  being  asked to pay  these

 

expenses, for which the Town was contractually liable, there was no evidence that the request interfered with Town Clerk/ Finance Director in the performance of her duties and responsibilities.

The Town Clerk/ Finance Director informed Miller that she needed to speak with the Town Manager about paying Wintons. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 58, 60. Miller subsequently met with the Town Manager asked her to pay the 2016 Hope Program employees. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 67. There was  o  evidence  that  the request interfered with the Town Manager and he performance o her duties and responsibilities.

 

 

the Town Manager, funds were received from the Hamilton County School District and the 2016 HOPE Program employees were included in the Town’s records as Town empleyees. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 69-70. The Town Council authorized payment of the 2016 Hope Program employees at its meeting on July 12, 2016. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 70.

B.   DJJ Invest in Children Grant

 

In May of 2016, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) notified the Hamilton County School District that it had received an Invest in Children grant award of $40,000. See, for example, Appx. Tab 11. Hearing the news that the grant had been awarded, the Town Manager exclaimed “This is great news!” See,

 

for example, Appx. Tab 8, p.3. The Town was excited about the grant. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 76-77.

DJJ viewed the Town’s HOPE Program to be a subcontractor of the Hamilton County School District and, as a consequence, there needed to be an agreement between the School District and the Town that spelled out the duties and responsibilities of the parties. See, for example, Appx. Tab 21, p.7. The Town Manager was involved in the process of creating that agreement and worked on effectuating the grant for several months. Appx. Tab 4 , pp. 78-79.

Miller too worked on the grant. As pa of the Town s effort on the grant, Miller informed the Town Manager that she needed to attentl a meeting on August 23, 2016 at the Hamilton County High School to disGnss the DJJ grant. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 70-71; Appx. Tab 19. T e T0wn Manager’s involvement in the grant  did not conflict with her duties and responsibilities as Town Manager; to the contrary she worked as best she Gould to make sure that the grant would come to fruition for the benefit of the Town. Appx. Tab 41, p. 79.

In January or February of 2016, the Town’s Police Chief worked with Miller in preparing the proposal seeking the grant from DJJ. Appx. Tab 41, p. 46. The Police Chief provided information regarding what would be beneficial from a law enforcement perspective dealing with juveniles in the community that would fit with the RFP that DJJ had issued. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 46-47; Appx. Tab 41, pp. 96-

 

  1. In connection with the grant, Miller asked that the Police Chief attend a meeting with DJJ representatives regarding the grant. The Chief indicated that she would be unable to attend in person, but would be able to attend by telephone. Appx. Tab 41, p. 47; Appx. Tab 41, pp. 97-98. The Police Chief had no problem with attending the meeting. Appx. Tab 41, p. 100. No evidence was presented that Miller’s interactions with the Police Chief regarding the DJJ grant, which the Town actively sought, interfered with the Police Chiefs performance of her duties and responsibilities to the Town.

C.   Moving Tables and <;hairs  from the Community  € enter

 

Miller called the Town lerk / Finance Director and asked her if the Town Manager would app11ove having To n staff move tables and chairs from the community center to the tourism center to accommodate a Suwannee River League  of Cities dinner meeting hat was being hosted by Miller. Appx.  Tab  41, p. 50.  Miller, at the tim , served as the President of the Suwannee River League of Cities. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 50-51. The Town Manager received a message from the Town Clerk/ Finance Director relaying Miller’s request. Appx. Tab 41, p. 71. The Town manager did not honor the request  because  of a conflicting  event  scheduled  next day.   Appx.  Tab 41, p. 72; Appx.  Tab 41, pp. 79-80.

 

D.    Purchase Order Request for Payment

 

Miller filled out a Purchase Order Request Form and submitted it to the Town Clerk / Finance Director for payment related to the HOPE Fuel Bank Program. Appx. Tab 41, p. 49; Appx. Tab 40. The HOPE Fuel Bank Program, funded by a grant provided to the Town by the H.B. Calder Foundation, “salvaged trees that came down through the area, which was split and made available to people in the community who needed  it to cook and heat  thei   homes, for free.”

Appx. Tab 41, p. 49.

This Purchase Order Request Form was paid by the To n. Appx. Tab#, pp. 73-74. Payment was made from funds provide to the Town by the H.B. Calder Foundation, which    ere availal5 eat   the time  payment  was made.   Appx.  Tab 41,

  1. 49; Appx. Tab 40.

 

V .    ction Taken by the Town Council

With respect to Allegation I, the Town Council  concluded  that  Miller willfully violated express prohibitions of the Town Charter, specifically Sections 6.09(b)l  and 2 and Section  3.02(1) of the Charter.   Appx.  Tab 41, pp.129-130.

With respect to Allegations I through V, the Town Council concluded that Miller willfully violated express prohibitions of the Town Charter, specifically Section 3.02(1) of the Charter. Appx. 41 (Transcript), p.130-132.

 

As set forth in the order rendered by the Town on November 20, 2017, the Town Council declared that Miller’s seat as a member of the Town Council was forfeited pursuant to Section 2.03(a)8 of the Town Charter.1

VII.     The Findings and the Judgment of the Town Council are not Supported by Competent Substantial Evidence

 

The evidence adduced at hearing does not support the finding and judgement of the Town Council that Miller violated Section 6.09(b)1 or 2 of the Town Charter in requesting the Town Clerk/ Finance Director and the Town Manager to pay Wintons, the 2016 HOPE Program Manager. As the evidence evealed, Miller, in her capacity as the HOPE Program A’clmimstrator, entered into an agreement to hire and pay Wintons. This agreement was consisten with the 2016 HOPE Program Interlocal Agreement between the 10 n and the Hamilton County School District. The Town Council had adopted  and approved  the 2016 HOPE Program

1   Forfeiture of Miller’s seat created a vacancy on the Town Council which shall be filled in one of two ways:

 

  1. If the election is within 45 days, no action will be taken by the Town Council. The vacated seat will be filled at the next regularly scheduled Town Election according to the provisions of Section 2.02 and Article IV of the Town Charter.

 

  1. If the election is more than 45 days away, the council will nominate qualified Town residents and by majority vote of the remaining Council members choose one of the nominees to serve the remainder of the term of the vacated

 

Since there is no election for Town Council within the next 45 days, the Town Council will appoint a resident of the Town to serve the remainder of Miller’s term.

 

Interlocal Agreement with its attendant obligations to hire and pay a HOPE Program Manager. This obligation was incurred by Miller with the knowledge that “sufficient funds are or will be available to cover the obligation when it becomes due” as provided in Section 6.09(b)1 or 2 of the Town Charter.

The evidence adduced at hearing does not support the finding and judgement of the Town Council that Miller violated Section 3.02(1) of the Town Charter with respect to any of the allegations. In pertinent part, Section 3.02(1) of the Town

Charter provides:

Neither the Council nor any; Council Member sliall interfere with the conduct of any department head, officer or an employee in the discharge  of his or her duti@s

Appx. Tab 1, pp. 13-14. The evidence failed to show that Miller “interfered” with the conduct of ny departme t head, 0fficer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties.

The term, “interfere” is not defined in the Town Charter. It is therefore appropriate to look at the ordinary dictionary definition of the term. Merriam Webster defines the term as “to interpose in a way that hinders or impedes.” Dictionary.com defines the term as “to take part in the affairs of others; meddle (often followed by with or in).”

The evidence showed that Miller requested, through the Town Clerk / Finance Director and the Town Manager, that payment be made to the 2016 HOPE

 

Program Manager who had been hired as required by the 2016 Interlocal Agreement between the Town and the Hamilton County School District. She met with the Police Chief about the DJJ grant program which the Town was interested in participating through the Hamilton County School District and which the Police Chief had provided information for the grant application. She also requested that the Police Chief attend a meeting relating to the grant, which the Chief was happy to do. She requested, through the Town Clerk / Finance Director, whether the Town Manager would approve having Town staff move tables and chairs from the community center to the tourism eenter for Suwannee River League of Cities dinner meeting that was being hosted by Miller. Miller was the then-President of the Suwannee River League of Cities. She fille out a Purchase Order Request Form and submitted it to the ‘Town Clerk / Finance Director seeking payment related to the HOPE Fuel Bank Program for which funds were provided to the Town by the H.B. Calder Foundation.

In each instance Miller “requested” that the appropriate Town officers take an action that did not hider or impede those officers in the performance of their duties. She did not meddle in the performance of their duties. None of the actions taken by Miller constitute “interference” with the conduct of any department head, officer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties. No witness at the

 

hearing testified that Miller interfered with any employee in the discharge of his or her duties.

Counsel for the Town argued at the hearing, and the statement of charges alleged, that the mere “act of requesting,” or the mere  “act  of  meeting”  with,  a Town official constituted  interference.  Surely,  this is not what  Section  3.02(1) of the Town Charter proscribes. Nothing  in the Town Charter pr(:)hibits a member of  the  Town  Council  from  “requesting”  that  a  Town  official  take  an  action  that is

arguably within their area of responsibility; . othing in the Town Charter prohibits a member of the Town Council from’ meeting” with a Town official on a matter that the Town has expressed significan interest. It prGscribes “interference.” None of the actions ta en by Miller constitute “interference.’

lt is significant to note t at some municipal governments have defined “interference or have othe 1se roscribed or restricted contacts between  elected officials and officers and employees of the municipality.  For  example,  the  Lake City, Florida,  City Charter provides, in pertinent  part:

Section 303. – Prohibitions.

 

  • Interference with administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations, the council or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the manager solely through the manager, and neither the council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately. Nothing in the foregoing

 

is to be construed to prohibit individual members of the council from closely scrutinizing by questions and personal observation, all aspects of city government operations so as to obtain independent information to assist the members in the formulation of sound policies to be considered by the council. It is the express intent of this Charter, however, that recommendations for improvement in city government operations by individual councilmembers be made to and through the city manager, so that the manager may coordinate efforts of all city departments to achieve the greatest possible savings through the most efficient and sound means available.

(Emphasis added.) Appx. Tab 7. The Tallahassee City Charter provides, m pertinent part:

Sec. 10. – Powers granted; anner of exercising; commissioners dictating appointment of employees.

 

11 powers of the cit except a otherwise provided by this Gharter, o by the Constitution of the state are herel5y vested in the city commission; and, except as otherwise pro ided by this Charter, or by the Constitution of the state, the city commission may by ordinance or resolution prescribe the manner in which any power of the city shall be exercised. Neither the commission nor any of its members shall dictate the appointment of any person to office or employment by any appointed official of the city nor in any manner prevent any appointed official from exercising his own judgment in selecting the personnel of his office. Neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders to, nor make demands of, any of the subordinates of any appointed city official, either publicly or privately. Any such dictation, orders, demands or other interference upon the part of a member of the city commission with the administration of the city shall constitute grounds

 

for removal from office; provided, however the commission or any member thereof may at any time request information from any employee of the city relating to the performance of his duties of the operation of his office.

 

(Emphasis added.) Appx. Tab 7.

 

VIII.     The Action of the Town Council to Forfeit Miller’s Seat Departs from the Essential Requirements of Law.

 

The action of the Town Council to forfeit Miller’s seat as a member of the Town Council “has deprived the petitioner of fu  damental  rights,  resulting  in serious and material injury or gross injustice;” is not authorized by law; “is invalid, illegal, essentially irregular, OF prejudicial·” “results in a substantial injury  to  the legal rights  of the petit10ner;” and “constitutes  a palpa151e miscarriage  of  justice.”

Heggs, 658 So. 2d at 527, note 7.

l:Ynder the Town Charter, the Town Council makes the allegations and then sits in judgment 0f the charges which it decided to prosecute, with the burden on the accused ouncq Member “to overcome the identified reasons for forfeiture.” The Town Charter provides as follows:

The Council, upon majority vote note, shall notify the affected Council Member in writing of its intent to declare the seat forfeited for any of the reasons referenced above. The affected Council Member shall have seven (7) days from the receipt of notice to provide the Clerk with a written request for a hearing before the Council for the purpose of providing evidence in opposition to the Council’s intended action. If the evidence   presented   is   insufficient   to   overcome the

 

identified reasons for forfeiture, the Council may declare the seat forfeited and vacant in which case the decision may be appealed  to the circuit court.

 

Section 2.03(a)8. of the Town Charter. Appx. Tab 1, p.6.

 

The quasi-judicial hearing procedures engrafted around the Charter procedures do nothing to change the fundamental defect in these procedures: namely, that the Town Council frames the charges; prosecutes he case; sits as the fact finder; interprets the applicable law; determines guilt or innocence; and imposes the penalty declaring the accused ounc’l ember’s seat forfeited  and vacant. The process remains nolitical, cletermined on factors other than the evidence and application of the law. to that evidence..Essentially the die was cast when the Town Council, upon majority vote on June 13, 2017, decided to notify Miller in writing of its intent to declare her seat forfeited.

An example of how the outcome was predetermined, by factors other than a consideration of the evidence and application of the plain and ordinary meaning of the term “interfere” to the evidence, is illustrated by the testimony of the Police Chief with respect to her interactions with other members of the Council. The Chief testified that Council Member McKenzie asked her to do things and that he asked her to take care of the bicycles that Suwanee Bikes was donating to kids for the Christmas program. Appx. Tab 41, p. 99. She further testified “everybody asks me to do things” Appx. Tab 41, p. 99.   The Chief testified  that Council  Member

 

Tonjia came to her about hot dogs. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 99-100. The Chief also testified that it was not unusual for various members of the Town Council to ask her questions or to mention things about what’s going on in the town. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 96-97. The chief didn’t mind helping and was happy to do so. Appx. Tab 41, pp. 96-97.

The point is this: Notwithstanding the testimony by the Police Chief that other members of the Town Council asked her to do things, a d that these requests did not interfere in her ability to do her job, and just l e Miller’s equests did not interfere in her ability to do her job, the own Council at the mayor’s urging, decided that Miller was guilty of vi0lating the Town Charter an should forfeit her office as a member of the ‘I1own Council. It is t s clear that the decision of the Town Qouncil “is invalid, illegal, essentially irregular, or prejudicial” and “constitutes a palpable misca iage of justice.”

In the instant case, the Town Council departed from the essential requirements of law when it declared Miller’s seat forfeited and vacant for her requesting that an employee be paid despite the fact that Miller was designated as the 2016 Project HOPE Administrator, that the 2016 Project HOPE Interlocal Agreement required that Project HOPE employees be employees of the Town, and that Miller knew that funds were or would be available to meet this expense. Similarly, the Town Council departed from the essential requirements of law when

 

it declared Miller’s seat forfeited and vacant despite  there  being  no  express provision of the Town Charter which prohibited Miller from “requesting” a Town official or employee to pay an employee or an invoice or to move  tables or chairs from one Town venue to another or from “meeting” with a  Town  official  or employee regarding a grant of interest to the Town. The Town  Council  departed  from the essential requirements of law when it declared Miller’ seat forfeited  and vacant   despite   there   being  no   evidence   presented   at   the     earing   that Miller

interfered with the conduct of any departme. t head, ofijcer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties.

An agency’s interpretation of the statute that it is chaTge with enforcing is entitled to great deference. p ee BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. v. Johnson, 708 So.2tl 594, 596 (Fla.1998). <S:ourt’s will not depart from an agency’s construction of a statute by a state agency charged with its enforcement unless the construction is “clearly unauthorized or erroneous.” See P.W. Ventures, Inc. v. Nichols, 533 So.2d 281, 283 (Fla.1988). The party seeking to challenge  an agency’s order has the burden of overcoming these presumptions “by showing departure from the essential requirements of law.” Florida Interexchange Carriers Ass’n. v. Clark, 678 So.2d 1267, 1270 (Fla.1996).

Miller has carried that burden. The Town Council has contorted the plain language of the Town Charter which prohibits interference with the conduct of any

 

department head, officer or an employee in the discharge of his or her duties to proscribe regular, normal, and appropriate communications between a member of the Town Council and Town department heads, officers or employees. The Town Council’s construction of Section 3.02(1) of the Town Charter is “clearly unauthorized and erroneous.”

  1. Conclusion

 

Forfeiture of office is an extraordinary remedy. It deprives an elected public officer of the office to which he or she was e1ected. More importantly, it deprives the people of their elected representative. The power to forfeit must not be exercised based on trumped-up allegations not supportetl b the facts. The power to forfeit must not be exercise based on contorted a13plication of the law. It must not be exercised Wh€re no evidence supports a finding that any provision of the Town Charter has been violated. It must not be exercised selectively.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated herein, this Court should issue a writ of certiorari quashing the decision of the Town Council of White Springs that Miller forfeited her office by willfully violating express prohibitions of the Town Charter and, as a consequence, this Court should order that Miller be restored to the office to which she was elected.

 

Respectfully submitted this November 21, 2017.

 

 

/s/ MESSER  CAPARELLO, P.A.

Mark Herron

Florida Bar No.: 199737 Email: mhe rrona Jawfia.com

  1. Brennan Donnelly Florida Bar No.: 268895

Email: bdonnellvqi)lawfla.com 2618 Centennial P.lace

Tallahassee, FL 32308

Phone: 850-222-0720

 

Attorneys1or Petitione

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

 

I hereby certify that thi brr-ief was prepared in Times New Roman 14-point font, in eompliance with Rule 9,;210(a)(2) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.

/s/         Mark Herron

MORE MONEY OUT OF TAXPAYER FUNDS

THANK YOU WILLIE AND TONJA.

This will cost the town approximately $5000.00 to defend its decision to vacate Helen’s seat. It was not a smart idea in the first place but it is even dumber now.

I got bets to make if anyone wants to bet.

  1. The Florida League of Cities will take a pass on defending the town from this stupid action by the town council
  2. According to the definition –  A writ of certiorari orders a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it. – the Town, the court in Helen’s trial, will be required to produce the transcript of the Hearing, all three hundred pages of it. Another $1500.00 out of the town’s pocket.

Willie and Tonja are truly idiots. They are spending OUR Dollars, your and my tax dollars like it was water but will not reduce your sewer bills or fund a Children’s Summer Program. Instead Willie and Tonja want to find Helen guilty no matter what the costs. Screw them I say. Can’t wait for Willie to run for re-election, assuming he is man enough, a very doubtful assumption, to run. I’ll beat him over the head with all of this money he has wasted.

Since the town doesn’t have an attorney it might cost even more than $5,000 plus paperwork. I have a final bet for anyone. $10.00 per bet.

I bet that we, as a town, can’t get anyone to be our town attorney. Although I despised Fred Koberlein for what he did to me, at least he always had “protection” of his client at heart, NO MATTER HOW MANY LAWS HE HAD TO BREAK. We’ll never get an attorney with as much guts to “fight off the bad guys” as Fred.

 

HELEN FILES “WRIT OF CERTIORARI” AGAINST TOWN.

242017CA000095CAAXMX
[17000095CAAXMX]

WHEN THE ABOVE LINK OPENS UP SELECT HAMILTON COUNTY FROM THE DROP DOWN MENU. WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH THE MENUS UNTIL YOU GET TO CASE 2017CA000095 . WELL WORTH THE READ.

AND YOU WILL BE AHEAD OF THE TOWN WHO WON’T BE SERVED UNTIL MONDAY OR TUESDAY.

HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLETS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THIS IS GOING TO GET EXPENSIVE.

DEFINITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

Definition: Certiorari, Petition for Writ of Certiorari. Certiorari. Certiorari is a Latin word meaning “to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to”. It is also the name given to certain appellate proceedings for re-examination of actions of a trial court, or inferior appeals court.

A type of writ, meant for rare use, by which an appellate court decides to review a case at its discretion. The word certiorari comes from Law Latin and means “to be more fully informed.” A writ of certiorari orders a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it

HELEN’S CASE SIMPLY ASKS THE COURT, JUDGE DECKER’S COURT, TO TAKE NOTICE OF THE EVENTS IN THE TOWN AND SEEKS TO OVERTURN THE COUNCIL’S DECISION.

Six Boys and 13 Hands – Well worth the read

 

Each 
year I am hired to go to Washington , DC ,
with the eighth grade class from Clinton ,
WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I
greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capitol, and each year I take some
special memories back with me. This fall’s trip was especially
memorable.
 

On
the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima
memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and
depicts one of the most famous photographs in history — that of the six
brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on
the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II
 

Over
one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed
towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the
statue, and as I got closer he asked, ‘Where are you guys
from?’
 

I
told him that we were from Wisconsin . ‘Hey,
I’m a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will
tell you a story.’
 

(It
was James Bradley who just happened to be in
Washington , DC , to speak at
the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good
night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when
he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and
received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is
one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in
Washington , DC , but it is
quite another to get the kind of insight we received that
night.)

When
all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his
words that night.)

‘My
name is James Bradley and I’m from Antigo,
Wisconsin My dad is on that statue, and I
wrote a book called ‘Flags of Our Fathers’. It is the story of the six
boys you see behind me.


‘Six
boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is
Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in
the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team.. They
were off to play another type of game. A game called ‘War.’ But it
didn’t turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his
intestines in his hands. I don’t say that to gross you out, I say that
because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk
about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in
Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old – and it was so hard that the
ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about
it.


(He
pointed to the statue) ‘You see this next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon
from
 New 
Hampshire
If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and
looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph…a
photograph of his girlfriend Rene put that in there for protection
because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the
battle of Iwo Jima . Boys. Not old
men.
 

‘The
next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank.
Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the
‘old man’ because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would
motivate his boys in training camp, he didn’t say, ‘Let’s go kill some
Japanese’ or ‘Let’s die for our country’ He knew he was talking to
little boys.. Instead he would say, ‘You do what I say, and I’ll get you
home to your mothers.’ 


‘The
last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from
Arizona . Ira Hayes was one of them who
lived to walk off Iwo Jima . He went into the White House
with my dad. President Truman told him, ‘You’re a hero’ He told
reporters, ‘How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the
island with me and only 27 of us walked off
alive?’

So 
you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together
having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the
beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira
Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain
home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a
very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was
taken).
 

‘The
next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop,
Kentucky . A fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. His
best friend, who is now 70, told me, ‘Yeah, you know, we took two cows
up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across
the stairs so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts.
Those cows crapped all night.’ Yes, he was a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy.
Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19.
When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to
the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his
mother’s farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into
the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.


‘The
next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John
Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin , where I
was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews.
When Walter Cronkite’s producers or the New York Times would call, we
were trained as little kids to say ‘No, I’m sorry, sir, my dad’s not
here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is
no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is coming back.’ My dad
never fished or even went to Canada .
Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his
Campbell ‘s soup. But we had to tell the
press that he was out fishing. He didn’t want to talk to the
press.
 

‘You
see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero. Everyone
thinks these guys are heroes, ’cause they are in a photo and on a
monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from
Wisconsin was a combat caregiver. On
Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And
when boys died on Iwo Jima , they writhed and screamed,
without any medication or help with the pain.
 

‘When
I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a
hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said,
‘I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima
are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come
back.’

‘So 
that’s the story about six nice young boys.. Three died on Iwo
Jima , and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000
boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history
of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank
you for your time.’
 

Suddenly,
the monument wasn’t just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking
out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words
of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero
for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero
nonetheless.
 

One
thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC that is
not mentioned here is . . that if you look at the statue very closely
and count the number of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the
man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the
13th hand was the hand of God.


Great
story – worth your time – worth every American’s time. Please pass it on.

Love This

    I LOVE THIS

    

A  father wanted to read a magazine but was being  bothered
 by  his little girl.  She wanted to know what the United  States looked like.  Finally,  he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was  printed the map of the  country.

Tearing  it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said,  ‘Go into the other room and see if you can put  this together.



After  a few minutes, she returned and handed him the map,
correctly fitted and taped together.
 The  father was surprised 
and asked how she had finished  so quickly..
 ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘on the 
other  side of the paper is a picture  of Jesus.
 When I got all of Jesus 
back where  He belonged,
 Then  our country just came together.’

FORBES HAS DESCRIBED OUR TOWN MANAGER TO A TEE

Leadership

NOV 25, 2015 @ 03:29 PM 55,159 The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets

The Five Characteristics Of Fear-Based Leaders

Liz Ryan , CONTRIBUTOR

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I don’t believe there’s a manager anywhere who would say “I manage my team through fear.”

They have no idea that they are fear-based managers — and no one around them will tell them the truth!

Nobody thinks they’re a fear-based leader, and yet there are fear-based managers everywhere.

People misunderstand what the term “fear-based manager” means. It’s true that these managers wield a big stick and use it to club their employees into submission. They use fear to control people instead of trusting their teammates and inspiring them to do great things.

Yet the term “fear-based manager” doesn’t only refer to the fact that these lousy managers threaten their employees and keep them on edge in order to keep them compliant and docile. The term “fear-based manager” refers to the manager’s own fears, as well.

ADVERTISING

The reason so many managers treat their employees as badly as they do and keep them in line with unnecessary rules, policies and punishments is that the managers themselves are in a state of fear. They don’t know who they are behind the business card.

Their professional identity is their only source of personal power, and they more than anyone else in their sphere know how fragile that power is.

They don’t feel whole and healthy. They don’t have the self-esteem to build anyone else up and make the people who work for them feel strong and capable.

My first-grade teacher was that way. She put us down. She regularly told me that I wasn’t smart or pretty or talented. Even as a six-year-old I thought it was strange for a grown-up to spend her energy trying to make a first-grader feel bad.

My spidey sense knew something was off. My teacher was a nun. Who  knows what her childhood had been like? She couldn’t have been more than twenty-two or twenty-three years old at the time I knew her.

People who feel bad often try to make the people around them feel even worse. A grade-school teacher has a lot of power and control over the kids in his or her classroom. Likewise, a manager or supervisor has a lot of power over the people in his or her department.

You can easily see how fearful people put into management positions would not only devote their lives to pleasing their ‘superiors’ by becoming almost machinelike in their devotion to the structure of business –  the rules and punishments and obsessive measurement – but also take pride and almost delight in treating their employees like dirt.

The false sense of bureaucratic power conferred on them by higher-level managers becomes a substitute for self-esteem. Healthy people grow their muscles throughout life, but unhealthy, fearful managers get their fake self-esteem by hitting the marks that other people tell them to hit.

The traditional top-down business framework substitutes made-up and often arbitrary goals (and associated punishments and rewards) for authentic muscle-building that comes from inside, the personal growth that healthy people develop naturally by trying new things and learning from their experiences.

That’s why fearful managers can get pretty high up in organizations without having any self-esteem at all except the phony kind that other people bestow on them.

Here are five unmistakable signs that a manager is mired in fear and not someone who can grow your flame. Watch for these signs on a job interview and do not take a job working for someone who displays these characteristics.  You will regret it if you do!

They’ll Teach You, Whether You Like It or Not

Our client Bogdan narrowly avoided working for a painfully fear-based manager about six months ago. Bogdan realized after two interviews with his possible next boss, Alison, that every time they spoke or met in person it was very important for Alison to teach Bogdan about business and her own personal leadership philosophy.

“I couldn’t say a word when Alison was ranting on about her views,” said Bog. “I realized that she wanted to hire me only to teach me what she knew and beyond that, to teach me exactly her way! I finally got out of the interviewing pipeline and got an angry email message from Alison a day later.

“She huffed and puffed in her email about how I would never succeed in business or life after having the bad manners to refuse her generous offer to mentor me. I knew I dodged a bullet that day!”

Alison wasn’t looking for a new hire to help her department. She wanted a protege, and she thought Bogdan would make the perfect one. “It would have been hellish working for Alison,” he told us.

“It’s her way or the highway. She is not open to new ideas, least of all from a person who reports to her. She wanted to hire an empty vessel to fill up with her ideas. I found another job, but I would have stayed on unemployment rather than take a job working for somebody who’s afraid not to be in charge every single minute of the day!”

Everyone is a Friend or a Foe

Fear-based managers evaluate everyone they meet and quickly decide whether each person is predator, or prey. Anyone who looks like a predator — including a job-seeker who shows a little too much self-confidence — is shown the door at once.

Fearful managers are afraid of everyone they meet until they establish that they can cow and bully them. Fear and hostility are two sides of the same coin. They turn into pit vipers when their authority is questioned. It’s not worth it to you to pretend to be meek and pliable when you interview with a fearful manager.

They’ll sniff out your true nature and try their hardest to stamp out your flame at every opportunity. Fearful managers specialize in squashing other people’s self-esteem!

It’s All about the Trophies

Fearful managers don’t feel good about themselves. They amass trophies like job titles, budgets, big staffs and professional credentials to prop up their fragile egos. They will let you know within ten minutes of meeting you how lofty they are, just to make sure you don’t forget that they are more important in this world than you are. Run away from a manager like that!

They Don’t Step Outside Boxes

Fearful managers do not want to learn anything new. They already know everything they want to know and have no interest in exploring new ideas. If you want to learn whether a prospective new boss is fearful or confident, ask him or her what new and thought-provoking ideas he or she has heard lately.

A confident manager will tell you that they found a recent article or podcast very interesting and they want to learn more about the ideas shared in it. A fearful manager will tell you about a book they read twenty years ago and insist that you buy the same book and read it right away, if you want to work for them!

They’re Addicted to Yardsticks

Lastly, people in fear are addicted to measurements. They want to nail things down and feel in control, and nothing spells fake control like measurements do! They love KPIs and other weenie business tools even more than most managers do.

We met a young woman name Grace who had worked for a manager like that. “We measured everything at my old job,” she said. “I was an internal recruiter. We had a brainless metric called Time to Fill. They tracked the number of days it took me and the other recruiters to fill each job opening.

“That made no sense because you could obviously make a less-good hire more quickly than the perfect hire, and I always worked in close harmony with our hiring managers to make them happy with their new team members.

“I got sick of being measured on my Time to Fill metric and I started calling our recruiting pipeline partners like universities, community colleges and trade associations every week or two just to stay in close touch with them. One quarter my Time to Fill average was one day – one business day!

“To get my Time to Fill number so low, I was always meeting candidates whether we had job openings or not, and I was always honest with the job candidates about that.

“Our hiring managers did the same thing. Eventually we got to the point where we could say ‘The next time we have a job opening, we’re going to hire Sally Philips’ and we basically had Sally on speed dial.

“The quarterly numbers came out, and my manager called me in and threatened to fire me for gaming the system.

“I was only being proactive, the way we are always told to be!

“My manager didn’t like process improvement. It offended her. She said “Obviously you’re not working hard enough!”

“I gave notice and went to work for a competitor and never looked back. Six of my teammates from that company followed me. I will never work for a fearful manager like that again!”

The old ways of doing business are slowly giving way to a smarter and more humanistic approach, but if you’re not paying close attention you could end up working for a fearful manager like Grace’s boss and live to regret it.

Keep your spidey sense on high alert and remember that only the people who get you, deserve you!

 

Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns. Liz’s book Reinvention Roadmap is here.

 

Whether it is drugs or child crimes, you can just hit your head against the wall in the 3rd judicial district

This happened in 1998 and things have not changed.

Agent Is Well-known For Pedophile Work

January 9, 1998|By Jim Leusner of The Sentinel Staff

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent who earned a nationwide reputation for nabbing pedophiles on the Internet is resigning his job.

Doug Rehman, a 10-year veteran of the agency, submitted his notice Wednesday to supervisors in Orlando, effective April 30.

“There comes a point in time when you have to stop allowing yourself to be punched in the head and step out of the ring,” Rehman said Thursday. “It’s become real clear that nothing is going to change.”

—————————————

FDLE is certainly in charge with crimes against children; but instead of investigating someone for such crimes, they want us to do all the leg work and that happens frequently especially in the 3rd Judicial Circuit.  It seems as though justice has become political when it comes to certain families.

At least in the case at hand, they should have spoken to our police chief and asked why the evidence was not sent to FDLE; yet, it probably would not have done any good because we know our Chief will not tell the truth because she is fearful to lose her job if she does.

That is what is happening at Town Hall these days.  The Town Manager and Mayor plus two other council members keep everyone in line including citizens by placing fear of retaliation.

 

Crimes Against Children

The Crimes Against Children Program (CACP) is located within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This program is charged with providing investigative, training and intelligence assistance to local law enforcement agencies. This program takes a proactive approach to investigating and preventing child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.

Intelligence Assistance

The first step in this program is the identification of local, state and federal law enforcement professionals working these cases. The networking and sharing of intelligence and investigative data enhances the existing communications network of the Florida Investigative Support Center (FISC) within FDLE. This database enables FDLE personnel to identify patterns and movements of specific criminal activities. In addition, it provides local law enforcement investigators with a statewide medium through which they share criminal information.

Investigative Assistance

Special Agents of the CACP have received extensive training in the area of crimes against children. Consequently, members of this program are qualified to investigate multi-jurisdictional operations and organized crimes against children. In addition, investigative and technical assistance is provided to local law enforcement agencies.

The major concerns include:

  • Serial Child Homicides
  • Pedophiles
  • Child Pornography
  • Child Sexual Abuse

CACP also has the ability to utilize the services of FDLE Special Agents who have been specifically trained in psychological profiling.

 

If any additional information is desired about the Crimes Against Children Program, please contact:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Criminal Justice Information Services
Crimes Against Children Program
Post Office Box 1489
Tallahassee, FL 32302
1-800-342-7768

But it may not do any good and that is why some of us have written to the Governor’s office.

 

Karin for the blog

To the haters who do not live in White Springs proper

An individual at Fat Belly’s this morning decided to get real nasty to us because he is taking sides with his nephew at PCS who has not spoken a decent word about Dr. Miller..

The situation started with a “how’s it going?” and then he told us we should move in with the Millers.  He then slammed Helen Miller as we were leaving and stated she will get what she deserves.  He compared her with Hillary Clinton.  I did not stand for it, but it got loud so we left.  You can’t fight ignorant people.

When we had our difficulties with the law and the Town, he geared at Joe condemning him for lying, which Joe never did.   That was another time and place and although it hurt us a lot with everyone turning against us, what is happening today to Dr. Helen Miller is no different with the same people.

You may say we are negative, but how can one be positive about corruption and ignorance? The people running the town for the last 17 years(for Joe; 6 for me)  have never followed the law.  They complain about Joe’s language at times, but who wouldn’t get frustrated.  We know for a fact that the nephew turned against us as did Rhett the first time Joe and Rhett were running for office.  Rhett complained that I was bribing people with cookies and coffee for votes at a food giveaway and even made a complaint against Richard Marshall.  Shirley Heath mentioned that Rhett called her, but she took the blame so that Rhett would look good and not be noted to the ethics board.

Then Rhett was after us in the background and lied about what happened at HCDA. He complained to Tracy Rodriquenz that we stopped the deal even though another said WS has no skin in the game.  We never said to HCDA that they should not help White Springs by providing a grant, but we wished a lower sewer rate; as such, Rhett riled everyone to the point that Joe and I were both considered criminals, so I have no respect for him. Yet, Joe saw the true Rhett early on and it took me longer to find the truth and then I realized how right Joe was.

As I told the group today, Dr. Helen Miller will win in circuit court because she is within the law.  We of all people could hold a grudge but we are not like that.  The truth of the matter is that with Joe and I, it has always been about the law and since Rhett became mayor the corruption has become far worse, including drugs on premises and situations with juveniles.

If you think you are going to judge Dr. Miller for whatever past actions happened, you are wrong.  Everything she did had council approval and we did not have a drug induced Town Manager.  Rhett won’t take the blame for anything and what he stated at the hearing was worse than anything I had ever heard.  Those who supported him, we find, are no longer supporting him. The councilors were judges but they decided before the hearing that Dr. Miller would be ousted.  And to celebrate with a party when they were the judge and jury and made certain it happened is ludicrous because they knew what they would do.  But wait when there is a real judge and then we will see if you feel like celebrating.

Before you think Dr. Miller is guilty, look at the charges made by the Town; they were ridiculous and even the newspaper reflected that as well as Dennis Price.  So get over yourselves.   The idiots on the council couldn’t even address their motions correctly for each of the charges and they don’t even know what Malfeasance is, even though Frederick Koberlein explained it fully.  Charging Dr. Miller for the acts of requesting is certainly beyond the pale and definitely not illegal which imputes malfeasance..

What is interesting is Frederick Koberlein, esq. refused to write the letter which must be signed and sent as a final notification to Dr. Miller.  Instead, Stacy’s attorney, Mr. Elkind had to write the letter.  The payments of these attorney fees for Stacy, should be construed as bonus money and given to her on a 1099 or W2 if taxes are taken out.  Stacy Tebo is getting benefit no one else has received and this is because Rhett Bullard is too afraid to look bad; yet, he did at the hearing, bless his heart.

Now, just because the nephew feels that Dr. Miller tried to fire him; well that was in the past and not knowing all  the details, perhaps she was right.  Now you readily provide money to the Town to assist a very corrupt base.  It was understood that more money was given to Lake City than ever to White Springs and yet, most of the damage once the phosphate was harvested happened to White Springs.  Don’t get us wrong; the people of White Springs were thankful for the jobs.

Joe and I are very much alike and we fight for what is right, so don’t expect an agreement on this issue or that you can cause us shame or ridicule.  Yes Joe has a southern slang with flavorful words which drives some people crazy but so does our POTUS and that is what I love about both of them.  They speak the truth and they stand up for what is right.  That is something rare with the staff and officials of White Springs.  Everyone worries about what other people may think of them and they may never be wrong so they lie, instead of facing the truth.

So get off your high horse.  You can attack Joe and I as much as you wish.  You can’t compare Dr. Miller to Hillary Clinton for these minor infractions which Dr. Miller was charged with by a group that had so much hate, it was unbelievable.  This is why we do not have a Town attorney and no bids.  The councilors do not listen and have not listened to Fred Koberlein for some time and what they have done will be determined by a real judge the next time; not by a bunch of haters.

 

Karin for the blog