Sure he’s cute, but is he tough enough to protect us?
The Isaac Archer bubba-mess got me thinking a lot about the state attorneys office (SAO). How do they decide who they target with an investigation? And who they let slide? Why don’t they do more to protect the Keys community from well-connected offenders? In the Archer case, the SAO managed to do the right thing at the tail end, but there’s no question that Archer received lenient treatment up to that point.
The state attorney is an elected position. Theoretically, that means the seat can turn over every four years. But how long has staff been there? Who are they? How do they influence decision-making? Why should we trust them? How much power does an elected SA really have? How easy would it be for staff to sabotage a new SA who was serious about tackling corruption?
This is something I’ve been pondering ever since Chris Weber, “Chief Investigator”, breezily blew off concerns about the Marathon animal control contract. As you might recall, that bidding process stunk to high heaven but Weber didn’t care. He seemed anxious to make it all go away on the county’s behalf. Continue reading
The bubba diagram is an ongoing project. You can check out recent updates here.
Limit setting. I’m a fan.
The Monroe County School District? Meh, not so much. You can find the whole sordid tale here and here. Bottom line is that wee-bubba, Isaac Archer, who committed a serious violent crime against a fellow student, had already gotten lenient treatment when he put his graspy little hands out for more. The school district backed him all the way. Continue reading
Remember that movie, “What About Bob“? In the Keys, you have your own Bob driving you crazy – Shady Bob. Bob Shillinger, the County Attorney.
As an attorney, Shady Bob has a certain amount of exposure that the other rummy-dums at the county do not have. Shady Bob can be disciplined by the Florida Bar for violating the rules of professional conduct. I wonder if Shady Bob ever thinks about that when he’s impeding public records requests or facilitating sketchy transactions. Continue reading
Awwww…remember when I wrote this?
The Florida Keys Free Press reported that the $3 million in state money recently received by the District could finally be used to provide financial relief to the ratepayers as was originally intended. I hoped that was true but I had my doubts.
For one thing, the Free Press is part of the Key West Citizen family of newspapers; which means they get it wrong all the damn time. For another thing, this would be a major departure from the state’s ongoing idiocy. Why would the state help ratepayers when they can go on enriching contractors instead? Rick Scott has a very expensive campaign to run. He’s going to need donations.
Well, you know what they say. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here’s an update from the Free Press, which corrects the previous misapprehension. The state money, as always, must be used for projects.
I’m disappointed, of course, but not the least bit surprised.
I saw some excellent news in the corrupt local government propaganda rag, otherwise known as the Key West Citizen. A candidate has filed to run against David Rice!
Of course, you can’t believe everything you read in the Citizen. After all, they’re not really a newspaper. They are a sleazy marketing operation and Monroe County is their biggest client. They are so untrustworthy you have to verify everything they say – I mean everything. Seriously. Every…g__damn…thing. If they told me grass is green, I’d go outside and check.
That being said, I went over to the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections website. Sure enough David Rice has a challenger! Vicki Tashjian. I don’t know who she is. She might be great. She might be Satan. Either way, she’s not David Rice! That puts her way ahead in my book. Continue reading
This is what a shakedown looks like.
Monroe County has more or less conceded that there is no justification for the astronomical $175,000 price increase we’ve been forced to pay the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA) to run the Marathon shelter. After months of back-and-forth, including dragging the State Attorneys Office into it, the county finally admitted that they never bothered to collect documents that would have substantiated the true cost of running the shelter.
Unfortunately for them, at least some of that information can be found elsewhere, and it suggests that the cost of running the shelter is substantially less than what we’re paying FKSPCA. The county never took basic steps to protect the taxpayers. They set us up to be ripped off. Why? Continue reading
I saw this story in the Keynoter/Reporter misinformation rag. Standard Keys skulduggery – newsworthy but not all that surprising. Hell, our government officials do worse on a regular basis and nobody gives a damn.
Anyway, here was the most interesting bit for me.
He never performed the work and kept the money, said State Attorney’s Office spokesman Larry Kahn.
Larry Kahn? Would this be the editor of the Keynoter? Or former editor? Continue reading
Update2: That little Brian Bradley fellow got back to me.. Turns out the county doesn’t have the audited financials from SUFA and SHARK. That’s about what I expected. Fortunately, I found other information sources, which tend to support the idea that we’re being lied to and ripped off while the State Attorney turns a blind eye. The county did find FKSPCA’s 2016 statements but they are almost a year late. I also got the reports from FloridaKeys.com. I’ll be digging through those as time allows.
Update: FloridaKeys.com is required by contract to submit monthly reports. I requested those from the county for 2017. I also repeated my request for the missing financial statements from the animal shelter operators.
As you might recall, I first asked for those financial statements at the end of December 2017. We’re closing in on the end of April now. Remember when Chris Weber of the State Attorneys Office went to bat for the county claiming the missing records were a “timing” issue and the county was “working on it”? That was in early February. How much more mileage do you think they’ll try to get out of that excuse? The whole animal control situation looks more suspicious all the time, and the State Attorneys Office sure seems anxious to keep a lid on it for their buddies at the county. Nice to have friends in high places I guess.
End of update.
I managed to loosen Shady Bob’s grip on public records related to Monroe County’s contract with FloridaKeys.com. FloridaKeys.com is part of the Cooke Communications group, which also owns the Key West Citizen. The Citizen tends to spin, if not outright bury, unflattering stories about the County and their cronies. I wondered why they’re so blatant about it. Perhaps this contract explains it. It’s the money, honey! Continue reading
Why can’t I find a decent newspaper in this burning turd pile?
The Blue Paper was the only news source in the Keys that did any sort of investigative reporting. Its future is uncertain at this point, but hopefully it will live on in some form. The Citizens of the Keys need a publication like the Blue Paper badly. That was the one Keys news source which dug for the facts, found the documents and published well-researched stories you’ll find nowhere else. Continue reading